Podcast Statistics (2018) – [Infographic]

As confirmed by Apple at WWDC 2018, there are now more than 550,000 active podcasts out there, and this number is rapidly growing!

Based on numerous studies conducted in 2018 by companies like Nielsen and Edison, we've put together this comprehensive post on podcast statistics, breaking down the key findings in an easily digestible manner.

We've also designed a custom-illustrated infographic highlighting the most impactful podcasting stats and facts. Let's take a look at it below!

Podcast Statistics Infographic

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Now, let's take a look at a few more stats that didn't make it through to the infographic.

  • Smartphones are driving podcast consumption by demonstrating an 157% increase in usage for podcast consumption since 2014, compared to marginal increases in case of PCs, tablets, and laptops.
  • 35% podcast consumers listen to an entire episode, 45% listen to most of an episode, and only 12% listen to less than half of a podcast episode.
  • Podcast listeners spend an average of 6 hours and 37 minutes listening to podcasts every week. 16% listen to less than one hour of podcasts, and 25% listen between 1 to 3 hours of podcast content every week.
  • Podcast listeners' share of time spent listening to audio sources: 33% podcasts, 25% FM/AM radio, 15% owned music, 14% streamed music/audio, 5% TV music channels, and 8% others.
  • 77% of podcast consumers prefer to click on a podcast and listen immediately. 41% of them prefer to download podcast episodes manually and listen later. 27% of them prefer to subscribe to a podcast to download automatically to listen later.
  • 65% of monthly podcast listeners have been listening to podcasts for less than 3 years.
  • At 64%, right now more people know what a podcast is than knowing who the vice-president is (40%).
  • From 2017 to 2018, podcast listening growth jumped 14% among women while the growth remained almost flat for men.
  • Podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 shows per week, which is up 40% since 2017.

Data Sources:

  • Edison Research (bit.ly/edison-podcasting)
  • Nielsen (bit.ly/nielsen-podcasting)
  • IAB (bit.ly/iab-podcasting)
  • PwC (bit.ly/pwc-podcasting)
  • Pacific Content (bit.ly/pacific-content)

Interesting Points from the Infographic

  • Podcasting as a whole has been growing rapidly, and as a media format, it now spans over 100 different languages across the world.
  • 'Society & Culture' tends to be the most popular podcasting genre, followed closely by Business, Comedy, News & Politics, and Health.
  • As high as 64% of the US population is 'familiar' with the 'podcasting' term. That's roughly 208 million people.
  • Out of those people, 44% people (approx. 143 million people) have listened to a podcast, and 26% listen to podcasts at least once a month (though many listen to one podcast or another much more frequently than that).
  • Podcasting is way more popular among young people, with 67% of the total podcasting audience being between 18 to 44 years old.
  • It also attracts the educated and relatively wealthier sections of the society more. In fact, it's 45% more likely for a podcast listener to have a college degree, and 68% more likely to have a post-graduate degree. They are also much more likely to be HNIs (high net-worth individuals), with them having a 45% more likelihood of having a net household income of over $250,000, which is a quarter million dollars, annually!
  • When it comes to gender balance, the podcasting audience is well balanced at the moment, with men leaning every so slightly on the heavier side of the scale (52% vs. 48% for women).
  • Smartphones are the #1 platform for podcast consumption. Given how popular iTunes' podcasts (now known as Apple Podcasts) are, and given the fact that there's a consistent decline in PC and tablet usage due to the rise of smartphones, it's hardly a surprise that smartphones are occupying the number one spot here.
  • Out of all podcast listeners who listen to podcasts on their smartphones, 54% are on Apple's iOS ecosystem (i.e. they are iPhone users), and 43% are Android users.
  • Most people prefer to listen to podcasts at home (49%), while 22% said they also listen while driving. 11% listen while at work and only 4% listen while onboard a public transport vehicle.
  • When it comes to engagement, 80% of podcast listeners listen to an entire podcast episode or at least most of it. This is one of the best engagement rates, if not the best, among any consumption medium.
  • The average podcast listener listens to 7 different shows in an average week, and subscribes to 6 different shows.
  • 19% listeners prefer to speed up the audio while listening to podcast episodes. This indicates that the majority of podcast consumers either don't prefer to listen faster.
  • Weekly podcast listeners spend an average of 6 hours and 37 minutes listening to podcasts per week.
  • Compared to the general U.S. population, podcast listeners are more active on social media, with 94% being active on at least one social media platform, vs. 81% for the entire population.
  • Podcast listeners are also much more likely to follow their favorite brands on social media.
  • Regular podcast listeners are also less exposed to TV advertising, and they're far more likely to be subscribers of online video streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
  • They're also more likely to own smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Alexa / Echo.
  • 69% of the respondents agreed that podcast ads made them aware of new products and services.
  • Podcast ad revenue grew exponentially from 2015 ($69 million) to 2018 ($402 million), with the growth forecast predicting a revenue of $659 million in 2020.
  • Podcast ads lift the purchase intent for a variety of advertisers across a wide range of niches:
    Society & Culture: 9.2% lift
    News & Politics: 12.8% lift
    Comedy: 7.3% lift
    Sports: 9.3% lift
    Business: 14% lift
  • Podcast ads that were integrated or edited into podcast episodes accounted for 58% of the total number of ads.

Found this interesting? Why not help it reach more people who might also find it interesting? Please don't shy away from sharing the infographic or a link to this post.

Gavin Whitner
    Gavin Whitner

    A guitar player, songwriter, composer, and also the lead editor of MusicOomph, Gavin is one of the four musician friends behind this site. Outside of music, he's an avid sports fan and hardly misses anything from football (soccer) to F1.

    Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
    Ryan - August 23, 2018

    Hey Gavin! This is a great graphic. Thanks for putting it out into the world. I saw it over on Reddit and was wondering if you would be open to me incorporating it into a rather large blog post I have on podcasting? You can check out the post here: https://gritandhustle.co/how-to-start-a-podcast

      Gavin Whitner
      Gavin Whitner - August 23, 2018

      Hey Ryan,

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Feel free to use it. You can find the embed code right below the infographic.

    Lisa Ciancarelli - September 17, 2018

    Hi Ryan – nice work on the infographic! Lots of really compelling insights on podcasts, and I really liked the bonus stats at the end. Well done! All the Best, Lisa

      Gavin Whitner
      Gavin Whitner - September 17, 2018

      Thanks! Glad you liked it, Lisa.


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