Podcasting trends for this year are moving in rather predictable charts and graphs.

Podcasting trends are probably not the most exciting set of numbers in your life (definitely not in ours, lol), but it never hurts to take a look at where things are going, compare some year-over-year stats, and try to figure out where the surprises might appear (Serial, anyone?) next.

[LISTEN: Biggest Mistakes When Reading Podcast Stats – PODCAST EPISODE]

We’re using the recently released Infinite Dial – Edison Research data, and if you’d like to check it out, just click through and you can see the raw numbers.  This years edition includes data related to mobile behaviors, Internet Radio, Podcasting, Social Media, Smart Speakers and more.

How many smartphone owners?


podcasting trends smartphone owners


The number and percentage of smartphone owners is a critical factor in determining what podcasting trends are with how people actually listen to their audio content.  While riding in the car and listening to the radio hasn’t changed that much over the years (although Bluetooth does skew that more towards curated content from a smartphone), listening at home on a desktop is a significantly smaller portion of podcast listeners that it was just five short years ago.

Podcast numbers keep growing this year

The percentage of people who know what a podcast is has grown by another 5% since the previous year (2016), and currently 60% of people ages 12+ know the term.  As far as podcasting trends go, this is 1% less growth than the previous period but significantly higher than 2-4 years ago.   Obviously the more people that know what a podcast is definitely increases the chances that someone will listen to a podcast.

[CHECK THIS OUT: Push Notifications – How to Craft a Title for Maximum Attention]

Amazingly enough, 40% of people ages 12+ now say that they have listened to at least one podcast.  When you contrast that with 13% of people reporting they had listened ten years previously, it’s a tremendous jump in reach and the volume of people is enormous.  This particular podcasting trend correlates VERY strongly with the rise in mobile smartphone ownership.

Even more important to podcast hosts and producers, the podcasting trends that encompass the frequency that people listen to podcasts is on the rise:

Just who is listening to podcasts anyway?


podcasting trends monthly podcast listeners


Steady growth over the past decade – only 9% of the survey respondents had listened in the past month in 2009 – has boosted podcasts to new levels, and created an entertainment medium that’s unmatched by any other type of broadcast means.

There’s so much more data available in the survey.

We’re going to suggest that you get a copy of the research and check out the podcasting trends, along with other digital media consumption stats.   We tuned in to a webinar about the data the other day and the big, last on the list takeaway was regarding podcast discovery.

What’s the last word?

podcasting trends final takeaway


Make sure that you’re doing more than just waiting to be discovered.

Actively courting new listeners, subscribers and shares is just as important today as it was last week, last month or last year.   There are so many podcasts in iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker, etc that it’s nearly impossible for people to find you – at least not without a stroke of luck or some outside interference!

Check out the Podcast Marketer product on our platform if you haven’t already!