Content and distribution powerhouse Stitcher has released a report of observations and measurements over 10 years of delivering podcasts to listeners. (Find it HERE.) It is a unique glimpse into listener behavior from a pioneering and influential podcast company. Here, a review of some key points, and a recorded conversation with Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn (scroll down to listen).
If there is a single keyword which characterizes the Stitcher report, it is growth. This applies to podcast creation, and listening. On the production side, the number of podcasts published to Stitcher has grown more than 129,000% since 2010. And on the listening side, the following graphic tells two stories — total hours and monthly hours.
Other key findings include the following:
- Some states carry more listening weight: The state of Washington, for example, ranks No. 4 in listening hours, despite being No. 13 in highest population.
- Streaming remains popular: Two-thirds of podcasts are streamed rather than downloaded.
- The rise of the mini-series: Mini-series podcasts grew from four in 2010 to more than 52,000 in 10 years. From “Serial” in 2014 to top shows including “The Dream” and “Chernobyl,” listeners are tuning in to learn about history, legends and behind-the-curtain truths.
- Episodes are trending shorter: The average podcast episode length has shortened by 2.4 minutes since 2013.
- Gen X is dedicated: Though the 18-34 age group makes up the largest chunk of listeners, the 35-55 age group is more dedicated based on listening hours and the number of shows they’ve added to their favorites.
- Bouncing back amid COVID-19: While listening decreased during weekday commuting hours, the second half of April began to show a return to pre-pandemic levels of listening patterns.
The report engages in some cool and interesting comparisons across its 10-year scope. Below, the performance rankings of top shows:
In a RAIN popup podcast we spoke with Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn about the report, with some conversation at the end about Joe Rogan’s exclusive deal with Spotify. We connected with Erik over Zencastr, and here is the conversation: