24+ New Podcast Advertising Statistics (2023)
We’re living in the golden age of podcasts.
Users can listen to content ranging from true crime stories to career advice whenever and wherever they want. They can choose from over 2 million podcasts with thousands of new episodes released every day.
All that listening means big money for advertisers. Since most podcasts occupy a specific niche, brands can be sure they’re reaching the right audience with podcast advertising. It’s paying off, too—podcast advertising is a billion-dollar industry.
Google searches for “podcast advertising” are up 130% over the past 5 years.
Ready to check out some fascinating podcast advertising stats?
Top Podcast Advertising Statistics
Before you get into the full list of stats, here are some of our top picks:
- US podcasting revenue is expected to top $2 billion by 2023.
- 55% of podcast fans have purchased an item advertised on a podcast.
- Attribution is the leading challenge that podcast advertisers face.
- BetterHelp is the largest podcast advertiser in the United States by ad spend.
- There are currently over 2,000,000 podcasts with over 48 million episodes.
- Comedy is the most popular podcast genre.
Next, let’s get into some podcast ad statistics.
Podcast Advertising Statistics
Millions of consumers are listening to podcasts every day. For brands, the podcast ecosystem has the potential to create new brand awareness, boost product demand, and drive more sales. For creators, that means turning podcasting into a lucrative revenue stream.
US podcast advertising revenue is expected to top $2 billion (Interactive Advertising Bureau)
As listenership grows, so does ad revenue. In fact, podcast ad revenue has increased by over 2,070% since 2015. Podcast advertisements pulled in just over $100 million in 2015. In 2021, podcast ad revenues crossed the $1 billion threshold for the first time.
55% of podcast fans have purchased an item advertised on a podcast (Discover Pods)
Discover Pods’ survey of 1,000 podcast fans found that 89.8% of listeners believe podcast ads are effective. Despite having the option to fast-forward, 86.5% actually listen to ads.
BetterHelp is the largest podcast advertiser in the United States by ad spend (Statista)
Mental health startup BetterHelp spent $35.7 million delivering podcast ads in the first half of 2021—by far the most out of any brand. ZipRecruiter spent $13.6 million, Geico $13.5 million, and Hello Fresh $13.3 million.
Google searches for “BetterHelp” over the past 5 years.
Podcast advertising is projected to make up one-third of all digital audio ad spending by 2024 (Emarketer)
Podcast ads accounted for just over 15% of all digital audio ads in 2019. That percentage is expected to more than double by 2024 to 34.2%.
51% of people who listen to 5 or more hours of podcasts per week say they pay more attention to ads on podcasts than ads on other media (Edison Research)
Edison Research describes individuals who consume more than 5 hours of podcasts per week as “Super Listeners.” According to a 2021 survey, 53% of Super Listeners agree that they have more positive opinions of brands when they hear them advertised in their favorite podcasts.
The growing frequency of ads playing during podcasts is turning off some Super Listeners. 59% say they’ve noticed podcasts playing more ads, and 43% say the average length of ads is increasing. 22% of Super Listeners say there are “way too many ads” playing during podcasts.
44% of marketers are “very or extremely confident” about podcasts as an effective marketing channel (MarketingCharts)
Marketers aren’t as confident about podcast marketing as they are other digital marketing channels. Social media (64%), video (58%), display (58%), and search ads (58%) all garner more confidence from marketers than podcasts.
Google searches for “podcast marketing” over the past 5 years.
Podcast advertising makes up 3% of advertising budgets (Media Post)
Brands are devoting 72% of their marketing budgets on digital campaigns, but only 3% of that is invested in podcast advertising. The top digital channels by budget allocation are digital video (20%), social media (16%), digital display (14%), and paid search (13%).
Attribution is the leading challenge in American podcast advertising (Statista)
In a 2021 survey among marketing managers with ad spends of over $1 million, 64% said attribution was a top challenge in podcast advertising. Other top challenges were campaign measurement and reporting (60%), scale (56%), and third-party verification measurement (55%).
Dynamically inserted ads generate 84% of all podcast ad revenue (IAB)
Dynamically inserted ads, or DAIs, are very different from typical podcast advertisements. Instead of being read aloud by the podcast announcer or host, they’re pre-recorded and inserted into the podcast depending on the listener’s marketing profile.
In 2019, DAIs generated just 48% of podcast advertising revenue. Now, they generate 84% of ad revenue, while edited or baked-in ads account for just 16%.
Mid-roll ads make up nearly two-thirds of podcast ad revenue (IAB)
64% of podcast advertising revenue in 2021 was generated by mid-roll ads. That number actually represents a decline, as pre-roll ads started performing better in 2021. Pre-roll ad revenue share jumped from 22% in 2020 to 32% in 2021.
Host-read ads generate the majority of podcast ad revenue (IAB)
55% of podcasting ad revenue comes from host-read ads. Announcer-read and pre-produced ads make up an additional 40% of revenue. Brand or agency-produced ads make up just 3% of all podcast advertising revenue.
75% of podcast listeners say they’re happy with a purchase they made from podcast ads (Branding In Asia)
80% of podcast listeners also say that advertisements don’t negatively affect the quality of the podcast. 70% said they prefer ads to be read by the host as opposed to listening to pre-recorded ads.
The news genre commands the largest share of podcast advertising revenue (MediaWeek)
News podcasts generated 22% of all podcasting ad revenue in 2020, making it the most lucrative genre for brands and advertisers. Comedy came in 2nd place with a 16% share followed by science at 12%.
3.8 is considered the acceptable number of ads for a 60-minute podcast (Statista)
How many ads is too many? For one-hour podcasts, anything more than 4 ads might be testing listeners’ patience. For 15-minute podcasts, listeners can tolerate an average of 2.2 ads. For 30-minute podcasts, that number jumps to 2.7.
The average CPM (cost per 1,000 listeners) is $18 for a 30-second podcast ad (Influencer Marketing Hub)
For a 60-second ad, the CPM is about $25. That means a podcast episode with 10,000 listeners and two 60-second ads could earn around $500.
Podcast Listening Statistics
How many podcasts are there? How many podcast listeners are there? These stats reveal just how huge the podcasting market is.
There are currently over 2,000,000 podcasts with over 48 million episodes (Podcast Insights)
The number of shows on Apple Podcasts crossed the 2 million mark some time in 2021. Not all of those podcasts are active, however. According to Amplifi Media, 26% of podcasts have only produced a single episode. 44% of podcasts have produced 3 or fewer episodes.
79% of Americans are familiar with podcasting (Edison)
An estimated 226 million Americans above the age of 12 are at least aware of what podcasting is. 10 years ago, only 46% knew what podcasts were.
62% of Americans have listened to podcasts at least once (Edison)
177 million Americans have listened to at least one podcast in their lifetime, according to Edison Research. 41% of Americans over 12 have listened to a podcast in the last month. Regular listeners have more than doubled since 2015, when just 17% of Americans listened to podcasts monthly.
40% of podcast listeners use directories to discover new podcasts (The Podcast Host)
Directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify are the most popular places to discover new podcasts. Listeners are more than twice as likely to use a directory than to ask a friend for a recommendation (18%) or search for new podcasts on Google (14%).
Listeners will try a new podcast for up to 15 minutes before they decide if they want to keep listening or move on (The Podcast Host)
28.9% of listeners say they give a new podcast up to 15 minutes to “hook them.” On the other hand, 27.5% say they’ll give up on a new podcast in 5 minutes or less if they don’t find it engaging.
Chile is the fastest-growing podcast market (Buzzsprout)
Podcasting in Chile is growing by 84% month over month, making it the fastest-growing market worldwide. The top 5 countries for month-over-month podcast growth are Chile (84%), Argentina (55%), Peru (49%), Mexico (48%), and China (44%).
Comedy is the most popular podcast genre (Morning Consult)
In a survey of 4,400 podcast listeners, 22% of respondents said they were “very interested” in comedy podcasts, making comedy the top podcast genre. Here’s a look at the top 10:
- Comedy (22%)
- News (21%)
- True Crime (18%)
- Sports (17%)
- Health & Fitness (17%)
- Religion (16%)
- Politics (16%)
- Self-help (15%)
- Investigative Journalism (13%)
- Finance (13%)
Apple Podcasts is the top podcast directory with 39.7% of all podcast downloads (Buzzsprout)
Apple Podcasts hosts over 49 million podcast downloads every month. Spotify is the #2 podcast hub with over 32 million monthly downloads and 26.4% of downloads across all directories.
Most podcasts are between 20 and 60 minutes in length (Buzzsprout)
How long is the typical podcast? Here’s a breakdown:
- 14% are less than 10 minutes
- 14% are between 10 and 20 minutes
- 32% are between 20 and 40 minutes
- 22% are between 40 and 60 minutes
- 17% are more than 60 minutes
Podcasts have been getting more and more popular — a trend that doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Brands are investing billions of dollars into podcast advertising, and judging by listener feedback, it seems to be paying off.
It’s a win-win-win situation: podcasters get paid, listeners get product recommendations they trust, and brands get to expand their reach.