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Podcasts continue to grow rapidly all around the world. Podcast statistics and reports show that this medium is exploding in many countries with more listeners each year.

Podcast stats tell more about how modern consumers are behaving and how they interact with audio content. All this information can help marketers understand when and how to use podcasts to their advantage.

At the same time, in marketing, it’s always important to know the current trends. Podcasts are becoming a major player in marketing strategies.

Not only are the consumers more open to podcasts, but businesses and entrepreneurs alike are starting to realize how much potential they have for marketing.

Rise of podcasts

Podcast listening in the U.S. has increased steadily since 2013. In 2014, the popular true-crime podcast Serial was released, becoming the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads on iTunes.

This was followed by investments into podcasts by platforms like Spotify, which paid at least $200 million for an exclusive deal with The Joe Rogan Experience in 2020.

Listeners listen to podcasts for a wide range of topics. Nearly half of regular podcast listeners tune in for comedy (47 percent) and entertainment, pop culture, and the arts (46 percent), while about four-in-ten (41 percent) turn to podcasts about politics and government. Other common topics include science and technology, history, and true crime (such as Serial, which helped popularize podcasts after its first season in 2014).

Many listeners have watched a movie or read a book because of a podcast, following a podcast or its hosts on social media, or purchasing a product that was advertised. About a third of listeners (36 percent) say they’ve tried a lifestyle change—such as a workout routine or journaling—because of a podcast they listened to.

As is the case with many other digital habits, younger adults are more likely than older age groups to listen to podcasts—and by a wide margin. Two-thirds of Americans ages 18 to 29 have listened to a podcast in the past 12 months, compared with just under a third (28 percent) of those 65 and older.

Reasons Americans turn to podcasts differ by age. Most podcast listeners ages 18 to 29 say that entertainment (75 percent) or having something to listen to while doing something else (70 percent) are major reasons they listen to podcasts. A far smaller share of listeners 65 and older cite entertainment (30 percent) as a major reason they listen to podcasts, and even fewer (22 percent) listen to podcasts in the background while doing other things.

The most common major reason podcast listeners 65 and older cite for listening to podcasts is learning (61 percent).

Source Ogi Djuraskovic,, Pew Research Center;;;;;;