Digging Deep into Mobile Podcast Statistics

Summer is here and we’re all headed out and about, enjoying the sun. With children out of school, many of us will be going on summer vacations and will be mobile more than ever. Five years ago, June, July and August meant a slow-down period for podcast listenership. That’s not the case anymore because folks no longer need to be at home to download a podcast and sync it to listen. The summer drop in listeners has largely been mitigated by better connectivity.

Today, I am going to give you some global statistics on how media is being consumed — specifically on mobile devices — and where apps break out. I will also touch on the players out there that do not allow us to count them.

I want to emphasize that your show might not be tracking as I outline below; each show is a little different and will likely have a different top 10 depending on where they are telling their audience to go access the show. My show, Geek News Central, still tracks heavier on Web consumption because my blog has new non-podcast content on it daily.

In almost all cases, though, here is how global distribution looks today from top to bottom:

1. Podcatchers
2. Mobile Applications
3. Mobile Phone Web Browsers
4. Web Browsers
5. Tablet Web Browsers
6. Unknown Agent
7. TV / Set-Top Boxes

I am not going to focus on the actual platforms today, but I will say that because of the dominance of Windows iTunes users, the number of Windows users consuming podcasts is nearly three to one.

But lets look real close at the mobile side. Sadly there are a number of app developers out there that do not provide what we call a “user agent.” Every time a file download / stream request is made, the user agent (aka the actual program that is making the request) does not identify itself. Apps such as those produced by Libsyn / Spreaker cannot be measured; thus they get no credit and are either counted as unknown or get lumped into iOS or Android.

Although we are not able to classify the app, we can usually tell if it falls into the mobile category.
Here are the top 10 mobile clients / apps as of May 2014.

1. iPhone 33.5%
2. Podcast for iOS 31.5%
3. Android Mobile 8.7%
4. iPad 7.0%
5. Stitcher for iOS 4.3%
6. Downcast for iOS 3.1%
7. Beyondpod for Android 2.5%
8. CFNetwork (iOS Apps) 2.0%
9. Stitcher for Android 1.7%
10. Chrome (Mobile) 1.4%

The Top 10 Apps make up 95.7 percent of all mobile downloads in May from a pool of 63,152,570 mobile downloads. The graph below is the money-shot showing you the 30 or so mobile apps / devices we track and the dramatic roll off.


The 20 or so remaining apps we track collectively had 4.3 percent of the of downloads for May, so the bottom 20 have a lot of growth potential.

As you can see, mobile apps are accounting for a lot of listens, and even though there are more +Android listeners worldwide, the Android community is largely missing. So if you are looking for growth in your show, you need to start promoting more Android apps and dedicating some how-tos on your website to attract more Android listeners.

Next month we will dig deeper into global stats. My team is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive statistics data in the podcasting space. Start using our free stats at Blubrry.com today. See you next month Todd.