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Report: U.S. Podcasts Are Attracting More International Listeners.


The popularity of podcasts continues to surprise many, as does another bright spot this year: a growing number of international listeners.


Podcast networks including Acast, iHeart, Spotify and Wondery – as well as measurement companies like Edison Research and eMarketer – have all clocked international podcast audience growth. Wondery is capitalizing on this growth by translating some of its popular podcast franchises and hiring local podcast teams to create original shows catered to their respective audiences, while other networks are still figuring out how to best serve the international audience. iHeartPodcasts’ international audience has grown about 42% from 2021 to 2022, a spokesperson said. Roughly 20% of iHeartPodcasts’ downloads come from outside the U.S., with the largest market being Canada, followed by the broader Europe region and Australia.


Wondery’s investment in international podcasts is “an opportunity to participate in markets while they’re in early phases of growth,” said Declan Moore, the company’s head of international.


There appear to be two things happening at once, according to Digiday: For one, more international listeners — specifically from English-speaking regions and countries like Australia, Canada and Europe — are tuning into U.S. podcasts, while at the same time more people outside of the U.S. are listening more to podcasts overall.


The U.S. remains iHeart’s largest podcast market. Other regions are starting to embrace the medium, but at a slower rate than audience growth in the U.S., said Will Pearson, president of iHeartPodcasts. More broadly, the U.S. has the largest number of podcast listeners, according to research from eMarketer.


Measurement companies are also reporting overall podcast listener growth in some international markets. In February 2023, eMarketer found that podcast listener growth was 7.7% in Latin America year over year, the fastest of any region. Western Europe podcast listening grew at a 7.4% clip, Canada at 6.1%, the U.S. at 4.6% and Australia at 4.2%, in that same period.

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