Fan Study, Podcast Edition: The data to help you grow your show

From completion rates to favorite genres, we’ve put together everything you need to know about your audience’s listening trends—and how you can use them to level up your podcast.

At Spotify, our Fan Study helps music artists uncover insights about how fans listen all over the world. We’re excited to bring those same tools and resources to our first-ever podcast edition — helping creators better understand fans and trends on Spotify to make more informed decisions.

INSIGHT ONE – REACH

Did you know that Gen Z's podcast discovery is growing at more than twice the rate of other age groups?

When you think of typical podcast listeners, your mind may initially go to an older demographic. But the pace at which Gen Z is discovering content is growing at a rate more than double that of than any other age group. This means they’re always on the hunt for their next favorite podcast, be sure to take Gen Z’s curiosity into consideration!

ACTION:

Read this Spotify study that explains why Gen Z is the fastest growing podcast audience, and can help you explore new ways to pique their interest.


INSIGHT TWO – REACH

Even the smallest podcasts often have listeners from around the world.

On average, a show with 30 listeners has users from five different countries. You read that right – that’s a much more global audience than you might have expected when you started your podcast. In fact, for every 10 listeners you gain, on average, 1 new listener will come from a different country. Now’s your time to think big! With a more worldwide fan base, you can get more creative with where you advertise, or even where you do live shows.

ACTION:

Find out how to grow your podcast globally to connect with fans across the world.


INSIGHT THREE – REACH

Listeners around the world have a wide range of favorite genres, but compared to the average of the global audience, some regions have clear favorites. For example, we see that compared to other regions, Latin America loves Fiction podcasts, while the US and Canada over index* on Kids & Family and Asia Pacific over indexes on Religion & Spirituality shows.

*over index in this case means the ratio of a region’s percent listening hours per genre to the global percent of listening hours per genre.

ACTION:

Discover how your favorite genre performs in your target region and brainstorm ways to incorporate these topics. Not sure where to start? This article will help you find and build your audience for your podcast niche or genre.


INSIGHT FOUR – REACH

Your fans have a more complex listening palette than you may think.

We took a look at how fandoms overlap across podcast categories, and you may be surprised at some of the crossover – for example, starting from the top left side of the graph below, 31% of Arts listeners also listen to Comedy, however only 18% of Comedy listeners also tune in to Arts podcasts

ACTION:

Learn how other genres compare to your podcast’s genre, and how they can complement each other -- from cross-promotion with other creators, to inviting new co-hosts that bring a new perspective.


INSIGHT FIVE – ENGAGEMENT

In a world of short attention spans, you might be surprised at how long podcast fans will listen.

Knowing your audience is listening to a podcast episode from start to finish is incredibly rewarding, but you might be surprised to know that episode completion rate* varies from genre to genre. Listeners may be willing to spend time digging into a True Crime mystery from start to finish, or tuning in to catch the highlights of a Tech podcast. Depending on your genre, shorter isn’t always better – especially in a time when bite-sized content seems ubiquitous.

*Completion Rate is the ratio of minutes of episode consumed / total minutes of episode length.

ACTION:

What’s your show’s current runtime? Check out the completion rate trends in your genre, and compare to your show’s performance right now on your Anchor dashboard.


INSIGHT SIX – ENGAGEMENT

Fans who follow your podcast will listen to 4X the number of episodes.

Your followers are notified when your new episodes are available on their Spotify homepage, so it should come as no surprise that your podcast followers are much more likely to actually consume your content than those who don't. With so much focus on gaining new listeners, your loyal listeners shouldn’t be overlooked — making sure they are following your show so that they will be notified and listen on a regular basis.

ACTION:

Remind your listeners to follow your show on Spotify and across your other touchpoints: your podcast website, social channels, newsletter, and more. Learn how.


INSIGHT SEVEN – ENGAGEMENT

Stick with it. The biggest growth happens for your podcast during the first four months.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same can be said for your potential podcasting success. It’s easy to get disheartened when it feels like your podcast isn’t taking off the way you want it to, but there’s often a light at the end of the tunnel! Podcasts on Spotify tend to see their biggest traction within the first four months of your show’s history.

ACTION:

Need a little inspiration to keep going? Read through this helpful guide to get inspiration for new topics and themes.



METHODOLOGY & DISCLAIMERS

  • Insight 1: We looked at the percent change from the average number of podcast shows discovered from April 1st to June 30th of 2021 to the number of podcast shows discovered from April 1st to June 30th of 2022 for each age group.

  • Insight 2: We looked at podcast shows with up to 100 listeners from April 1st to June 30th of 2022.

  • Insight 3: We looked at the relative popularity of podcast genres in each global region based on listening hours from April 1st to June 30th of 2022.

  • Insight 4: We looked at the audience overlap between podcast genres based on a random sample of 3M podcast listeners from April 1st to June 30th of 2022.

  • Insight 5: We looked at to what extent listeners listen to the entirety of a podcast episode as well as the episode's average duration by genre from April 1st to June 30th of 2022.

  • Insight 6: We looked at average podcast episode consumption of followers versus non-followers from April 1st to June 30th of 2022.

  • Insight 7: We looked at average listener size based on podcast show maturity from April 1st to June 30th of 2022.

All insights are based on data that looks at consumption of all podcast shows hosted on Spotify (excluding Spotify Original & Exclusive content) from April 1st to June 30th of 2022.