The number of people listening to podcasts worldwide is set to hit 464.7 million in 2023 and surpass half a billion by next year. Podcast listener numbers from the United States alone show there are currently over 103.6 million regular listeners. 

With such a massive target market, not to mention rising revenues generated by these audio programs, podcasts make for an attractive marketing platform for businesses. If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, you need to know what the most popular podcast platforms are to reach as many listeners as possible.

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According to a recent survey, YouTube is the most popular podcast platform among US listeners. It is used by one-third (33%) of all podcast listeners. This is followed by Spotify, with 24%. Together, YouTube and Spotify hold more than 50% of the listener share.

Apple Podcasts is the third most popular platform and is used by 12% of podcast listeners. Pandora is next, with 7%. Here are how some other popular podcast platforms rank:

  1. Amazon Music: 6%
  2. iHeartRadio: 6%
  3. SiriusXM: 4%
  4. Stitcher: 1%

YouTube and Shopify may be the two most used podcast platforms, but listeners’ preference for them varies according to generation. 

The survey shows that while YouTube is the most popular podcast platform for millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers, it is not the case for Gen Zers. Spotify is the platform of choice for Gen Z listeners. 40% of them say they prefer to use Spotify to listen to podcasts—compared to the 32% who favor YouTube. Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music are Gen Z’s joint-third favorite podcast platforms—each is used by 6% of Gen Z listeners.

Millennials’ top choice, YouTube, is used by 32% of the generation. Spotify is second and is preferred by 22% of them. This is followed by Apple Podcasts, with 12%.

As for Gen Xers, after YouTube (32%), their second and third favorite podcast platforms are Spotify (23%) and Apple Podcasts (16%).

Baby boomers’ three most used podcast platforms follow the same ranking, but their preference for Spotify is much lower than that of other generations. YouTube leads with 34%. Despite being in second place, Spotify is used by just 13% of baby boomers to listen to podcasts. Apple Podcasts is close behind, in third, with 12%.

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