Podcasts Hit 1.3 Million Mark – More New Shows To Date in 2020 Than All Of 2019
Here’s an exciting statistic for anyone in the podcast industry–there are now over 1.3 million podcasts. Plus, more podcasts have launched in 2020 to-date than in all of 2019. This is according to data released by podcast search engine Listen Notes and published on InsideRadio.
At the end of 2019, there were around 750,000 active podcasts. Apple hit the one-million-podcast mark on April 20th of this year. Today, as of July 8, 2020, there are at least 1,350,130 podcasts and 74,379,420 episodes in the world.
So, what is behind this explosion of new podcasts? The global pandemic forced people into quarantine. Not only did this leave many people facing months of furloughed employment or sudden unemployment, but globally, people were abruptly left with a lot more time on their hands — unable to socialize, dine out, go to the gym, travel, or participate in normal weekly activities. This meant that around the world, people were searching for new creative outlets to stay occupied.
After a decade of slow and steady growth, podcasting’s popularity had picked up major momentum in recent years, even before COVID had entered the picture. As an already-trending communication platform going into 2020, it was only natural that many quarantiners turned to podcasting as their creative outlet of choice.
During the first half of 2020, Listen Notes calculated a debut of 383,678 new podcasts. That is not only more podcasts than the 273,502 podcasts that debuted in all of 2019, but that number also represents nearly a third (29%) of all podcasts in existence today.
Naturally, the number of published podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts or Spotify has increased with the launch of so many new shows, but that’s not the only contributing factor to the spike in the number of podcast episodes. Listen Notes’ study found that the pace of new episode released also accellerated in the first half of 2020, with existing shows releasing more content than usual.
Here’s another stat that I had to reread about 6 times before I could comprehend it: Listen Notes reports that in the first six months of 2020, they recorded the publication of 13.2 million podcast episodes. This is compared to 16.6 million podcast episodes that were published in all of 2019.
Their data also reveals that 75 percent of all podcast episodes in existence have been published during the past four years. That might not seem that crazy unless you’re already familiar with the fact that the podcast industry has been around for 16 years, starting in 2004.
Listen Notes also found that in the first half of 2020, there were fewer “dead podcasts”– aka podcasts that haven’t recorded an episode in the past year — than in 2019. 51% of podcasts have been active so far this year, versus just 14% of podcasts in 2019.
Let’s touch on a trend that we’re seeing in a lot of our recent press coverage — the globalization of the podcast industry. Currently, 2 in 3 podcasts originate in the U.S., so naturally, most shows are in English — but it’s clear that podcasts in other languages are on the rise.
Besides English, which languages would you guess make up the top five most popular languages to record a podcast? Perhaps not surprisingly, Spanish-language podcasts now represent 7 percent of all shows — a 75 percent increase since March of this year. We are also seeing a surge in Portuguese-language podcasts, which now represent 4.3 percent of all podcasts. Behind English, Spanish and Portuguese, the 4th and 5th most popular podcast languages are Indonesian, at 3.7 percent, and German, at 2.8 percent.
Now, if you listen to podcasts, you know that podcasts are listed by category — like True Crime, Sports, News, Comedy, and so on. The top genre has stayed the same in 2020 — Society & Culture, which represents 13.3% of all shows. It is followed by Education (10.1%), Religion & Spirituality (10.0%), Business (8.5%) Arts (8.2%), Comedy (8.0%), Music (6.1%), Health & Fitness (5.9%), Sports (5.2%) and News (5.0%).
Have you started a new podcast in 2020? Do you represent one of those 383,678 new shows? Share it with us in the comments section below so we can check it out!