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Podcast Statistics and Data [December 2022]

Every year, media groups like Statistica, Triton Digital, and Edison Research run digital media surveys to measure trends, track podcast growth, track listener behavior, and share valuable podcast insights from a global perspective.

We update this post monthly with the best podcast statistics so you can stay updated on the industry and make informed decisions about your own podcast!

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Who listens to podcasts?

Historically, podcast demographics have not mirrored the US population. In 2011, 68% of podcast listeners were white, but this is beginning to change.

Here's the breakdown by ethnicity:

  • 57% White
  • 13% African American
  • 16% Hispanic
  • 4% Asian
  • 10% Other

The United States accounts for 47.9% of podcast listeners, followed by the United Kingdom with 6.3%, and Canada with 5.0% (full lineup here).

U.S. podcast listener demographics

In years past, U.S. listenership didn't mirror the population, but that shifted significantly in the last year.

Blue, purple, and green icons of people highlighted in darker colors to illsutrate percentage of podcasters in three different age groups
  • About half of listeners between ages 35–44 and 22% of listeners 55+ listen on a monthly basis.
  • Female listenership reached an all-time high in 2021.
  • People ages 12-34 make up 66% of podcast fans within America, and the number of podcast listeners declines as age increases.
  • 43% of U.S. men and 39% of U.S. women listen to podcasts.
  • Over 66% have a college degree (bachelor's or higher) and an average annual household income of $75,000 or more.
  • Over one-fourth of Americans ages 55+ listen to podcasts monthly.

International podcast statistics

Podcasting is no doubt popular in the U.S., but it doesn't hold the number one spot for growth or listenership.

  • As of 2021, Sweden came in first for podcast consumption, followed by Ireland and Brazil.
  • North America and the Asia Pacific have the highest number of listeners.
  • 58% of adults in South Korea are monthly listeners.
  • Most countries see podcasting engagement rise every year.
  • As of 2020, 18% of adults in the U.K. listen to podcasts every week.
  • 9 million Canadians over 18 years old listen to podcasts every month.
  • Nearly 38% of adult Canadians have listened to a podcast in the last year.
  • 28% of Canadian listeners have an annual income of $100,000 or more.
  • Canada's podcast audience consists primarily of those ages 18 to 34.
  • A little over half of Italians between ages 18 and 34 have listened to a podcast in the last year.
  • Music programs are the preferred podcast genre for 45% of Italian listeners, second to news programs.
Podcast growth by country

According to Voxnest, podcasting is growing the fastest in:

  • Chile +83.9%
  • Argentina +55.3%
  • Peru +49.1%
  • Mexico +47.8%
  • China +43.6%

How do people listen to podcasts?

Most podcast consumers listen to audio content using their smartphones and play episodes via a major podcast app like Apple or Spotify.

Here are some other ways people listen to content:

  • 13% of Americans listen to podcasts on a desktop or laptop.
  • 28% of U.S. adults listen to podcasts while driving.
  • 73% listen to podcasts on their smartphone their cell phone.
  • 32% of those 18+ who have ridden in a car in the last month listen to podcasts.
  • 18% of people ages 18+ own a vehicle with a smart entertainment system.
  • 49% of podcast listening happens at home.
  • A qualitative study from Edison Research shows that young people listen to podcasts on their TVs while they do things around their homes.

Most people (26%) listen to podcasts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Before 10 a.m. is the next most popular time to listen to podcasts (25%).

Other popular podcast listening times are:

  • 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. | 21%
  • 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. | 15%
  • 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. | 11%

Listener behavior and trends

Knowing how podcast listeners behave gives you actionable ways to improve your content and increase engagement.

These podcast stats reveal trends relating to listeners' daily habits and routines.

  • Podcast listeners are more likely to follow brands on social media and own a smart speaker (like HomePod mini or Amazon Echo).
  • Avid podcast fans listen to the radio 65 minutes more than most Americans.
  • On average, podcast listeners tune into eight different shows per week.
  • 80% of listeners listen to all or most of every podcast episode they start.
  • Podcast listeners subscribe to an average of six shows.

People who listen to at least five hours of podcasts a week have slightly different behavior than average listeners. The Edison Research Super Listeners 2021 survey showed that super listeners:

  • Consume an average of 11.2 hours of podcasts a week.
  • Often listen to content that also includes video.
  • Discover podcasts through YouTube most often (19% of super listeners).
  • Are 94% more likely to subscribe to some kind of premium streaming service.

The future of podcasting

The podcast industry continues to grow at a rapid rate. Here are some industry predictions for 2022 and beyond.

Podcast growth projections in the US
  • Industry experts expect podcasting to grow significantly in 2023 as on-demand audio increases in popularity.
  • Current estimates project that listeners in the U.S. could increase from 75.9 million to 100 million listeners in the U.S. by 2024.
  • Forecasts project total podcast listeners will exceed 160 million by 2023
  • Podcast listenership is projected to rise steadily in 2022 as podcast popularity increases and becomes even more mainstream.
  • Monthly podcast listening is growing the fastest among Americans ages 55+.
Alban Brooke headshot in front of a mic. Alban is wearing a grey t-shirt and is in front of a black background.

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke is the Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout and the co-host of Buzzcast. Have any questions about this guide? Reach out on Twitter.

FAQs

Is the podcast industry growing?

As of 2022, podcast listeners as a group have grown 29.5% in the last three years. There are currently 120 million podcast listeners in the U.S. and over 420 million listeners in the world. Experts predict there will be over 160 million podcast listeners worldwide by 2023.

What percentage of the population listens to podcasts?

According to the latest survey, 57% of U.S. consumers listen to podcasts, and 78% are familiar with the medium.

How many podcasts are there in 2022?

Getting an exact podcast count is more complicated than it might seem. Not all podcasts have public RSS feeds, and some "dormant", non active podcasts can affect the number. Weighing all the factors, experts estimate there are roughly 4 million podcasts.

What is the most popular podcast this year?

The Joe Rogan Experience is the most popular podcast in terms of monthly podcast listeners (data taken from Q4 2021-Q3 2022).

Sources:

[1] https://www.buzzsprout.com/global_stats

[2] https://podcastindustryinsights.com/?utm_source=mypodcastreviews&utm_campaign=stats&utm_medium=redirect&ref=MPR

[3] https://chartable.com/charts/chartable

[4] https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-infinite-dial-2020/

[5] http://www.edisonresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/The-Infinite-Dial-2020-Australia.pdf

​[6] https://awesome.midroll.com

[7] https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/podcast/

[8] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1123105/statista-amo-podcast-reach-us/
[9] https://podcastindustryinsights.com/apple-podcasts-statistics/

[10] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1088083/podcasts-users-by-age-italy/

[11] https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2020/podcast-content-is-growing-audio-engagement/

[12] https://www.podcastinsights.com/podcast-statistics/

[13] https://www.insiderintelligence.com/insights/the-podcast-industry-report-statistics/

[14] https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-top-50-most-listened-to-podcasts-in-the-u-s-q2-2021/

[15] https://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/podcast-statistics-charts-and-data/

[16] http://www.insideradio.com/free/where-s-podcasting-heading-in-2022-triton-s-global-team-offers-some-predictions/article_17b8597c-5f1c-11ec-81be-fbe3eda8c1e2.html

[17] https://www.statista.com/topics/3170/podcasting/

[18] https://www.thepodcastexchange.ca/research

[19] https://www.businessofapps.com/data/netflix-statistics/

[20] https://www.edisonresearch.com/super-listeners-2021-from-edison-research-and-ad-results-media/

[21] https://www.nationalpublicmedia.com/uploads/2022/06/The-Smart-Audio-Report-Spring-2022.pdf

[22] https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-podcast-consumer-2019/

[23] https://www.edisonresearch.com/weekly-insights-8-10-22-does-anyone-really-know-what-time-it-is-that-people-listen-to-podcasts/

[24] https://www.edisonresearch.com/weekly-insights-9-28-22-you-can-hear-it-on-a-television/

[25] https://www.iab.com/news/us-podcast-ad-revenues-grew-19-yoy-in-2020-set-to-exceed-1b-this-year-and-2b-by-2023/

[26] https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-spoken-word-audio-report-2022-from-npr-and-edison-research/

[27] https://features.podchaser.com/learn/ebooks/best-day-to-publish-a-podcast/