Updated June 6, 2018
New data from Apple, reported by TechCrunch today shows the number of podcasts in Apple Podcasts (formerly known as Podcasts in iTunes) has surpassed 550,000. Fast Company previously reported 525,000 on April 30, and the Financial Times reported 500,000 on February 8. By number of active shows, podcasts are now a pillar of mass media with a rapid and accelerating growth rate.
Google recently introduced its initiative “to make audio a first-class citizen,” and double podcast listening, noting that “the average iPhone listens to over ten times more podcasting than the average Android,” according to Google Podcasts Product Manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen. Google Search, which accounts for 63 percent of U.S. search – 5.5 billion searches per day in 2017 according to hostingfacts.com – will display podcasts as Google Search results alongside text, images, and videos along with Play and other buttons. This means that many consumers will discover and listen to their first podcast without needing to download an app.
As a result of these remarkable announcements, Podcraft has raised its show-growth forecast to 700,000 active shows by the end of 2018, with the millionth podcast launching in early 2020, and more than 3 million podcasts at 2025 year-end.
Podcasts launched on Apple iTunes in 2005 and grew steadily to 100,000 shows in 2012. In 2014, Apple introduced its Podcasts app in iOS 8, instantly delivering the medium into the pocket of every iPhone, iPad, and iPod owner. That, paired with the runaway success of the This American Life-produced investigative journalism podcast, Serial, which won a Peabody Award, catapulted podcasts into mainstream cultural relevance. Today, better than one in four Americans over the age of 12 – 73 million – listen to podcasts regularly.
Podcasts deliver the intimacy of an in-person conversation to loyal, enthusiastic listeners worldwide. With aggressive, sustained trifold growth in listeners, shows, and advertising revenues, podcasting is the most significant growth segment in consumer technology today, and perhaps the most important missed opportunity for your business or brand!
It’s hard to start a podcast, with knowledge, time spent, and audio technology obstacles creating significant barriers to quality and consistency of output. Podcraft makes it easy and fast for businesses to great great podcasts. We’d love to help yours. Contact us today to find out how.