Looking for some podcast statistics to help with your research? Want to know the size of the podcasting market? Or how many people listen to podcasts?
These are just a few of the many facts and stats I've collected for you. I hope it helps with your research, be sure to attribute this article where relevant. 🙂
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Podcast Consumer Stats
In this section, we'll take a look at various stats that have to do with listeners. You will discover some important information connected to demographics, listening habits and behaviors.
197 Million Americans Have Heard Of Podcasts
This equates to 70% of Americans having heard of podcasts and doesn’t necessarily mean they know specifically what they are or how they work.
This number is encouraging but there is still some groundwork to be laid before we can
144 Million Americans Over The Age Of 12 Have Listened To Podcasts
These aren’t necessarily loyal listeners, but they’ve listened to a podcast at least once.
This is certainly good news, as people who’ve listened once might get hooked and want to discover more podcasts for themselves.
32% Of Americans Listen To Podcasts At Least Monthly
This stat will likely change over time.
Most podcasters publish at least once per week, which suggests that people who are hooked on podcasts won’t just be tuning in once per month.
Podcasters are looking to train audiences to subscribe, download new episodes that come out and listen at their convenience, and there’s a good chance they will succeed in achieving this end.
61.1 Million American Families Are Fans Of Music Podcasts
Who said music discovery is dead?
People discover plenty of music on streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube. They still discover radio on music too.
But podcasts are also beginning to serve this niche and some people are even fans of music podcasts.
Musicians, take note.
74% Of Podcast Users Listen To Podcasts To Learn Something New
Not all podcasts are educational in nature, but this stat suggests that most listeners are tuning in to find something out.
Podcasts cover a broad range of topics, whether it’s marketing, entrepreneurship, diets or fitness, lifestyle, language.
So, there are plenty of opportunities to discover something new through podcasts.
16 Million Americans Are Avid Podcast Fans
This is hardly surprising.
See if any of these names ring a bell – Pat Flynn, Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan, Andrew Warner, Oprah, Dave Ramsey, Bill Nye, Dr. Phil McGraw, James Altucher and Gary Vaynerchuk.
While these aren’t all household names, they do represent podcasters with large audiences.
And, podcasting isn’t just about the big guy either. There are plenty of small, independent podcasters that command an audience of thousands or more.
43% Of Podcast Fans Use Spotify To Listen To Podcasts
Apple Music and Spotify are basically neck and neck when it comes to the most popular music streaming services.
But Spotify is one of the hottest platforms on the market, and a whopping 43% of fans now use it to listen to podcasts.
If you’re a podcaster and you’re not on Spotify yet, now’s the time to submit your show.
65% Of Podcast Consumers Are Most Likely To Listen To Episodes On A Mobile Device
The “most likely” part is what makes this a bit of an odd stat. But what it basically refers to is listener preference.
65% of listeners prefer to listen using their mobile device, 25% prefer to listen on their computers an 10% like to listen on smart speakers.
39% Of Smart-Speaker Owners Listen To Podcasts At Least Once Per Week
Smart speakers have grown in popularity, and the number of podcast listeners using them has increased by 10% over the course of a year.
74% of Americans who own smart speakers listen to podcasts directly from the device.
This would suggest that, as smart speakers continue to saturate the market, podcast listenership is only going to increase.
60% Of All Podcast Shows Are Downloaded From Apple
Apple hosts more than half of the world’s podcast content and published 25 of the most downloaded podcasts in 2018.
For obvious reasons, Apple users have often been some of the biggest supporters of podcasts, and there are now a billion people using more than 1.4 billion Apple devices.
52% Of Podcast Subscribers Listen To Entire Episodes
Honestly, it seems like this number should be higher, but when you consider how fast some people disengage from blog posts, YouTube videos and so on, this number represents solid engagement from the listening audience.
People love that they can listen to podcasts whenever and wherever they want and become attached to their favorite podcasting personalities over time.
Roughly 26% Of Podcast Listeners Increase The Speed Of Podcasts While Listening
These are some smart people. I like to speed up podcasts as well. The human brain is capable of absorbing information so much faster than we can even comprehend.
Today, many platforms and devices have this functionality built in.
Podcast Listeners Spend An Average Of 6 Hours & 37 Minutes Listening To Podcasts Weekly
(Backyard Media, site currently down)
This number has been going up consistently, year over year.
Podcasts all vary in length. Some providers focus on creating 30-minute episodes, so they can be the “perfect length” for commutes. Some podcasters produce five- to 10-minute episodes. Still others offer two hours or more.
This is largely up to the provider as well as what their audience will engage with.
90% Of Podcast Consumers Prefer To Listen To A Podcast At Home
You can listen to podcasts anywhere. But it seems many people prefer to listen at home. This might be because people want to take notes or action whatever tips they’re gleaning from the shows they’re listening to.
In addition to home, people also like to listen to podcasts in their car (64%), while walking (49%) at the gym (43%) or at work (37%).
55% Of Podcast Listeners Say They Pay Attention To The Ads
Podcast subscriptions cost nothing. But some podcasters choose to run ads in their program to support their ongoing efforts.
Over half of podcast listeners actively pay attention to the ads. Further, 54% of podcast consumers think about buying an advertised product (54%).
Since listenership is so strong, this would suggest that podcasters should be able to find plenty of ways of monetizing their show.
39% Of Small And Medium Sized Business Owners Listen To Podcasts
There are plenty of business-oriented podcasts out there, so this should hardly come as a surprise.
Roughly 65% of the identified audience listen to podcast weekly, and 70 to 72% of business owners with 100 to 500 employees listen to podcasts.
Since podcasting allows you to consume a lot of up-to-date information in a hurry, it makes sense that busy business owners would be tuning into their favorite shows ongoingly.
Podcast Consumers Download Episodes On Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays
This would suggest that the best time for podcasters to publish new episodes are on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Not surprisingly, downloads are lowest on Saturdays and Sundays.
43% Of People Ask Their Online Community Or Rely On Social Media To Find New Podcasts
This would suggest that, if you have a podcast and can get your listeners to recommend it to others, you should be able to grow your fan base relatively quickly.
- 23% asked people with similar interests.
- 16% searched their podcast app directory.
- 12% Googled.
- 6% browsed the podcast charts.
Podcast Provider/Creator Stats
In this section, we'll look at what podcasters out there are up to – what equipment they use, how they edit their podcast and more.
19% Of Podcasters Use Rode Mics & 17% Use Blue Mics
Rode is the most popular brand overall. I rather like Rode mics myself.
In second place, we have Blue. As far as Blue mics are concerned, the most popular are the Blue Yeti and the Blue Snowball.
35% Use Dynamic Mics, 33% Use USB Mics & 29% Use Condenser Mics
This is an important differentiation since each mic has its own advantages.
Dynamic mics are generally thought to be good because they cut out a lot of external noise. Plus, most if not all broadcast quality mics are dynamics.
USB mics are convenient, and if you're constantly on the go, they are the preferred solution. The are generally plug-and-play and can plug directly into a USB slot on your computer.
Finally, we have condenser mics. Condensers tend to pick up more detail in the sound but are also prone to picking up more unwanted noise.
But if you've only got one mic and a group of people talking, this is the preferred method. And, many compact solutions are also condenser mics.
74% Of Podcasters Monitor Themselves With Headphones, While 26% Don't Monitor At All
I fall into the 26% myself. But not monitoring yourself can feel a little weird and even give you the sense that you aren't speaking into a mic to begin with.
Monitoring yourself is probably the right way to do it, but when you're recording solo episodes, it isn't necessary.
48% Of Podcasters Edit Their Show With Audacity, While 31% Use Adobe Audition
What this means is that Audacity is the most popular software for editing podcasts, with Adobe Audition right behind it.
What's interesting is that these two programs are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Audacity is free, so it makes sense that it's popular.
Meanwhile, Adobe Audition is premium, since it requires you to pay a monthly fee. There are plenty of Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) that can be purchased with a small, one-time fee, so this is a rather surprising finding.
17% Of Podcasters Record Video With Their Podcast & 10% Of Podcasters Live Broadcast
Could video content represent an opportunity for podcasters? It's hard to say, but based on these stats, it's clear that most podcasters aren't doing it.
Joe Rogan has experienced a lot of success with video. At first, a setup like this might seem intimidating, but it's not as crazy as it looks.
It mostly comes down to whether you have the budget for cameras, video switchers, mics and a specific environment to record your podcast in.
My Take On The Stats – One Man’s Opinion
I have no doubt that podcasts will continue to grow in the years that follow.
There is still plenty of opportunity for independent providers to come along and capture an audience, though that’s only going to become more difficult over time.
So, if you’re thinking about getting into podcasting, it’s best to find a viable niche market that isn’t served.
As podcasting becomes more mainstream, it’s a foregone conclusion (at least for me) that the big media companies are going to assert more dominance.
Certainly, there is still room for the small guy to shine, but this is exactly what has happened with other forms of media and publishing, so it’s only natural.
For those who are interested in alternative media and different perspectives on issues, this will make no difference. “Outside the box” thinkers will continue to find sources that scratch their itch.
Of course, most listeners will gravitate towards providers that offer what’s familiar and entertaining.
Podcasting For Musicians
So, is it worth it for musicians to start their own podcasts?
For most musicians, the answer will be “no.” You’re going to get more leverage out of podcasts by pitching to be a guest on relevant shows rather than starting from scratch.
For those who’ve got a hustle mentality, have plenty of content ideas and are good oral communicators, it represents an amazing opportunity.
Podcast audio can be repurposed in a variety of ways, whether it’s getting the episodes transcribed or taking snippets from the episode and turning them into fun, engaging and quotable videos.
Musicians today are digital marketers, but you may find it challenging to get around to your music if you also have a podcast to keep pace with. So, you must be intentional and calculated about your publishing schedule if you intend to be effective with your podcasting efforts.
Podcasting, however, can be fulfilling and fun, and if you hit the right vein, you can build a sizable audience in a short amount of time. It’s a great marketing channel but it’s not for everyone!
A Brief Podcasting History
French-born American author, entrepreneur and internet archivist Tristan Louis was the first to suggest the idea of attaching sound and video files to RSS feeds in October 2000.
This was the beginning of podcasting, humble though it may have been.
In June 2005, Apple released iTunes 4.9, which fully supported podcasts – and podcasters everywhere rejoiced. Some, seeing an opportunity, jumped on the bandwagon and started producing audio content.
Since then, podcasts have gone from obscure to almost mainstream, and they’re on a serious growth curve right now.
I’ve been podcasting since 2009 myself, though I first started sharing audio posts and reviews back in 2007.
The podcast train is catching momentum and so-called “alternative” media sources might become the go-to rather than the esoteric or obscure.
Don’t take my word for it. Check out the above important stats to discover more.
Best Podcast Statistics, Final Thoughts
As with anything else, podcasts have taken a while to catch on.
If we were to say that podcasts were invented in 2000, that means they have only been around for 20 years. Some would even argue they weren’t legit until 2005, giving them a lifespan of 15 years.
But listenership is starting to go up and it’s only a matter of time before every American knows what a podcast is.
Since it gives people the opportunity to tune into their favorite personalities and learn more about them, more people are going to come to appreciate and understand the value of podcasts.