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How Many Podcasts Are There? (New 2022 Data)

by Josh Howarth
November 7, 2022

The podcast space continues to grow each year.

The multi-billion dollar industry has millions of individual podcasts. And several million listeners.

We’ll take a look at the statistics associated with podcasting, specifically delving into how many podcasts currently exist.

Contents

Number of Podcasts (Top 5 Picks)

  • There are around 3 million active podcasts
  • Podcasts outnumber audiobooks by around 6:1
  • The number of podcasts grew year-over-year between 2009 and 2020
  • Almost 30 million podcast episodes were published last year
  • Podcasts are available in more than 100 languages

How Many Podcasts Are There?

According to the latest data from Listen Notes, there are currently 2.96 million podcasts.

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That said, exact figures can vary significantly depending on several factors, most notably the inclusion of inactive podcasts.

Podcast Index, for example, estimates the figure to be closer to 4 million.

Source: Listen Notes, Podcast Index

Podcasting’s Growth Over Time

The number of new podcasts has increased year-over-year for the best part of the last decade.

Somewhat predictably, like many forms of media, the pandemic bumped up the numbers in 2020. Yet podcast numbers are seeing accelerated growth regardless.

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Here’s a breakdown of new podcasts per year since 2019:

Year Number of New Podcasts Change Over Previous Year Change Over Previous Year (Percentage)
2009 20,764 - -
2010 23,187 + 2,423 ↑ 11.67%
2011 26,719 + 3,532 ↑ 15.23%
2012 30,486 + 3,767 ↑ 14.1%
2013 34,758 + 4,272 ↑ 14.01%
2014 40,323 + 5,565 ↑ 16.01%
2015 57,846 + 17,523 ↑ 43.46%
2016 91,234 + 33,388 ↑ 57.72%
2017 133,797 + 42,563 ↑ 46.65%
2018 203,847 + 70,050 ↑ 52.36%
2019 336,991 + 133,144 ↑ 65.32%
2020 1,018,817 + 681,826 ↑ 202.33%
2021 725,566 - 293,251 ↓ 28.78%
2022 173,588* - 551,978* ↓ 76.08%*

*Partial data

Similarly, podcast episodes per year are seeing notably rapid growth:

Year Number of New Podcasts Change Over Previous Year Change Over Previous Year (Percentage)
2009 1,059,047 - -
2010 977,625 - 81,422 ↓ 7.69%
2011 1,202,279 + 224,654 ↑ 22.98%
2012 1,539,315 + 337,036 ↑ 28.03%
2013 1,999,080 + 459,765 ↑ 29.87%
2014 2,681,813 + 682,733 ↑ 34.15%
2015 3,881,121 + 1,199,308 ↑ 44.72%
2016 6,601,750 + 2,720,629 ↑ 70.1%
2017 12,266,632 + 5,664,882 ↑ 85.81%
2018 14,725,992 + 2,459,360 ↑ 20.05%
2019 18,061,471 + 3,335,479 ↑ 22.65%
2020 29,996,333 + 11,934,862 ↑ 66.08%
2021 29,313,782 - 682,551 ↓ 2.28%
2022 21,294,832* - 8,018,950* ↓ 27.36%*

*Partial data

Source: Listen Notes

Podcasts vs Other Media

Although podcasting has taken off in recent years, it still lags behind more traditional forms of media.

There are almost 3x more movies on IMDb. And over 260x more songs on Spotify.

However, podcasts outnumber audiobooks on Audible by over 6x.

Here’s how podcast compare to other popular forms of media:

Type of Media Number
Songs (Spotify) 70 million
Movies (IMDb) 8.3 million
Podcasts 2.96 million
Audiobooks (Audible) 0.47 million

Source: Listen Notes

Podcast Episode Statistics

There are 147.57 million podcast episodes, averaging 50 episodes per podcast.

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Half of all podcast episodes are downloaded less than 29 times in the first week after publishing.

Spotify and Apple Podcasts are the biggest players in the podcast game.

Spotify claims to have 4.7 million podcasts on its platform. While Apple has 2.5 million as of October 2022.

According to Podcast Index, there are an estimated 4,010,630 podcast episodes.

Here’s their breakdown of how often shows are being published:

Time Period Number of Published Podcast Shows
Last 3 Days 113,327
Last 10 Days 250,074
Last 30 Days 361,022
Last 60 Days 433,655
Last 90 Days 484,368

Sources: PodNews, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podcast Index

Podcasts by Language

Podcasts are becoming more and more diverse. And are available in over 100 different languages.

Yet English podcasts (60.38%) still dominate the space.

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Here’s a look at podcast language distribution:

Rank Language Number Proportion
1 English 1,786,269 60.38%
2 Spanish 346,990 11.73%
3 Portuguese 205,381 6.94%
4 Indonesian 141,771 4.79%
5 German 78,904 2.67%
6 French 59,961 2.03%
7 Chinese 50,239 1.7%
8 Italian 29,735 1.01%
9 Japanese 29,208 0.99%
10 Hindi 26,708 0.9%
11 Russian 24,899 0.84%
12 Dutch 19,891 0.67%
13 Swedish 14,679 0.5%
14 Arabic 12,570 0.43%
15 Turkish 11,272 0.38%
16 Polish 10,245 0.35%
17 Danish 9,815 0.33%
18 Norwegian 8,613 0.29%
19 Farsi 7,749 0.26%
20 Tamil 6,799 0.23%
- Others 76,934 2.6%

Source: Podcast Insights

Podcasts by Region

Despite a wide range of podcasting regions, podcasts based in the US make up the majority of the space (66.05%).

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Here’s a closer look at podcast distribution by region:

Rank Country Number Proportion
1 US 1,896,056 66.05%
2 Brazil 195,269 6.8%
3 Indonesia 141,801 4.94%
4 Germany 75,679 2.64%
5 France 54,756 1.91%
6 UK 47,395 1.65%
7 Spain 44,706 1.56%
8 India 32,158 1.12%
9 Italy 29,692 1.03%
10 Japan 29,299 1.02%
11 Mexico 28,347 0.99%
12 China 26,252 0.92%
13 Russia 24,861 0.87%
14 Taiwan 23,116 0.81%
15 Netherlands 18,386 0.64%
16 Canada 16,710 0.58%
17 Australia 16,263 0.57%
18 Sweden 14,502 0.51%
19 Turkey 11,290 0.39%
20 Poland 10,252 0.36%
- Others 133,719 4.66%

Source: Podcast Insights

Podcasts by Genre

Podcast genres are more evenly distributed than languages and regions with a whole variety of topics covered.

Together, society & culture (13.75%) and education (12.49%) make up over one quarter (26.24%) of all podcasts.

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Here’s a look at podcast distribution by genre:

Rank Genre Number Proportion
1 Society & Culture 496,379 13.75%
2 Education 450,952 12.49%
3 Arts 341,773 9.47%
4 Business 321,385 8.91%
5 Religion & Spirituality 302,390 8.38%
6 Comedy 258,608 7.17%
7 Health & Fitness 222,440 6.16%
8 News 186,414 5.17%
9 Leisure 178,136 4.94%
10 Music 171,361 4.75%
11 Sports 159,462 4.42%
12 TV & Film 112,913 3.13%
13 Technology 89,594 2.48%
14 Kids & Family 78,206 2.17%
15 Science 77,316 2.14%
- Others 161,881 4.49%

Source: Podcast Insights

Conclusion

The growth of the podcast industry has naturally brought an increase in the number of available podcasts.

A pandemic-related 2020 spike boosted the podcasting space, but the upward pre-pandemic trajectory has persisted.

And the number of podcasts is likely to continue its growth in the near future.