Some thoughts to ponder when you are confronted with the anxiety that your podcast is lost in the millions out there…
1) “There are 2,499,664 feeds in the (Podcast) Index with less than 2 episodes”, says Dave Jones, from Podcast Index.
2) Total downloads are one thing, but what podcast categories are listened to longest? Apple Podcasts data supplied to Podnews tells us the top five categories with the longest overall global listen time, are:
(1) Society and Culture,
(4) True Crime, and
(5) Health and Fitness.
That data is for December 2022, but is much the same for the last half of the year, with Health and Fitness occasionally making it to #4.
3) Podcasting’s double-digit listener growth finally slowed in 2022
The news: After years of steady, double-digit percentage growth for podcasting, listenership is starting to slow. Listeners in key markets like the US and UK will only increase 5% and 4.7% in 2022, respectively.
Still, that doesn’t mean audio companies or advertisers are willing to give up on podcasts just yet. Podcast advertising is still growing at double-digit rates, and companies like Spotify have called the medium a $20 billion opportunity.
The end of surging growth: A side effect of podcasting’s mainstream appeal is exactly that—it’s become mainstream, and penetration is relatively high as a result.
Penetration is highest in North America, where it will reach 40.8% this year and rise to 46.3% by 2026. There’s still a hefty chunk of the population left to adopt podcasts, but slow growth shows that the core user base has been established.
But mainstream success means greater advertising interest. US podcast advertising spending will jump from $1.3 billion in 2021 to $1.7 billion in 2022 and yet again to $2.2 billion in 2023, per our April forecast.
The greatest opportunities for podcast listener growth lie in foreign markets. Listeners will grow in the double digits this year in China, Argentina, France, and Germany—China and Argentina are expected to keep up double-digit growth throughout the next two years.
2022 was a fraught year for advertising, with historic channels like TV losing their throne, digital addressability falling to shambles, and regulation upending regular business. But podcasting (and audio channels like radio) remained relatively safe bets for advertisers during a tricky time.