The UK Podcast Audience

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Key Insights from Edison Research: Podcast Listeners are at an all time high

In the world of podcasting, any new research is met with eager anticipation by industry professionals. The latest study from Edison Research focus on the U.K. podcast consumer is no exception, revealing several trends and insights to help understand podcast audiences better.

If you missed their webinar, we have pulled together the key stats (with a few thoughts too!) in our blog below…..


Podcast Listening on the Rise

It’s no surprise that podcast listening is up, a trend that has been consistent globally for years. What’s notable is that this upward trend shows no signs of slowing down. This raises the question of how audiences manage to find time for podcasts amidst stable content consumption across other channels.  Put simply, podcasting is often consumed during content ‘dead time’…effectively when the audience would not traditionally be consuming any other media.


U.K. Podcast Listener Statistics

  • 69% of the U.K. population aged 18+ have listened to a podcast at some point. This is a significant increase of 10 percentage points over the past two years, translating to an estimated 38 million adults in the U.K. Incredibly, this is also 5pp higher than the U.S. which has traditionally led the charge with podcast listener growth.
  • 42% of the U.K. population aged 18+ have listened to a podcast in the last month, marking a record high from the previous peak of 41% in 2021 and a rebound from a decline to 34% in 2022. And, equal to the U.S. data.
  • 30% of the U.K. population aged 18+ have listened to a podcast in the last week, up from a steady 25% over the last two years. Vs 31% in the U.S.

Reaching these levels of podcast consumption is continuing to reinforce the belief that podcasts are now a mass market medium to be reaching consumers.


Weekly Engagement Levels

Weekly podcast listeners are highly engaged, averaging 5 hours and 27 minutes of listening each week. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 69% of podcast listeners aged 15-34 listen for over 3 hours
  • 66% of podcast listeners aged 35-54 listen for over 3 hours
  • 51% of podcast listeners aged 55+ listen for over 3 hours

This is showing that even though consumption declines for older podcast audiences, they are still consuming A LOT of content on a weekly basis.


Monthly Growth by Age Group

On a monthly basis, the 55+ audiences are outpacing their U.S. counterparts although the 35-54 yrs are lagging behind the U.S.

  • 18-34 years: 56% listen monthly (up 9 percentage points year-on-year), with 41% listening weekly.
  • 35-54 years: 45% listen monthly (up 6 percentage points year-on-year), with 34% listening weekly. Vs U.S. audiences: 51% monthly and 39% weekly.
  • 55+ years: 28% listen monthly (up 8 percentage points year-on-year), with 18% listening weekly. Vs U.S. audiences: 21% monthly and 14% weekly.

I am afraid there is no direct comparison for the youngest group as The Edison data for the U.S. starts at 13yrs!


Diversity in Podcast Audiences

The latest UK data also identifies some key trends within diverse audiences groups:

  • 48% of Black U.K. listeners tune in each month (+6% U.K average).
  • 39% of Asian U.K. listeners tune in each month (-3% U.K average).

New listeners in the past year show promising demographics:

  • 38% are Gen Z, indicating a significant entry of this age group into podcasting.
  • 72% are aged 25+, demonstrating broad appeal.

Notably, this new listener group is highly diverse, with 36% identifying as part of a minority group, compared to the U.K. average of 18%.


Gender Trends

While females are slightly behind males in monthly listening (51:49 male to female ratio), the gender gap is narrowing.


Advertiser Appeal

Podcasts continue to attract a desirable audience for advertisers:

  • Higher employment rates.
  • Greater likelihood of holding a university degree.
  • Higher affluence compared to the average U.K. population.

But, working out how best to reach these audiences is becoming challenging.  Whilst the top 10 podcasts in the U.K. offer a massive 31% reach, making them prime real estate for advertisers but as a results these spots are highly competitive and often come with higher costs and ad saturation.

Expanding the focus to a wider selection of shows can offer significant benefits:

  • The top 25 shows reach 44% of weekly listeners.
  • The top 100 shows reach 60% of weekly listeners.
  • The top 300 shows reach 72% of weekly listeners.

Having said that, smaller, niche podcasts often have a more loyal and engaged community, presenting an opportunity for advertisers to connect with highly specific audiences in a less crowded space. Definitely something worth looking into!



The latest Edison Research highlights the dynamic and growing landscape of podcasting in the U.K. With increasing listenership, diverse audiences, and significant opportunities for advertisers, the podcast industry continues to thrive and evolve. Whether you’re a content creator or an advertiser, these insights provide valuable guidance into podcast audiences in the U.K.

For more information about podcast advertising, take a look at these blogs:


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Sally Miller20220318180839

Sally Miller

Chief Marketing Officer
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