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News Pex study suggests 17% of podcast episodes include music

Licensing music for podcasts is a bit of a tangle. We know that. But how many podcasts are using music, be it licensed or unlicensed? That’s data that analytics firm Pex has been ferreting out for its latest study, announced in a series of tweets yesterday.

“To date we indexed 32,402,790 unique podcast episodes. 5,447,823 of those contained at least 10 seconds of music,” explained the company. That’s just under 17% of episodes.

The data comes seven months after Pex announced that it had started scanning shows on Apple Podcasts for usage of musical works and audio snippets.

While much of the music detected will be unlicensed, we hope it’s not just taken as a prod for rightsholders to go after podcasters for copyright infringement – but rather as encouragement to develop accessible and affordable licensing options for those shows. Let’s grow carrots, rather than just brandish sticks!

Pex’s research also has some more general stats: “Podcasts are growing in exponential rate, essentially doubling every single year,” it explained. “6,967,370 hours of podcasts were published in 2019.”