Podcasting is slowly becoming a favorite way of content delivery among marketers because of its huge reach and popularity. But there are things that you should know about before incorporating it into your marketing strategy.
We have compiled a list of podcast statistics for 2021 for you. These figures should help you not only understand the industry better but also give you a better sense of the trends around it.
These figures are also useful for anyone who’s aspiring to jump into the podcasting game in 2021.
Let’s first look at some highlights!
Podcast Statistics – Editor’s choice
- 55% of US Consumers Listened to Podcasts
- 33% of Non-Listeners Don’t Know How to Access Podcasts
- 59% of Users Spend More Time on Podcasts Than on Social Media
- 80% of Users Listen Through Most or All of Podcast Episodes
If you’re like us and see that there’s something special about podcasting, then continue reading and le’ts take a deeper look at some fascinating podcast facts and statistics.
Table of Contents
Before jumping into some of the specific information about podcasts, here are some general podcasting statistics. Use these figures to familiarize yourself with the potential that podcasts bring to the table.
If you’re planning on being part of the podcasting community, make room for competition. There are at least 850,000 active podcasts — that’s over 30 million episodes.
And as podcasts go mainstream, you can expect that number to go higher in the coming months and years.
Most of the US population are, at the very least, familiar with what podcasts are. It’s no longer the niche content platform that it once was. People are now aware of what podcasting means.
That’s an estimated 197 million users.
40% of podcast non-listeners said they found episodes too long. That, combined with other factors like having to download podcast apps or having to pay subscription fees (in some cases), are deterrents for the average person to jump right into podcasting.
Back in 2019, experts estimated that 37.3% of US digital audio listeners (or 76.4 million people) will listen to podcasts. And by 2020, they estimated that number to rise to 78.9 million users (or 37.8%).
Podcasting hit big in South Korea. Did you know that 53% of their population listens to a podcast at least once a month?
Spain comes second at 39% while Ireland is third at 37%. Sweden and the US are tied at fourth having 35% each.
Podcast Listener Demographics
Who listens to podcasts? What does your core audience look like? Here are the numbers that reveal who podcasts appeal to.
Over half of US consumers listened to audio podcasts, which is up from the previous year’s numbers by 51%. This is a clear indication of what’s to come in 2021.
It’s a good time to invest in podcasts as the current trend indicates that there’s a demand for content in this format.
In an Edison survey, 75% of users who don’t listen to podcasts cited that the platform isn’t a good fit for them. The rest gave other reasons like they don’t have time for podcasts (51%), podcasts don’t provide information that they can’t access elsewhere (49%), and that podcasts consume a lot of their phone’s data plan (41%).
In 2019, Edison Research found that more men listen to podcasts than women. 36% of men listened to a podcast in the last month before the survey. On the other hand, only 29% of women listened to a podcast during the same period.
However, they’re both an improvement over the previous year’s numbers. In 2017, for example, only 27% of men listened to a podcast. For women, the number was 21%.
7% of users in the US that are 13 years old or older claim that they listen to podcasts every day. Another 8% said that they listen to podcasts weekly.
That may not be that impressive. But do note that other surveys found that frequent users are highly engaged. Almost one-third of surveyed individuals said that they listen to six or more podcasts.
(Convince and Convert)
The percentage of Americans that are 55 or older has increased by 29% from 2019 to 2020. That’s at least a quarter of the 55+ demographic.
That means podcasts are also a great place to advertise products that appeal to senior citizens. You’d have to find the right shows, of course.
How People Listen to Podcasts
How do people listen to podcasts? What do the numbers show? When are they most active?
In a survey by Edison Research, 33% of non-listeners said that they’re not sure how to listen to podcasts. Another 22% said that they don’t even know what podcasts are.
18% of them can’t tell the difference between podcasts and radio shows.
Most users listen to podcasts while commuting. That’s 79.8% of users overall. Others listen to podcasts while doing housework. Only 58.9% listen to podcasts in their free time.
Smartphones are the main medium for podcast consumption. 54% of users are on the Apple ecosystem while 43% use Android.
Some podcast listeners use smart speakers to consume episodes. You can expect more people to listen through smart devices in the coming years as the technology become available and affordable for the average individual.
Where People Find Podcasts
Let’s talk about how people end up finding the podcast shows they support. Where can people find podcasts to enjoy?
Apple has the majority share of the mobile space as far as podcasts are concerned at 38.2%. The Android space is split among third-party podcast providers like Overcast, Pocket Casts, and Spotify.
Most users, around 64% of surveyed users, learned about podcasts through social media. Only 40% of users found out about podcasting through their friends or word of mouth.
Even music streaming companies are joining the podcast trend. Spotify paid $340 million to acquire two of the biggest podcasting companies: Gimlet Media, Parcast, and Anchor.
These acquisitions put them behind Apple as the second-largest podcast platform.
This also means that more and more people will have an easier time finding and consuming podcast content.
You will find more than 700,000 podcasts on iTunes. This is the reason why it’s considered the biggest platform for podcasts. You can listen to podcasts directly through the app or you can download episodes on your computer and listen to them that way.
60% of Apple users download episodes on their computers.
Podcasting Business Statistics
How can you leverage podcasts to promote your brand and products? Is it really worth investing in podcasts? Let’s take a look at some podcasting business statistics for 2021.
36% of users who don’t listen to podcasts said that they don’t do so because they can’t find podcasts that cover topics they’re interested in. That’s despite the overwhelming number of active shows available today.
You can attribute this to poor marketing and/or discoverability.
Yes, podcasts are now as popular as it’s ever been. But those who haven’t experienced it don’t even know where to begin. 35% of non-listeners said that they don’t know where to find podcasts.
Another 32% said that they don’t even know where to start.
As of 2018, 32% of marketers advertise on podcasts. This is huge especially when you compare that number to previous years: 15% in 2015, 21% in 2016, and 29% in 2017.
And at least 36% of marketers planned on advertising on a podcast.
Listeners find advertisements to be a great fit for podcasts. And 54% of users are more likely to consider a brand after hearing about it on a show. This goes to show that podcasts are great for marketers who wish to expose their brand to a wide audience.
HubSpot’s numbers show that the average cost of an ad spot for a podcast sits anywhere between $10 and $50. However, that can quickly go up if the show has a high listenership.
If you’re going to advertise, you might want to do so in a business podcast. There’s a 14% uplift in purchase intent when you do so in business podcasts. Companies who advertise on sports shows see a lift of 9.3%. Comedy podcasts also do well at 7.3%.
Political podcasts are also great as advertisers see an uplift of 12.8%. Shows that deal with society and culture have a purchase intent uplift of 9.2%
Statistics show that marketers like having their ads read by the host at 63%. Some (35%) like having an announcer read the ads. The least popular ad type is supplied ads which sits at 1.7%.
This is probably because having the host read the ads comes off naturally compared to the other ad types. And the ads do come off as recommendations even if the host explicitly states otherwise.
Podcast Consumer Behavior Stats
How do consumers behave when listening to podcasts? How much time do they spend listening to episodes? And how much of an episode do they consume before tuning out? We have the numbers.
You might find it shocking that 59% of surveyed users said that they spend more time on podcasts than they do on social media. 66% of users also said that they consume more podcasts than they watch TV.
82.4% of podcast users consume at least 7 hours’ worth of content each week. This is probably because podcasts are often played going to and from work.
Others (around 22.4%) listen to at least 22 hours of podcasts per week. That’s at least 3 hours per day.
(Convince and Convert)
24% of surveyed consumers admitted to spending more time on podcasts than they do going to church. Only 23% of them attended church service weekly.
This is great news for advertisers. 35% of podcast listeners said that they listen through an entire episode of a podcast while 45% said they would sit through most of it.
Together, that’s 80% of listeners consuming the majority of podcast episodes. Only 5% of users would listen to the beginning before dropping off. 12% said that they’d listen to half a show.
The most popular genre in the podcasting world is true crime. People just can’t get enough of it. But there are other popular categories like chat shows, news, current affairs, TV discussions, sports, and food if you prefer something a little less gritty.
Podcasting is only going to get more popular in the coming years. If you’re going to start, there’s simply no better time than today.
And if you’re considering advertising like many marketers are, there’s no need to worry. All signs indicate that marketing through podcasts works. It has the potential to reach your target audience.
And because podcasts are friendly for advertisers, listeners are prone to reacting favorably to your ads.
Some might even say that podcast advertising is more effective than advertising through traditional media.
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