Podcasting has become an increasingly popular form of accessing entertaining and informative content in Canada and worldwide. With podcasts covering various topics and genres, there is something for every listener. It is also a growing platform for advertisers and content creators alike.

In this article, we explore podcast statistics in Canada, including who is listening to podcasts, how they are listening, and what types of podcasts are the most popular. You will also find information about the podcast advertising market and its impact on consumers and businesses.

Continue reading to gain a better understanding of podcast statistics in Canada and the opportunities it offers both creators and marketers.

Podcast Statistics for Canadians

  • 71% of Canadians have listened to at least one podcast at some point.
  • 29% of Canada’s monthly podcast listeners spend at least five hours per week listening to podcasts.
  • 42% of Canadian monthly podcast listeners are aged 18 to 34 years old.
  • Canadian men are slightly more likely to be monthly podcast listeners than Canadian women.
  • Spotify and YouTube are the most popular platforms for listening to podcasts in Canada.
  • 81% of Canadians have listened to podcasts at home and 74% of regular listeners use portable devices to access podcasts.
  • Listeners are most likely to find new content based on recommendations on podcasts they already listen to.
  • Comedy is the most popular podcast genre in Canada.
  • Revenue from podcast advertising is expected to reach $127.1 million in Canada in 2023.
  • Brands have seen 89% higher brand awareness after advertising on podcasts.
  • 51% of bi-weekly podcast listeners have bought a product after hearing about it on a podcast.
  • 17% of podcast listeners always turn off or skip advertising.

What is Podcasting?

A podcast is a form of digital media that allows users to download or stream content on demand over the internet. It has similarities to radio broadcasting, but rather than being broadcast over the airwaves, the content is delivered on the Internet. The other key difference to radio broadcasting is that podcasts can be accessed and listened to at any time that suits the listener.

Podcasts are typically produced in a series format and they cover a wide variety of genres and topics, from news and politics to education, entertainment, and personal development. Using a podcast app or platform, listeners can subscribe to podcasts and get notified or receive new content when it is released.

Podcasting has grown in popularity in recent years because of its flexibility, easy access, and the ability to listen to them on the go using a smartphone or another mobile device.

Podcast Listeners in Canada

Listening to podcasts has grown in popularity in Canada year-on-year except for a couple of dips in spring 2012 and spring 2020 according to Statista. Based on the data from Statista, the percentage of monthly podcast listeners was just 14% of Canadians in 2010. By the third quarter of 2021, the percentage of Canadians listening to podcasts every month had risen to 33%.

According to Canadian Podcast Listener, 53% of Canadians have listened to at least one podcast even if they are not regular listeners. If we widen the age range to include everyone over 12 years old, then 71% of Canadians have listened to a podcast. 7% of Canadians listen to podcasts every day. 29% of Canadian podcast listeners are so-called power listeners who listen to at least five hours of podcasts per week.

Canadian Podcast Audience Demographics

While podcasts are listened to in Canada among all 18+ age groups, there are big differences between the age groups. The most likely Canadians to listen to podcasts are aged between 18 and 34. They make up 42% of all monthly listeners. The next largest groups are the 35 to 49-year-olds at 32% and 50 to 64-year-olds at 20%. Only 6% of Canadians aged 65 and over listen to podcasts every month.

Regionally, there are no big differences in podcast audience figures. However, monthly listener percentages are slightly higher in large urban areas. 40% of the population in the Toronto area and 38% of the population in the Vancouver and Lower Mainland area are monthly podcast listeners. Canadian men are more likely than women to be monthly listeners, with 55% of all monthly listeners identifying as male.

Canadian podcast listeners are often well educated with university graduates more than twice as likely to listen to podcasts than those who left education after completing high school. They are also more likely to come from households that have a yearly income of over $100,000.

The Most Popular Podcast Platforms in Canada?

While there are many different podcast platforms content creators can choose from, some are more popular than others among listeners. Although there are some differences between survey results (there always will be because of different survey methods) various sources point to Spotify and YouTube as the most popular platforms.

The Canadian Podcast Listener found in their 2022 survey that 28% of monthly listeners preferred Spotify and the same percentage preferred YouTube when listening to podcasts. The share of Apple Podcasts has fallen from 24% in 2020 to 18% in 2022. Despite Google’s domination in various other digital media fields, the share of Google Podcasts of monthly listeners is only 3%.

How Canadians Access Podcasts

Canadians are more likely to listen to podcasts on mobile devices than on desktops, with 74% using portable devices for podcast listening. While Canadians listen to podcasts in various locations, home is the most likely location, with 81% of Canadians saying they have listened to podcasts at home. The second most popular is in a car at 40% and the third most popular is listening while walking at 34%.

Listening to podcasts while working out and when using public transportation complete the top most likely locations with 27% and 25% respectively. Interestingly, 20% of Canadians have also listened to podcasts while at work.

How Canadians Find Podcasts

Canadians are most likely to find new podcasts to listen to from other podcasts they are listening to already. 19% of monthly listeners said they have found new content based on the recommendation of a podcaster they already listen to.

Recommendations from friends and family and social media are the next most common ways with 16% and 13% respectively. 9% of listeners have found new content while searching for podcasts on specific topics on podcast apps.

The Most Popular Genres in Canada

It seems that Canadians are most likely to tune into podcasts to be entertained, with comedy being the most popular genre in Canada. 40% of regular listeners listened to comedy podcasts in 2022, up by four points from the previous year. The second most popular genre includes podcasts on society and culture with 29%, unchanged from the previous year.

24% of Canadians have listened to news podcasts and 17% to podcasts on true crime. These genres were up by one and three points, respectively, from the previous year. Many more specific podcast genres saw a fall in their numbers. The biggest fall, from 10% to 6% was on podcasts with religious and spiritual content.

Podcast Advertising Statistics

The advertising revenue in the Canadian podcast industry was approximately $54.2 million in 2020. In 2023, it is projected to reach $127.1 million. Globally, the podcast advertising market is expected to be worth almost $3.5 billion by 2025.

In Canada, the most common type of advertising used on podcasts is adverts read out by the hosts. 60% of all podcast advertising in Canada is host-read ads. 24% of the adverts are pre-produced and 16% are dynamically inserted adverts. The top podcast genres in Canada for advertising are society and culture, news and politics, and business.

The Impact of Podcast Advertising on Brands

Brands that have used podcasts for marketing and to grow brand awareness have seen 89% higher awareness and 57% higher brand consideration. They have also seen 24% more brand favourability, 14% improved purchase intent, and 16% higher engagement.

Impact on Consumers

Advertising on podcasts can improve sales of products and services since 54% of podcast listeners say they have thought about buying the advertised product. In addition, 17% say they are more likely to buy the product after hearing about it during a podcast.

Almost half, at 46% of podcast listeners aged 13 to 35 are happy for brands to promote their products or services on podcasts. 18% of listeners in this age group like to hear brand promotions on podcasts.

Perhaps the most important and interesting statistic for advertisers is that 51% of bi-weekly podcast listeners have been converted into buyers after hearing an advert for a product or service on a podcast.

Skipping Adverts on Podcasts Compared to Other Media

Given the opportunity, some people will always skip advertising regardless of the media. Advertising on podcasts is least likely to be skipped every time with only 17% of regular listeners saying they always skip advertising. Podcasts are followed by AM/FM radio and TV advertising, with 19% and 22% of consumers always skipping advertising. Online pop-ups are the most likely adverts to be skipped every time with 33%.

Looking at the percentage of consumers who never skip advertising, radio listeners are the most likely to listen to adverts. 22% of radio listeners say they never turn off advertising. In comparison, 11% of podcast listeners never skip adverts.

Looking more closely at the advert content that is skipped while listening to podcasts, statistics show that listeners, at 53%, are most likely to skip adverts that sound like radio advertising. 48% will skip adverts that are presented by someone other than the host. Listeners are most likely to listen to adverts delivered by the host with only 37% of them skipping host-delivered adverts.

Conclusion

Podcasting is a popular and constantly growing digital medium in Canada, offering listeners a diverse range of content. While there may be some challenges and differences with podcast statistics in Canada and worldwide because of different survey methods and standardisation of metrics, they can still offer valuable information on audience behaviour and engagement.

As podcasting continues to develop and grow in popularity in Canada, it offers content creators and marketers a growing channel to reach and engage with new audiences in meaningful ways. Considering its power to grow brand awareness and convert listeners into buyers, it is a form of digital media worth exploring as a marketer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, podcasts are popular in Canada and their popularity is growing year by year with 19% more monthly listeners at the end of 2021 compared to 2010. 53% of Canadians have listened to at least one podcast and 33% listen to podcasts every month. 29% of Canadian monthly podcast listeners will listen to at least five hours of podcast content per week.

There is no specific number of downloads that make up a good podcast in Canada, as the number of downloads varies depending on the podcast’s genre and target audience. However, a podcast that consistently receives thousands of downloads per episode is generally considered successful.

Yes, podcasts can be very useful for Canadian marketers because they are a popular medium for both businesses and consumers. Podcasts can offer marketers unique opportunities to reach and connect with target audiences in an engaging and informative way.

Marketers can use podcasts to create content with their target audience in mind and use them to showcase their products or services. However, marketers do not have to create podcast content to reach their audience, but can use podcast advertising instead. 

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