200 podcasting statistics

200+ Actionable Podcasting Statistics – July 2020 Update


Podcasting is a booming industry so creators and marketers require current and in-depth knowledge and statistics about podcast listeners, market, revenue, etc.

In this post, we list directly over 100 statistics but when looking into the graphs you can easily get over more than 200 actionable statistics and get more knowledge about the state of podcasting.

Statistics presented in this article show just a static picture of podcasting; they do not analyze in-depth podcasting trends and other significant developments that will shape the future of podcasting


Number of Shows and Overall Marketing Competition

There are fewer podcasts than other content media. It is easier to compete.

  • 1,74 billion websites available online
  • 500 million websites are blogs
  • 25 million YouTube channels
  • 1,200,000 million podcasts in 2020
  • Spotify now has over 1,000,000 podcast titles, compared with 10,000 in 2018 (MarketRealist), and is the biggest podcast directory in the world (surpassed Apple Podcasts in early 2020)

Podcasting Cumulative Listening Hours

Number of podcast listeners - hours listened
Annual cumulative podcast listening time in the U.S. (in hours)
  • 12 billion hours of podcasts were listened to cumulatively in the U.S in 2019
  • 14 billion hours will be achieved in 2020
  • 17 billion hours will be listened to in 2022 if all the other listenership trends continue

Familiarity and Awareness of Podcasting

Number of podcast listeners - awareness
Share of U.S. consumers who are aware of podcasting
  • 69% of the population (197 million people) were aware of podcasting in 2019
  • 74% of American (211 million people) will be aware in 2020
  • 87% of the U.S. population (248 million) will be aware of podcasting by 2022. 
  • 2022 podcast awareness is more or equal to the awareness of Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Whatsapp in 2020.
  • 74 million more people found out about podcasting in the last 10 year

Monthly Podcast Listenership

Share of U.S. population that have listened to a podcast in the last month
  • 32% of (90 million) Americans have listened to podcasts monthly in 2019
  • 35% of (98 million) Americans will be listening to podcasts monthly in 2020

Weekly Podcast Listenership

Number of podcast listeners - monthly listenership
  • 22% of (62 million) Americans have listened to podcasts weekly in 2019
  • 25% of (70 million) Americans will be listening to podcasts weekly in 2020

Podcasts as Main Audio Source

Number of podcast listeners - directories
Most listened to streaming services with podcasts in last month statistics
  • 28% of total time spent on listening to online audio is time spent with podcasts, among podcast listeners.
  • 30% of people get their online audio from Pandora
  • 24% of U.S. population listen to online audio through Spotify
  • 13% of people consider iHeartRadio their main online audio source
  • 12% of listeners get their audio from Apple

The World’s Top Podcast Publishers

World's Top Podcast Publishers GLOBAL DOWNLOADS & STREAMS
PODCAST INDUSTRY RANKING HIGHLIGHTS by Podtrac
  • NPR shows generate 185 million downloads, from 64 shows reaching 23.7 million unique US audience
  • iHeartRadio shows generate 177.7 million downloads, from 354 shows reaching 21.9 million unique US audience
  • New York Times shows generate 93.2 million downloads, from 9 shows reaching 9.3 million unique US audience

Gender of Podcast Listeners

Share of U.S. consumers who listen to podcasts on a monthly basis, by gender statistics
  • 36% of men listen to podcasts monthly
  • 29% of women listen to podcasts monthly

Age of Podcast Listeners

Average time, weekly podcast listeners spend listening to podcasts
  • 40% of people age 12-24 listen to podcasts monthly
  • 39% of people age 25-54 listen to podcasts monthly
  • 17% of people age over 55 listen to podcasts monthly

Education & Employment of Listeners

  • 28% of podcast listeners have attended grad school or have an advanced degree vs. 20% population average
  • 25% of podcast listeners have a four-year college degree vs. 19% population average
  • 27% of podcast listeners have attended some college vs. 26% population average
  • 51% of podcast listeners are full-time employed vs. 44% population average
  • 17% of podcast listeners are part-time employed vs. 12% population average
  • 8% of podcast listeners are temporarily employed  vs. 7% population average

Household income

Monthly podcast listeners by annual household income (USD) statistics
  • 41% of podcast listeners live in a household with an annual income above $75k  listeners vs. 29% overall population
  • 12% of podcast listening households have a $150+ annual income vs. 8% overall population
  • 17% of households have a $100k-$150k annual income vs. 11% overall population
  • 12% of households have a $75k-$100k annual income vs. 10% overall population
  • 59% of listeners come from households with an annual income below $75k vs. 71% overall population

How much time do people spend listening to podcasts?

Average time, weekly podcast listeners spend listening to podcasts
  • 8 hours is the average time weekly podcast listeners spend listening to podcasts
  • 18% of weekly listeners listen to more than 10 hours of podcasts
  • 16% of regular weekly listeners consumer between 5 and 10 hours of podcasts

How many shows are people listening to?

Number of podcasts listened to in last week statistics
  • 7 is the average number of podcast shows people listen to
  • 31% of people listen to more than 6 shows
  • 37% of listeners consume between 3 and 5 shows
  • 31% of podcast listeners listen to 2 or just 1 show

Episode Consumption

Average length of podcasts played in the U.S. statistics
  • 34% of all played podcasts last between 30 and 40 minutes
  • 24% of played to podcast lasts between 15 and 30 minutes
  • Only 3% of played shows last more than an hour
  • 47% of shows gets listened to within 24 hours of downloading
  • 97% of all the downloaded shows get listened to within a week
  • 58% of people listen between 76% to 100% of a show
  • 52% of fans listen to an entire episode
  • 20% of listeners get familiar with 51% to 75% of a downloaded show
  • 26% of listeners sometimes increase the playback speed of an episode

What days are best to publish podcast episodes?

Reach of podcasts on a typical weekday in the U.S. statistics
  • 25% is the reach that episodes get on Wednesdays
  • 24% is the reach of episodes can hope for on Fridays
  • 8% is the maximum reach episodes get on the weekends

Significant Investments and Acquisitions in Podcasting

Spotify’s podcasting investments

  • $400 million invested Spotify to acquire three podcast companies: Gimlet Media, Parcast, and Anchor
  • $196 million in cash paid by Spotify to acquire Bill Simmons’ “The Ringer”
  • At least $100 million Spotify paid for having the Joe Rogan Experience exclusively on their platform
  • $20 million Omnicom will spend on Spotify podcast ads in the second half of 2020. According to Spotify: “The deal also includes the development of joint research and best practices across targeting, reporting, and measurement capabilities, and custom audio solutions produced by Spotify’s in-house Creative Solutions team.”

SiriusXM’s podcasting investments:

  • $75 million SiriusXM invested in SoundCloud to further the growth as a podcast destination as more music streaming companies move into the podcast market
  • $325 million SiriusXM paid to acquire Stitcher from E.W. Scripps
  • SiriusXM acquired Simplecast, a management platform used to publish podcasts, distribute them, and analyze how they are consumed.

Other investments:

  • $25 million The New York Times paid to buy Serial Productions, creator of the popular true-crime podcast “Serial,” to broaden its range of audio programming.
  • $20 million was raised by True-Crime Content Studio Solve to expand into podcasting
  • $5.45 million Concert streamer LiveXLive Media, Inc. paid to acquire Courtside Group, Inc., the parent company of podcast platform PodcastOne. PodcastOne hosts some of the biggest names in the industry, with a library of more than 200 shows.
  • £2 million in funding secured Interactive podcast startup Entale from the owner of the Daily Mail to help expand its AI technology
  • $1.2 million was raised by sports podcast upstart Blue Wire in a hope that long-form sports media consumption will eventually shift to podcasts from traditional radio and print

Podcasting Genres and Fans Engagement

Top genres of podcasts among most engaged fans statistics
  • Various podcast genres have different numbers of avid and casual fans as measured by Nielsen
  • 37.1 million of music podcast listeners are passionate fans
  • 36.8 million of TV and movies podcast listeners are avid fans
  • 39.5 million of business podcasts are casual fans

Podcast Advertising Revenue

Podcast advertising revenue in the U.S. in USD million statistics
  • $679 million – podcast advertising revenue in 2019, while ad-supported music streams will break the $2 billion revenue threshold
  • $863 million – podcast advertising revenue in 2020
  • $1 billion thresholds for podcast advertising will be reached in 2021 (as reported by Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers)
  • 60% of podcast listeners would be happy to pay for content $5 monthly according to 4DC Consultancy findings

Engagement’s Criticality for Successful Podcast

  • 66% of clients are willing to spend more with companies who provide superior customer service  (SAP, Customer Service is the Heart of Marketing)
  • Customers who are engaged by a brand make purchases 90% more often and spend 60% more per transaction (Rosetta Consulting).
  • 86% of buyers will pay more for better customer experience (Forbes)
  • 89% clients retention level is achieved by brands with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies (Aberdeen Group)
  • 2% increase in customer retention has the equivalent effect as a 10% cost reduction (Emmet & Mark Murphy).
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated (McKinsey)
  • 44% more visits per year experience retailers from fully engaged shoppers (Gallup State of the American Consumer)
  • 60% of organizations see that the customer service will be the top source of competitive differentiation (The Service Council’s (TSC) Service Transformation: The Business Case)
  • 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations (Forbes)
  • 80% of consumers claim they’d be more likely to give a brand their business if the brand used their customer data to provide them with personalized customer experience (Edelman)
  • 306% higher lifetime value have customers who feel an emotional connection with a brand (Motista)
  • 26% more likely a brand will be recommended by emotionally engaged customers (Motista)
  • Existing customers spend 67% more than new customers (Bain & Company)

How People Listen to Podcasts?Devices and Location

Number of podcast listeners - mobile devices percentage
Computer vs. smartphone as main podcast listening devices statistics
  • 75% of podcasts were listened to on smartphones in 2019
  • 79% of podcasts will be consumed on smartphones in 2020
  • Since 2014 smartphones are the main listening device for podcasts
  • 3rd emerging category of devices used for listening podcasts are smart speakers
  • 23% of the U.S. population owns smart speakers in 2019 vs. 84% smartphone ownership
  • 65 million smart speakers are in the U.S in 2019,
  • 16% of U.S. population owns Amazon Alexa and 7% owns Google Home
  • 48% of all podcasts are listened to at home
  • 26% of all podcasts are listened to in cars
  • 12% of all podcasts are listened to at work
  • 4% of all podcasts are listened to at the gym

Top 3 Reasons People Listen to Podcasts

  • 74% of people listen to podcasts to learn new things
  • 71% of listeners want to be entertained by a show
  • 60% of people expect podcasts to help them stay up-to-date

Reasons People Don’t Listen to Podcasts

Reasons podcast non-listeners do not listen to podcasts statistics
  • 75% of podcast non-listeners claim podcasts aren’t for them – this statement shows education about podcasts needs improvement.
  • 51% say they don’t have enough time to listen to podcasts – this statement is not very valuable as people spend a high amount of time, consuming online content. Again it shows users need to be educated.
  • 49% claim podcasts don’t provide anything that you can’t already find elsewhere – generally, it may be true to some degree. However, podcasts offer high-quality audio comparable to radio shows (not present on YouTube) and good value (lower production costs than professional videos).
  • 41% say listening to podcasts can use up a lot of your phone’s data plan – creators usually optimize their mp3 files to be below 30MB per episode. Podcasts also can be downloaded automatically when the user is connected to wi-fi.
  • 41% claim they don’t have a podcast app on the phone – with Apple Podcasts (previously iTunes) being installed on each iPhone, wide adoption of Spotify, SoundCloud access to podcasts is much simpler than users think.
  • 40% say podcasts are too long – it is easy to find shows ranging between 15 minutes to over 1 hour.
  • 38% claim you have to pay to subscribe to podcasts – somehow large portion of users think about podcast subscriptions like Netflix instead of YouTube channel. 

Discoverability of New Podcast Shows

Podcast Statistics - Discover
  • 73% of listeners found a podcast to listen to searching the Internet
  • 67% found out about a show on social media
  • 66% got a show recommended by friends or family
  • 62% heard a recommendation from other audio program hosts
  • 52% found out about a show from an advertisement on other audio programs

Activities Done While Listening to Podcasts

Podcast Statistics - Activities Done While Listening
  • 70% of listeners are not doing anything else, just listening
  • 59% of people do housework or house chores
  • 52% listen to podcasts while driving
  • 51% use podcasts to relax before going to sleep
  • 50% of listeners are cooking or baking
  • 46% listen to podcasts while walking outside
  • 44% of listeners are running or exercising
  • 33% of people are riding public transportation
About the Author
Chris Land

Chris Land

I'm the owner and creator of ImprovePodcast.com, the site dedicated to providing actionable solutions for podcast creators. My goal is helping people to develop their podcasts into effective marketing and sales tools.


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