Podcast Statistics for 2021 – Charts and Data


Podcast awareness and listening continue to rise in the United States, driven by an explosion in new podcast programming, the pandemic, and consumer adoption of “smart speakers” like Amazon Echo and Google Home devices.

How to Produce a Podcast

2021 podcast statistics from Edison Research and Triton Digital have recently released as part of the annual study: The Infinite Dial.

This study is now in its 23rd year and is widely regarded as the finest research on audio habits and podcasting available anywhere.

I strongly encourage you to download the entire study (no cost) as it contains substantially more insights than I’ve summarized here.

Podcast statistics 2021

Download The Infinite Dial 2021 report now.

Podcast Statistics

Note that this research surveyed Americans 12 years of age and older.

78% of Americans are Now Familiar with Podcasting

This is approximately 222 million people and an increase of 10 million in one year — a 4.72% increase.

57% of Americans Have Listened to a Podcast

This is up from 55% in 2020 and 51% in 2019.

This indicates that roughly three-quarters of the people who are familiar with podcasts have actually listened to one.

Podcast Listeners Have Grown 29.5% in 3 Years

In 2018, 44% of Americans 12 or older had listened to a podcast, compared to 57% in 2021.

% of Americans who have ever listened to a podcast: 2018-2021

% of Americans who have ever listened to a podcast: 2018-2021

41% of Americans Listen to Podcasts Monthly

In 2021, 116 million people listen to a podcast monthly.

Monthly Podcast Listeners Have Grown 61.5% in 3 Years

In 2018, 26% of Americans 12 or older listened to podcasts monthly, compared to 41% in 2021.

% of Americans who listen to podcasts monthly: 2018-2021

% of Americans who listen to podcasts monthly: 2018-2021

More than half of Americans Ages 12-34 Listen to Podcasts Monthly

As of 2021, 56% of all Americans, 12-34, listen to at least one podcast per month, compared to 49% in 2020.

Monthly Podcast Listening Growing Fastest Among Older Americans

From 2020 to 2021, the percentage of Americans ages 55+ who listen to podcasts monthly increased by 18%.

At present, more than one-quarter of all 55+ consumers in the United States are listening to podcasts a month.


Each Week, More Americans Listen to Podcasts Than Have Netflix Accounts

In 2021, 28% or 80 million Americans are weekly podcast listeners.

World’s biggest streaming services by subscribers, millions

There are now 10 million more weekly podcast listeners than the 69 million Netflix account owners in the U.S.

This could indicate the start of a shift from video to audio media.


Weekly Podcast Listeners Tune in an Average of 8 Podcasts per Week

On average, podcast fans listen to 8 podcasts during the course of a week.

This average is skewed somewhat, however, by hard-core podcast devotees.

Smart speakers from Amazon Alexa and Google Home have burst on the scene with a velocity and pervasiveness that is nearly unprecedented in the history of consumer electronics. Their rise from strange and novel gadget to near ubiquity in 2018 has been driven by their multi-function usefulness and reasonable price. A new report from our friends at Edison Research includes many remarkable findings about smart speakers in 2018 that spotlight the inexorable march of these devices into our living rooms and collective consciousness. I scoured the 2018 Smart Audio Report from Edison (in conjunction with National Public Radio) and found these highlights; the 15 key statistics about smart speakers in 2018. 43 Million Americans Own a Smart Speaker This is more people than live in California, and represents 18% of the adult population. Netflix has more than twice as many subscribers as there are smart speaker owners, but reaching near 20% penetration with any consumer electronic is a major feat, especially in a very short period of time. <span class='bctt-click-to-tweet'><span class='bctt-ctt-text'><a href='https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.convinceandconvert.com%2F%3Fp%3D151708&text=%2243&via"jaybaer"&related"jaybaer"' target='_blank'rel="noopener noreferrer">"43 </a></span><a href='https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.convinceandconvert.com%2F%3Fp%3D151708&text=%2243&via"jaybaer"&related"jaybaer"' target='_blank' class='bctt-ctt-btn'rel="noopener noreferrer">Click To Tweet</a></span> Smart Speakers Ownership Varies Little by Age Perhaps more so than any technology device, smart speaker ownership has been embraced by Americans in all generations. Ownership rates for these devices are nearly equivalent among people 25, 35, 45, or 55 years old. Smart Speakers Owned More Often by Women Currently, 54% of all smart speaker owners are women. In 2018, Most Smart Speaker Owners Are Very New Users The Smart Audio report found that 3/4 of all smart speaker owners have owned their device for less than one year, with the balance (26%) falling into the first adopters category, and owning their Amazon Alexa or Google Home for more than 12 months. Once You Own a Smart Speaker, You Often Use it More Than They Did Initially One of the most interesting findings in this report is that 48% of the first adopters (have owned a smart speaker for longer than one year) use the device more often now than they did in the first month of ownership. This is even more pronounced among the newer buyers, 54% of whom say they use their smart speaker more today than they did in month one. Fundamentally, this speaks to the broad functionality of these consumer electronics, and owners' appetite for discovering new ways to utilize smart speakers in their day-to-day lives. Once You Own a Smart Speaker, You're Likely to Buy More Nearly 50% of Americans who own a smart speaker own two or more of these devices. And among owners who have had a smart speaker for more than one year, 27% of them now own three or more units. <span class='bctt-click-to-tweet'><span class='bctt-ctt-text'><a href='https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.convinceandconvert.com%2F%3Fp%3D151708&text=%2227%25&via"jaybaer"&related"jaybaer"' target='_blank'rel="noopener noreferrer">"27% </a></span><a href='https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.convinceandconvert.com%2F%3Fp%3D151708&text=%2227%25&via"jaybaer"&related"jaybaer"' target='_blank' class='bctt-ctt-btn'rel="noopener noreferrer">Click To Tweet</a></span> Smart Speakers are Likely to Become the Dominant Audio Player While sources of audio listening are broad and varied, including laptops, AM/FM radio, smart phones, car stereo and more, it is remarkable that among people who have owned a smart speaker longer than one year, these devices are where they listen to audio most often. This is not the case among newer owners of smart speakers, which further underscores the finding in this Smart Audio report that as owners get more time with these devices they use them more, and in more ways. Podcast Listeners Love Smart Speakers Among newer (less than one year) owners of smart speakers, 39% of this group listen to podcasts on these devices at least once per week. And a whopping 70% of this group have listened to a podcast at some point via their Amazon Alexa or Google Home unit. (GRAPHIC) <span class='bctt-click-to-tweet'><span class='bctt-ctt-text'><a href='https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.convinceandconvert.com%2F%3Fp%3D151708&text=%2239%25&via"jaybaer"&related"jaybaer"' target='_blank'rel="noopener noreferrer">"39% </a></span><a href='https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.convinceandconvert.com%2F%3Fp%3D151708&text=%2239%25&via"jaybaer"&related"jaybaer"' target='_blank' class='bctt-ctt-btn'rel="noopener noreferrer">Click To Tweet</a></span> Smart Speakers May Solve the "Podcast Discovery" Problem For years, the growth of podcasts (see our key 2018 podcast statistics here) has been steady, but without a true breakout moment. The theory has long been that one of the things holding podcasts back has been the relatively fussy need to have a podcast app on your phone or laptop or car and then find or "discover" good shows worth your time. This new report from Edison Research suggests that smart speakers may fix this deficiency. 74% of smart speaker owners who listen to podcasts do so directly from the device, meaning they say "Alexa, play the Social Pros Podcast" (my show). That's as easy as it gets, and could usher in a new era of even greater podcast consumption. Smart Speaker Education is Key to Unlocking Usage As a very early adopter of smart speaker technology myself, I absolutely agree with this finding in the report: 65% of new smart speaker owners say they don't know enough about what the device can do. Every second there is some new tool, recipe, or voice command with which your smart speaker can interact. I get a regular email from Amazon with updates, but that's like drinking out of a swimming pool with a straw. There needs to be a better way to figure out what/how to maximize utility of smart speakers. Will we see yesterday's home theater installation companies become smart speaker optimizers? Smart Speakers are Accessible to the Entire Household Other than maybe television, smart speakers may be the most widely used consumer technology ever devised. 73% of owners report that their children living at home make use of their Amazon Alexa or Google Home unit. Word of Mouth is Driving Smart Speaker Adoption You haven't seen a tremendous amount of advertising about these devices, because advertising is mostly unnecessary. The people who already own smart speakers are propelling the next wave of adoption, either through word of mouth, or via gift-giving. In fact, 61% of new smart speaker owners have encouraged their friends to purchase a device. <span class='bctt-click-to-tweet'><span class='bctt-ctt-text'><a href='https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.convinceandconvert.com%2F%3Fp%3D151708&text=%2261%25&via"jaybaer"&related"jaybaer"' target='_blank'rel="noopener noreferrer">"61% </a></span><a href='https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.convinceandconvert.com%2F%3Fp%3D151708&text=%2261%25&via"jaybaer"&related"jaybaer"' target='_blank' class='bctt-ctt-btn'rel="noopener noreferrer">Click To Tweet</a></span>  

40% of weekly podcast listeners consume 1-3 podcasts per week, but 19% listen to 11 or more podcasts!

Overall, more listeners are listening to more podcasts per week as compared to 2020 in which 51% of listeners listened to only 1-3 podcasts per week.


Almost a Quarter More Americans Now Have “Smart Speakers” in Their Homes

Led by Amazon, growth in smart speaker ownership has been significant.

Smart speaker ownership overall increased by 22% between 2020 and 2021.

2018 smart speaker ownership by age

This increase in smart speakers is giving owners more opportunities to listen to podcasts at home.

As the pandemic continues, sales for at-home entertainment devices like smart speakers increased from last year.

Podcasting has become a strong form of media in the United States with listenership increasing in all age groups and the diversity of listeners also increasing.

Listeners also consume more podcasts than ever before possible due to the need for at-home entertainment during the pandemic.

Nevertheless, podcasts have become an important part of media today.

Podcast Audience

Podcast listening is continuing to soar.

These 2021 podcast statistics demonstrated that we are not yet at “peak podcast”, at least in terms of consumption.

Please do download all of The Infinite Dial from Edison Research and Triton Digital, as there are many more statistics and charts worth your attention.

The post Podcast Statistics for 2021 – Charts and Data appeared first on Content Marketing Consulting and Social Media Strategy.

Source: convinceandconvert.com

About the Author Amel

I'm a Digital Marketing Strategist passionate about SEO and Digital Analytics. I also teach Digital Marketing and offer customized private coaching to entrepreneurs and in-house marketers to help them take their revenue or skills to the next level. Follow me on Twitter where I offer advice and share high quality content on marketing, tech and productivity.

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