Global: Where (in the world) are people listening to podcasts?
April 5th, 2023, Clifton Mark

Global: Where (in the world) are people listening to podcasts?

Podcast listeners have many characteristics that should interest advertisers. Around the world, podcast listeners tend to skew younger and richer than the general population.

What’s more, they’re also more receptive to advertising, which is shown by above-average agreement with statements such as “I trust the advertising that I see on posters/billboards” and “If you sponsor my team, I will buy your product.”

A new analysis from YouGov looks at the global landscape for podcast listening in 2023 and where the medium is still developing. The data comes from YouGov Global Profiles — an audience segmentation tool covering 48 different markets.

The map below shows the proportion of regular podcast listeners, meaning consumers in each country who say they spend one or more hours listening to podcasts per week.


Overall, APAC markets are above average in podcast-listening. In Indonesia, 63% of respondents report spending an hour or more listening to podcasts every week, the third-highest proportion in all markets surveyed. Indonesia is followed by Thailand at 56% and India at 54%, which put them in the sixth and seventh position.

APAC is also home to an outlier. The market in which weekly podcast listening is lowest is Japan, which has only 11% regular podcast listeners. This is half the listening rate of the next lowest global market, which is Belgium at 22%.


Europe has been slow to adopt the audio medium with most European markets falling below the global average. Romania, at 49%, is the sole exception to this rule. Two-fifths of Spanish and Swedish consumers say they listen to podcasts at least an hour or more a week (43% each).

Sweden thus stands out from its Nordic neighbors Norway (37%), Denmark (33%) and Finland (28%), all of which fall below the global average. Great Britain (26%), the Netherlands (25%) and Belgium (22%) are the European markets where weekly podcast listening has the lowest rate of penetration.

Latin America

Half of Mexicans (52%) and Brazilians (51%) listen to podcasts for at least an hour per week. In Colombia, 44% of consumers do the same, putting them at the global average. Argentina is less interested in the medium with only 36% being regular podcast listeners.

Middle East and Africa

Of all global markets, MENA markets are home to the highest proportion of podcast listeners. South Africa has the highest rate of podcast listening of all global markets at 69%, followed closely by Saudi Arabia at 67%. Only Turkey (43%) and Lebanon (38%) fall below the global average.

North America

While much of the early development of the technology of podcasting was developed in the US, Americans still listen at a lower rate than most markets at 38%. Their northern neighbors in Canada listen at an even lower rate of 32%.

Data from YouGov Global Profiles shows that while podcasting is a truly global medium, it has achieved uneven penetration across markets. This data shows where podcasting is currently most influential and also where it has the most potential for growth.

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Methodology: YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 43 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 18+ years in Great Britain, the US, Australia, India and the UAE. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market in this piece uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.