Podcast listening booms in the UK

5 Mar 2019 12:21 PM

Podcasts are booming in the UK, with nearly 6 million adults now tuning in each week, Ofcom has found ahead of International Podcast Day on Sunday.

International Podcast Day logoThe number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in five years – from 3.2m (7% of adults aged 15+) in 2013 to 5.9m (11%) in 2018.

The increase is across all age groups, but the steepest growth is now among young adults aged 15-24 – with around one in five (18.7%) now listening to podcasts every week.[1]

Ofcom collected data from a range of sources, including Rajar, ACast and TouchPoints, to explore the rise in podcast listening. Findings include:

Ofcom’s research shows that UK listeners access podcasts from a range of sources. Among the most commonly used were the BBC website and app (used by 36% of podcast listeners), YouTube (26%) and iTunes (25%). Other sources included streaming services such as Spotify, and newspapers’ websites or apps.[6]

Ian Macrae, Ofcom’s Director of Market Intelligence, said: “Podcasts are booming in the UK, and broadening people’s listening habits. Every age group is getting involved, but the most explosive growth is among younger adults.

“People are using podcasts to complement traditional radio, and we’re encouraged to see broadcasters embracing the medium and seeing it as an opportunity for growth.”


Notes to Editors

Data sources