It seems like everyone has been starting a podcast of late and, according to a recent report from Stitcher that looks at statistics about podcasts for the past decade, everyone has.

The headline grabbing statistic from the report is the growth of podcasts in particular, with Stitcher noting an increase of 129 000 percent over the past 10 years. This of course looks at the Stitcher platform specifically in terms of data, so the growth is likely even higher when you factor in other platforms, not to mention Spotify’s recent podcast play.

“Like Stitcher, podcast listening has been growing strong for over a decade now, and we wanted to take a moment and reflect on the diversity of tastes and consumption habits that have driven that growth,” says CEO, Erik Diehn.

“The data we found reinforce our belief that the unique, intimate appeal of podcasting makes its fans the most loyal and passionate of any medium,” he adds.

Some of the other interesting nuggets from the report show that two-thirds of podcasts are streamed rather than dowloaded. Again it’s important to look at where this data is coming from, and while streaming is more easily accessible in the United States (where this report was generated), we think there might be a more even split in other parts of the globe.

It seems podcast series have also become very popular in the past decade, with notable ones like Serial and The Dream helping to increase Stitcher’s numbers from four in 2010 to 52 000 in 2020.

Another interesting trend is that podcast episodes are getting shorter – by 2.4 minutes to be more precise as of 2013 onwards. Whether that is down to people increasing the number of podcasts they produce on average, or potentially what the listener data is pointing to and when people stop listening, is unclear.

Delving deeper into the demographics of the report, those aged 18 to 34 make up the largest listenership on Stitcher, but interestingly 35 to 55 age group dedicate more listening hours.

The report also looked at some of the early numbers during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with weekday listening during traffic and commuting hours decreasing initially, before returning to a normal state in April.

“The podcast industry has shown its resiliency and ability to be nimble as hosts made a swift transition from recording studios to home, keeping a steady cadence of new episodes,” explains Diehn.

“And even as day-to-day life has been transformed, people continue to turn to trusted and beloved shows and hosts to be informed and uplifted,” he concludes.

You can read the full report here, as well as check our Hypertext’s africast episodes here (shameless plug).

[Image – Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash]