69 Podcast Statistics to Boost Your Podcast Strategy

Georgi Todorov

Feb 26, 20215 min read
Podcast Statistics

Did you know that 20% of people have bought a product or service after hearing about it in a podcast? That’s right! Brands are using podcasts more than ever before as a marketing channel to attract new customers. 

Podcasts aren’t only one of the hottest marketing tools, but given 75% of the U.S. population has heard about podcasting, you’ve likely been a target of these strategies yourself. 

Below we’ll share 72 of the most up-to-date podcast statistics for 2021 to help you create your podcast strategy. 

General Podcast Statistics 

  1. 2021 holds the record for hours spent listening to podcasts with 15 billion hours compared to 12 billion just two years ago. 

  2. By 2024, it’s estimated there will be 100 million podcast listeners in the U.S. 

  3. 28% of listeners prefer podcasts over any other audio content type, including YouTube, AM/FM radio, Spotify, etc. 

  4. In 2020, 20% of people listened to podcasts on a weekly basis. 

  5. Around 18% of people say they listen to more podcasts now than they did seven years ago. 

  6. 32% of people find new podcasts through word of mouth and by researching online. 

  7. Most podcast listeners (75%) listen to learn new things. 

  8. By 2020, 55% of the U.S. population had listened to a podcast at least once before. 

  9. 75% of people who don’t listen to podcasts say it’s just not for them. 

  10. The second leading reason why people don’t listen to podcasts is lack of time.

Podcast Listener Demographics, Preferences, and Habits

  1. In 2019, 51% of the U.S. population who listened to podcasts were women and 49% men. 

  2. However, men surpassed women in monthly podcast listening, with 54% of men listening monthly compared to 46% of women. 

  3. The largest age group that listens to podcasts is between 12 and 24 years old. 

  4. The most popular time for people to listen to podcasts is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

  5. 48% of American children between the ages of 13 and 17 are directing their attention to podcasts. 

  6. 9% of Americans prefer both long-form scripted fiction podcasts that tell a story over multiple episodes and a branded podcast provided by a favorite company. 

  7. 17% of monthly podcast listeners have a $100K-$150K household income. 

  8. 28% of monthly podcast consumers have a college degree. 

  9. Likewise, 51% of monthly podcast listeners work a full-time job. 

  10. In 2019, the average person listened to seven podcasts per week. 

  11. 90% of consumers listen to podcasts at home, while 64% do so while on the road.

  12. Most people (70%) aren’t doing anything while listening to podcasts, while 59% listen when doing housework or chores. 

  13. 47% of people will listen to a podcast within 24 hours after downloading it. 

  14. 58% of people say they listen between 76% and 100% of the podcasts they download.

  15. 52% of listeners will finish listening to the entire podcast. 

  16. Podcasts are enjoyable to 87% of people because they can listen while doing other things. 

  17. 65% of consumers would listen to more podcasts if the topics interested them. 

  18. 17% of people are much more likely to consider brands when advertised on their favorite podcast. 

  19. 21.7% of podcast lovers are subscribed to over 70 different podcasts! 

  20. In 2019, 59% more time was spent listening to podcasts than scrolling through social media. 

How People Listen to Podcasts Statistics

  1. 65% of people prefer listening to podcasts on a portable device like a tablet or a smartphone. 

  2. 10% prefer listening on a smart speaker like Amazon Echo and Google Nest. 

  3. 33.2% of people have used a smart speaker to listen to a podcast at least once before.

  4. 25% of listeners use a desktop to listen to podcasts. 

  5. In 2019, podcast app usage was up 60% from just one year prior. 

  6. In 2020, Spotify was the leading app for downloading and listening to podcasts.

  7. Spotify’s podcast listening increased from 19% in 2019 to 25% in 2020.

Podcast Genre Statistics

  1. Among people aged 30-44 years old, about 7% listen to sports podcasts daily, and 12% listen weekly. 

  2. 6% of males listen to sports podcasts daily while 0% of females listen daily. 

  3. 7% of people listen to podcasts daily as a source of news. 

  4. Comedy is the leading podcast genre in the U.S. (22%). 

  5. After the comedy genre, the top podcast genres are news (21%), true crime (18%), and sports (17%). 

  6. The comedy podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, was Spotify’s No. 1 most popular podcast in 2020. 

  7. Spotify’s next two most popular podcasts were Ted Talks Daily and The Daily, both news-related podcasts. 

International Podcast Statistics

  1. Norway has the highest number of podcast listeners globally (5% of the population).

  2. P3 Dokumentar was the most popular Sweedish podcast in 2020 and attracted 107,8354 listeners per week. 

  3. The most popular genre for male listeners in Great Britain in 2019 was sports (39%), closely followed by comedy (38%). 

  4. 40% of female listeners in Great Britain say that comedy is their top genre, and 34% say music. 

  5. 48% of the United Kingdom voted news and weather as their podcast genre of choice. 

  6. France had 2.7 million monthly podcast listeners between July and September of 2020. 

  7. In Italy, only 17% of the population enjoyed listening to podcasts compared to 61% who preferred radio in 2019. 

  8. In 2019, 25% of Canadians preferred listening to podcasts in the fall. 

  9. 24% of Denmark’s population listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. 

Podcast Ad Statistics

  1. In 2019, the podcast advertising revenue reached $708.1 million. 

  2. Nearly 72% of listeners have heard an ad while listening to a podcast. 

  3. 60% of listeners searched for a product after hearing about it in a podcast. 

  4. 58% of people admit to skipping through podcast ads if given a choice.

  5. Also, if given a choice, 25% of people prefer to pay for an ad-free podcast subscription service.

  6. 40% of people generally find podcast ads to be less intrusive than other types of ads. 

  7. The average podcast ad slot costs between $10 to $50, some demanding additional premium fees for high listenership.

Podcast Revenue Statistics

  1. iHeart Media generated 3.68 billion dollars in 2019. 

  2. Stitcher made 72.55 million dollars in 2019.

  3. The National Public Radio generated 283.4 million dollars in 2019. 

  4. Spotify generated 6764 million Euros in 2019. 

  5. LybSyn’s revenue for 2019 was 24.2 million dollars. 

  6. The most successful advertising campaigns for podcasts are direct response ads which brought in more than half (54%) of all podcast revenue. 

  7. Ads that boost brand awareness were the second most popular ad type, accounting for 42% of the podcasting revenue share. 

  8. Together, these top two ad formats totaled 96% of the U.S.’s ad revenue in 2019. 

  9. The remaining four percent come from branded content (3%) and product placement (1%).

What’s In Store for Podcasts In 2021? 

Podcasting in 2021 has gone mainstream. 

2019 presented a spiral of acquisitions in the podcast industry. Spotify bought Gilmet Media, Parcast, Anchor, and a few others. iHeartMedia purchased Stuff Media and Voxnest. SiriusXM bought Stitcher and Simplecast, and the list of acquisitions goes on. 

In 2020, Amazon ended the year off strong by buying Wondery for its Amazon Music service. The podcast industry has grown massively in the past two years. Listeners worldwide see podcasts as a viable media channel, while podcasters see it as an effective marketing strategy. Do you want to learn about marketing more? We gathered top marketing podcasts about different digital marketing topics you might be interested in.

In 2021, podcasts will drive an extraordinarily innovative and competitive industry forward as different brands battle to grab their share of consumers.

Technology will also play a massive role in the podcast industry in 2021. As smart speakers are becoming more widely used, brands should emphasize voice SEO and podcast SEO. 

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We got our information from Statista Prime and the following sources:

SlideShare SlideShare Statista HubSpot Edison Research

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I work as an SEO Manager at Semrush, responsible for establishing new processes at the company. I love traveling, watching courses, reading books and spending time in nature. I am always happy to talk with new people and you can reach him at his Twitter or Linkedin. You can also read my own blog about online business