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The Latest Podcast Stats and How to Put Them to Use

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Podcast stats

If you’re seriously considering making a podcast, it’s only due diligence to start looking into some podcast stats for a number of reasons:

  1. Knowing what podcast host or platforms are popular; and trending/popular podcast genre can help you to decide which one you want to use (also see, ‘How To Choose A Podcast Category‘).
  2. Knowing what demographic of people tend to listen to podcasts, or certain podcast platforms can inform who your target audience is, or perhaps who it should be. This in turn will influence how you present the material and content of your podcast, as well as how it comes across.
  3. Knowing the rate at which podcast listener numbers are growing can help you decide whether it’s worth pursuing.
  4. You can learn what is considered good stats for a podcast, as well as how you can check your own podcast stats, so you’re in a position to judge just how well your podcast is doing.
  5. If you wish to monetize your podcast through ads, then advertisers may wish you to hit certain stats before they will show any interest (also see, Podcasting As A Business‘).

So, to that end, here are some key podcast listening stats to know about! Side note – the stats provided herewith were accurate when the article was originally written.

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How Many People Listen To Podcasts?

A whopping 464 million people listen to podcasts around the world, about a quarter of all internet users.

But the number of people who listen to podcasts differs between different countries.

The USA is the country with the most avid podcast fans. It’s believed that there are over 160 million monthly podcast listeners just in the United States alone.

Weekly podcast listeners make up 118.2 million of this number, which is a staggering figure.

An entire third of the American population listens to podcasts on a regular basis, and a whopping 160 million people in the US have listened to a podcast at least once.

This comes down in part to the fact that so much of the US population is aware of podcasts, which comes in at 78%. And of this 78%, 28% listen to podcasts on a weekly basis.

But strangely, it turns out that it’s Scandinavian countries that have the highest podcast penetration rate, coming in at 47%.

Are Podcast Listener Figures Going Up Or Down?

Podcast Stats

In the US, the number of podcast listeners has grown a little almost every passing year, so there’s clearly an upward trend here.

You may also be interested to learn that by the year 2024, the podcast industry is expected to grow to a whopping $4 billion! (Also see, ‘What Is The Future Of Podcasting‘)

As podcast listeners tune in to listen to their favorite shows, they are also taking into consideration which brands advertise on them.

Podcast consumers listen to ads, with the majority of them (69%) being more likely to purchase a product or service after hearing an ad on a podcast. It’s also easier to retain information from podcasts compared to other forms of media, such as TV and radio.

ALSO SEE: How To Monetize Buzzsprout Podcast

What Are The Biggest Podcast Platforms?

What Are The Biggest Podcast Platforms?

The biggest players when it comes to podcast listening apps are Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and they’re often found rallying for the top spot.

According to the most recent figures available, Apple Podcasts holds the lead at 37.4%, followed by Spotify at 26.8%.

In other words, Apple Podcasts and Spotify are responsible for a whopping 64.2%.

Other podcast apps have a much smaller market share, with even web browsers holding only 2.9% of the market.

The Google Podcasts figure is slightly lower at 2.4%.

What Are Some Key Podcast Listener Demographic Stats?

It’s always younger people who generally tend to be quicker to get to grips with new technologies, and this is evident when it comes to listening to podcasts, with reports showing that approximately half of all podcast listeners are aged between 12 and 34.

Other Interesting Podcast Stats

Interestingly, it also turns out that a significant portion of podcast listeners do their listening while they are driving or commuting, with this figure coming in at 22%.

Also, nearly a fifth of all podcast hosts record their content in the form of video, and not just in audio formats.

Spoken word audio listeners tend to be more loyal than other types of digital audio listeners, with 53% saying that they listen to the same show every week.

The most popular podcast genre in 2023 is comedy, making up 21% of all podcast content. This is followed by society and culture, news, true crime, sports, business, and arts.

Podcast ads are also becoming more popular, with US podcast ad revenue increasing by 25% in 2023. The average cost for a 30-second spot on a podcast was $25, and the majority of ads were targeted to males (75%).

The most popular podcast genres for ads remain to be comedy, sports, and news.

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What Are Good Stats For A Podcast?

The primary measurement for assessing the popularity of podcasts is the number of downloads.

The top 50% of podcasts get 26 or more downloads within the first week of release. So if you do get that many, you’re already off to a great start.

And if you manage to get over 72 downloads within the first 7 days, that means your podcast is in the top 25%.

To get into the top 10%, you will need to achieve at least 231 downloads in the first week.

How Do You Check Podcast Statistics?

Podcast statistics

These are as follows:

Unfortunately, many podcast hosting platforms don’t actually reveal their download numbers, so instead, if you want to gauge a podcast’s popularity without such information, you will often have to check out alternative figures instead.

  1. Many podcast hosting platforms allow podcasters to display user ratings and reviews. A greater number of individual user reviews is usually a good indicator of popularity, however, remember that this is not necessarily the total number of listeners, since not all listeners will take the time to leave a rating and/or review.
  2. Some podcast hosting platforms feature a ranking system whereby the higher the ranking of the podcast, the greater its popularity is deemed to be. However, it’s important to note at this point that this ranking is not determined solely by downloads. It also takes into account when interest is quickly growing in a podcast. And it’s also worth mentioning that this ranking system may not feature every single podcast on the hosting platform, and may only show the top 100 or 200.
  3. When podcast episodes go viral, there is usually much talk about it on social media, so if a particular podcast episode is controversial, you may expect to see tweets and retweets about it on Twitter. You will also be able to see how many followers and likes a podcast has on different social media outlets.
  4. Google Trends is another great tool. You just type the name of a podcast in the search bar, and it will bring up a graph showing any rises or falls in the number of people searching for it. Podcast analytics tools like Podtrac also provide a lot of valuable information. It tracks podcast downloads so you can get an idea of how many people are listening to your show each week.

ALSO SEE: Podcast Analytics Tools

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Final Thoughts

So, at this point, you now know the value of different podcast statistics and what it can teach you.

This can help you to determine how successful a particular podcast is, and help you realize who your target audience should be.

Ideally, downloads are the best metric to use to gauge podcast popularity, but when this data is not available, you may have to use other measures.

Matt Brook

With a background in Journalism and years of experience in the industry, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge to the WiredClip team.

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