Breaking Down Key Podcast Statistics

Reviewing the key podcast statistics and why they are essential to you, your company, and setting up advertising campaigns.


This is the edited transcription from The Podcast Advertising Playbook episode 54: Breaking Down Key Podcast Statistics (Infinite Dial Study 2021)


We are talking about podcast statistics and why they are essential to you, your company, and potentially setting up advertising campaigns. Each year, Triton Digital and Edison Research produce a report called The Infinite Dial.


If you haven’t had a chance to check out my interview with Tom Webster, I would highly recommend that you listen to the episode as it’s full of great information. The Infinite Dial comes out yearly, and so I wanted to cover some of the statistics in that report with you.


The report is titled the 2021 report. But of course, the 2021 report is referring to information that was in 2020.


It’s especially relevant this year because we obviously have had the pandemic going on, and that has had an impact on everything. It’s going to impact statistics and data in a significant way.


Who is listening to podcasts? The quantity of people and why that is important and who those people are.


When we look at podcasts, the report tells us that there are a certain number of people who have ever listened to a podcast. That just gauges how many people have ever listened to a podcast for the first time. That could have been two years ago for the first, and the only time you have ever listened to a podcast, and that number grew by 7 million from the 2020 study to the 2021 study. We found that 162 million people in the US were saying that they had ever listened to a podcast.


The next statistic that I think is valuable is how many people had listened to a podcast in the last month. These are active listeners. In 2020, this was 116 million people in the US versus 104 million the previous year.


Next, we saw that the listenership increased in the female category (36% to 46%). Male listenership has always dominated (51%) in the podcast space and continues still, but just slightly.


The study also added a non-binary segment this year, which I don’t believe was in past years, so that took a few percentage points away from either side. But we are seeing an increase in female listenership, which is exciting.


Next, we should consider the number of people who listened to a podcast last week. And I look at this number as one of the most critical numbers because these people are considered super listeners.


We saw that number increase from 24% to nearly 30% of the US population. What we need to look at is not the 30% but rather the 70% of the population that is not listening. This podcast statistic helps us categorize where the podcast industry sits. So whether you’re creating content, trying to market and gain listenership, or you’re evaluating the podcast space, this could be a good thing and a bad thing. It is always valuable for us to look at a comparison against other things.

There are still more podcasts listeners than people are using Twitter.

When you use podcasts in some capacity, that means you’re not reaching the vast majority of the population but, the 30% you do get are very dedicated.



Another podcast statistic to look at is segments. The 55+ age category grew the greatest in percentage (17% to 21%), even though it is the most negligible segment.


People in the older categories are starting to consume more podcasts which is great when trying to reach a broader age group.


Continuing on to ethnicity, one of the most desirable markets, Hispanic listenership, has increased by 4%. Podcast listenership closely mirrors what the breakdown is in the US. So, whether you’re creating content or looking to market to that segment is super valuable.


The other statistic that I think really is fascinating is the number of podcasts people listen to in a week. That statistic went from six to eight.

That equates to a pretty significant increase in time taken from other channels and given to podcasts.

It really does speak to the pandemic. We’re all looking to get more information and entertain ourselves in different ways to add some variety to our lives, and podcasts have really helped with that. So I think it’s great to see that.


To conclude, let’s talk about the number of podcasts that are available out there. There are now over 2 million podcasts.


This is according to Podcast Industry Insights. I have been told that only about 35% of podcasts out there actively publish episodes regularly. So that reduces that 2 million down quite a bit.


There, you have it—some fascinating information about podcast statistics. Here is a link to the complete study for you to check out.


If you’re interested in learning more about podcast advertising as always, we are happy to help at True Native Media. Thanks so much for joining me today, and I look forward to chatting with you again next week. Take care.

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