Are podcasts declining in popularity?

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In recent months, there has been a lot of talk about the “death of podcasting.” This is largely due to the surge in popularity of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, which have allowed the creation of podcasts quickly and with little input needed to get your voice heard.

However, while it may seem like podcasting has been eclipsed by streaming services, the truth is that the podcasting industry is alive and well—and far from dead. The podcast industry has actually been growing steadily in recent years. According to a 2020 report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the podcast industry grew by 23% in 2019, with total ad revenues reaching $708 million. This is up from $479 million just two years prior.

Podcasting will be a $4 billion industry in two years

Audio is experiencing an unprecedented surge in popularity. A new IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers report states that the podcasting industry is expected to reach $2 billion in revenue this year and could reach a total of $4 billion by 2024, as presented at the Podcast Upfronts.

It’s not just the podcast industry’s ad revenues that are growing. The number of podcast listeners is also on the rise. According to a 2020 survey from Edison Research, almost one in four Americans—23%—listen to podcasts at least once a week. And the number of people who listen to podcasts monthly has nearly doubled since 2013, from 12% to 24%. This growth in listenership can be attributed to a few factors. First, more people are listening to podcasts on their mobile write more devices. According to Edison Research, the number of people who listen to podcasts on their mobile phones has doubled since 2014, from 14% to 28%.

Unique Content and Storytelling.

Another factor driving the growth of podcasting is the increasing availability of high-quality, unique content. Podcasts have become a popular platform for storytelling, interviews, and more. Many popular podcasts have gained notoriety for their unique and engaging content, which sets them apart from traditional radio programming.

The growth of podcasting can be attributed to the increasing availability of podcasting tools and services. Podcasts can now be easily produced, distributed, and monetized.

Less is Better

This has made podcasting a viable option for aspiring content creators and media entrepreneurs, who can now easily create content and gain global distribution but also this brings a challenge, repeatability, the number of shows that have less than one episode or have not been updated in three months is a significant factor in the reduction of new podcasts but also has a positive effect of bringing quality of shows up not down.

  • In June of 2021, Podnews reported that 43% of Anchor’s podcasts have only one episode. (
  • At the time, only 19% of Anchor’s podcasts had been updated in the last three months. (
  • Spreaker has similar statistics: 49% of the podcasts they host have only one episode, and only 10% were updated in the past three months. (

In addition to the factors mentioned above, podcasting has also been bolstered by the emergence of new platforms and services specifically designed for podcasting. For example, Anchor is a platform that allows users to easily create, distribute, and monetize podcasts. This makes it easier than ever for aspiring content creators to get their voices heard.

Furthermore, many popular streaming services now offer dedicated podcast sections. This means that podcasts are now more accessible than ever before, as they can be streamed directly from these services. This has allowed podcasts to reach a much wider audience than ever before.

New Episodes Published By Year

Podcast episodes by year

The Big Correction

The number of podcast listeners has been steadily increasing since 2008 and the number of podcasts available has grown exponentially. In 2020, there were over 1 million active podcasts and over 30 million episodes available for download.

However, with the pandemic came a large influx of new content creators, which caused an oversaturation in the market. This led to a decrease in listener engagement and downloads as people had more options to choose from but less time to listen.

As with all sectors, there is a correction taking place, the technology sector has reduced roles by over 46000, the big companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google have cut their workforce back due to a slowdown in markets but also overhiring across the 2020-2021 period due to an inflated market and thus the same is happening to the podcast sector, Spotify is laying off 6 per cent of its global workforce, CEO announces Jon Porter ( large volumes of new audience craving content, supply and demand caused an increase in content creation not just from companies hiring new people to fulfil this but also the large increase in podcast creation, look at the numbers below you can see a large jump across these years and then the correction kicks in as consumers resume back into their routines and have less attention time.

This has caused some podcasters to struggle financially as their income is largely dependent on listener engagement and downloads. Many podcasters have had to look for other sources of income such as sponsorships or donations from listeners in order to stay afloat.

Many podcasters are finding new ways to monetize their shows and reach a wider audience. With the emergence of new platforms and services specifically designed for podcasting, it has become easier than ever for aspiring content creators to get their voices heard.

New Podcasts by Year

New podcasts by year

Future Of Podcasting

Overall, podcasting is far from dead. In fact, it’s thriving. With the increasing availability of high-quality content, the emergence of new platforms and services specifically designed for podcasting, and the growing number of listeners tuning in each week, podcasting is only going to continue to grow in popularity. So if you’re looking for a new way to get your voice heard, now is the perfect time to start a podcast.

The future of podcasting looks bright, and the industry is only going to continue to grow. As more people turn to podcasts for entertainment and information, podcasting will become an even more viable option for aspiring content creators. To capitalize on this trend, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in podcasting.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Future of Podcasting

Is podcasting dying?

No, podcasting is not dying. Despite the rise in streaming services, podcasting continues to grow with increasing ad revenue and listenership.

What is driving podcasting growth?

Key growth drivers include mobile listening, unique content/storytelling, new podcasting platforms and tools, and dedicated podcast sections on streaming services.

How has COVID-19 impacted podcasting?

The pandemic caused an influx of new podcasts leading to oversaturation. This decreased engagement and triggered a correction with less podcast creation.

What is the future outlook for podcasting?

The podcasting industry will continue growing as more listeners tune in for entertainment and information. This creates opportunities for content creators.

Grab the data above and more, available below.

Podcast Hawk 2022 Data Insights

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