Steve Goldstein: 11 Podcast Stats Worth Knowing

Steve Goldstein’s Amplifi Media works with media companies and podcasters in developing audio content strategies. Goldstein writes frequently at Blogstein, the Amplifi blog.

If you are like me, it is easy to become overwhelmed as the podcast data flows like water from a hose in various news articles, tweets and sessions at the recent Podcast Movement conference.

I sorted through some key numbers that resonated with me.

1 Million

“Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” podcast generates one million downloads per episode. That’s considerably better than the 300,000 viewers of his TV show on TBS. (NY Times)


That’s the average number of podcast downloads for Rachel Maddow’s nightly MSNBC TV Show. Time-shifted podcast content is often discounted by TV and radio broadcasters. Rachel’s TV show averages about 2.5 million viewers. Her podcast adds as many as 300,000 listeners/downloads, which, if my math is right, is an additional 12% to her show’s circulation. Anyone for a 12% boost? (NBC’s Steve Lickteig speaking at Jacobs Media session at Podcast Movement)

Two Million

Pod Save America downloads per episode (Variety)


Number of downloads per episode of the venerable Jordan Harbinger Show podcast. (NY Times)


Edison Research’s Tom Webster took a look at veteran podcast listeners versus newbies (rookies). Over half (54%) of the rookies are aged 12-34 which reinforces how incredibly attractive (and difficult to duplicate) the demos of podcast listeners are. (Tom Webster, via Medium)

Three Million

Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast “Revisionist History” can draw as many as three million downloads per episode. (NY Times)


The percent of Apple’s Top 200 podcasts hosted by celebrities or influencers in 2018. The prior year it was 20%. As of the middle of this year, 77 of the top 200 (36%) are celebrity based. The business is rapidly becoming more star centric. (TechCrunch/Justine Moore)


The number of podcasts on Apple Podcasts as of September 5, according to Daniel J Lewis. (Audacitytopodcast)

28 Of 750,000

You might think tons of podcasts are getting TV production deals, but according to Libsyn’s Rob Walch, only 28 have been offered Hollywood TV or movie deals. Schucks.


The number of languages Wondery’s Dr. Death podcast is now available in.

6.75 Million

The number of unique Barstool Sports podcast listeners in July, 2019, edging ESPN. Podcasts now represent one-third of Barstool’s revenue (Variety)

Bonus: Two Million

The number of podcasts Google is already indexing for transcription which will dramatically improve the findability of specific podcast content. (The Verge)

And One Fun Fact:

Amazon originally called itself “Cadabra,” but it sounded a little too much like cadaver. (Mark Randolph co-founder Netflix)

Those are just a few numbers that caught my eye. So many more interesting stories told by the various podcast stats out there, which is emblematic of a fast changing business.

Steve Goldstein

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