Understanding Podcasting Industry Statistics

podcasting statistics - Podbean

Podcasting is a rapidly growing industry. Many businesses and individuals have joined the trend to take advantage of this up-and-coming medium. 

Whether you’re skeptical about the podcast industry or looking to see how you and your business can dip your toes in, the numbers don’t lie. In this article, we’ll break down the five W’s of podcasting statistics to help you better understand the industry and how to leverage it to advertise your business

The following will cover podcasting industry statistics in the US, however, some demographics may apply to the industry at large. 

Who listens to podcasts?

For some, podcasting is relatively new, but in reality, podcasting has been on the rise since its genesis in the early 2000s. Since then, listener demographics have changed, so if you’re wondering whether podcasting could work for you, it’s good to know who’s listening. 

Here are some listener demographics: 

  • According to a 2022 study by Edison Research, over 79% of Americans are familiar with podcasts, and 62% have listened to a podcast. With about 177 million podcast listeners in the US alone, this is a staggering number considering that only 29% had listened to a podcast in 2012.

(Image source: Edison 2022) 

  • A study by Insider Intelligence reported that in 2022, 424.2 million people listened to podcasts around the world, meaning that Americans make up almost half of the world’s podcast audience. 
  • Of the 177 million US listeners, 38% listened to a podcast within the last month, and 26% listened within the week (Edison 2022). 

Why does this matter? Knowing that almost 50% of podcast audiences are Americans may encourage advertisers and podcasters to lean into that market. Appealing to an American audience could greatly benefit content creators and businesses. 

Age, gender, and employment status

Podcasting statistics can be helpful to businesses looking at which audiences they can target through the medium and what products or services to advertise. 

(Image source: Edison 2022) 

  • Of all the monthly podcast listeners, the majority (47%) were between the ages of 12 to 34, 33% were between 35 to 54, and audience members ages 55 and older made up 20% of monthly listeners (Edison 2022). 
  • Also, within the monthly listener demographic from the same study, 53% were male, 46% were female, and 1% identified as non-binary or other. 
  • A 2019 study by Edison Research demonstrated that more than half of monthly podcast listeners were full-time employees, with part-time workers making up 17% and students in third at 10%. 

Why does this matter? This demonstrates that a large portion of the listener demographic earns their own money and will be more likely to make decisions and purchases independently. 

It is also worth keeping in mind that males in the young adult to middle aged category were more likely to listen to podcasts. This shows a potential client base for businesses and advertisers, and it exposes potential gaps in the market for podcasters.  

When are listeners tuning in to podcasts? 

  • On average, US podcast listeners who listened to a podcast within the week averaged about eight podcast episodes each week, with the majority of listeners falling somewhere between one and five episodes (Edison 2022). 
  • Specific data from the same study revealed that 25% of listeners ages 35 to 54 listened to 11 or more podcasts weekly. 

Why does this matter? This shows a strong opportunity for businesses to market to the middle-aged category, who are likely to have full-time jobs and kids at home. Businesses can leverage the needs of this age group and provide solutions through their products and services. 

For podcasters, holes in the 12 to 34, and 55 + categories demonstrate an opportunity for podcasts to target those age groups. 

Where do most people listen to podcasts? 

  • In stats from the 2019 study by Edison Research, 70% of monthly listeners just sat and listened to the podcast. Other popular answers, in order, included doing housework, driving and relaxing before bed. 
  • In stats from Edison Research in 2021, an average of 67% of podcast listeners listened on a smartphone. 

(Image source: Edison 2022) 

Why does this matter? If most users are on smartphones, companies and podcasters should make sure all suggested websites are optimized for mobile devices. 

Also, since many listeners tune in at home, or while driving, consider providing a product or service that assists them in their daily tasks. It is a great way to cater directly to your target market. 

What are audiences listening to and why? 

  • Edison’s 2019 Podcast Consumer study reported that most people listen to learn something new, for entertainment, and to stay up-to-date. 
  • A Statistica study of weekly podcast listeners from 2020 confirms that the most popular podcast genre is comedy; 22% of listeners stated they prefer podcasts written for entertainment. 
  • The top three genres in order are comedy, news, and true crime, accounting for more than 60% of listeners in the survey (Statistica).

Why does this matter? Most listeners want to be entertained or informed and they trust their favorite podcaster to deliver information. Therefore, it’s probably wise to try host-read ads to keep the voice consistent, engaging, and familiar. 

Podcasting statistics: Ads and advertising

Podcasting industry statistics are important to keep track of as they will help businesses and podcasters keep track of trends and ride the waves as they come. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, podcast ad revenue will surpass $2 billion dollars in 2023 and hit $3 billion by 2025. 

Podcasting is a powerful marketing tool for businesses. Think about it, a consistent audience of listeners who believe the words of their favorite podcaster. 

The key reason why so many people listen to podcasts and podcast ads work has much to do with trust and human psychology. The intimacy of the medium allows the audience to develop trust, an integral part of brand marketing. 

What does this mean for the future of the industry? 

These podcasting statistics show that the future of the podcast industry is looking up. Experts predict the podcast industry will be worth $94.88 billion in the next five years (Insider Intelligence). 

As more businesses advertise their products and services through podcasting, creators get funded and the industry expands. With this in mind, it’s worth investing in the industry while it takes off. 

The future of podcasting is brighter with Podbean.   

If you want to know more about leveraging this industry’s growth for your business, sign up with Podbean today, and we’ll help you and your business start a podcast or connect with podcasters on our ads marketplace. 

Sign up to start today. 

2 comments on “Understanding Podcasting Industry Statistics

  1. Pingback: Understanding Podcast Advertising Statistics

  2. Pingback: How Effective are Host-Read Ads on your Podcast

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