Reports Media & Marketing

Podcast audiences Competing for attention

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View:  2020 was a big year for podcasts, with increased investment, M&A activity and industry moves. Audiences grew too, but still lag behind in hype and expectation, and a portion of this growth has come at the direct expense of music streaming and radio. Podcasts are helping drive an audio renaissance, but one in which the benefits are not evenly distributed.

Key insights

  • Apple’s Podcasts+            indicates that the podcasts sector            nearing an inflection point, ready            build from its early adopter           
  • Podcast user            is stable, registering            in            2020,            adoption peaking among            year olds                       and dropping to            for teens                       for            year olds
  • Spotify remains            platform consumers are most likely            go to for podcasts, used                       of podcast users. Apple saw            rate fall from            in            2020                       in            2020
  • Spotify had            podcast listeners in            2020 but            lags and annual podcast advertising            fell from            in 2019 to            2020
  • Podcast audiences            still relatively weakly engaged: just            podcast monthly active users listen            compared to            for music streaming                       for radio
  • Similarly, podcast            mostly only engage with a            small number of shows –            to one to two shows            week and just            listen to            than two
  • More than            third of music streaming and            weekly active users report listening            more audio overall because of            but more than a quarter            each are listening to less            radio and less music because            podcasts
  • Podcast content            is successful now may not            reflective of what will find            as the podcast audience becomes            mainstream

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Apple, Google, Podcasts+, Spotify, Sveriges Radio, Warner Music Group, Wondery

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