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North America is the center of the podcasting world, though China will soon have the most listeners

In 2023, 143.3 million people in North America will listen to a podcast at least once a month. This figure exceeds any other region or country that we currently track. Over time, however, audiences in other parts of the world will surpass the combined total of the US and Canada.

The US still leads in most podcast-related metrics

  • Regularly listening to podcasts has become entirely mainstream in the US. This year, nearly 43% of internet users in the US—almost 130 million people—will be podcast listeners. Those two numbers will easily lead the pack among the 14 countries we break out. Listener growth has slowed over time in the US, but the country is still on track to exceed 150 million listeners by 2027.
  • Canada’s figures mirror the US metrics, just on a smaller scale. Canada will have 13.4 million podcast listeners in 2023, 6.8% more than last year. That total equates to just over a third of the population. Growth in Canada is slowing as well, given the maturation of the medium, but listenership will grow by an additional 2 million over the next four years.
  • Even with limited penetration, China’s listener numbers will soon be unmatched. China is set to lead the world in podcast listener growth for the next several years, although from a low base (in a relative sense). With mostly double-digit increases over the next four years, China will add well over 60 million listeners between 2023 and 2027. Despite that boom, at the end of our forecast period China will still have the lowest podcast penetration rate of any country we track. But it will have overtaken all the major regions in total listeners.