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2021 Podcast Stats & Facts (New Research From Apr 2021)

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Updated stats: Edison Research Infinite Dial 2020 released March 19th, 2020. Q1 2018 report from Nielsen came out March 20, 2018. Total number of podcasts & episodes on Apple Podcasts updated April 2021. 

As new stats and reports come out, this post will be updated with the latest info on the podcast listener landscape.

There is both an infographic (with embed code) and a Pinterest image for your sharing needs as well!

Also, a common question is “how many podcasts are there?” and most of the data out there is outdated, but we have an accurate method for determining the number of shows – and it’s currently over 2,000,000.

There are also over 48 million episodes as of April 2021.

To highlight the growth, Apple confirmed there were over 550,000 podcasts at WWDC 2018 in early June.

An article published April 25, 2018, by FastCompany states there are:

Over 525,000 active shows and over 18.5 million episodes

And an article by Variety back in Feb 2018 said:

Apple Podcasts … features more than 500,000 active podcasts, including content in more than 100 languages.

It’s no surprise that those numbers are climbing daily.

Want to start your own podcast? Check out some of the best podcast hosting companies and our guide to starting a podcast. Then take it to the next level by starting a WordPress blog using one of the best WordPress hosting sites.

If you’re looking for podcast stats & analytics for your podcast, check out Blubrry Statistics here.

Podcast Listener Stats (USA)


50% of all homes are podcast fans
Credit: Nielsen Q3 2017 Podcast Insights
  • 75% of the US population is familiar with the term “podcasting” – up from 70% in 2019 (Infinite Dial 2020)
  • 50% of all US homes are podcast fans (Nielsen, Aug 2017)
  • 55% (155 million) of the US population has listened to a podcast – up from 51% in 2019 (Infinite Dial 20)
  • 37% (104 million) listened to a podcast in the last month – up from 32% in 2019 (Infinite Dial 20)
  • 24% (68 million) listen to podcasts weekly – up from 22% in 2019 (Infinite Dial 20)
  • 16 million people in the US are “avid podcast fans” (Nielsen Q1 2018)
  • 51% of podcast listeners are male – same as US population (Infinite Dial 20)
  • 45% of monthly podcast listeners have household income over $75K – vs 35% for the total population
  • 27% of US podcast listeners have a 4-year college degree – vs 19% for US pop
  • 63% of podcast listeners are white – vs 58% for US pop (Infinite Dial 20)
  • Age of monthly podcast listeners versus US population (Infinite Dial 20):
    • 12-34: 48% (vs 37%)
    • 35-54: 32% (vs 40%)
    • 55+: 20% (vs 23%)

Where, What, When, How

Podcast listening location: heavy users versus light users
Credit: Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Database
  • 49% of podcast listening is done at home, down from 51% in 2017
  • 22% listen while driving (in a vehicle), same as 2017
  • Podcast listeners subscribe to an average of 6 shows in the last week (Infinite Dial 20)
  • Podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 different shows per week, up from 5 in 2017
  • 80% listen to all or most of each episode, down from 86% in 2017
  • Podcast listening on a computer went up from 29% to 31% (smartphone listening went from 71% to 69% respectively)
  • 19% of listeners increase the speed (listen faster)
  • 65% of monthly podcast listeners have been listening for less than 3 years
  • Comedy is the most popular podcasting genre, followed by education and news

Social, Tech & Behavior

chart of podcast listening by device from 2014-2017
Credit: Nielsen Q1 2018 Podcast Insights
  • Podcast listeners are much more active on every social media channel (94% are active on at least one – vs 81% for the entire population)
  • Podcast listeners are more likely to follow companies and brands on social media
  • Podcast listeners are more likely to subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime (meaning they are less likely to be exposed to TV advertising)
  • Podcast listeners are more likely to own a smart speaker (Amazon Alexa or Google Home)
  • 51% of bottled water households are podcast listeners (Nielsen, Q3 2017)
  • 57% of baby food households are podcast listeners (Nielsen, Q3 2017)
  • 53% of beer households are podcast listeners (Nielsen, Q3 2017)
  • 56% of juice households are podcast fans (Nielsen, Q1 2018)
  • 54% of milk households are podcast fans (Nielsen, Q1 2018)
  • 54% of cereal households are podcast fans (Nielsen, Q1 2018)
  • 69% agreed that podcast ads made them aware of new products or services

Global Podcast Stats

Global Podcast Listening statistics
Credit: Statista The State of Podcasting

South Korea leads the world in the percentage of people who have listened to a podcast in the past month with 58%.

Here’s the 2019 Podcast Stats & Facts Infographic:
2019 Podcast Statistics (US)
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Article By Ross Winn

Ross Winn is the founder of Podcast Insights, the industry-leading podcast education site. He has helped thousands of people start and grow a podcast and loves to test out new gear and software.
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