The top podcasts increased their share of listeners according to Edison Research’s annual analysis of how many shows it takes to reach the majority of podcast listeners in the U.S. The answer this year is 44. But the analysis also shows that compared to a year ago, a buy concentrated on the top podcasts gets an advertiser a greater share of listeners.
Edison says an advertiser who concentrates their buy on the top ten shows will reach 35% of weekly podcast listeners aged 13 and older.
That is up two points from a year ago when the analysis was done among podcast listeners aged 18 and older. And a buy across the top 25 shows delivers a 45% reach among weekly podcast listeners. That is up one percentage point from last year. The top 100 gets an advertiser 60% podcast reach in 2023 versus 59% in 2022. And the top 500 podcasts yield a reach of 76% today, up one point from last year. Edison says buying all of the next 500 shows will only obtain another five percentage points of reach, as the top 1,000 podcasts combine to reach 81% of the podcast audience.
“Since we began collecting data for Edison Podcast Metrics four years ago, we have seen that a relatively small number of ‘big hit’ shows deliver significant reach against the base of weekly podcast listeners,” Edison says in a blog post. “Podcasting has become a mainstream medium whose top shows can reach incredible numbers, but we understand reach isn’t the only benefit of podcast advertising, nor is it feasible to buy ads on all top 500 shows. Podcasts, even those beyond the top 1,000, provide advertisers with so much more.”
For all the listeners that can be reached with a focus on the biggest series, Edison’s data also shows the potential of advertisers focusing on the long tail of podcasting. That is because nearly one in five (19%) of weekly podcast listeners cannot be reached even when a brand buys every one of the top thousand shows.