Over the past few years, podcasts have emerged as a new form of distributing audio content to a broad, international audience. Particularly popular among younger audiences and digital natives, podcasts are especially well-suited for long-form audio content such as interview formats and talks that dig deeper into certain topics or special interests than radio formats directed at the general public usually can.
According to the Reuters Institute’s latest Digital News Report, an average of 34 percent of survey respondents from 20 countries across the globe have listened to a podcast in the month preceding the survey, with the level of adoption varying significantly across different markets. The following chart shows where the biggest podcast enthusiasts and sceptics live.
Since 2019, podcast adoption has risen across all markets with Sweden, the home of Spotify, at the helm of the podcast hype train. Interestingly, the Reuters Institute notes that the pandemic initially slowed down growth as "COVID-19 disrupted the commute to work, negatively affecting news consumption." The rise of podcasts has resumed this year, however, bringing it one step closer to becoming a true mass medium.