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Survey Says Podcasts Reach 120 Million Listeners Per Month

But how much is too much?

This is one in a series about the latest edition of “The Infinite Dial.” (Read the previous story.)

When the 2023 Infinite Dial turned its attention to podcasting, it found a return to growth.

Podcasting hit 120 million monthly listeners for the first time, and the percentage of population who listened in the past month grew after slippping backward last year.


Slide from the Infinite Dial report showing trends in monthly podcast listening


Podcast listening continues to be a predominately male activity, with men leading women this year by seven percentage points, according to Edison’s research.


Slide from the Infinite Dial showing monthly podcast listening broken down by gender


A demographic breakdown of Edison’s monthly listening figures show the 12–34 group leading the pack, with 35–54 second, and 55+ a distant third.


Slide from the Infinite Dial showing monthly podcast listening broken down by age group


U.S. weekly podcast listeners average nine podcasts per week. That’s one more than last year.



The 2023 Infinite Dial has left a few podcasting stones unturned. For example, how many podcasts are out there? How many episodes? What are the most popular tools for finding podcasts? Is podcasting approaching a saturation point? If so, what happens then?

Well, according to podcastindustryinsights there are approximately 3.9 million podcasts, though the vast majority are inactive. Still, there is a massive amount of content out there — according to “Podcast Industry Insights” by Daniel J. Lewis. there are 77 million episodes currently available on Apple Podcasts alone.

For the consumer this is both good news and bad news. Good because there’s something for every niche imaginable. Bad because finding what you want is a bit like drinking from the fire hydrant.

Google is an obvious answer, or perhaps a media-friendly search engine such as Presearch. You may also find what you’re looking for simply by using the search button on the main podcast hosting sites, such as Buzzsprout, Riverside, Podbean or Anchor. But if you’re a podcast addict, that may not be enough. As a podcast power consumer, your need for more granularity in your searches may be met by some of the emerging podcast discovery tools, including Listen Notes, Pod Hunt or Podchaser. You can also make things easier with niche podcast discovery apps such as Castro, Pinna or Laughable.

Meanwhile, there have been plenty of media business headlines asking whether podcasting will ever produce the profits that its advocates have predicted, and whether there will come a saturation point. We’ve already seen some cutbacks in the resources that certain companies devote to their podcasting arms. Less-profitable and not profitable podcasts may close up shop. That would be ironic. Recall that pioneering podcasters started their movement not as a way to earn supplemental income, but as a means to share a passion about niche subjects that would never find a home on big media.

Read the next article in this series.