Podcast listening in Canada is increasing. According to the Media Technology Monitor survey, over one-third of Canadian adults claim to have listened to a podcast in the past month and on average they are listening for just under four hours per week.
In 2022 Spotify consolidated its position in the market with numerous acquisitions in order to provide a one-stop shop for content creators. They strengthened their existing Megaphone platform and acquired two further podcast technology companies, Chartable and Podsights, giving advertisers greater insights into both podcast audiences and ad measurement.
We examined the latest MTM survey to determine how podcast statistics have changed over the past few years in Canada. (Data reported is from the Spring 2022 survey unless otherwise stated). The Media Technology Monitor (MTM) is the leading study in technology ownership and use in Canada.
Trends in podcast listening in Canada
Podcast listening is at its highest level yet with 34% of Canadian adults and 46% of adults aged 18-49 listening in the past month.
% monthly podcast listeners by survey
A notable increase can be seen in Alberta where 48% of adults have listened in the past month and 60% of adults aged 18-49. An increase of 30% and 28% respectively since the Spring 2021 survey.
It should be noted that the Spring 2020 survey used a different methodology. The usual methodology was employed for subsequent surveys.
Who is listening to podcasts?
The MTM data shows that the overall audience for Canadians who have listened to a podcast in the past month is 55% male and 45% female (an increase in the male audience from 53% in the last Spring survey). The audience still skews towards the younger demos yet the biggest shift can be seen in the 65+ age group which makes up 8% of the audience compared to 6% last spring.
Canadians who have listened to a podcast in the past month by age group
How do listeners access podcasts?
Spotify remains the number one way to access podcasts. 40% of monthly podcast users claim to use this platform followed by 35% using their podcast app and 18% using YouTube. There is, however, a difference in the age profile of these podcast platforms with younger users preferring Spotify and YouTube.
Age profile of different podcast platforms
Does podcast listening impact radio listening?
Podcast listeners consume just under 4 hours of podcasts per week and 20% more total audio content than Canadian adults in general. The Spring 2022 survey shows that they consume on average only 44 minutes less traditional radio compared to the adult population and 95 minutes more of music streaming services.
Self-reported hours spent with audio content in a typical week
Advertising in podcasts
And finally, some more good news for podcast advertisers. When we compare podcast advertising to other forms of digital advertising, it seems it is less likely to be avoided by the audience. Insights from the latest Numeris RTS survey show that 45% of Canadian adults claim to frequently avoid ads on podcasts compared to 61% who claim to avoid them during web browsing.
% of adults 18+ who avoid frequently ads on these digital media