9 Key Podcast Statistics & Trends for 2024 (US & UK Data)

Want to know how big the podcast industry is and where it’s heading? Here are 9 key podcast statistics and trends to know in 2024, covering the UK and US.
June 27, 2024

In their infancy, podcasts were found in some small corners of the internet and available only to the tech-savvy.

But fast forward to 2024, they’re a major part of digital media and as ubiquitous as video, digital music, and websites. But how is the podcast industry faring? What trends are we currently seeing? In this article, we delve into the details of the industry with 9 key podcast statistics and trends you need to know in 2024.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

9 Key Podcast Statistics & Trends to Know in 2024

To spare you the effort of researching, we’ve collated 9 key podcast statistics and trends into this one handy list for you. Ready?

1. There Are Over 3 Million Podcasts

According to the podcast database, Listen Notes, there are currently over 3 million podcasts in existence. Other databases claim there are more, like Podcast Index’s 4 million. But these often aren’t podcasts people can properly listen to. They include deleted podcasts and ones that were created purely for testing RSS feeds. Or, ones without any actual audio and ones that only have machine-generated audio. Listen Notes has measures in place to filter these out, making their figure of 3 million podcasts the most accurate.

Image shows a man wearing headphones, behind a microphone and looking down.

2. There Will Be 500 Million+ Podcast Listeners Worldwide This Year

In 2023, there were almost 465 million podcast listeners worldwide, and this is set to grow to 505 million by the end of this year. In 2020, there were 332.2 million listeners. The number of podcasts and podcast listeners was boosted in 2020 and 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic, as various lockdowns saw the world turn online for entertainment and information. But as the world returned to normality, podcast listening has still grown each year. Proving this is an ever-popular format. 

3. Most People in the US Have Listened to a Podcast

In 2023, Edison reported 83% (237 million) of the US population knew what a podcast was, and 64% (or 183 million) had listened to a podcast at some point.

By contrast, Edison estimates this will grow to 67% (192 million) in 2024.

Image is a graphic design showing a stat. The background is purple, and the font reads "192 million people in the US have listened to a podcast. * Data courtesy of the Edison Research Infinite Dial Report 2024".

The growth of the podcast industry comes down to three factors:

  1. Listener choice: Pick any topic and you’re likely to find multiple podcasts on it, each varying in style and format. There is demand for this variety as both broad and niche podcasts are successful.
  2. Ease of access: Listening to a podcast is as easy as consuming other forms of digital media, if not easier. There are currently 6.5 billion smartphones in use and plenty of apps to listen to podcasts through. This includes the pre-installed Apple Podcasts app on iOS, Spotify, YouTube, other dedicated podcast player apps, websites, and smart speakers. Listener choice is not just what to listen to, but how to listen.
  3. On-demand: Unlike other digital media, podcasts don’t require the consumer to be sat at a computer or in front of a television for hours on end. Instead, they can be easily consumed while listeners do something else - be that commuting, exercising, or the house-work. According to Ofcom, 83% of regular podcast listeners said they like the convenience of being able to listen to podcasts when it suits them. 

To sum up, 9 million more people in the US will listen to a podcast this year compared to last.

4. Monthly & Weekly Podcast Listening Is on the Up

Nearly 100 million people in the US listened to a podcast in the last week. That’s 34% of the US population. This is up 10% from 2023.
Almost half (47%) of people in the US have listened to a podcast in the last month, up 12% from 2023.

So who is listening to podcasts more? Well, a large number of them are women…

5. Women Are Listening to More Podcasts

45% of US women listened to a podcast in the last month - that’s a 15% increase compared to the same period last year.

This demographic is seeing the most rapid growth, and it’s closing the gap between them and the listenership of men. For men, it’s 48% - so just 3% more men are listening than women.

The expanded podcast reach for women listeners is partly thanks to representation. Podcasting was once typically viewed as male-dominated. Or as Edison describes: “chat shows for guys”. Plus, people want to listen to hosts with similar stories, backgrounds, and experiences to them. They’re looking to podcasts for connection. So it’s no surprise that as more women are starting to produce and host podcasts, more women are paying attention. 

Image is a graphic design showing a stat. The background is purple, and the font reads "Female listeners in the US average 9.5 episodes each week. * Data courtesy of the Edison Research Infinite Dial Report 2024".

6. Female Listeners in the US Consume More Episodes Weekly Than Men

Female podcast listeners in the US consume an average of 9.5 episodes per week, whereas male listeners consume 7.2 episodes.

The continued growth of podcasting within key demographics shows the podcast industry is not at saturation point. Producing quality podcasts from and for particular demographics will grow podcast reach.

Image is a graphic design showing a stat. The background is purple, and the font reads "Male listeners in the US average 7.2 episodes each week. * Data courtesy of the Edison Research Infinite Dial Report 2024".

7. The Podcast Industry Is Worth $23 Billion Dollars

According to Zion Market Research, the podcast industry was worth $23 billion dollars in 2023. And it grows each year. Zion forecast that by 2032 it’ll be worth over $132 billion dollars. It’s no secret there’s money to be made within the podcast industry. 

Popular podcasts can leverage lucrative sponsorships, partnerships, and even exclusivity deals. Businesses are diverting their marketing budgets into podcast production, recognising the ROI that a diverse content strategy offers. Podcasters capitalise on loyal audiences to use subscription models and exclusive content to turn a profit. Whatever the type of podcast, there are a multitude of ways to monetize it.

8. Comedy & Entertainment Continue to Pull Listeners In

Comedy is the most popular podcast genre for US listeners, and it’s entertainment overall for UK listeners. However for over 55s in the UK, news and current affairs is the most popular podcast genre. Over half in this age group listen to this genre weekly.

It’s no surprise that characteristics such as age and location influence listeners' podcast preferences. It does however highlight how certain genres, styles, and formats can be used to target particular audiences. This can be leveraged for businesses, brands, and individuals that want to use podcasting to target or connect with an identified audience.

If you’re interested in learning how to hone in on a target audience, and just as importantly, how to reach them, check out the articles below:

Enter the Mind of Your Podcast Audience

9. Video Podcasts Are on the Rise

The preference for video has dominated social media over the past few years, with TikTok now reaching a whopping 148 million users in the US. In fact, every major social media platform now incorporates video content into their product - i.e Facebook Reels, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and so on. 

To put this into perspective, the New York Times found that of the 30 most popular podcasts in the final quarter of 2023, more than half were available in video form. This is compared to just 7 podcasts using video from the same period in 2021.

Image shows a still of Lex Fridman, interviewing a guest on his podcast.
The Lex Fridman podcast is a popular podcast available in video format.

Podcast Statistics: Conclusion

The ongoing growth in the podcast industry is both remarkable and logical. Podcasting continues to capture imaginations and be the trusted-medium for information, knowledge, and entertainment. As listener numbers are at a record high, there’s never been a better time to start a podcast.

But there’s obviously a lot of competition. And launching a podcast that stands out is a big task. Here at Cue Podcasts we offer complete done-for-you podcast production packages. If you want to tap into the power of podcasts without the hassle, outsourcing to a team of experts allows you to skip the awkward years and launch a great show right away.

Check out some of our work in our showreel below:

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