The number of podcasts continues to climb, but the pace of launches continues to slow. The podcast search engine Listen Notes says 45,195 podcasts made their debut during the first quarter of the year. That is less than a third of the 150,000 new podcasts that launched during the same period a year ago.
January was the biggest month for new podcast launches with 19,183 shows debuting, followed by 15,686 in February and 10,326 in March.
Listen Notes says the second quarter begins with 2,815,378 podcasts available to listeners. That is a two percent increase compared to the end of 2021. And the number of episodes available for listeners totals 130,214,654. The number of episodes increased by 6.4 million during the first quarter.
Fewer new show launches, many from novices who quickly learn that producing a series is a lot more work than it seems from the outside, has also meant fewer so-called “dead” podcasts. Listen Notes says during the first quarter there were 8,661 shows that were considered dead. That is nine percent fewer than during the same period last year. Listen Notes considers a show to have died when the RSS feed is deleted, or its iTunes “Completed” tag is marked “yes” by the publisher.
Listen Notes also says that of the 2.82 million podcasts that now exist, 492,745 were active during the first quarter of 2022. It considers a show active if it published an episode during a specific year. That means just 17% of all shows ever created are currently active.
The United States is where nearly two-thirds (64%) of all podcasts originate. Not unexpectedly, most shows are in English. Listen Notes tabulates 60% were in English -- the same number as at year end. The tally shows 12% of shows were in Spanish, and seven percent were in Portuguese which is driven by the fast-growing Brazilian podcast market. Indonesian (5%) and German (3%) rounded out the top five.
The top genre remained Society & Culture during the first quarter, which represented 13.7% of all shows. It is followed by Education (12.4%), Arts (9.6%), Business (8.8%), Religion & Spirituality (8.4%), Comedy (7.3%), Health & Fitness (6.1%), News (5.1%), Leisure (4.9%), Music (4.8%), Sports (4.4%), TV & Film (3.1%), Technology (2.5%), Kids & Family (2.2%), and Science (2.2%).
San Francisco-based Listen Notes was launched in 2017 by Webian Fang, who in the latest update to users says Listen Notes is now offering one-click payment for its paid products. It has also improved its functionality for the Tor browser.