Podcast Statistics and How to Grow Your Audience

Podcasts have now become commonplace in many people’s everyday life. Whether you’re always on the go, or someone who simply does not enjoy reading, podcasts offer an excellent alternative to reading a book or scrolling online. Podcasts are extremely versatile, as they can inform on exciting news, provide insight into history, teach you a new language, or perhaps tell an interesting story.

Starting your own podcast may seem a bit daunting or not that exciting; however, the numbers support that podcast, “…listeners are more receptive to ads on podcasts than any other medium.” Let’s further delve into this phenomenon below. 

According to Forbes, there were over 500,000 operating podcasts in 2018 and over 18.5 MM episodes published across a span of just 5 months (a shocking average of 3.7 MM new episodes released per month). Forbes also released a finding that the age group that listened to podcasts most often is those between 25 to 54, which makes sense as podcasts are a great way for busy professionals or students to catch up on information important to them while on the go. Podcasts do not seem like an ephemeral fad either, as revenue generated from podcasts is estimated to be approximately $659 MM in the year 2020 (TechCrunch, 2019).

When it comes to the most popular podcast platforms, Apple and Spotify are at the top with 80% of all podcast streaming done via their platforms (Billboard, 2018). In fact, Spotify is so confident in pushing podcasts that they are considering investing over $400 MM into podcasting this year (TechCrunch, 2019). Clearly, BBC did not want to be left out of this opportunity, their recent investment in creating the ‘Sounds app’ has paid off tremendously. This app launched towards the end of 2018 is already at over 1.7 MM downloads (TechCrunch, 2019). 

Furthermore, studies show that demographics play a key role in podcast audience. Some of the most significant findings include that around 71% of, “...owners of businesses with 100 to 500 employees…” listen to podcasts (Forbes, 2018). Again, this information rings true considering that business professionals are always looking for ways to improve and learn, especially when out and about. Additionally, a large proportion of podcast consumers in the United States are white, 59% to be specific (Edison Research, 2018). 

The difference between podcast listening behavior is rather interesting when it comes to British habits versus that of U.S. listeners. British consumers appear to listen to more podcasts and often finish entire podcast episodes, while U.S. listeners do not tune in quite as much, nor do they always stick around for the full episode (Forbes, 2019; Inc., 2015). Lastly, the British podcast audience is composed of mostly college or university-educated individuals, at around 76% (Audioboom, 2017).

Overall, podcasts are certainly here for the long run. Content marketing has become a staple in many business’ marketing strategies, if you have not yet integrated podcasts into your marketing mix, then perhaps these statistics have shown just how beneficial they could be for you. If you’re looking for content marketing production in video, podcasts, or social media, reach out to the Paul Barron Group.


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