According to new findings from Pex, the number of podcast episodes is “growing at an exponential rate, essentially doubling every year.” The music and video analytics company began scanning Apple Podcasts last fall, intending to collect data on the use of unlicensed music. It’s now indexed 32,402,790 unique episodes.
Pex’s Jennifer Crawford writes, “by the end of 2019, we counted 819,496 unique shows, of which 264,104 were started just last year.” This remarkable pattern has surely held with this spring’s huge uptick. Four months into 2020, Apple Podcasts alone surpassed 1 million distinct shows.
This study supports other researchers on dropping episode length. We’re down to 35 minutes from a peak mean of 45 minutes in 2015. For the most part, top categories remain consistent. Oddly, podcasts about swimming are named the “smallest” category. What qualifies as a category? A question for the next round of statistics.