The Vital Podcast Statistics All Brands Should Know

Updated February 2021

In this post, we provide an all-encompassing rundown of the vital podcast statistics all brands should learn about. Because podcasts are taking off!

These statistics including:

  • Who is listening to podcasts

  • What podcasts they are listening to

  • How they are listening

  • Where they are listening

  • How podcasts impact brands

Because the podcast listener changes by geography, we’ll break these vital statistics down for the United States and Canada.

The Vital AMERICAN Statistics

What Are Some General Statistics and Facts About Podcasts in the United States (And Why Do They Matter)?

What Are the Demographics of Podcast Listeners in the United States? 

Where do American Podcast Listeners Find and Listen to Podcasts? 

How do Americans Listen to Podcasts?

How Do Podcasts Impact Brands?

THE VITAL CANADIAN STATISTICS

What Are Some General Statistics and Facts About Podcasts in Canada (And Why Do They Matter)?

What Are the Demographics of Podcast Listeners in Canada? 

Where do Canadian Podcast Listeners Find and Listen to Podcasts? 

How do Canadians Listen to Podcasts?

How Do Podcasts Impact Brands?

 


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What Are Some General Statistics and Facts About Podcasts in the United States (And Why Do They Matter)?

222 million Americans have heard of the term podcasts. (Edison Research)

This means 78% of Americans are now familiar that the term podcasting exists, according to Edison Research’s 2021 Podcast Consumer Research.

57% of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to podcasts. (Edison Research)

On top of this, 41% have listened to a podcast in the past month, up from 37% in 2020 and just 32% in 2019. Podcasting is now a mainstream media channel. Monthly podcast consumers grew by 16% year-over-year, cresting 116 million Americans.

28% of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast in the past week. (Edison Research)

This number is up from 24% in 2020 and 22% in 2019. The estimated total number of weekly podcast listeners is 80 million.

Weekly podcast listeners listen to an average of 8 podcasts per week (Edison Research)

21% listen to 4-5 podcast episodes per week

19% listen to 6-10 podcast episodes per week

19% listen to 11 or more podcast episode per week

15% listen to just 2 podcast episodes per week

14% listen to just 3 podcast episodes per week

11% listen to only podcast episode per week

Weekly podcast listeners averaged 5.1 differnt shows per week.

It seems as if the overall discovery of Podcasts is increasing. More and more people listening to a wider range of shows.

As of February 2021, there are over 1,750,000 podcasts and over 43 million episodes.. (Podcast Insights)

To highlight the growth, Apple confirmed there were over 550,000 podcasts at WWDC 2018 in early June. And an article published April 25, 2018, by FastCompany stated there were “over 525,000 active shows and over 18.5 million episodes”.

That’s a lot of podcasts. To put this into perspective, there are over 31 million YouTube channels. (Tubics)

Why is video growth faster than podcasting? According to listener data, consumers can lose interest in a podcast. That’s why production is so important and why JAR is proud to see average listen-lengths of 90% for our podcasts. High listen-length = high engagement levels for the JAR Audio-produced podcasts.

74% of podcast users listen to podcasts to learn something new. (Edison Research)

  • 71% listen to be entertained

  • 60% listen to stay up to date

  • 51% listen to relax

  • 47% listen to be inspired

  • 37% listen to escape

  • 24% listen for companionship

Click here to access everything you need to market a podcast.


 

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What Are the Demographics of Podcast Listeners in the United States?

It’s pretty even when it comes to gender and podcast listening. (Edison Research)

  • 43% of males have listened to a podcast in the last month

  • 39% of females have listened to a podcast in the last month

  • 51% of monthly podcast listeners are male

  • 46% of monthly podcast listeners are female

  • 3% of monthly podcast listeners identify as non-binary

Age also tells an exciting story. (Edison Research)

  • Ages 12-34: 56% listened to a podcast in the last month ; an account for 50% of monthly podcast listeners

  • Ages 35-54: 39% listened to a podcast in the last month ; an account for 29% of monthly podcast listeners

  • Ages 55+: 26% listened to a podcast in the last month ; an account for 21% of monthly podcast listeners

Click here to access everything you need to measure podcast ROI.

7 in 10 Gen Z & Millennials Are Listening to Podcasts. (YPULSE)

  • Research showed that 25-34-year-olds drove a 60% rise in the number of people listening to podcasts via mobile apps, when compared to January 2018.

  • Two in five young listeners are tuning into comedy podcasts, and three in ten tune into interview podcasts.

  • Three quarters are fine, or even happy, with brands promoting products on a podcast.

Listeners are affluent and educated. (Andreesen Horowitz)

  • 25% of US podcast listeners have a 4-year college degree (vs 19% of US population)

  • 41% of monthly podcast listeners have household income over $75K (vs 29% for US population)

  • 51% employed full-time (vs 44% of US population)

Growth in Diversity. (Edison Research)

  • 57% of monthly podcast listeners are white (down from 63%)

  • 16% of monthly podcast listeners are Latinx (up from 12%)

  • 13% of monthly podcast listeners are African American (down from 16%)

  • 4% of monthly podcast listeners are Asian (up from 3%)


 

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Where do American Podcast Listeners Find and Listen to Podcasts?

65% of podcast consumers are most likely to listen to episodes on a mobile device. (Edison Research)

Smartphones are the most popular device for listening to podcasts. About 65% of podcast fans would rather listen to podcasts on mobile devices, while 25% prefer to listen on computers.

Apple Podcasts vs. Spotify (Podtrac)

Podtrac has shared total downloads and audience, split by platform. Based on 1.5 billion US downloads from participating publishers measured by Podtrac during August 2020, Apple has 61.1% of all podcast downloads; but when measured by total audience, Spotify is closing in on Apple in the country. Apple continues to provide the largest US podcast audience, podcast downloads and streams, and downloads per audience member. Spotify has become a popular podcast player in the US but with fewer monthly downloads and streams per audience member currently.

What about YouTube? (Edison Research)

According to Tom Webster from Edison Research “the weekly YouTube music usage 12–34 is 70% and it really comes down to the recommendation algorithm YouTube can offer you. It’s the ease of access to music on demand.” Could YouTube see a rise in podcasting? In a previous post, we talked about the benefits of audio vs. video.

76 million Americans Now Have “Smart Speakers” in Their Homes. (Convince & Convert)

Led by Amazon, Amazon Echo owners represent 61% of U.S. adults that own a smart speaker, while Google Home delivered a 24% share. And smart speaker ownership overall has increased by 17% between 2019 and 2020.

39% of smart-speaker owners listen to podcasts at least once a week. (VoiceBot)

Most are listening while they get ready for work, cook dinner or relax before bed.

Click here to access everything you need to market a podcast.


 

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How do Americans Listen to Podcasts?

52% of podcast subscribers listen to the entire episodes. (Edison Research)

Because podcasting is a “pull” medium (vs. broadcast), listeners are actively asking for an episode. As a result, they are more likely to listen to most of the episode. This is why the podcast is one of the best mediums for engaging with an audience.

58% of podcast consumers listen to between 76% and 100% of all the podcasts downloaded on their devices. (Edison Research)

20% of podcast listeners listen to between 51% and 75% of the shows they download.

26% of podcast listeners increase the speed of podcasts while listening. (Statista)

Podcast listeners have a lot to listen to, so are using their favourite podcatcher (or apps like Spotify or Apple Podcasts) to increase the speed.

Podcast listeners spend an average of 6 hours and 37 minutes listening to podcasts every week. (Edison Research)

It was just a few years ago that consumers spent an average of 5 hours per week listening to podcasts. In 2018, the listening time jumped 32% in a single year.

Podcast listeners are listening longer (Cumulus’s Westwood One – who has published its Podcast Download Fall 2020 Report).

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More than 50% will listen “at places other than their home.” (BuzzSprout)

Podcasting is so portable, so listeners enjoy them inside and outside their home:

  • 22% listen in their vehicle

  • 11% at work

  • 4% listen while on public transportation

  • 4% working out

  • 3% walking around

More than half of Americans listen to a podcast while doing chores. (Edison Research)

We do too! Some of the JAR Audio team listen while vacuuming, while some of us listen to podcasts while washing the dishes or mowing the lawn.

  • 59% listen to a podcast while doing chores

  • 52% while driving

  • 51% while cooking

  • 44% while walking or exercising

Podcast listeners like to use them to relax (Edison Research)

About 50% go to bed while listening to a podcast.

Podcast listeners love a range of genres. (Edison Research)

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How Do Podcasts Impact Brands?

Podcasts are proving effective for businesses. The metrics are impressive. (BBC Audio:Activated)

In a report commissioned by the BBC, organizations with branded podcasts saw:

  • 89% higher awareness

  • 57% higher brand consideration

  • 24% higher brand favourability

  • 14% higher purchase intent

  • 12% higher memory encoding than other forms of content

  • 16% higher engagement (which we will dig into further below)

Click here to access everything you need to market a podcast.

Podcast listeners have unique purchasing habits. (Nielsen)

  • 51% of bottled water households are podcast listeners

  • 57% of baby food households are podcast listeners

  • 53% of beer households are podcast listeners

  • 56% of juice households are podcast fans

  • 54% of milk households are podcast fans

  • 54% of cereal households are podcast fans

39% of small and medium-sized business owners are podcast users. (Forbes)

This is important for B2B companies. About 65% of them listen to podcasts weekly. The research found that 70-72% of business owners who have 100-500 employees also listen to podcasts.

54% of podcast consumers say they think about buying an advertised product. (Edison Research)

Podcasting is surely a new field for businesses advertising their products. 17% of podcast users say that they are much more likely to buy an advertised product.

46% of 13-35-year-olds are okay with brands promoting products on a podcast. (YPULSE)

And 18% say they like brands promoting products on podcasts. In a previous post we talk about the difference between having a branded podcast and advertising on a podcast.

51% of bi-weekly listeners have purchased a product after hearing a sponsored ad on a podcast. (eMarketer)

While we don’t advocate brands having advertising on the show, it shows that brands mentioned on shows do breakthrough to the listener.

The advertising market set to be worth nearly $3.5 billion globally by 2025. (Omdia)

Despite the pandemic the podcast industry is poised to keep growing. Exciting times!

 


 

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What Are Some General Statistics and Facts About Podcasts in Canada (And Why Do They Matter)?

74% of Canadians are familiar with podcasting. (Edison Research)

This is up significantly from 63% in 2019. In the United States, this number is 75%. So Canadians and Americans are neck and neck.

Nearly 11 million Canadian adults (37% of the 18+ population) have listened to a podcast in the last month. (Edison Research)

Again, Canada is neck and neck with the United States (37%). In Canada, more than 13 million (45%) have listened at some point this year. Podcasting is now a mainstream media channel.

Canada has some of the highest % of monthly podcast listeners compared to other large countries. (Edison Research)

  • Canada (37%)

  • United States (37%)

  • Australia (26%)

  • Germany (16%)

  • South Africa (10%)

Canadians gravitate towards celebrities on podcasts. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

More than six-in-ten monthly podcast listeners (63%) say they have a favourite podcast, up from 56% a year ago. Two-in-three listeners with a favourite host say they knew the host before listening to the podcast, showing the ability of popular personalities to draw listeners into podcasts.

Top genres in 2020. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

Apple Podcasts changed its genre classifications in 2019, making a direct comparison to last year impossible, but Comedy, Society & Culture and News remain popular genres. True Crime has been added as a standalone genre (where previously these podcasts lived in multiple genres) and ranks as the 6th most popular genre.

Click here to access everything you need to measure podcast ROI.

Growth in podcast listening continues. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

Despite the disruption of COVID-19, podcast listening continues to show incremental year-over-year growth, with 27% of Canadian adults now listening monthly. Daily listening is up most sharply from 2017.

Growth is tempered by French Canada. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

Monthly listening among English-speaking Canadians has hit 30%, while monthly listening in French Canada has stagnated. Francophones who do listen regularly are however digging in—past week listening in French Canada is up from 9 to 12% since 2017.

Power Listeners are responsible for most weekly podcast listening. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

The 37% of weekly podcast listeners who are Power Listeners account for three-quarters of the total weekly podcast hours.

17% of Canadian adults listen to a podcast weekly. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

This number is up from 15% in 2017.

24% of Canadians listened to a podcast in the last week. (Edison Research)

This consumption is on par with the United States and higher than Australia, Germany and South Africa.

Weekly podcast listeners listen to 6 podcasts a week. (Edison Research)

As we move into the post-COVID world and Canadians go outside, this number could increase.


 

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What Are the Demographics of Podcast Listeners in Canada?

Podcast listening now more evenly split between men and women. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

Women now make up a larger part of the podcast audience, representing nearly half of monthly listeners.

And skew slightly older. (Edison Research)

  • Age 18-34 (35%)

  • Age 35-54 (41%)

  • Age 55+ (24%)

Podcast listeners—a unique, attractive audience. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

As the Canadian podcast audience grows, it continues to deliver a young, well-educated, diverse and affluent target difficult to reach elsewhere.

Podcast listening in Canada continues to be most prevalent in urban areas. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

British Columbia has the highest concentration of monthly podcast listeners, followed by Ontario and Alberta.

Click here to access everything you need to measure podcast ROI.


 

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Where do Canadian Podcast Listeners Find and Listen to Podcasts?

Spotify up nearly 2x as platform used most often (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

Spotify gains 9 share points from last year, putting it just behind Apple Podcasts and YouTube. Apple has retained its user base and holds an 8-point lead (28-20%) among the Power Listeners (5hrs+/week) who account for most podcast listening in Canada.

45% of Canadian podcast subscribers listen to the entire episodes. (Edison Research)

Because podcasting is a “pull” medium (vs. broadcast), listeners are actively asking for an episode. As a result, they are more likely to listen to most of the episode. This is why the podcast is one of the best mediums for engaging with an audience.

50% of Canadian podcast consumers listen to between 76% and 100% of all the podcasts downloaded on their devices. (Edison Research)

24% of podcast listeners listen to between 51% and 75% of the shows they download.


 

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How do Canadians Listen to Podcasts?

Volume up among weekly listeners. (The Canadian Podcast Listener)

Despite only modest increases in monthly listening from 2019, existing listeners are spending more time listening to podcasts and are listening to more episodes.

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74% of Canadians listen to a podcast on a tablet or portable device. (Edison Research)

81% of Canadian podcast listeners have listened to a podcast at home. (Edison Research)

  • 40% have listened in a vehicle

  • 34% have listened while walking around

  • 27% have listened while working out

  • 25% have listened while riding public transportation

  • 20% have listened at work


 

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How Do Podcasts Impact Brands?

Podcasts are proving effective for businesses. The metrics are impressive. (BBC Audio:Activated)

In a report commissioned by the BBC, organizations with branded podcasts saw:

  • 89% higher awareness

  • 57% higher brand consideration

  • 24% higher brand favourability

  • 14% higher purchase intent

  • 12% higher memory encoding than other forms of content

  • 16% higher engagement (which we will dig into further below)

Podcast listeners have unique purchasing habits. (Nielsen)

  • 51% of bottled water households are podcast listeners

  • 57% of baby food households are podcast listeners

  • 53% of beer households are podcast listeners

  • 56% of juice households are podcast fans

  • 54% of milk households are podcast fans

  • 54% of cereal households are podcast fans

39% of small and medium-sized business owners are podcast users. (Forbes)

This consumption is important for B2B companies. About 65% of them listen to podcasts weekly. Research found that 70-72% of business owners who have 100-500 employees also listen to podcasts.

54% of podcast consumers say they think about buying an advertised product. (Edison Research)

Podcasting is surely a new field for businesses advertising their products. 17% of podcast users say that they are much more likely to buy an advertised product.

46% of 13-35-year-olds are okay with brands promoting products on a podcast. (YPULSE)

And 18% say they like brands promoting products on podcasts.

51% of bi-weekly listeners have purchased a product after hearing a sponsored ad on a podcast. (eMarketer)

While we don’t advocate brands having advertising on the show, it shows that brands mentioned on shows do breakthrough to the listener.

The advertising market set to be worth nearly $3.5 billion globally by 2025. (Omdia)

Despite the pandemic the podcast industry is poised to keep growing. Exciting times!

 


With podcasts on the rise, consumption and engagement increasing there are so many reasons why brands should be interested in a podcast. To learn more about how your brand can podcast enjoy some of our other free resources