Podcast statistics – UK 2023: the upward trends and how businesses can benefit!

Podcast statistics - UK 2023: the upward trends and how businesses can benefit! cover

Our report “Podcast statistics – UK 2023” will explore the factors driving the UK’s rapid growth in podcasting.

We’ll also look at the opportunities and challenges that businesses face when leveraging podcasts as a marketing tool.

A podcaster checking her podcast statistics in the UK in 2023
Photographer: Soundtrap | Source: Unsplash

Podcast Popularity Soars in the UK

Podcasts are experiencing a surge in popularity around the world, with 61% of people, globally, reporting that they now listen to them.

That’s a HUGE number.

Nearly five billion people.

Among these listeners, 20% have increased their listening over the past year, and 17% plan to do so in the upcoming year.

Podcasts seem to be particularly popular among younger demographics, as 75% of 18-24-year-olds and 76% of 25-34-year-olds listen to podcasts

So, you could argue that we’re witnessing an ’audio renaissance’ fuelled by younger generations.

Either way, it’s clear that the art of storytelling and knowledge-sharing is thriving in the digital age.

As younger generations lead this renaissance, we can expect to see greater impact on various industries, such as advertising, education, and entertainment.


YouGov Global Media Whitepaper.

Ofcom MIDAS report (summer 2022)

How will this trend affect businesses?

A lot of forward thinking organisations are likely to adapt to these new listening habits and invest in podcast advertising to target the younger, highly engaged audience.

This means that very soon podcasts are going to have to become one to the main pillars of marketing content if a company doesn’t want to be ‘caught sleeping’.

Photographer: Kenny Eliason | Source: Unsplash

Further podcast listening figures for the UK

In the UK specifically, podcasts have a weekly reach of 19% among adults, with the highest reach among 25-34-year-olds at 27%.

The gender distribution of podcast listeners is 58% male and 42% female. The number of adult podcast listeners has been steadily growing, reaching 10.5 million in summer 2022.

Podcast listeners in the UK mostly listen alone (93%) and consume most of the episodes they download (70%).

They often listen while working or studying (33%), driving or travelling (22%), and doing chores (10%).

A majority of podcast listening occurs on smartphones (73%).

About 68% of podcast listeners listen to an entire episode, with peak listening times at 9 am and 5:15 pm.

When compared to other media, live radio has the highest weekly percentage reach at 88%, followed by on-demand music at 34%.

I see this radio trend declining, with podcasts quickly catching up as younger audiences and their listening trends continue to mature and reach older age ranges.


YouGov Global Media Whitepaper.

Ofcom MIDAS report (summer 2022)

So why this ‘explosive’ podcast growth?

The accessibility of podcasts and the rise of smartphones and high-speed internet have contributed to their phenomenal growth in the UK.

Also, the decision by Apple iOS to make the Apple Podcasts app native in all phone operating systems has definitely had an effect.

A lot of people started seeing the little purple thumbnail on their home screens, and got curious. That curiosity led to the discovery of compelling podcasts like “Serial”.

Photographer: William Hook | Source: Unsplash

People began to realise that podcasts provide an entertaining and educational platform, with a wide range of genres and topics catering to everyone's interests.

And the fact they’re mostly free isn’t hurting their growth trajectory.

Tapping into the UK's ‘Podcast Mania’: opportunities for businesses

The growing podcast listenership in the UK presents excellent opportunities for businesses and marketers.

We’ve already discussed how younger audiences being more switched onto them is going to present an irresistible option for brands who want to reach new audiences and customers.

Photographer: Alev Takil | Source: Unsplash

Branded podcasts

Businesses can already create branded podcasts to promote their products or services, engage with their customers on a more personal level, and build brand loyalty and trust.

And thousands of them are doing so.

FAQ centred content

But podcasts can also be used to offer ‘elephant’-in-the-room-answering questions that younger and older customers alike will want to know.

This type of content can fill the gaps left behind by your website’s FAQs.

Photographer: Towfiqu barbhuiya | Source: Unsplash

They present a great opportunity for savvy marketing teams to circumnavigate a scaredy-cat CEO’s fear of eliminating that doubt through honest content.

And, they are a great way of targeting different audiences at different stages of the buying journey, using clever dynamic programmatic advertising.

Challenges and the road ahead

The UK podcast industry faces challenges like discoverability and monetization.

With a vast number of podcasts available, listeners may struggle to find new content, especially for smaller podcasts without a large following.

Monetisation can be challenging, as podcasters often rely on sponsorships for revenue, which may be difficult for smaller podcasts with limited audiences.

Nevertheless, the UK podcast industry is set to continue growing, with the number of podcast listeners expected to reach 14.


Podcasting is a growing industry in the UK, and businesses should take advantage of this trend.

By creating branded podcasts or advertising on existing ones, UK businesses can reach a wider audience and build brand awareness.

With the number of podcast listeners in the UK expected to continue growing, now is the perfect time to invest in podcast marketing.

So, there you have it – our report “Podcast statistics – UK 2023”.

If you want to stay up to date with the latest podcasting insights and trends, make sure to check out podknows.studio/insights.

Or feel free to contact me to chat further.

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