Investing in the Podcast Ecosystem in 2019 Report Released

The Investing in the Podcast Ecosystem in 2019 report was released on the “a16z” website. It includes some interesting data about podcasting.

  • Over the course of the last 10 years, podcasts have steadily grown from a niche community of audiobloggers distributing files over the internet, to one-third of Americans now listening monthly and a quarter listening weekly.
  • Podcast listeners are consuming 6+ hours per week of podcasts and consuming more content every year.
  • For weekly podcast consumers, average weekly consumption is 6 hours and 37 minutes.
  • On average, Americans listen to 7 podcast episodes per week.
  • Roughly half of podcast listeners make $675,000 or more in annual income; a majority have a post-secondary degree; and almost one third have a graduate degree.
  • There is also a gender gap with podcast listeners skewing mostly male, mirroring the gap among podcast creators as well. However, the gender gap has narrowed from 25% gap in 2008 to 9% today.
  • Listeners are generally educated (30% graduate degrees), millennials (44%), and slightly more than half are male (though gap is closing).
  • Since Apple launched its Podcasts app in 2012, smartphones have grown to become the most common device for podcast consumption.
  • Podcasts are most often consumed at home (48%) or in a car (26%); macro trends around growing number of connected cars and smart speakers could impact this mix.
  • Apple podcasts accounts for about 2/3 of all podcast listening.
  • Now the second largest podcasting platform, Spotify introduced podcasts into the app in 2015 and has doubled its market share in the last year to 9%.
  • Top 10 Podcast Publishers – a quarter of unique streams/downloads is NPR Podcasts. The rest of the Top 10 include: iHeartRadio, PRX, Wondery, New York Times, WNCY Studios, This American Life/Serial, Barstool Sports, ESPN, Daily Wire.
  • Podcast ad revenue is growing but is still tiny compared to other content formats.
  • Podcasts monetize at only $0.01 per listener hour, on average, 10x less than radio.