Welcome to The Audio Indicator, a new series from National Public Media, NPR’s sponsorship team. Each month, we’ll deliver one important audio fact in three minutes or less. We at National Public Media want to keep you in the loop about what’s trending in the world of audio, and offer some context and insights into what you need to know. We’re kicking things off with a look into the ever-hot topic of podcasting. Enjoy!
Podcasts have officially gone mainstream. There are over 2M active podcast titles in distribution in 2021. That’s up from 500K in 2018, a nearly 300% increase (Apple Podcasts, 2021). And there are more than 48M podcast episodes produced. What’s more, 78 percent of the US population is now aware of what a podcast is (Infinite Dial, 2021), up from 55% just five (5) years ago.
So what do these numbers mean for advertisers and marketers? Podcasting is here to stay for American consumers, and the same should be true for media plans and marketing strategies. It’s a powerful medium for communication and storytelling. Among those 2M titles, your brand can connect with the more than 116M Americans who listen to podcasts, who on average, spend 5.3 hours a day listening to audio. That’s a significant amount of time they’re devoting to content your brand can align with.
There are programs out there for almost any interest, topic, or style a listener is seeking within those 2M programs. From business to investigative to self help to narrative storytelling, there are millions of titles for audiences to find and fall in love with. And when listeners are engaged with this content, it can drive results for your brand: