Podcast Listener Growth Rate Falls to 6.8% in 2022

Podcasts have provided a new channel for brands to connect with consumers and customers, and this format has been seeing some tremendous growth these past few years. In spite of the fact that this is the case, the growth rate for 2022 is at just 6.8% which is less than half of the growth that was seen in 2021. Insider Intelligence predicted that total weekly podcast listeners would exceed 100 million, but that prediction has now been decreased by 1.9 million so a total of 98.4 million are expected by the end of the year.

As for monthly podcast listeners, there are around 124 million of them in the US alone. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this category of podcast listeners are also showing half as much growth as last year, with a total year over year growth rate of 5% being predicted for 2022.

A major driver of this trend is Spotify, since it doubled down on a lot of major podcast personalities and that allowed this format to grow faster than might have been the case otherwise. Spotify has seen its premium subscriber ranks swell by 5.8%, but last year it was well over 16% so there is a widespread slowdown that is occurring that might impact the industry in the future.

However, while many subscription services have been faced with slower than average growth this year, Spotify is unique in that it is the only service that did not try to increase its subscription fees. The fact that Spotify is still facing these issues despite its fees being the same as they were last year would be a troubling sign for the company, and it might indicate that the road ahead is full of obstacles.

Still, Spotify’s podcast listeners grow by well over 13% so it is outperforming the wider market in that specific category. Podcasts might be Spotify’s saving grace amidst less than stellar growth numbers, and that might lead to increased investment in this audio format moving forward which would be a change from years prior.

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