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2020 Podcast Industry Stats

Looking at the latest podcast industry stats, we can see from what started as a somewhat underrated form of entertainment, has quickly emerged into an incredible opportunity for brands and business owners alike. 

Podcasts, unlike any other form of content online, are the only content that your audience can engage with at any time. You can’t read an article or watch a video when you’re driving to work. However, podcasts can simply play in the background, building brand loyalty, and sales opportunities every day. 

It’s no wonder that brands around the world are finally beginning to discover the benefits of podcasts for themselves. 

Today, we’re going to check out the latest industry states on podcasting, to help you understand the value of this fantastic tool. 

Podcast Listener Statistics

Did you know that the number of podcast listeners in the US has increased drastically in recent years? As customers continue to search for content that they can consume when living busy and chaotic lives, podcasting is reaching a new time in the spotlight.

  1. According to stats brand, Statista, there were 75 million podcast listeners in the United States alone in 2018. What’s more, experts believe that the number of monthly listeners will reach around 164 million in 2024. 
  2. The compound annual growth rate of podcast listening currently stands at 17%. 
  3. There has even been a significant increase in the number of people familiar with the concept of podcasting. 70% of people in the US now know what a podcast is, compared to only 64% in 2018. 
  4. 51% of people in the United States say that they’ve listened to a podcast at least once as of 2019, compared to 44% in 2018. 
  5. According to the Edison Research “Infinite Dial” report in 2019, 32% of people in the United States over the age of 12 listen to podcasts weekly and monthly, up from 26% in 2018. 
  6. What’s more, 11% of adults say that they listen to podcasts every week. That’s an increase of 6% from 2013. 
  7. Edison’s 2019 research also found that on average, US podcast listeners listen to up to 7 podcasts every week – that’s a lot of opportunities to get ears on your content. 

Podcast Numbers: How Many Podcasts Are There?

As the popularity of podcasting continues to grow, the number of companies designing and promoting their own audio content is increasing. The number of podcasts online is growing at an astronomical pace. You’ll need to act fast to get ahead of the curve. 

  1. According to independent data from MyPodcasts reviews, there are now over 870,000 total valid podcasts online. Additionally, there are nearly 29 million total episodes to listen to online in digital feeds. You can check the My Podcasts feed to see the number of podcasts rising. 
  2. The MyPodcasts review score only accounts for Apple iTunes podcasts. If you look elsewhere, such as at Variety’s research here, you’ll find that Google has registered and indexed more than 2 million podcasts. 

Podcast Listening: Who Listens to Podcasts?

Podcasting is something that often appeals to younger listeners that are constantly on the go. However, its similarity to radio advertising also means that it can reach older listeners too. 

  1. According to MusicOomph, 67% of podcast listeners are people between the ages of 18 and 44, who have adapted to the streaming landscape. 
  2. According to Bloomberg, Podcasts embody around 10% of all the content that millennials interact with. That might not seem like much, but consider how many content options millennials have today, as seemingly everyone has a gigabit router to consume content. They can interact with everything from YouTube, to social media, Netflix, and more. 
  3. Edison Research discovered that in 2018, 44% of podcast listeners were female, and 56% of listeners were male. However, the gap is closing. 
  4. Further Edison Research into female listeners found that around 29% of women listen to podcasts on a monthly basis, compared to 36% of American males. 
  5. MusicOomph tells us that it’s a lot more likely for podcast listeners to be educated and affluent people. Around 45% of podcast listeners have a college degree, and 68% have a post-graduate degree. What’s more, around 45% of all podcast listeners have more than $250,000 in income each year. 

How do People Find and Listen to Podcasts?

If you’re new to the podcasting world, you might think that it’s hard to grab an audience if your customers aren’t active on iTunes. However, it’s becoming increasingly easy for people to find the content that they need. 

  1. Interestingly, the Podcast Host Discoverability survey also revealed that people are finding podcasts in a range of ways. For instance, 43% of people ask for recommendations on social media or a forum, 12% search on Google, and 16% use a podcast app. 
  2. Edison Research’s podcast consumer research from 2019 found that 65% of consumers are most likely to listen to their content on a mobile device. Around 10% of customers said that they listen to podcasts on a smart speaker, while 25% use a computer. 
  3. Edison Research’s also told us that 43% of podcast fans rely on Spotify to listen to podcasts. The number of listeners on this platform is constantly growing. Spotify now has 207 million active monthly users, and 500 million downloads on Android devices as of 2019. 
  4. RAIN News reported in 2018 that 60% of all podcast shows are downloaded from Apple. However, Apple is using quite a lot of its market share thanks to the arrival of Google podcasting options. 

Podcasting Around the World 

Podcasting is growing increasingly popular in the United States, where companies continue to search for a reliable way to connect with their audience on a deeper level. However, it’s not just the US that benefits from Podcasting. 

  1. Around the world, some locations are embracing podcasts faster than others. The places where podcasting is the most popular include Chile (83.9% growth), Argentina (55.28% growth), Peru (49.1%), Mexico (47.8%) and China (43.62%)
  2. In 2019, said that South Korea is quickly becoming the podcasting capital of the world. More than half of the population listen to a podcast monthly, while 2 out of every 3 Koreans consider themselves to be a “podcasting fan”. 
  3. The Infinite Dial Australian edition also pointed out that 83% of Australians know what a podcast is. That’s compared to only 70% of Americans. Additionally, around 22% of Australia listens to a podcast monthly. 
  4. Ofcom in the UK found that podcasting in the UK was increasing rapidly in popularity at the end of 2018. Around 3.2 million people listened to podcasts in 2013, increasing to 5.9 million in 2018. 

The Purpose of Podcasting: What are People Listening For? 

So, why are people tuning into Podcasting all of the time anyway?

Is it just for entertainment, or do people really want to learn about new products and services?

  1. Edison Research into the Podcast consumer in 2019 found that 71% of consumers listen to podcasts for fun, 74% listen to podcasts to learn something new, and 60% want to keep up with the latest news. 
  2. Around 64% of the customers on Audio Boom said that they have bought a product or service that they have heard about through a podcast. 
  3. Edison Research tells us that people enjoy listening to podcasts for a number of reasons, including because they can do other things while listening (87%) and they can take their content with them wherever they go (80%). 
  4. Notably, Edison also found that a few things are likely to make podcasters listen to their favorite shows more often. For instance, 65% love hearing about topics that they’re interested in and 60% like well-known personalities on a podcast. 

Podcasting for Promotion: Ad Attention 

Speaking of podcasting for sales purposes, there could be a lot of value in podcasting for people who want a quick and reliable way to build their revenue. 

For instance:

  1. Marketing Charts tells us that over 50% of US podcast listeners listen to the promotional ads that they hear on a podcast. People don’t want to try and skip through ads when they’re driving or tidying up around the house. You’re more likely to get ears on your promotional tools this way. 
  2. Edison Research reveals that 54% of consumers of podcasts actually think about buying an advertised product too. What’s more, 17% of podcast users say that they’re much more likely to buy a product they hear about on a podcast. 
  3. Music Oomph’s podcasting information also tells us that brands that advertise products and services during business podcasts have an up to 14% lift in purchase intent. 
  4. CNBC revealed that from 2018, brands were set to double their ad spend on podcasts. Companies are increasingly taking advantage of new opportunities to connect with their customers on a deeper level. 
  5. According to IAB and PWC, podcasts will earn around $659 million from ad revenue in 2020. That’s a huge increase from 2018, where the ad revenue spend topped out at around $400 million.  

How Dedicated are Podcast Listeners? 

So, once you capture the attention of your podcast listeners, how likely it is that you’ll be able to hold onto that brand loyalty? Well, the good news is that people rapidly build stronger emotional connections with their podcast providers. 

  1. Edison Research tells us that 52% of consumers listen to entire audio podcast episodes when they download them. This means that you can maintain your client’s attention for longer and begin to build a rapport. 
  2. Edison also found in the same study that 58% of podcast consumers listen to between 76% and 100% of all the podcasts that they download onto their devices. 
  3. Unfortunately, Edison Research also found that 40% of people think that podcasts are too long, and 51% say that they just don’t have enough time to listen to podcasts. This could be a sign that companies need to cut down their content. 

When and Where Does Listening Take Place?

When people do find your podcasts and start listening to them, they tend to follow certain trends with how they choose to tune in. 

  1. Edison Research tells us that 90% of podcast listening happens at home when people are just looking for something to have as background noise. Podcasting can be great to get you through your daily chores. 44% of people say that they listen when working out, 50% listen when cooking, and 51% listen when relaxing before bed. 
  2. If you’re not enjoying your favorite podcasts at home, Edison suggests that you’re likely to be either in a car or truck (64%), walking (49%), working out at the gym (43%), at work (37%) or using public transportation (37%). 
  3. Megaphone Pods found that Wednesday is the most popular day to publish a podcast and that Thursday has the most total downloads per average episode. Additionally, the hours with the most published shows are 11 pm on Tuesdays, and 2 am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 
  4. It may be a good idea to work on your marketing strategy if you do decide to launch a podcast, however. 35% of people in the Edison Research study said they don’t know how to find a podcast, and 33% don’t know how to listen to a podcast. A further 32% of people said that there are so many podcasts online, they don’t know where to start. 

Understanding the Podcasting Revolution 

Across the globe, companies increasingly beginning to recognize the power of podcasting and what it could mean to their brand. Every year, the number of podcast listeners increases, as consumers search for a low-effort way to tune into useful and entertaining content. 

As podcast listening numbers continue to increase, now is the perfect time for brands to find their voice on a platform that’s constantly gaining traction. Produce the right content, and you could easily build a listenership of dedicated people who love your brand. 

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