Just finished reviewing a detailed survey of data about Podcasting.   Recommended.  https://www.statista.com/study/38175/podcasting-statista-dossier/

Just to provide the TLDR:

  • Podcasting is truly mainstream. Over 70M listeners in the US, a sizeable % of the adult population. 40% of adults have actually listened to a podcast.  Almost everyone has heard of podcasts. Still, it’s far less popular than internet music and radio. Music is still king easily accessible.
  • Apple and iPhone still dominate podcasting. 50% of people get their podcasts via apple. Close competitors aren’t really podcasts, they’re podcast content shoved into another channel like Audible, Spotify, etc.
  • News is far down the list of genres for podcasts. Interestingly, religion is a key driver.
  • Getting attention for your podcast is hard. There are over 60k podcasts in iTunes.
  • The titans of podcasting are the titans of old media. NPR, WNYC, ESPN. The long tail is full of “garage” podcasts.
  • It’s possible to break through with something new. The #1 podcast is the Daily.
  • Podcasting is most popular among the young, men, and wealthier folks.
  • Podcast listeners use podcasting more than any other source – radio, CDs, etc. They also spend a lot of time per week and stick with long-form podcasts at a high rate.
  • Podcasting happens on a number of devices, but 100% of the growth is coming from smartphones. PCs, tablets, etc.. are smaller and stagnant while phones have grown at a 40% CAGR.
  • Dollars follow the crowd, and they’re flooding into podcast ads. Podcasting ad spending is exploding, from $43M in 2010 to $256M in 2018.
  • The business model is challenging. People won’t pay for podcasts, don’t like the ads (and the ad platform is horrible technically).
  • I can’t believe Google doesn’t have Adwords for podcasts.

Credit goes to Apple for making it easy on iPhones and a few key media companies for sticking with it.   Also, key content like Serial and the Daily have really driven awareness and adoption.  I’m so pleased to see this phenomenon explode after many years as a Niche.