- Podcasting will be a $94.88 billion industry by 2028.
- Insider Intelligence projects 424.2 million podcast listeners worldwide in 2022, accounting for 20.3% of internet users.
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Podcasts have been around for nearly two decades, but the format has come into its own over the last six years. A proliferation of shows, involvement from celebrity talent, investment from large companies like Spotify, and the spread of technologies that boost awareness, like smart speakers, have all helped podcast growth.
US podcast audience statistics
Podcast listener numbers will see significant growth this year as demand for on-demand audio has increased. In 2022, the number of monthly US podcast listeners will increase by 6.1% year-over-year (YoY) to 125 million.
Podcasts are mostly seeing traction among younger consumers—this year, more than 39% of US adults ages 18 to 34 will listen to podcasts monthly. However, as listeners get older podcast listenership drops. Out of consumers between the ages 35 to 44, about half will listen to podcasts monthly, and less than one-fifth of consumers over 65 will listen to podcasts each month.
Growth of the podcasting industry
The podcast industry is in a particular moment of creative and innovative renaissance, from content creation by publishers and hosts, to listener discovery.
In 2022, the number of monthly US podcast listeners will increase by 6.1% year-over-year (YoY) to 125 million.
Podcasts are growing outside of the US as well, and Latin America is a key region to watch given the rapid development of Spanish-language content. Additionally, tech companies are jockeying to become the No. 1 destination for podcast listeners, and the biggest players are Apple Podcast, YouTube, and Spotify.
In October 2021, Spotify claimed that it had surpassed Apple Podcasts as the most popular podcast platform in the US, which was aligned with our estimates: that 28.2 million US internet users will listen to podcasts monthly on Spotify, compared with 28.0 million who will do so on Apple Podcasts. No figures have been released from either company to confirm.
Podcast market projection statistics
Podcasts have been around for nearly two decades, but the format has come into its own over the last five years. As more and more podcasts have popped up, listenership has climbed.
For the first time, more than half of all digital audio listeners will tune in to podcasts each month. By the end of 2025, there will be over 144 million monthly podcast listeners in the US. People are also spending more time with podcasts—among adult podcast listeners, time spent with podcasts in 2022 will increase by 16.1% YoY to a little more than 23 minutes per day.
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The podcast audience is not only large and growing, but attractive: Listeners tend to be young, affluent, and educated, and generally open to advertising in podcasting. This is especially valuable for podcast ads, as the unreachable audience grows and advertisers may have more difficulty accessing younger audiences who are more likely to use technology like ad blockers across other forms of digital media.
While the pandemic decelerated podcast ad spending growth, annual spend is on track to see overall growth. We expect US podcast ad spending to increase by 30.2% YoY in 2022. Next year, podcast ad spending in the US is set to surpass the $2 billion mark.