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Podcast Statistics — Top Podcasts UK

Podcasting has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down any time soon.

From workouts at the gym to long car rides, podcasts have become our go-to companions to get us through mundane daily activities.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some podcast statistics for the UK, as well as the top podcasts in the country, so keep reading!

We’ll start off with the top 10 podcast stats.

Top 10 Statistics

  1. 1.3 million podcasts are recorded in English.
  2. Over 19.1 million Britons listen to podcasts.
  3. 40% of UK podcast listeners are aged 26 to 35.
  4. 79% of Britons listen to podcasts on their smartphones.
  5. Comedy is Brits’ most favoured genre of podcasts.
  6. People in the UK mostly listen to podcasts while commuting or travelling.
  7. Britons listen to podcasts 40% more now compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  8. 48% of Britons listen to podcasts to learn something new.
  9. In 2021, £46 million were spent on podcast advertising in the United Kingdom.
  10. In 2020, the average ad spent per podcast listener in Great Britain was £2.31.

What Is a Podcast?

A podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading/listening to on a computer or a smartphone.

Podcasts are usually episodic and often include interviews or commentary. They’re similar to radio shows, but you can listen to them whenever and wherever you want.

Podcasts are available on numerous platforms such as Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and many more online streaming services.

Today, podcast episodes often feature video as well, so you can choose to either only listen or listen and watch your favourite shows.

Podcast Statistics

Before we focus on the UK, let’s look at some general podcast industry statistics.

There are over 2.9 million podcasts in existence

This number only refers to the active podcast, not all the podcasts ever created. Nevertheless, insider Intelligence projected that by 2028, podcasting is expected to become a £75.54 billion industry.

There are roughly more than 135 million podcast episodes available, but 44% of them have less than 3 episodes!

65% of podcast listeners use a portable device to listen to their favourite shows

Podcasts are popular because they offer flexibility and convenience that other forms of audio content don’t. Add the recent wireless headphones trend, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a chill walk with a brand new episode of your most-listened true crime-podcast.

Sure, podcasts are available on desktop computers, but most podcast listeners turn to their smartphones or tablets when they want to tune in to a podcast.

1.3 million podcasts are recorded in English

This is not surprising given that English is the most spoken language globally. However, it’s interesting to note that non-English podcasts are on the rise. For example, Spanish is the second most popular language when it comes to podcasts, with over 220,000 episodes recorded. Spanish is followed by Portuguese, Indonesian, German, and French.

Podcast Statistics UK

 

As of 2021, over 19.1 million Britons listened to podcasts

The United Kingdom isn’t far behind on global trends. More and more Britons turn to podcasts, and Statista predicts that by 2026 the podcast audience in the UK will surpass 28 million.

40% of UK podcast listeners are aged 26 to 35

In the past ten years, podcasts have become one of the most popular forms of audio entertainment in the UK. The majority of podcast listeners are younger, with 40% of them aged 26 to 35.

A recent Statista survey also found that 79% of Britons listen to podcasts on their smartphones. Laptops and desktop computers followed with 15% of podcast listening time.

A different Statista study conducted in the last 2021 quarter suggests that 59% of UK’s citizens have listened to a podcast at some point, while 71% of them were familiar with the podcast format.

Sports and comedy are the most popular podcast genres amongst male listeners in the UK

When it comes to podcast genres, men usually prefer listening to sports and comedy podcasts. One possible explanation for this is that these are generally seen as more “masculine” topics. But then again, we all know how much men like listening to Joe Rogan.

This isn’t to say that women don’t enjoy these genres as well, but it’s generally more common for men to listen to them.

People in the UK mostly listen to podcasts while commuting or travelling

According to Statista, 44% of the UK population listens to podcasts while driving. Another 34% listen in their free time.

Vodafone also noticed that Londoners are the most heavily dependent on audio shows while commuting. Almost 31% of them say they enjoy listening to podcasts in the car, which makes sense as it’s a great way to make use of otherwise wasted time.

In contrast, 32% of people from Northern Ireland stated that they always listen to podcasts while walking their dogs.

Other popular times for listening to podcasts include doing chores, working out, and relaxing at home.

Britons listen to podcasts 40% more now compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the way people spend their free time. For example, podcasts are excellent entertainment as they’re relatively cheap and easy to consume.

But podcasts have purposes other than entertainment. 57% of Vodafone’s respondents said that a podcast had inspired them to change something in their life. Some of these changes included eating healthier (17%), working out more (16%), and learning a new skill (17%).

What’s even more impressive is the fact that one-in-five people said that a podcast had inspired them to switch careers.

30% of the UK population finds out about new podcasts through word-of-mouth

It’s no secret that word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools. And it seems like it works for podcasts as well.

30% of the UK population finds out about new podcasts through recommendations from friends or family, and 18% found out about a podcast via a radio program.

48% of Britons listen to podcasts to learn something new

Self-improvement and self-growth have become the top motivators for people around the globe to tune into podcasts. As a result, you can find names like Robin Sharma, Jim Kwik, and Tony Robbins among the most downloaded podcasts in the podcast listening apps, proving how much people want to improve their lives and learn something new.

However, some people only listen to podcasts to relax. Actually, that’s 39% of the podcast listenership in the United Kingdom.

In 2021, £46 million were spent on podcast advertising in the United Kingdom

With podcast popularity rapidly growing, the reach marketers can get from advertising on these platforms is increasing daily.

As more and more people start listening to podcasts, businesses are taking notice and investing in podcast promotions. For example, in 2020, the average ad spent per podcast listener in Great Britain was £2.31, which is expected to grow to £4.14 by 2024.

In 2021, £46 million were spent on podcast ads in the UK, and this number is expected to grow in the coming years. Statista predicts that by 2026 the figure will increase to £80 million.

34% of Britons stopped listening to podcasts because they couldn’t find a show they liked

With so many podcasts existing, making the right choice is overwhelming and listeners can’t find a show they are interested in. Unfortunately, this is one of the main reasons so many people stop listening to podcasts.

A significant number of the survey’s respondents (29%) said they stopped listening to podcasts because they just didn’t have the time to.

Top Podcasts in the UK

 

Lastly, let’s look at the most listened to podcasts in the UK.

Comedy is Brits’ most favoured genre of podcast

Vodafone teamed up with Spotify and conducted research about podcast usage in the UK. The results suggested that comedy is the nation’s favourite podcast genre, with 30% of the respondents picking it as their go-to podcast category.

Comedy is followed by entertainment — 25%, sport — 23%, and true crime — 19%. Drama is Brits’ least popular podcast genre (12%).

Scotland ended up having the most political podcast fans — 24%, while Yorkshire and the Humber listen to the most sports content — 28%.

The majority of the Welsh favoured personal development podcasts, and South West residents were most likely to listen to health and fitness-related content.

 

Top 10 British Podcasts

 

The most popular British podcasts right now according to UK Podcasts:

  1. Global News Podcast
  2. The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett
  3. CounterClock
  4. My Therapist Ghosted Me
  5. The Economist Podcasts
  6. The Rest Is Politics
  7. The Criminal Makeup
  8. NearlyWeds
  9. Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster
  10. Sh**ged Married Annoyed

 

Top 10 Spotify Podcasts

 

The top 10 podcasts in the UK according to Spotify:

  1. The Joe Rogan Experience
  2. The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett
  3. Sh**ged Married Annoyed
  4. Relaxing White Noise
  5. Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster
  6. JaackMaate’s Happy Hour
  7. That Peter Crouch Podcast
  8. Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe’s Parenting Hell
  9. Call Her Daddy
  10. Times news briefing

 

Top 10 Apple Podcasts

 

Finally, here’s Apple’s list of the top UK podcasts:

  1. Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV
  2. The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett
  3. Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe’s Parenting Hell
  4. Sit With Us
  5. Saving Grace
  6. The Rest Is Politics
  7. That Peter Crouch Podcast
  8. NearlyWeds
  9. Sh**ged Married Annoyed
  10. The Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club

Wrap Up

As our podcast statistics for the UK show, Britons are in on the new podcast trends. With over 19 million podcast enthusiasts around the country, the podcast listenership in the United Kingdom appears to have the most interest in comedy shows.

Hopefully, you found our article insightful and learned something new.