Industry insights

2022 Podcast Trends Report

December 2022

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During 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic brought new creators to podcasting and we saw an influx of content, driving increased listenership and advertiser investment that has continued into 2022. If 2021 was a story of content explosion, then 2022 is one of diversification. As podcasting matures as a medium, we’re seeing growth among new segments - for example, listenership from outlying demos and countries newer to podcasting, consumption of different genres, and investment from more traditional brands. Leveraging data from Spotify and its enterprise podcast platforms*, this report dives into these trends and more with the hopes that they will aid publishers as they optimize their content and revenue strategies for the coming year. Download the infographic or continue reading to learn more.

1. Podcast listening skyrockets in Southern Europe.

Audiences continued to flock to podcasting in 2022 as downloads on the Megaphone platform grew 38% globally. Established markets like the US, Germany, and the UK saw steady increases in downloads, but the most significant jumps in growth came from markets newer to podcasting, like Spain, Italy, and France.

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2. The core demo of podcast listeners expands.

Since their debut, podcasts have been most popular among people aged 25-54, but as the content has diversified so has the audience. With so much new podcast content continually being released, there is truly something for everyone, including both younger and older demos. Across Spotify, we saw the highest growth in unique listeners among people aged 13-17 and 55+.

3. Listeners turn to podcasts in their quest towards physical and mental health.  

2022 has seen major political events dominate international headlines, and people are increasingly turning to podcasts for deeper insights into the stories that matter—and, arguably, as a means to tune out the noise. Across all platforms, listeners tuned into Society & Culture and News podcasts the most, but across Spotify, we saw some interesting country-specific trends. Listeners in many countries appear to be interested in bettering themselves either physically or mentally, showing increased listenership across genres like Health & Fitness and Religion & Spirituality

4. As podcast audiences evolve, so too are the ways of listening (or co-listening).

Whether on-the-go or at home, listeners continue to prefer mobile devices, accounting for 91% of time spent across Spotify. As new audiences discover podcasting, though, new ways of listening are gaining traction. People are increasingly listening in the car, on their smart speakers, and on their smart TVs, providing more opportunities for co-listening.

5. New advertiser categories help to drive increased investment in the podcast space.

Advertisers continue to recognize the podcast medium as a valuable channel for marketing their brand, product, or service to an audience immersed in the content they love. While early investors in podcast advertising—such as Tech, CPG, and Entertainment brands—continue to be top spenders, we’re seeing growth in new categories, like B2B, Travel & Leisure, and Medical & Pharma.

It’s clear why more brands are harnessing podcast advertising - it drives results. Industry-wide, advertisers saw an average conversion rate of 1.28% from their podcast campaigns, with pre-roll as the most effective placement. 

6. Podcast publishers see the power of cross-promotion in audience development.

With audience development a main priority for podcasters of all sizes, cross-promotion remained a popular growth tactic in 2022. Publishers within the Society & Culture, True Crime, Business, News, and Education genres utilized cross-promotion the most in terms of the number of shows promoted. 

The tactic appeared the most effective when placed within shows across storytelling genres like True Crime, Comedy Fiction, and Documentary.

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2022 proved to be another electric year for podcasting. This has always been a democratic medium, but the continued momentum towards diversification on all fronts — from audience and content to choice of device and advertiser investment – is thrilling. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2023!

Download the infographic to explore these trends further.

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Data Sources

*The data from this report comes from Spotify and its enterprise podcast platforms: Megaphone, Chartable, and Podsights. Named #1 in terms of reach according to Edison Research Podcast Metrics, we believe Spotify data to be a good indicator of major industry trends.  700+ global publishers host their podcasts on Megaphone, and the platform sees 1B+ monthly downloads. Chartable data is derived from 28K+ podcasts, 16B+ annual downloads, and 7B annual cross-promotion impressions. Podsights data is aggregated from 8.2 billion impressions from 3.4K campaigns across 838 advertisers.