52 Podcast Statistics, Facts & Figures For 2021

podcasting statistics

Research in 2020 indicated that the podcast industry was booming. In 2019 there were over 750,000 active podcasts and 41% of podcast listeners reported listening to more podcasts than ever before. 

No one could have anticipated what was to come. With COVID19 came country-wide lockdowns that gave people more time than ever to listen to podcasts and even to start their own up. There are now over 1,750,000 podcasts worldwide!

how many podcasts are there

In 2020, 37% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly. If you’re considering incorporating a podcast into your content marketing strategy, you probably couldn’t pick a better time.

In this day and age, people rely on the opinions of others in order to make buying decisions. It’s also more important than ever to nurture leads. Making a podcast is a great way to achieve both of these marketing goals. 

The same applies to product placement- advertising through podcasts is becoming more and more of a lucrative thing because it achieves these two goals.

In fact, podcast ad spend is projected to reach almost £75 million in the UK alone by 2024.

Whether you’re looking at starting a podcast, advertising through a podcast or you’re interested in the latest marketing data, you should read this article for a comprehensive guide to podcast statistics in 2021! 

The first category of statistics- and arguably the most important- are those which give us information about who is listening to podcasts!

Whether you’re looking to build up an audience or just wondering whether your own podcast habits are typical, it is definitely worth checking these out…

1. 75% of Americans are now familiar with podcasting, meaning that they have heard of and understand the term.

2. 55% of Americans have listened to a podcast before. This is up from 51% in 2019 and only 40% in 2017.

3. The average listening time for Americans who listen to podcasts is 6 hours 39 mins per week.

average podcast listening time

3. The average listening time for Americans who listen to podcasts is 6 hours 39 mins per week.

4. Seven out of ten podcast listeners say they don’t do anything else whilst listening to podcasts.

5. 51% of people who listen to podcasts weekly will listen to 1-3 podcasts per week, but 12% will listen to 11 or more podcasts.

6. 80% of podcast listeners will listen to all or most of each episode. This is down from 86% in 2017.

7. Podcast computer listens went up from 29% to 31%, whilst smartphone listening went down from 71% to 69%.

8. 19% of listeners will increase the speed of a podcast whilst listening to it.

9. Across the board, comedy is the most popular podcasting genre, followed by education and news.

10. Podcast listeners tend to be much more active on social media. 94% are active on at least one social media channel. This is interesting when compared with the 81% of the entire population who are on social media.

As with any form of media, it can be really productive and interesting to analyze the different demographics of podcast listeners in greater detail. 

11. There now exist podcasts in over 100 languages.

12. 53% of monthly Spotify listeners aged 12-24 years old listened to a podcast the month before being surveyed in 2020.

13. Podcasts make up 10% of all content consumed by Millennials.

14. Half of Americans aged 12-34 listen to podcasts monthly.

15. Millennials and Gen Zers are 5% more likely to listen to podcasts that relate to their careers than older generations.

16. Podcast listeners are 68% more likely to be postgraduates.

17. Podcast listeners are 45% more likely to have $250,000+ annual income.

podcast listener income stats

18. 54% of the podcast ecosystem in the US are Apple users.

19. 40% of spoken-word audio listeners aged 13 and over are listening more since quarantine restrictions began.

20. Only 42% of the generations older than Millennials will listen to podcasts over 26 minutes, compared to 60% of Gen Z and 52% of Millennials.

The popularity of podcasts among the Millennial and Gen Z generations is clear. Whether this is tied to their interest in listening to podcasts for professional reasons or their enjoyment of longer content, we do not know.

However, the power of creating podcasts that interest these generations or advertising to Millennials and Gen Z through podcasts cannot be understated.

Podcast advertising is one of the most effective forms of advertising in 2020 and this is clearly reflected in the increase of companies who are investing in it.

Whether you’re considering podcast advertising or you run a podcast and you’re looking for companies to advertise with you, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve with these stats. 

21. Podcast advertising revenue is up by nearly 100% year on year.

22. 54% of podcast listeners are at least somewhat more likely to consider buying from a brand after hearing a podcast advertisement.

23. 69% agree that product ads made them more aware of new products/services.

24. Podcast listeners are more likely to subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime. This means that they are less likely to be exposed to TV advertising.

25. Podcast listeners are more likely to own a smart speaker. This reduces the likelihood of advertisements being skipped.

26. Brands who advertise in podcasts about society and culture see a 9.2% lift in purchase intent (consideration of purchase upon hearing ads) on average. 

27. Brands who advertise in podcasts about news and politics see a 12.8% lift in purchase intent (consideration of purchase upon hearing ads) on average.

28. Brands who advertise in comedy podcasts see a 7.3% lift in purchase intent (consideration of purchase upon hearing ads) on average.

29. Brands who advertise in comedy podcasts see a 7.3% lift in purchase intent (consideration of purchase upon hearing ads) on average.

30. Brands who advertise in sports podcasts see a 9.3% lift in purchase intent (consideration of purchase upon hearing ads) on average.

31. Brands who advertise in podcasts about business see a 14% lift in purchase intent (consideration of purchase upon hearing ads) on average.

32. 93.8% of listeners are ok with hearing adverts in podcasts.

podcast advertising stats

From this data, it’s clear that by advertising to podcast listeners, you are accessing a group of people that not only don’t mind being advertised to but often actually follow through on the adverts they hear.

These adverts are having a real impact and delivering a real return on investment to advertisers(ROI). 

This success ranges across industries, but it can be something to consider in particular if your product/service would work being advertised on a news/politics or sports podcast.

If you’re considering running your own podcast, these are the latest stats you need to know about podcast software. 

33. RODE is the most popular microphone brand in use by podcast hosts.

34. Most podcast hosts use dynamic mics.

35. Most podcast hosts use a boom arm and record with headphones on.

36. 51% of podcast listeners prefer a professional quality of sound.

37. The most popular podcast platforms in the US are Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher.

38. More than 40% of podcast fans use Spotify.

If you really want to get the most out of your podcast or you want to advertise on a podcast with marketers that really know their stuff, these are the stats to pay attention to! 

39. 3 out of 4 people in the US listen to podcasts to learn new things.

40. 35% of people who don’t listen to podcasts say that this is partly because they don’t know how to find them. 

41. Around 64% of people learn about new podcasts through social media. Around 40% learn about them through friends or word of mouth.

42. 58.1% of people will search through an app to find a new podcast while 49.1% will browse through categories.

43. The best days to upload a podcast are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

44. If your podcast gets more than 136 downloads within 36 days of release, you are in the top 50% of all podcasts worldwide. If it gets more than 36,000 downloads in this time period, you’re in the top 1%.

45. Only 10% of podcasters broadcast live.

46. 58% of podcast listeners will listen to between 76% and 100% of all podcasts downloaded onto their devices.

podcast listener device stats

47. 28.9% of listeners will wait 15 minutes for a podcast to “hook” them. 27.5% of listeners will only give it 5 minutes.

48. As a rule, people are not put off from listening to podcasts if they haven’t heard of the podcaster or the guest.

49. People will generally judge podcasts on their descriptions and episode titles.

50. The average podcast length is 43 mins and 24 seconds.

average podcast length

51. 62% of podcast listeners say that they’d be more likely to share podcasts with others if they were able to share one short segment rather than an entire episode.

From these stats, the importance of promoting your podcast in a way that makes it easy to find and listen to is clear. Asking your listeners to share your podcast on social media or with friends is one great way to do this. 

Yet it’s also important to try and make sure that your podcast is coming up on listening app directories and that you are encouraging listeners to download your episodes to listen to when they’re offline. Cutting up segments of your podcast for your listeners to share on social media is also a great idea.

These stats also go to show that it doesn’t matter if you aren’t well-known or if you don’t secure some famous guests to come on your show!

What matters is that you really sell the episode and that you create an awesome hook that gets people invested.

Sources & References

Every effort is taken to keep this piece up-to-date. We revisit these Podcast statistics twice yearly in order to update old facts and figures and provide a current and holistic view of the Podcasting market and business.