Before we answer the question, we need to explain what a podcast is.
A podcast is described as a series or collection of digital audio files made accessible for listening or downloading through the Internet. They are structured like television series in episodes per collection.
They are commonly hosted by a person or a group of people who share stories, report news, or lead a conversation.
Podcasts can be free or paid, depending on the “show”, or the content. Google Podcasts has several free, global podcasts you can listen to online.
Apple features podcasts of millions of shows, some free and some premium content subscription-based shows.
Podcasts can cover any topic, so people often choose topics to listen to.
Also, there are many popular podcasts that people listen to because of the person hosting them, plus the content.
Comedy, sports, and news are three areas of podcasts that are popular.
So, how many podcasts are there in the world in 2023? Let’s address that topic next.
How Many Podcasts Are There in 2023?
The most recent figures show that there are over 5 million podcasts.
In April 2021, there were a reported 48 million episodes of podcasts.
In 2018, there were roughly 500,000 podcasts, which is a quarter of the number of active podcasts today.
A whopping 78% of Americans know that podcasts exist. That’s more than three-quarters of the population.
That may seem like an insignificant statistic, but in 2006, only 20% of the American adult population were aware of podcasting.
In 15 years, the number of Americans who know about podcasts more than doubled, which is significant to podcasters.
Podcasting isn’t only popular in America. In Australia, 91% of the population is aware of podcasting.
Essentially, of those over 12 years old, 91% of Australians know about podcasting.
Statista reports that nearly 60% of Americans listen to podcasts. This includes Americans over 12 years old.
That’s about double the percentage of Americans who listened to podcasts 10 years ago.
What Are the Most Popular Podcast Genres?
Like music, movies, and television shows, podcasts have genres. The top five most popular podcast genres include Comedy, News, Society & Culture, True Crime, and Sports.
At the bottom of the top 20 of podcast genres is Music, Leisure, Technology, Fiction, Kids & Family, and Government.
Business, Arts, Education, Health & Fitness, Science, History, TV & Film, and Religion & Spirituality are sprinkled in between them all.
When Do People Listen to Podcasts?
Morning podcast listeners tend to listen to them between 8:15 and 8:30am, which is one of the listening peaks for the day.
Podcast listening is also popular between 11:00 and 11:15am and at 5:30pm.
Otherwise, people listen to podcasts at different times of the day. These are merely peak times.
Oddly, in 2020, radio was more popular for morning work commuters than podcasts. Does that mean radio still reigns?
How Do People Listen to Podcasts?
We all know that we can listen to podcasts on a variety of devices. The most-used device for listening to podcasts is the mobile phone.
That is the preferred device. Mobile phone use for listening to podcasts accounts for 79% of all devices used.
The second-most used podcast listening devices are laptops, at 15%, which is significantly lower than mobile phones.
In third place for podcast listening devices are tablets, at 6%.
Voice-activated devices are used at 2% for listening to podcasts, which could be the wave of the future due to the rise in smart speakers.
Considering that you can listen to podcasts on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, smart speaker, or even on streaming devices like Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, and others, it’s interesting how these percentages of how people listen to podcasts turned out.
Which device do you think would be the most-used device for listening to podcasts?
What Are the Demographics of Podcast Listeners?
We’ve covered a lot of ground so far, but now it’s time to look at who listens to podcasts.
While more men seem to listen to podcasts, according to 2020 data, the difference between men and women isn’t a wide gap.
In the United States, 48% of men listen to podcasts compared to 49% of women. The other 2% include non-binary and others.
In the United Kingdom, 51% of men listen to podcasts compared to 46% of women. The other 3% include non-binary and others.
Some limited studies show that in 2021, 43% of men listened to a podcast over the past month, compared to 39% of women.
Essentially, the gender gap in America is smaller than in the United Kingdom.
American podcast listeners between 12 and 34 make up 50% of all podcast listeners.
In the 35 to 54 age demographic, that number accounts for 43%. Only 22% of people 55 and older listen to podcasts.
If you are a podcaster and/or a marketer, it’s important to know the age group to which you are targeting your content.
Where do people listen to podcasts? According to 2019 statistics, at home listeners accounted for 90% of all podcast listeners.
That could have changed some by now since pandemic lockdowns have been relaxed.
After listening at home, 64% of podcast listeners listen in their vehicles.
The other places people listen to podcasts are during walks, the gym, at work, and when riding public transportation.
There are over 5 million podcasts in 2023.
Now you know the answer to that question, plus you know who, what, where, and how people listen to podcasts.
If you’re a marketer or podcaster, this data can play a major role in creating an effective marketing strategy.
It’s crucial to have this data to make sure you are marketing your genre and content to the right audience.
If you’re a podcast listener, you now know more about podcasts and where you fit into the demographics.
Do you listen to podcasts? What device do you use the most?
Where and when do you listen to podcasts the most? Did you relate to any of the data in this article?