A podcast is a digital audio file that you can listen to online or download to a device. Podcasts usually consist of episodes and may be related to a specific topic or genre.
Some podcasters also video their episodes for streaming. Have you ever wondered how many people listen to podcasts?
Today, we will be addressing the topic of podcasts, how many people listen, and other relevant data about this form of media.
Podcasting has been around since 2004 and was “invented” by Dave Winer and Adam Curry.
The very first podcast service provider was Liberated Syndication. Podcasting has come a long way since the early 2000s, which we will discuss in this article.
How Many People Listen to Podcasts in 2023?
Globally, there are 464.7 million podcast listeners.
- In 2019, the number of podcast listeners was 274.8 million.
- Podcast listeners amounted to 332.2 million people in 2020.
- By 2021, podcast listeners had grown to 383.7 million.
- There were 424.2 million podcast listeners in 2022.
- Now there are over 460 million podcast listeners.
By 2024, an estimated 504.9 million global podcast listeners are predicted.
This data is estimated since most of the podcast service providers and platforms don’t release these figures to the public.
However, it’s based on historical data and the growth seen across platforms in podcasting, figures from platforms that have released their numbers, plus other data to ascertain these figures.
Podcast Listeners by Region
The United States is home to the highest percentage of podcast listeners in the world. According to the most recent data, 40% of people in the United States listen to podcasts.
In 2021, 117.8 million people were listening to podcasts at least monthly, which translates to 40% of all U.S. internet users.
Sweden is second regarding podcast listener penetration with 34.6% of the country’s internet users who listen to podcasts.
Here’s a breakdown of the world’s regions and their podcast penetration rates among internet users.
- United States: 40%
- Sweden: 34.6%
- Norway: 34.2%
- Australia: 33.2%
- Canada: 32.8%
- Spain: 30%
- Denmark: 28.4%
- United Kingdom: 27.9%
- Finland: 27.6%
- Mexico: 25.8%
- Italy: 25%
- Brazil: 24.5%
- Germany: 24.4%
- France: 22.9%
- Argentina: 19.2%
- South Korea: 12.2%
- Japan: 11.8%
- China: 8.7%
The overall total podcast consumption for North America comes to 39.2% and in Europe, the total is 26.3%.
The conclusion is that the highest penetration rates for podcast consumption are among internet users in North America and Europe.
U.S. Podcast Listener Demographics
In this part of the article, we will cover data for podcast listener demographics in the United States from 2022.
Internet users between 25- and 34-years old account for the highest number of podcast listeners with an audience of 29.5 million in the United States alone.
The 35- to 44-year-old age group is responsible for the majority of people listening to podcasts in the United States at 22.6 million listeners.
As for the other age groups:
- Up to 11 years: 2.1 million
- 12 to 17: 9.1 million
- 18 to 24: 19.9 million
- 45 to 54: 17.1 million
- 55 to 64: 13.2 million
- 65 and over: 12.5 million
In terms of penetration rates, the 18- to 24-year-old group in the United States accounts for 65.4%, making this them the highest in penetration.
Here are the penetration rates for podcast listeners in the United States.
- Up to 11: 4.2%
- 12 to 17: 36.3%
- 25 to 34: 63% (second to 18-24)
- 35 to 44: 51.8%
- 45 to 54: 42.4%
- 55 to 64: 31.4%
- 65 and older: 21%
This data comes as no surprise since those between 25 and 24 make up the largest share of podcast listeners.
This is a brief and simple set of data since there is a very narrow gender gap among podcast listeners in the United States as of 2022.
- Male: 65.1 million
- Female: 61 million
The male demographic has always had a lead over the female demographic in podcast audiences, but in the United States in 2022, that gap has narrowed.
This may have a lot to do with the topics and genres cropping up that appeal to virtually everyone.
What does the podcast audience look like in 2022 in the United States based on generational data?
- Gen Z: 32.2 million
- Millennial: 42.8 million
- Gen X: 27.4 million
- Baby Boomer: 17.7 million
When you look at the podcast listeners according to age, you won’t be surprised at these numbers.
Podcast Listeners Worldwide
We already shared some data about podcast audiences in the United States (highest usage of podcasts) and other countries.
However, here are a few more pieces of data you will find interesting.
Canada Podcast Statistics
- Canada is the third-largest user of podcasts in the world. This country ranks third after the United States and Sweden as of 2022.
- According to 2021 Edison Research, around 50% of Canadian adult podcast consumers listen to podcasts that are published domestically.
- More data shows that almost 31.1% of Canadians will listen to at least one podcast at least once per month by the end of 2023.
Europe Podcast Statistics
- We know that in Europe, Sweden and Norway are the leaders in podcast listening. However, there’s more to learn about Europe and its podcast consumption.
- In Germany podcast listener estimations said that in 2022 there would be 18 million listeners.
- Spain has shown a robust adoption rate since the addition of more podcasts in Spanish coming out of Latin America.
Asia-Pacific Podcast Statistics
- Except for Australia, the Asia-Pacific region experiences some of the lowest rates of podcast consumption.
- We’ve seen that only 8.7% of Chinese internet users listen to podcasts monthly, which is the globe’s lowest rate of podcast listener penetration.
- Looking back at the podcast listeners per region, we saw that Japan and South Korea also have low penetration rates.
- However, it’s been predicted that as podcast awareness rises in these regions, we will see higher penetration rates.
- In fact, China is expected to overtake the United States regarding podcast listeners. Naturally, the content will be different as well.
Latin America Podcast Statistics
- Brazil is expected to achieve the second-fastest rise in 2022 in podcast consumption, and Argentina may be the third fastest.
- Mexico will likely see a substantial bit of growth of 13.6%.
Which platforms are the most used for listening to podcasts?
March 2023 podcast listener statistics revealed that iHeartPodcasts has the largest monthly audience and the most global streams and downloads.
We will visit the top 10 podcast platforms audience, streams, and downloads data.
- iHeartPodcasts has 800 active podcast shows, an average of 33,908,000 listeners each month, and experiences 386,173,000 global streams and downloads combined.
- Wondery has 209 active podcast shows, an average of 25,022,000 listeners each month, and experiences 176,213,000 global streams and downloads combined.
- NPR has 49 active podcast shows, an average of 20,110,000 listeners each month, and experiences 183,582,000 global streams and downloads combined.
- The New York Times has 12 active podcast shows, an average of 12,233,000 listeners each month, and experiences 126,355,000 global streams and downloads combined.
- NBC News has 69 active podcast shows, an average of 11,369,000 listeners each month, and experiences 71,499,000 global streams and downloads combined.
- DailyWire+ has 14 active podcast shows, an average of 9,455,000 listeners each month, and experiences 81,138,000 global streams and downloads combined.
- The Walt Disney Company has 123 active podcast shows, an average of 8,540,000 listeners each month, and experiences 43,662,000 global streams and downloads combined.
- Barstools Sports has 99 active podcast shows, an average of 7,305,000 listeners each month, and experiences 36,238,000 global streams and downloads combined.
- PRX has 123 active podcast shows, an average of 6,060,000 listeners each month, and experiences 60,612,000 global streams and downloads combined.
- Fox Audio Network has 106 active podcast shows, an average of 5,427,000 listeners each month, and experiences 42,243,000 global streams and downloads combined.
Do Podcasters Make a Lot of Money?
Podcasters with roughly 10,000 downloads an episode can expect to see between $500 to $900 for these downloads.
Top earners can make millions each year, but that’s not typical.
Is It Worth Advertising on Podcasts?
According to data, podcasts have higher conversion rates, or at least rates other media channels.
Because email marketing conversion rates are below 2% for most campaigns, a 19% conversion rate from podcast ads is impressive. It may be worth your while.
What Are the Most Popular Podcast Genres?
Data from 2022 shows that comedy is the number one most popular podcast genre across platforms.
So, platforms without comedy shows on them don’t reach that audience.
After comedy, the next most popular genre is true crime. After that comes health and fitness, and sports.
This is what we found out about the number of listeners of podcasts that impact the world. This data comes from 2019 to 2022 and is the most recently available data we found.
From this data, you can tell that the podcast sector is booming, though with some fluctuations between 2018 and 2023.
While some significant decline occurred in 2022, it’s expected to grow from 2023 into 2030 with higher listener rates.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about how many people listen to podcasts and the data that confirms the figures and demographics.