The podcast advertising and analytics firm Chartable has released its year-end report. It measured 180% more monthly downloads during 2020 as nearly 900,000 new shows were created. “That's almost two podcasts started every minute, throughout the entire year,” said CEO Dave Zohrob in a blog post.
Nearly a third of the podcasts have only published one or two episodes, which Zohrob takes as creators “trying out” the medium. That has become a lot easier with companies like Anchor and Spreaker providing the tools to do so. Yet Chartable says not all new launches are a flash in the pan. It reports a quarter (23%) of podcasts started in 2021 have already published more than ten episodes. “There's no denying that the sheer volume of new podcasts reflects an ever-increasing interest in the medium from creators,” said Zohrob.
Chartable says that a growing number of new podcasts debuting are coming in languages other than English and from beyond the U.S. borders. Zohrob said nearly half of the new shows were not in English. That included a seven-fold increase in the number of podcasts in Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian Portuguese, Chinese and Indonesian. The fastest growth came in Hindi podcasts, with their number growing 14-fold last year.
“All of these new creators are creating all kinds of new content,” said Zohrob. Chartable data shows the top category for new podcasts created last year was Education, followed by Society & Culture, Arts, and Business.
All those new content options are bringing more ears to podcasting. Chartable-measured U.S. traffic grew 190% in 2020 but Zohrob said many other countries saw much greater increases, including Turkey (+520%), Italy (+470%), Peru (+380%), Bangladesh (+330%), China (+330%) and Columbia (+320%). The figures are based on its direct measurement of more than 13,000 podcasts which he said now have about 1.2 billion downloads each month.
In a series of predictions for 2021, Zohrob said he expects to see consolidation accelerate as the big players assess their audio strategies and make additional acquisitions. He also thinks that there will be more focus on expanding measurement capabilities as more podcast companies focus on exclusive content.
“Regardless of what happens on the corporate front of podcasting, the fundamentals of audio are strong,” said Zohrob. “Around the world, more and more listeners are tuning in to podcasts. More and more creators are starting podcasts for the first time. And more and more advertisers are exploring the medium and increasing their spend, which means there's more money that will flow to creators to fund even more great shows.”