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Most popular podcasts in the UK 2020
We found out how popular podcast listening is in the UK, how much is spent on advertising and what the most popular podcasts are.
Podcasts have been growing in popularity over the years, with 15,610,000 people in the UK tuning in to their favourite host. With the growing demand for podcasts, there has never been a better time to delve into the wide array of topics that they cover. From weekly news broadcasts to gaming or learning about a person you’ve never heard of before, there’ll be a podcast to suit you.
If you want to start listening, either download a few episodes before you leave the house, or make sure to get a good mobile plan to cover your use of data.
- 24% of Brits, or 15,610,000 people, listen to podcasts on a regular basis.
- 1 in 20 adults consume their news via podcasts.
- Based on a sample of 10 million episodes, the mean length of a podcast episode is 38 minutes and 42 seconds.
- Podcasts about video games are the longest, with an average of just under 70 minutes per episode, and language course podcasts are the shortest, at 18 minutes on average per episode.
- £26,990,000 was spent on podcast advertising in 2019, and this is expected to rise to £33,560,000 in 2020.
As we can see from the graph below, the amount of people listening to podcasts is constantly on the rise, with the number nearly doubling to over 15 million in 2020 compared to 8.9 million in 2017. In just three years, podcast listeners have increased by 6 million, leading to more and more people not only listening to podcasts but also starting their own. However, only 24% of Brits regularly listen to podcasts, with 75% choosing not to listen to them at all.
|Year||Podcast listeners in the UK|
Where people get their podcasts from tends to differ slightly. A third of those who listen to podcasts (32%) find their podcasts by word of mouth, while another third (32%) research online to find out what’s good. Another 29% trust their friends’ recommendations.
What we do while listening to podcasts
Since most podcasts are just audio, you can often perform other tasks at the same time. Taking the top spot is driving, with 38% of respondents choosing this as the thing they do most often while listening to a podcast. At the bottom of the list are washing/dressing (8%) and other Internet use (7%).
|What people do while listening to podcasts||Percentage|
|Other Internet use||7%|
Age of listeners
Podcast listeners truly encompass all ages, which may be due to the fact that they’re easily available and there are so many different topics to choose from. 38% of those aged 26-35 have been listening to a podcast during the last year, close to a third (31%) of those aged 15-25 have been listening to a podcast during the past 12 months, while only 12% of those aged over 56 have done so.
|Age||Percentage that listen|
|56 or older||12%|
How much do advertisers spend on podcasts?
With such a surge in demand, it was clear that it wouldn’t take long for podcasts to be monetised. And with more growth being forecasted for the future, podcasts were seen as an untapped goldmine for advertising companies, which are now putting ads directly into podcasts.
From the chart below we can see that ad expenditure for podcasts has tripled since 2017, and is now estimated to hit £33,560,000 in 2020.
|Year||Total advertising expenditure for podcasts||Average spend per listener|
Does anyone care about the ads in podcasts?
It’s very effective to put an ad in a podcast. Podcast ads are usually relevant to the specific audience of the podcast, and because people mostly listen to podcasts that are recommended by friends or that they’ve discovered by word of mouth, they are more likely to trust the ads in the podcast and buy the product or service being advertised.
9% of listeners have purchased a product that was advertised by a sponsor in a podcast and 17% have bought a product that the podcasters talked about. This just shows the power of advertising in this growing industry.
|Have you researched...||The sponsors?||The advertisements?||The products discussed on the show?|
|Yes, more than once||12%||14%||17%|
|No, but I would||30%||29%||29%|
|No, and I wouldn't||39%||38%||32%|
Most profitable and popular podcasts in the UK
Is it possible to make money from a podcast? Yes. This is how much the most profitable podcasts in the world made in revenue in 2019, and the podcasts that are the most popular in the UK in 2020.
|The Joe Rogan Experience – Joe Rogan||£22,610,000|
|My Favorite Murder – Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark||£11,300,000|
|The Dave Ramsey Show – Dave Ramsey||£7,540,000|
|Armchair Expert – Dax Shepherd||£6,780,000|
|The Bill Simmons Podcast – Bill Simmons||£5,270,000|
Data accurate as of 21/09/2020
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