Have you ever wondered, “How can I promote my podcast?” or “How can I grow my podcast audience?” At Headliner – we certainly have!
Podcast promotion can be an extremely daunting and time-consuming task.
Podcast promotion involves a two-step approach. You first need to identify who your target audience is or could become. You then need to learn their listening behaviors to know how and where to best promote your podcast.
Podcast Promotion really can be a lot! Luckily, learning to promote your podcast and capture your share of ear does not have to be a challenging task. It can be a fairly simple process – one you can even automate.
Today, we are diving into the stats surrounding podcast listenership while helping you dissect how to promote your podcast. Because, HEAR at Headliner, we are all in on helping podcasters get discovered and go from audio to audience.
…So, let’s get into it!
Podcast Listenership Stats: A Growth Market
Currently, there are 464.7 million podcast listeners around the world. By next year, global podcast listenership is projected to break 500 million active listeners. In 2025, it is projected that one-quarter of all internet users will listen to podcasts.
The United States is the number one podcast market with over 100 million listeners. The American market alone accounts for 48% of all podcast listeners. Since podcasting became mainstream in 2005, the US market has grown threefold. Over 62% of Americans report having listened to at least one podcast. Today, the average American listener reported listening to 8 podcast episodes per week. And, according to the Infinite Dial, younger Americans between the ages 12-34 years old account for half of US listenership.
Other hot markets include the United Kingdom, accounting for 6% of global listeners, and the Canadian market at 5%. The fastest growing market is currently Brazil with listenership up nearly 28% year-over-year.
Podcast Listenership: Gen Z
Listenership is also becoming increasingly younger and more diverse. Today, 55% of all monthly podcast listeners are under the age of 34. The largest subset of listeners however is Generation Z.
If you haven’t heard, Gen Z is absolutely LIVING for podcasting. They are the primary drivers of podcasting growth. Gen Z has the highest podcasting penetration rate at 66% – outpacing millennials (the original podcast listeners) by +12%. In the last 4 years, Gen Z listenership has grown by +57%, making them the fastest-growing market. Clearly – they just can’t get enough!
Who is Gen Z?
Generation Z is the youngest, most ethnically diverse, and largest generation. They are also the first generation of digital natives, making them extremely technologically savvy and highly connected.
Gen Z spends an average of 10.6 hours per day online. A little under half that amount of time (5.2 hours per day) is spent on their phones. And, if you keep moving down the online funnel, Gen Z spends nearly 4 hours on social media per day!
They are just about everywhere too, but YouTube and video platforms reign king for Gen Z. Daily, 88% of Gen Zers are on YouTube, 76% are on Instagram, and 68% are on TikTok, the fastest-growing, up-and-coming social platform.
Since Gen Z is now the largest generation, they represent the largest market potential for brands. Gen Z has an estimated $360 billion in buying power. While not quite as much as more established consumers (we are looking at you Baby Boomers), they still have plenty of time to catch up – after all, at least half of them are still in school!
Gen Z Listenership by the Numbers
Generation Z listens to podcasts more frequently than any other age group. Here is a quick breakdown of Gen Z listenership stats and facts:
- 41% of Gen Zers listen to podcasts weekly
- Gen Z discovers podcasts at more than twice the rate of other age groups
- 75% of monthly Gen Z listeners said they listen to at least one podcast per week
- 28% of Gen Z listeners listen to at least one podcast per day
Gen Z: Podcast Discovery
Like many listeners, Gen Z is finding podcasts through social media. 25% of all Gen Z listeners reported discovering podcasts on social media. An additional 19% say they heard about podcasts from a social media influencer or media personality online.
25% of Gen Z discover podcasts through social media.Edison Research
So, as you can see, the ears are definitely out there – especially younger ears. However, that still bodes the question of proper podcast promotion with the goal of growing a podcast audience. Understanding how to get in front of these ears while understanding podcast discovery is vital to effective podcast promotion.
Podcast discovery refers to how listeners find new podcasts. In the past, most podcasts were found through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Today, however, discovery has shifted to online modes with many podcasts being found through simple online searches.
The number one mode of podcast discovery is internet searches. Internet searches account for 30% of all podcast discoveries. People, especially podcast newbies, are finding their new favorite podcasts through simple online searches.
Like we said, in the past, word-of-mouth was the most popular form of discovery – especially pre-COVID-19. Today, however, online searches and mediums have quickly outpaced the more traditional modes of discovery. But, Word-of-Mouth (WOM) should not be discounted.
WOM accounts for 19% of all podcast discovery. WOM is clearly a valuable mode of discovery and underscores the importance of consistent and quality podcast production. Having good, quality content people want to listen to is one of the best ways to ensure your podcast can capture a loyal audience who will recommend it to friends and family.
Social media platforms are the perfect place for creators to share content while also supporting a more organic method of discovery. It’s kind of like an online version of Word-of-Mouth if you think about it!
17% of listeners discovered podcasts through social media. Creating podcast videos is the best way to promote your podcast on social media. Podcast videos fit platform best practices and are optimal for YouTube – the world’s second-largest search engine.
17% of listeners discovered podcasts through social media.Alban Brooke, Buzzsprout
Discovery on social media is often aided using hashtags, short-form podcast videos or video clips, online communities, and forums, and paid, promotional endorsements (more on this later…). Social media is also the fastest-growing method of discovery as more and more podcasters make the switch and are pursuing social podcast promotion.
Social media also aids in discovery through shareability. People are more likely to refer or to share your podcast through social media – especially if you produce short-form podcast videos. Short-form podcast videos are snackable bits of content that make for an easy introduction to your full-length episode and podcast. They are also 2.5 times more likely to be shared than full-length episodes!
Podcast Discovery Take-Away
Current podcast listening and discovery trends underscore the importance of consistently developing sound, quality content that listeners resonate with and facilitates engagement. Discovery trends also highlight the need for a solid podcast promotion plan. A promotional plan will help attract new listeners – especially as trends become increasingly digital.
Podcast Promotion: Opportunities
As listeners become increasingly younger and as large companies and brands are continuing to increase their investment in podcasting, online platforms present the largest opportunity for podcasters.
The most notable investment in podcasting comes from YouTube. In late 2021, YouTube made its first wave in the podcasting industry. They appointed their first Podcast Lead in October 2021. YouTube has continued to expand its investment into podcasting. Their most recent, and largest, rollout yet – the support of “Podcasts” in YouTube music. You can read all about that announcement here.
The continued integration of podcasts into online platforms demonstrates a larger need for creating podcast videos as well as proper podcast promotion.
Podcast Promotion with Headliner
Podcast promotion does not need to be a time-consuming or expensive investment though! Companies, like Headliner, have produced excellent, easy-to-use, and completely FREE tools that empower podcasters to easily promote their podcast.
Podcast Promotion: Video
Video reigns king in the world of social media and larger marketing plans. Video content continues to out-rank and outperform static and written forms of content. Converting your audio .mp3 files to video .mp4 will help you crack the algorithm code and increase your content’s rankability.
Headliner has created a tool that allows you to do just that – and, we offer it for free!
Make by Headliner is a powerful podcast promotion tool that enables you to seamlessly convert your podcast’s audio files into eye-catching video files. In Make, you can create two types of video content: audiograms and podcast videos.
Audiograms are video files that display your file’s sound wave. They are quick, effective tools that allow you to create podcast videos.
Make by Headliner offers its base audiogram generator for free. With the Forever Free tier (that’s our free-to-use service!) podcasters can either upload their file directly into the platform or search for their podcast using our RSS feed directory powered by Listen Notes.
From there, podcasters can select their desired platform and compatible aspect ratio to ensure their audiogram creation is perfectly optimized and ready to share once the design process is complete.
Once that is done, you are ready to design! Podcasters can either choose from a list of our pre-made, stylized templates or design their audiogram from scratch. Upgrading to our paid tiers unlocks additional design options like custom font inserts, branded watermarks, and the ability to make customer intro and outro videos.
Pro and Basic (those are our paid tiers) customers can even easily save their templates for future use and set up Automatic Audiograms. Our very cleverly named, Automatic Audiograms will automatically create audiograms using your chosen template – helping to create a consistent, branded look and feel that ensures your podcast is easily recognizable to your followers.
Podcast videos can range from short, 10-second clips or messages highlighting a specific episode or entire podcast channel to a full-length, video recording of an episode.
Make by Headliner allows you to create several different types of podcast videos. With Make, podcasters can upload video files into our Captioning Wizard or Advanced Editing Wizard.
The Captioning Wizard allows podcasters to automatically transcribe their video files (again, cleverly named). The Advanced Editing Wizard allows you to do a little more.
Advanced Editing enables you to layer different forms of media – so you can include multiple videos or sound files into Make to create a high-production podcast video. In the Advanced Editing Wizard, you can still transcribe and caption your videos too! Again, Pro and Basic customers can unlock additional features like custom watermarks and the ability to templatize video creations for future use or content repurposing.
Podcast Promotion: Omnichannel Approach
At Headliner, we also believe in the power of cross-pollination and an omnichannel approach. An omnichannel approach is when you re-post or repurpose your content onto multiple platforms. This creates consistent messaging and establishes multiple, clear touch points with your audience making you and your podcast more recognizable.
Posting your podcast to multiple platforms increases your podcast’s reach and aids in podcast discoverability. It also opens the door for existing audiences to find your content in new ways – increasing listenership.
Repurposing your podcast for social media is one of the easiest ways you can implement an omnichannel approach. Posting to social media after uploading a new podcast episode is the most common way to do this. It can be as simple as Tweeting the link to your new episode or producing a full-length podcast video for YouTube.
Regardless of your platform mix, leveraging an omnichannel approach opens the door to new listeners and enables you to connect with loyal followers in multiple ways – creating a stronger brand presence and cultivating follower relationships.
Again, creating podcast videos is one of the best, most effective ways to support an omnichannel approach. With Make, you can easily create fully optimized podcast videos per channel and resize or clip content to follow individual platforms’ best practices.
Podcast Promotion: Blogs
For podcasters with blogs, additional cross-pollination solutions exist. Headliner JUST launched a new product – Disco Free – that enables you to leverage your existing blog traffic and convert readers into podcast listeners.
Disco drives listenership by providing your readers with your contextually relevant podcast episodes based on article or page text. Disco works by using AI to identify keywords in your podcast transcript and then matches them against your blog or article text. From there, Disco automatically populates your contextually relevant podcasts within your customized widget space. It gets your podcast in front of the right audience at the right time and in the right place!
It gets your podcast in front of the right audience at the right time and in the right place!
Disco Free’s design is fully customizable and is optimized for conversions using clips of your full-length episode. This means you can dictate your Disco podcast discovery widget’s look and feel while ensuring the best, most optimal parts of your podcast are played. Disco’s AI will automatically clip your episode for you too – so your new listeners won’t just start at 0:00! Best yet, once a new listener clicks on your widget to listen to the full episode, they will pick up right where they left off supporting a seamless, engaging user experience.
Disco also works using 100% internal, ad-free content. So, Disco Free will only play YOUR podcast episodes – not ads – to support a fully engaging experience for your audience that exemplifies the idea of content cross-pollination. Disco does NOT compete with current ad placements on your blog or website either – placement is customizable and controlled by you!
Disco Free also comes with full access to the Headliner Dashboard. The Headliner Dashboard provides podcasters with a personalized analytics page to track your Disco widget and podcast engagement on your blog. It will even create powerful, easy-to-read data visualizations in real-time allowing you to quickly digest and track engagement.
Podcast Promotion Made Easy
Promoting your podcast really can be an easy, painless experience. Creating a strong podcast promotional plan is one the easiest ways to expand your reach and get your share of ears.
At Headliner, we are HEAR to help! Create your completely free Headliner account to gain access to amazing, easy-to-use tools like Make and Disco Free will help you truly go from audio to audience.