Podcasts had a bumper 2020

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

black and silver microphone with white background
Photo by Jukka Aalho on Unsplash

From a billion-dollar valuation for social Internet’s “it” startup, Clubhouse to billionaire Mark Cuban co-founding his own version of a live “fireside chat” app, audio is the new hotness. Amidst all the hubbub, it is easy to think of podcasting as an old fuddy-duddy — which is ironic given that podcasting had its best year ever in 2020. 

A full analysis of the year in podcasting is available over on Chartable, the podcasting analytics platform. Jam-packed with facts, figures, and smart analysis, the write-up is well worth reading. Here are some highlights:

  • There were 17,000 new podcasts started each week in 2020, totaling roughly 900,000 by the end of the year. 
  • Half of those new podcasts are in English, but other languages are growing fast — led by Hindi, Chinese, and Portuguese. 
  • Monthly downloads increased by 180 percent. 
  • Chartable says it is seeing 1.2 billion downloads per month just for the 13,000 podcasts it monitors. The actual total is much larger.  
  • Ad revenues are up by 15 percent.
  • Each week in 2020, about 160 new advertisers put dollars to work in podcasts. 
  • Not surprisingly, corporations are starting to take over. The top five in the U.S. are Amazon, Entercom, iHeartMedia, Spotify, and NPR.

Last year, I wrote about the growth of podcasts, pointing out that the situation “reminds me of the blogging boom — in the early days, a few dozen blogs at the top made a lot of money, while the rest (Read more...)