State of the Podcast Nation

The 20,000 Foot View: Podcasts are an overnight success many years in the making. Podcasts were first added to Apple’s iTunes ecosystem in 2005, only to then spend a long time in the shadows. Now, however, they occupy the centre stage with radio companies, podcast vendors, streaming services and traditional media companies alike all trying to carve out roles. As with all emerging sectors, it is important to distil the hype from the reality, but even when taking a more cautious view, there are signs of a vibrant ecosystem emerging that is arguably the first entirely new media sector since the emergence of console games. Whereas most digital content markets have been new platforms for old businesses, podcasts are a new format for spoken word content with a marketplace of new creators and vendors.


  • Monthly podcast listener penetration across the US, Canada, Australia and the UK rose from X% in Q1 2018 to X% in Q1 2019, with most growth occurring in X
  • Podcasts and streaming are competing for share of ear: over the same period and markets, monthly X fell from X% to X%
  • The average age of podcast listeners is X, compared to X for streaming music users and X for radio listeners
  • Podcasts listeners are X likely to be Spotify users
  • X is the most popular genre among podcast listeners at X% penetration, followed by X on X%
  • Males over-index for X, while females are more likely to listen to X


  • The emerging podcast ecosystem is being driven by three factors: 1) X, 2) X, and 3) X
  • Podcasts are a Netflix moment for radio, creating a golden era for radio and radio-like content
  • Radio faces a strategic pincer movement with streaming competing for music audiences and podcasts for spoken word
  • Podcast creators typically earn around X% of revenue, compared to between X% and X% for music artists
  • There are four key types of advertiser interaction with podcasts, each of which give advertisers the chance to get close to audiences


  • Radio X listening with X% of all audio time in North America and X% in Europe in 2018, with podcasts at X% and X%
  • There were X monthly podcast listeners globally in 2018, with X and X accounting for the majority of them (X)
  • By 2026 there will be X podcast listeners with growth X in most markets, in contrast to the X market
  • Podcasts represent a long-term, steady transition of radio audiences; however, X will grow much faster due to X
  • Global podcast streams will increase from X  in 2018 to X in 2026
  • In 2018 global podcast ad revenues were at $X with X accounting for the majority on $X
  • Advertiser budget shifts and improved monetisation will see global podcast ad revenue reach $X in 2026

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Acast, AdsWizz, Anchor, Apple, Audioboom, Aviva, BBC, Chartable, Crooked Media, DAX, The Economist, Global Media, Google Play, The History of England, JOE Media, Luminary Media, Mailchimp, Netflix, NPR, Patreon, Sounds, Spotify, Triton Digital, WBEZ, Wondery

Charts: 9
Pages: 26
Words: 4,792

Includes Synopsis, PDF, Slides and Dataset