Apple Podcast Industry Statistics You Can Use To Help You Stand Out

Are you wondering what the latest Apple Podcast Industry Statistics are? Listen to this episode as Tom Hazzard walks you through interesting numbers you need to know to level up your game. Apple is the dominant listening destination, and it hosts 98% of podcasts. If you want to stand out, you need to submit your podcast to Apple and meet their requirements. That’ll make your show valid. Hop on this episode to educate yourself on the current podcast stats. You won’t regret it!

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Apple Podcast Industry Statistics You Can Use To Help You Stand Out

I’ve got some exciting news to share with you. This is more of a current events type of episode. Apple has published some new statistics industry insights from what they are seeing as the largest podcast listening platform. I know that a lot of you may be aware that Spotify is very up and coming and trying very hard to be a major listening destination to rival Apple.

What we see statistically from all of the 500-plus podcasts that we produce, manage, and host, 98% of the podcast plays are going to come from an Apple-related app. Older macOS and iOS devices are still using iTunes. For newer ones, it’s called Apple Podcasts. The distribution mechanism is the same, but what it’s called depends on what device and software OS you’re on. Apple is still the dominant player in podcast listenership, no question. I was looking at a show out of Australia that we host that got quite a good listenership. In 24 hours, they’ve got something like 24,000 plays. That’s a lot.

They did publish an episode. I don’t know if they get that every day, but this show’s primary listening app is Podcast Addict. That surprised the heck out of me because Podcast Addict, for most shows on the big graph pie chart of all the shows, is this little sliver and it’s a low single-digit percentage of a show’s place.

I was shocked to see Podcast Addict was the dominant one for this particular show. We’ve seen some that Spotify is the number one and Apple is number two, but very rare. As I’m saying, 98% of podcasts, Apple is still the dominant listening destination, which makes sense for two reasons if you think about it.

Number one, Apple invented the space. The podcast is called a podcast because of the iPod that Apple invented and the first podcast date back to maybe 2004 or 2005. Number two, the iPhone, as a device, for any single type of phone, is the most popular cell phone and, of course, on that operating system, iOS, Apple Podcast is built-in. That makes sense as to why they would be number one.

Android has a bigger market share of cell phones total but there are some Samsung, Motorola, Nokia and all sorts of different Google phones that use the Android operating system. They have different apps. People listen a lot to different apps. Tracy, she’s an Android phone user and she listens on Google Podcasts. She used to listen more on Stitcher.

Publish more than three episodes on day one. Share on X

Stitcher has gone through some changes, has come up with a new app and they’re getting to be a little more popular, but definitely, for every single listening app, Apple Podcast is the most dominant because it’s built-in to the phone and that’s what most people listen on. It makes sense that Apple has the most data to share.

Total Number Of Valid Podcasts

I’m going to share with you some numbers. This is an article that just came out. Apple Podcasts statistics and their podcast industry insights. They can toggle here between monthly and daily numbers. I’ve got it now on monthly. This is amazing. The total number of valid podcasts. Let’s talk about what valid means. Valid means a podcast feed or show that has been submitted to Apple and meets all of their requirements to be a podcast on their app. That means a legitimately published podcast.

It is 2,446,002 to be exact and that is as of March of 2021. If you look back to March of 2020, it was under 1 million. Isn’t that amazing? All of the podcasts from the beginning of the industry until now. In 2020, we’ve been talking about something north of 1 million total podcasts that have ever been created and published and that is true.

You had the entire growth of podcasts in 15, 16, maybe 17 years. Podcasts took that long to get to 1 million. In 2020, we got 1 million more. Does that blow your mind? It blows my mind. This is staggering information. It just shows you how much podcasting exploded in 2020 and we’ve felt that as a company at Brandcasters, Podetize.

We’ve been feeling it and seeing it. Our business was very strong in 2020. It was our best year yet, so these numbers bear that out. In 2020, it went from under 1 million to over 2 million. It’s a total number of episodes available. Remember, the first number was the number of shows, meaning Feed Your Brand is a podcast. The Binge Factor is a podcast. Your Show is a podcast. That’s those numbers, but the number of episodes is 47,557,422.

FYB 122 | Apple Podcast Industry Statistics
Apple Podcast Industry Statistics: A valid podcast refers to a podcast feed that has been submitted to Apple and meets all of its requirements.


Podfaded Stats

That’s the total number of episodes available to listen to as of the publishing of this article and this information, what Apple has disclosed. That is an average of under 25 episodes per show that are out there. Some shows are brand new and have launched with 1, 2, 3 or some small number of episodes and are starting to publish them little by little.

Others are very mature shows. We have a show on our platform that has over 800 shows that have been done. One of my very first podcasts has 650 episodes. Clearly, you have a lot of podcasts with very few. Don’t forget, these totals include podcasts that have podfaded. Let’s talk about what that means again.

Podfaded is when a show launched with at least one episode. That’s the minimum. You can’t launch a show and Apple won’t accept it unless you have at least one published episode. We often recommend publishing a minimum of three, and very often, we recommend publishing more than that on day one but some shows don’t get very far past that. They podfade statistically after 7, 11 or somewhere in the 23-ish episodes.

Usually, a show that gets past 25 statistically sticks with it for a much longer period of time and ends up still publishing episodes at least past 100 or somewhere between 100 and 300 or even more over a long period of time. These 2,004,462 numbers are all shows that have at least one episode published, but a lot of those shows are not actively publishing new episodes.

They’re just still alive in the podcast ecosystem. That’s podfaded. They have stopped publishing new episodes, but they still have maintained an active podcast show in their podcast hosting subscription, and it’s still available for people to consume. We’re going to get to how many shows are active in a little bit because Apple has published that data. One of the other things that I think it’s important to know is there are several podcast apps.

I think there are three of them besides Apple Podcasts that are different listening apps that they piggyback off Apple. Meaning when your show is registered on Apple and approved by Apple, these other apps automatically pick up your feed. When you have inactive podcasts that are podfaded, these numbers of over 2 million include everything that’s ever published one episode but may not be publishing current episodes.

You can stand out more easily being a podcast host than having a website. Share on X

I’m going to change from monthly to daily here on this. In this article that I’m sharing, there’s a lot of data Apple’s giving for free and then there’s more data you can get by paying. I literally just found out about this information, so I don’t have all that information, but for those people that are clients of Podetize, you join our weekly client coaching call, we are going to pay for the data and get it.

It’s not something every show should do because it costs a bit of money, but we will pay, get that data, and come back to you with more information. Here’s another interesting stat that we found. We found that in terms of additions and removals, we’re talking about data that are shows, not episodes.

Apple added 5,240 shows. Isn’t that staggering? Those of you launching a new show, have you wondered how many other shows are launching on the same day? It’s about 5,000. That is a very interesting number as well. How many were added in few months? Over 105,326. How many are added in the last 90 days? It’s 284,879. That’s a lot of podcasts.

Stand Out More By Being A Podcast Host

It still is nothing compared to the number of websites that get launched. When you think about if everybody in the business knows, “You’ve got to have a website. It’s like having a business card. You’re not in business if you don’t have a website,” but remember there are more than 1.5 billion websites out there. As a podcaster, even though there are a lot more podcasts now than there used to be, you’re still playing in a very small pond and you can stand out a lot more easily being a podcast host than you can having a website.

That’s just something to keep in mind. If you look at not just the number added in the last days, they have some graphs so you could see how many were added each day of the month. It seems that on Mondays, they add the most shows. Those days are averaging out on a Monday might be 5,800. Another Monday 6,248. Another Monday, 6,900, but other days of the week, if you go later in the week, you’re talking about 2,000 added in a day.

If you think about 100,000 within a month, your average is about north of 3,000, like 3,300 or 3,400 a day new shows get added, then they have some information about shows that were removed. If you want to delist your show, make it no longer available in the podcast ecosystem, you can do that. That is what is known as canceling your hosting subscription.

If you cancel your hosting subscription, your show will come off in all the apps. In the 30 last days, there are 8,532 shows have been removed and 130 the previous days. If you take 8,532 and divide that by 30 days, you get an idea of how many and in the 90 days, almost 19,000 shows removed. That would be people removing it.

FYB 122 | Apple Podcast Industry Statistics
Apple Podcast Industry Statistics: There are over 2 million active podcasts today, and about 700,000 or so are active.


Avoid Being Podfaded!

This is interesting data here. Remember I talked about that number just over 2 million active podcasts. 37.33% are active. That means about 700,000 or so are active. That’s more than we thought. The data we have from 2020 that we were talking about when people would ask, we thought about 350,000 shows were active of the roughly 1 million-ish podcasts.

Remember, in 2020, it went from under 1 million podcasts to just over 2 million and if you take 350,000 at about double the number proportionally or the ratio of active podcasts to total podcasts, it’s holding pretty close. I would have said it’s about 35%-ish, and they’re saying it’s 37%. Before I had this more updated data, that’s what I had been saying. Obviously, now I have more information. Very interesting stuff. I’m reading through some of this data here and sharing it with you in terms of how old is the newest episode from podcasts. This will give you an idea about podfading and how many people are sticking with it.

I think there’s a different way to state this. I don’t think Apple is really using the right language to communicate this. This chart shows that in the last few days, there are 273,284 podcasts that published a new episode. Remember, the active podcasts I said are about 37%. Somewhere in the 750,000, maybe 770,000 probably in that range of podcast shows that are active.

Now, you’ve got 273,284 published in the seven days and then additional ones published in the 8 to 30 days is another 240,000. In 90 days, another 233,000. Now we get to show that the last episode, “How old is the newest episode from a podcast?” Meaning they published their latest episodes somewhere between 91 days and a year ago is 726,951.

These are what I would call a show that is podfaded, at least temporarily, has not published an episode in 30 days, but these criteria suggest that maybe more people who haven’t published an episode in the 90 days, those shows have podfaded, and then you go into 1 to 2 years and the 233,000 and it gets smaller from there.

It’s really interesting data. 25.86% of shows have one episode available. 10.5% of shows have two available. 6.7% have three available. 9.5% have 4 to 5 episodes available, and then it goes on. 36.5% of shows have ten episodes or more available. Remember when I was saying, with the total number of shows, the average number of episodes per show is about 25-ish episodes if you just average it out.

Here’s why. Only 36.5% of all those 2 million shows out there have more than ten episodes. That is amazing and very interesting numbers. The last chart that’s public here that Apple is sharing is Activity by Episodes. Active podcasts with one episode are 111,000. They’re showing active and inactive. I’m focusing on active shows with two episodes, which is 52,000.

Let’s go down to active shows with ten or more episodes, 406,000. That’s interesting data. I find this fascinating. I think any of you podcasters who’ve been doing this for a long time will as well find these stats interesting. We’re going to go download and pay for all the stats and then help make that available to all the people that we’re working with.

Even though the volume of shows has increased, it’s very interesting to see the percentages have continued, and the ratio of active to inactive is almost the same. Maybe it’s ticked up 2% from what we knew it to be in 2020. It’s really interesting data. I think it gives you a good idea that the podcast industry is still very strong and people are finding more value in it. The ratios are the same, but the volumes are increasing. That means people are still finding as much value in it as they were years ago. It’s just fascinating stuff. That’s what I wanted to share with you. I hope you found that of value. I hope you found this as valuable and interesting as I did. Thanks very much for reading, everybody.

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Picture of Tom Hazzard

Tom Hazzard

As a top influence strategist for speakers, authors & experts, Tom Hazzard and helps major publications, sports stars, and entrepreneurial influencers ‘Brandcast’ their original messages via podcasting and videocasting. Tom is a real inventor and successful product designer with over 40 US patents issued and pending. He has been rethinking brand innovation for 30 years. His latest SaaS (Software-as-aService) and MaaS (Marketing-as-a-Service) innovation, Podetize, reinvents podcast hosting, advertising, and brand marketing with an obsessive podcaster-centric focus on solutions to get hosts seen, heard, found, and rewarded in our noisy digital world.
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