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The Independent Podcasters Report May 2024

What is an Actively Established Podcaster? An Actively Established Podcast is defined as an interview-based podcast with at least 100 episodes and a release cadence of 10 days or less that’s run by a host who isn’t a celebrity, or part of a major media network.

Report Creators:

View Past Reports: January 2024 | February 2024 | March 2024April 2024 | May 2024

Overall Industry Buzz: MEDIUM
“Podcasts” are trending at 77% on search engines. (↓9%)

Podcasters Health: LOW
Extremely high failure rate with limited clear success paths.

Listenership Health: HIGH
504.9M podcast listeners estimated for 2024. (↑8.7%)

Podcasting Opportunity: VERY HIGH
There has never been a better time to start a podcast.

Podcasting Industry Totals

There are 3,020,397 total podcasts, but only 398,987 are active.

💡 Fact: There has been no increase in the # of active podcasts since July 2020. (There are 309k fewer podcasts active now than in 2020!)

Group
Last Month
This Month
Change
Total
3,003,748
3,020,397
+ 0.55%
Active
403,589
398,987
– 1.14%

 

Only 13.2% of the total podcasts are active!

No Data Found

No Data Found

Possible Future Actively Established Podcasts

There are 517,064 total independent interview-based podcasts with more than 1 episode, but only 123,121 are active.

💡 Fact: Most people who “start a podcast” never release more than a single episode.

Group
Last Month
This Month
Change
Total
511,998
517,064
+ 0.99%
Active
123,747
123,121
– 0.50%

Only 23.81% of possible future Actively Established podcasters are active!

Actively Established Podcasts

There are 40,335 Actively Established podcasters, which is 32.76% of the total active independent podcasts.

💡 Fact: More than 90% of the influence in podcasting is shared among podcasters in this ‘AE’ group, which is only 7.80% of all independent podcasts!

Month
Total
% Change
June
30,089
N/A
July
30,112
+ 0.08%
August
36,783
+ 22.2%
September
37,176
+ 1.0%
October
37,574
+ 1.0%
November
38,133
+ 1.48%
December
38,252
+ 0.3%
January
37,843
– 1.06%
February
37,684
– 0.42%
March
38,965
+ 3.39%
April
40,198
+ 3.16%
May
40,335
+ 0.34%

 

Only 1.33% of all podcasts, active/inactive!

No Data Found

No Data Found

Chances of "Making It" As A Podcaster

Based on the data, below are the chances that independent podcast creators have of reaching certain milestones without podfading.

💡 Fact: If you start a business, you’re 4x more likely to succeed than if you start a podcast! (“Making it” as a podcaster typically begins just after reaching 100 episodes)

Episode Milestone
Chances Of Success
8 Episodes
45.85%
50 Episodes
11.26%
100 Episodes
6.33%
200 Episodes
2.62%
300 Episodes
4.39%

 

If you’re podcasting to make money, stop. Go start a business instead!

Podcast Guesting Health (BETA)

(This data isn’t easy to pull, but we’re working on it…) This metric must be watched because it’s potentially the biggest threat to podcasting right now due to the lack of balance.

💡 Fact: If you want to find podcasts looking for guests, you need to be on PodMatch.com. If you’re a podcast host, you need to effectively manage the guest booking process. You need PodMatch.com! 💜

Podcasts Seeking Guests
Guests Seeking Podcasts
117,621
3,600,100

 

Every podcast has an average of 31 people reaching out every day requesting to be a guest!

Your Podcast Compared to Industry Averages

Downloads are not everything, nor are they important, but gaining perspective on the reality of where your podcast is can be encouraging!

💡 Fact: If your episodes are downloaded 470 times in the first 7 days after release, you’re in the top 10% of all podcasts!

Podcasters Group
Episode Downloads (First 7 Days)
Top 1%
4,782
Top 5%
1,100
Top 10%
470
Top 25%
115
Top 50%
30

^ The above numbers have been provided by Buzzsprout. (See FAQs below for details)

Podcast Hosting Providers Ranked by Their Ability to Serve/Support Independent Podcasters:

👋🏻 Looking to switch hosting providers? Here’s our choice for the best option + an exclusive discount to get started!

RankRank Change (+/-)Hosting ProviderAllActiveAEScore
1↑1buzzsprout58929192564430501
2↓-1captivate86933115930446
3↓0redcircle45081285501370
4↓0acast101193309966233
5↓0transistor71612196590156
6↓0podbean312259262310546
7↑2rss.com8931286239443
8↓0simplecast9539284812370
9↑5soundcloud2676935841818-48
10↓0audioboom2795607271-54
11↑2spreaker1823435911559-60
12↓-1blubrry1863552148-65
13↓-1libsyn3393899074338-80
14↑1kajabi1417604134-83
15↓-8castos1968566145-84
16↑3podserve71315226-98
17↓-1fireside969268105-235
18↑2bcast51615240-264
19↑8Podomatic6744471169-278
20↑2podcast.co1220298111-290
21↓0podetize43518079-291
22↑12alitu2241248-298
23↑3ausha27411519-312
24↓-1resonate1986610-335
25↓-1pinecast1705287113-373
26↑7podops69253-380
27↑4podigee2958810-383
28↓-10zencastr64534860-400
29↑3podcastics1164414-401
30↓-5zencast3378320-410
31↓-1cohost149699-413
32↓-3podcasts.com6146326-441
33↓-5fusebox84565-446
34↑1disctopia2891-458
35↓-18anchor185229324017950-1235

^ The hosting provider data listed above has been supplied by Rephonic.com and calculated by PodPros (See FAQ section below for details)

FAQ: About The AE Podcast Report

Actively established podcasters are interview-based show hosts with more than 100 episodes released without missing beyond a percentage of episode releases along the way. They’ve consistently created content for their podcast since launching! (For more, that’s 2 years, based on a weekly release cadence.) For more on this, see Alex Sanfilippo’s original announcement, here: https://podpros.com/actively-established/. For an independent interview-based podcast, we’ve found that it takes 100 episodes before meaningful traction begins. Growing your influence and impact with listeners begins at 100 episodes, so that’s what we’re tracking!

This report is based on filtering out all the shows that don’t actually matter. The Actively Established Podcast Report displays interview based independent podcasts only. All celebrity podcasts, non-interview based, big network podcasts, and podcasts with only one episode have been removed from the results. (Some newer/smaller shows from larger networks may be included in the data above.)

We pull +/- 15 days of data to use as our sample unit within the following ranges: 8 weeks, 50 weeks, 100 weeks, 200 weeks, 300 weeks of current day.

Once we have these sample units, we review the percentages of success/failure in each range after averaging outliers and hosting providers who do not reach the minimum criteria.

From there, we have 39 separate formulas applied to calculate the datapoints. All fully automated, no manual adjustments made to the algorithm that’s deciding scoring and ranking. The size of a hosting provider has minimal effect on their rank, what matter is activity of podcasters and the episode release milestones that they reach. (Release cadence, total episodes released, and sample unit milestones are the top factors contributing to rank.)

TWO MANUAL ACTIONS: If a podcast host gates/hides email addresses by default, they receive +50 points. If a hosting provider is a member of podstandards.org, they receive +50 points. (NOTE: The hosting provider data only shows independent interview-based podcasts.)

We make suggestions on which hosting providers should be used, and avoided, within the Actively Established Podcast Formula Course. For free access to this $1,200.00 course, please complete the PodScore.io quiz and you’ll be granted access to our hosting provider suggestions and exclusive discounts!

All data was pulled by our partner, Rephonic.com. Rephonic counted the number of podcasts by each hosting provider by RSS feed domain.

We use a combination of publicly available data from demandsage.com, nielsen.com, statista.com, exploringtopics.com and edisonresearch.com.

Specific sources:

Our partner, Buzzsprout provided data on average industry downloads based on their internal data. Although they are specifically Buzzsprout’s numbers, they have enough market share for us to deem this as industry averages.

Rephonic uses automated Natural Language Processing to identify podcasts that accept guests and while it is usually very accurate, occasionally Rephonic may get it wrong.

Sometimes Rephonic doesn’t  find associated social accounts for a podcast, or link ones that are incorrect. Rephonic’s data is therefore not 100% accurate but in aggregate these issues are minimized.

We pulled data on podcasts from date-range criteria to determine how many succeeded or failed during that time. Every month, we update the date ranges to keep it current, while incorporating historical averages into the data. We pull based on weekly episode releases and follow the same “AE” standard as the rest of this report.

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