Toronto Mike

Why has the number of people listening to podcasts grown significantly over the last few years?

The podcast audience has grown significantly in the past years. The market that offers two million podcasts is most vibrant in the US, where 60% of adults listen to some podcast at least once.

But it’s not only in the US, and podcasts gained popularity globally. They can thank streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, and Tidal for the global outreach, and YouTube is still a powerful platform for podcasts.

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The evolution of the form of audio broadcast where one person, or more typical two or more podcasters, speak in a laid back, conversational tone with a loose, unstructured form created video extension. The most significant acquisition was the transfer of Joe Rogan’s podcast, which recently sparked some controversy, from YouTube exclusively to Spotify for 100 million dollars.

Useful information

Part of the podcast appeal is you can hear things mainstream media will never say. You can also listen to podcasts for helpful information. For example, UFC fighters can reveal their secrets, gaming developers can share light on how games are made, and you can find numerous other insiders tips and tricks.

One of the most prominent podcast niches is related to iGaming. The betting audience loves to listen about upcoming games from betting experts or regular sportscasters like Colin Cowherd and his bit Blazing 5, where an American media icon with a podcast network predicts NFL scores. In addition, podcasts can teach you about poker strategies or how to play roulette games. Such podcasts are especially interesting for users who like to play online casino sites. These providers often offer a wide variety of games with different rules.

Learning new things

Entertainment is the primary reason the audience is listening to podcasts, but statistics show almost 70% of listeners are tuning in to learn new stuff. What podcasts enable is education without spending absurd money.

You can learn about topics of interest from different angles and voices, not just from your bubble with aligned opinions. For example, if you need industry information from prominent niche members, a podcast can offer that. You can also find scientific information and learn about things from history, science, and other fields of knowledge.

Convenience is the key

Podcasts are highly convenient for listeners. You can play and stop as you please. Nothing stops you from podcasting while running, going to the gym or on long commutes to and from work. If you have a job that doesn’t require high mental focus, you can even listen to podcasts in the background while working.

A couple of numbers

All numbers for podcast audience shows constant growth. Overall numbers are great, but weekly listeners are up almost 30%. Forbes estimated that more than 125 million people would listen to at least one podcast monthly in 2022.

Money follows such growth, and advertisements are coming hard to podcasts. Marketing campaigns worth $800 million in 2020 will rise to an ad budget of $1.7 billion by 2024. Moreover, with a median age of listeners of 34, marketers are increasingly using podcasts for their marketing strategy.

Studies show a much higher conversion because podcast listeners are more focused on the content. Such numbers create a rise in advertisers interested in unique podcast content.

Are podcasters influencers?

Podcast hosts like basketball star Draymond Green or science podcaster Wendy Zuckerman and her Science VS significantly impact listeners. Of course, they are influential, but not how the term is used for Instagram or TikTok influencers.

Can advertisements ruin the podcast? It is thin line podcasters walk on because the authentic democratic voice is something unique for the form. But, on the other hand, too much influence from marketeers can soften the free-flowing conversation of podcasts.

Everyone is on the podcast bandwagon

Streaming platforms enabled the podcast revolution. YouTube and Apple podcasts are the most prominent platforms that sparked the popularity of podcasts. Now, all major media companies like Fox News, WarnerMedia, BBC, and others want a piece of the cake. So they are recruiting popular podcasters to attract the audience to the lucrative channel.

Spotify made a bold move, paying vast amounts for Joe Rogan’s exclusive content. The Guardian reported Spotify bumped its subscribes growth by over 20% due to podcasts. In addition, the Swedish streaming company acquired podcast publishing platform Megaphone for $235million, and all these efforts led to a doubling of listening time in-app.

Deezer is another platform with an extensive library of podcasts, and Tidal is also in the mix with numerous popular podcasters. Amazon invested heavily in the Wondery podcast network ahead of Sony and Apple, also in the game. In addition, SiriusXM media powerhouse bought Sticher for more than $230 million.

Authentic voice

The sheer number of new podcasts created more listeners, and it is part of the numbers behind the growth and popularity. Getting direct information from relevant sources, uncensored and conversational, is why podcasts make passionate listeners with a high focus on the content presented in audio or video streams.

Entertainment, convenience, and learning experience are why podcasts significantly grew their audience in past years.

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About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.