27 UK Podcast Statistics from Some of the Most Reliable Sources on the Internet

two presenters hosting a podcast

How many podcasts are out there? How much time do they take? What kind of topics do they cover? These are some of the questions that come to mind when thinking about podcasting.

Podcasting has become a very popular way to share information and entertainment. Podcasts are audio or video recordings that are usually streamed live over the Internet. They can last anywhere from five minutes to several hours.

The popularity of podcasts has grown exponentially in recent years. Here, we’ve collated 27 of the most eye-catching podcast statistics that really emphasise just how big this medium is, and will become in the coming years.

In the meantime, let’s look at why they are so popular!

Podcasts: 7 Reasons Why They Are So Popular

  1. There Are Over 2 Million Podcasts Available – It’s hard to imagine just how many different types of podcasts there are available today. But according to Podtrac, an online database that tracks trends in podcast consumption, there were more than 2 million podcasts available by the end of 2016. That’s up from approximately 860,000 at the end of 2012.
  2. Podcasts Aren’t Just for Kids Anymore – While most people associate podcasting with kids these days, the reality is that adults are catching onto the trend too. According to a study done by Edison Research, nearly one-third of Americans between 18-34 listen to podcasts regularly. This is compared to only 17 per cent of those who are 35 or older.
  3. Podcasts Have Become A Part Of Our Lives – We all know how important television was during our childhoods, but we didn’t realise just how big a part of our lives it would eventually become. Today, 53% of US households own a TV set. However, back in 2005, only 41% owned a TV set. So what has happened since then? Why did ownership rates go down? Well, it turns out that the advent of the internet and smartphones made watching television less expensive and easier to access. Therefore, fewer people actually watch traditional TV.
  4. Podcasting Is Becoming More Popular With Businesses – As more businesses move their operations online, they need to find ways to reach customers where they spend the majority of their time. One great solution is through podcasts because they allow companies to create content that provides value and improves customer experience. Some examples include:
    1. Audiobooks – Audible offers a service that allows business owners to record books directly into their products. After recording, the company will edit and produce a high-quality version of the book that consumers can download or stream.
    2. Sales Training – Many companies use sales training programs to help their employees learn new methods and strategies. By creating a podcast that discusses common mistakes and best practices, businesses save money and time while providing valuable resources to their teams.
    3. Customer Service – Companies like Zendesk offer services that make it easy for businesses to provide excellent customer support. A podcast might be used as a way to educate potential customers on how the product works. For example, if someone has questions regarding a website, they could simply follow along with the podcast. The host may also answer any questions that arise throughout the conversation.
  5. People Listen To Podcasts During Their Commute – If you work long hours, chances are you probably don’t get to enjoy your commute every day. But, thanks to the rise of podcasts, now you have another opportunity to unwind and relax before reaching your destination. According to HubSpot, one-quarter of commuters listen to podcasts while driving. And, this number is growing each year!
  6. Podcast Listening Rates Continue To Rise – In addition to being listened to while commuting, people are listening to podcasts anywhere else including sitting in a waiting room, in the shower, and even when they take a nap. According to Edison Research, podcast listenership increased by 13% last year alone.
  7. Podcasts Are Easy To Start And Produce – Unlike other forms of media like video or audio recordings, podcasts can be produced quickly and easily. You don’t need any special equipment or skills to start making them. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Plus, there are many free tools available that can make the process even faster.\

a person presenting a podcast remotely

UK Podcast Statistics

  1. 21.2 million podcast listeners in the UK. (Source: Statista)
  2. Podcast advertising expenditure stands at £46 million! (Source: Statista)
  3. iHeartRadio is the leading podcast publisher. (Source: Statista)
  4. Word of mouth remains the most popular way to find a new podcast. (Source: Statista)
  5. 26-35-year-olds are the age group that listens to podcasts the most. (Source: Statista)
  6. 1 in 4 Brits listens to podcasts, which equates to around 15 million people. (Source: Finder)
  7. The average length of a podcast is 38 minutes, based on 10 million episodes. (Source: Finder)
  8. 38% of Brits are either driving or travelling while listening to podcasts. (Source: Finder)
  9. It is projected that over £74 million will be spent on podcast advertising in 2024. (Source: Finder)
  10. Sh**ged, Married, Annoyed, Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster, and The Receipts Podcast are the three most popular podcasts in the UK. (Source: Finder)
  11. 55% of men and 45% of women listen more than once a week. (Source: Ofcom via Adam Bowie)
  12. 48% of people stopped listening to podcasts because they couldn’t find one that interested them. (Source: Ofcom via Adam Bowie)
  13. 33% of people describe a podcast as ‘A series of audio programmes about a particular topic. (Source: Ofcom via Adam Bowie)
  14. 38% of people listen to between 3-5 podcasts a week. (Source: Ofcom via Adam Bowie)
  15. Comedy (1st with 78%), Entertainment (2nd with 77%), and Discussion and Talk Shows and News and Current Affairs (joint 3rd with 72%) are the three most popular genres. (Source: Ofcom via Adam Bowie)
  16. 78% of the population are at least ‘familiar’ with podcasts as a medium. (Source: Ofcom via Adam Bowie)
  17. In total, there are around 350,000 UK podcasts in circulation currently. (Source: Pod Knows Podcasting)
  18. In 2022, there’ll be upwards of 15 million UK podcast listeners which is 23% on the pre-pandemic forecast. (Source: eMarketer)
  19. Spotify’s Podcast Subscription service has around 345 million monthly active users. (Source: eMarketer)
  20. 67% of people listen to the whole podcast from start to finish. (Source: Backtracks)
  21. The smartphone is the preferred device to listen to podcasts on. It accounts for 67% of total device usage. (Source: Backtracks)
  22. Tablets (6%) and voice-activated devices such as Alexa and Google Home (1%) are the least popular. (Source: Backtracks)
  23. 3.7 hours is the average number of hours consumers listen to podcasts. (Source: Backtracks)
  24. 8:00-8:15 is the time when podcasts reach their highest audience. (Source: Backtracks)
  25. A third of people do nothing while listening to a podcast. (Source: PodNews)
  26. 92% of people listen to podcasts alone. (Source: PodNews)
  27. There are now over 29 million podcasts episodes available in more than 100 languages (Source: Small Biz Genius)