Back in 2006, only 22 percent of the adult population in the United States was aware of podcasting. 

By 2021, this figure had risen to 78 percent and the number of people hosting their podcast is on the rise. This has a trickle-down effect as the sales of podcast mics will hit 7 million units in 2021.

Podcasting is an increasingly popular pastime in the U.S. and is quickly picking up the pace all over the world.  

Forecasts suggest that the number of podcast listeners will surpass 160 million in 2023 after increases of around 20 million each year.

2021 podcast statistics from Edison Research and Triton Digital were recently released as part of the annual study: The Infinite Dial.

Quick Podcast Statistics

Total Number of Active Podcasts:

2,000,000+ (Source

Total Number of Episodes:

48 million (Source

Total Number of Languages that Podcasts Exist in:

More than 100 (Source)

Top Popular Genres of Podcasts Are:

Comedy, News, Society & Culture, Sports, True Crime (Source)

The Leading Podcast Publisher Worldwide

iHeartRadio with 266.06 million streams (Source)

U.S. Podcast Demographics

International Podcast Demographics

Podcast Audience & Usage Statistics

  • One-fourth of podcast listeners consume podcast content while driving.
  • As of July 2021, Spotify is the leading podcast app taking up 30.6% of the total listenership and with over 23.6 million downloads.
  • Apple Podcasts and Google podcasts come in second and third places with 20.9 million and 2.2 million downloads respectively.
  • 22% of podcast listeners in the United States prefer comedy as a genre, making it the most popular podcast genre.
  • Podcasts lasting 20 – 40 minutes are more popular taking up 31% of the total.
  • The least popular podcasts are those that last not more than 10 minutes and only account for 13% of the total.
  • 52.6% of listeners find new podcasts by searching a podcast directory like Apple Podcasts.
  • Podcast hosting is performed by various podcast platforms that allow publishers to store MP3 files and share RSS feed links for podcast episodes. Buzzsprout, Captivate, Transistor are some of the popular podcast hosting platforms.
  • Growing number of podcasts are focused towards individuals pursuing a college degree. A study found that students preferred podcasts over textbooks for study purposes. 

Podcast Listener Statistics

Podcast User Statistics

  • The majority of consumers (65%) use a smartphone/tablet/portable device, followed by those that use a computer/laptop (25%), while 10% use a smart speaker.
  • 90% of podcasts are listened to at home, 64% in a car or truck, 49% while walking around/on foot, 43% at a gym/while working out, 37% at work, 37% while riding public transportation.
  • 74% of people listen to podcasts to learn new things, 71% to be entertained, 60% to stay up-to-date, 51% to relax, 47% to feel inspired.
  • Over half (52%) of US consumers who listen to the online monthly podcasts, listen to the entire episode, while 41% listen to most of it, 5% listen to under half of it, and 2% only listen to the beginning.
  • The five major players in the podcasting software industry are Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, and Google Podcasts, with a market share of 52%, 19%, 5%, 1.4%, and 0.09%, respectively.
  • While 81% of the US population remains active on at least one social media platform, about 94% of podcast listeners in the country do the same.
  • Google Home allows users to play podcasts using Google Nest speakers. Similarly, users can stream over 250000 podcasts and associated different shows from their favorite stations on Apple itunes.

Podcast Advertising Business

Check Out: Elearning Statistics for 2024

Fun Facts

  • By 2021, the global podcasting ad revenue is projected to reach $1.36 billion (from the Revenue Stream graph).
  • The PwC report provided the compound annual growth rate of the music, radio, and podcast industry to be about 3% between 2018 and 2023.
  • Podcast listeners in the United States are “hyper-engaged, super-supportive audiences.”
  • On average podcast listeners spend 5 hours 39 minutes per day listening to audio.
  • 51% of non podcast listeners said that they just don’t have enough time.
  • Monthly podcast consumers grew by 16% year-over-year, cresting 100 million Americans for the first time.
  • Approximately 169 million Americans listened to online audio in the last week, spending an average of over 15 hours doing so.
  • When it comes to publishers, National Public Radio (NPR) is one of the leaders in the United States, normally drawing in a unique monthly audience of over 20 million listeners.
  • In 2020, a survey on podcast consumption revealed that 37% of Americans listen to a podcast within the last month, a figure which has more than tripled over the past decade.
  • Pandora and Spotify are tied among Americans 12+ for monthly users, while Amazon music has become a strong third, buoyed by smart speaker owners.
  • Twitter was launched because of a failed podcasting company.
  • South Korea is the country where podcasting is the most popular.
  • Even retail behemoth Amazon is intending to get involved in the podcast industry, paving the way for disruptions and competition in the market.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Salman Aslam
Salman Aslam is the Managing Director at Omnicore, a leading Healthcare Digital Advertising & Marketing Agency helping clients across the globe. You can follow him on Twitter for tweets and rants about the latest news, tips, and advice on digital marketing.