The podcast hosting, measurement and advertising company Triton Digital has shared several statistics about the growth it has seen in the international podcast market. The figures are based on more than four billion downloads that Triton’s Omny Studios has served in more than 80 countries worldwide. It found the U.S. accounted for 60% of all those downloads during the past year, holding the top spot over every other country.
“While the U.S. is still growing in double digits year-over-year, by no means did they see the biggest jump in growth,” says Omny Studio Managing Director Sharon Taylor in a blog post. The company says it was Iran that saw the most significant growth in podcast downloads, up by 3500% versus September 2020, followed by Turkey at 552%, then India at 524%. Growth wasn’t rare, however, as 85 countries have seen growth in the number of podcast downloads.
Triton also reports there was a 37.2% increase of listeners who listened to podcasts via a smart speaker between last year and today. While that makes smart speakers a bigger podcast listening device than desktop computers, according to Omny’s numbers, the biggest source is mobile devices with 88.38% of all Omny podcast downloads during the past year going to mobile devices. That was up four percent from a year ago.
“Mobile continues to dominate and grow but desktop has clawed back some of their share from the drop we saw between 2019 and 2020,” says Taylor.
And while podcast downloads on both tablets and connected televisions both grew 7% during the past year, both remain small factors. Omny says 1.36% of downloads went to tablets and 0.06% went to connected TVs.
Omny Studios say the biggest share of its listening during the past year went to Apple Podcasts, which made up 55% of its downloads. Spotify was second at 14%, followed by Google Podcasts (4%) and Amazon Alexa (3%).
But the market continues to evolve and Taylor says she is also keeping an eye on Amazon Music. While it made up just under a half of Omny’s downloads during the past 12 months, she said it hit 13% of the total downloads in August 2021, making it a platform to watch closely. She also says that Facebook may account for less than one percent of downloads today, but it too should be watched very closely. “I predict this is going to shake up a lot of podcast marketing strategies,” she says.
What were people listening to? Taylor says it was not surprising to see News and Comedy as frontrunner categories given the past year. Its data shows 22% of all downloads were to News podcasts followed closely by Comedy podcasts at 21%. The big tent category Society & Culture ranked third at 13%.
Even as some listening habits changed during the past year, Triton says the categories that have garnered the largest advertising spend programmatically over the last year reveals a few slight shifts. Sports was the show category that had the most programmatic ad spend at 17%, followed by News & Politics (13%), Hobbies & Interests (12%), and Comedy (10%).