As Podcasts Surge in Popularity, Which Audiences are Growing Fastest?

If current trends continue, “What’s your favorite podcast?” may replace “What’s your favorite TV show?” as conversation opener.

Last week, Edison Research and Triton Digital released the 21st annual Infinite Dial report, which reconfirmed what we all already know: podcasts are getting really popular. In fact, this year’s data revealed that about one-third of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast in the past month. That’s over 90 million people! The report also showed that the once largely male dominated medium is increasingly being enjoyed by women.

Since Edison’s stats are all based on U.S. figures, Clarity client Voxnest, a provider of end-to-end technology for podcasting, wanted to add some global insights to the conversation. Based on usage stats from February 2018 and February 2019, they created some charts to show how trends worldwide are matching up with those revealed in the Infinite Dial report.

What did we find? Well, there’s a lot of similarity – in fact, the 2019 metrics for both show nearly exactly the same gender balance.


The split in 2018 was a bit more inequitable. On the Voxnest side, it confirms that growth in podcast listening among women is picking up speed. Edison’s data has a slightly different story – the proportion of women was actually higher in 2018 than 2019. We’re not sure why this might be, especially with the popularity of true crime podcasts, a genre with a large female audience.

And since we were doing a lot of math, we thought we’d look at the breakdown of listening by age, as well. While our age groups don’t exactly match up – Voxnest could only provide 18 to 24 while Edison looks at 12 to 24 – the big takeaway is the same: the biggest group of listeners are aged 25 to 54, and that group is getting bigger, too.

Just a cautionary caveat:
Because Voxnest’s data is all based on podcast listeners, we had to recalculate the Edison research numbers to apply to just listeners and not the entire population. Since we don’t have access to the full dataset, we had to make some assumptions. Short story long, the reader should keep in mind this is less than scientific. But we still thought it shed some light on how podcasting is growing worldwide in comparison to the US.

In the end, both sets of data are further proof that the pivot to audio continues, and if you aren’t podcasting now, perhaps you should be. After all, platforms like Voxnest make it easy – all you need is an app and you can podcast right from your phone.

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