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Podcast listening in Canada: who's doing it and how often?

Jo Loup May 9, 2024 3:15:00 PM
podcasting in canada

Podcasting has firmly entrenched itself in the Canadian media landscape, captivating audiences with its diverse content and accessible format. We use the latest MTM survey to explore the latest trends in podcast listening in Canada, shedding light on who's tuning in, how often, and the evolving dynamics of podcast consumption. 

The Media Technology Monitor (MTM) is the leading study in technology ownership and use in Canada and data reported is from the Fall 2023 survey unless otherwise stated.

Trends in podcast listening in Canada

According to the latest insights from the Media Technology Monitor (MTM), podcast listening remains robust in Canada. A significant one-third of Canadian adults have listened to audio podcasts in the past month, and 31% tune in weekly. Weekly listeners dedicate nearly 5 1/2 hours per week to podcast content, underscoring the medium's high engagement.

This last year has seen growth in video podcasting. YouTube integrated podcasts with their YouTube Music service allowing users to switch easily between audio and video formats. However, only 16% of adults in Canada claim to have watched a video podcast in the past month indicating a preference for the traditional audio format.

The percentage of Canadian adults who have listened to an audio podcast has declined slightly in this latest survey. The decline is more pronounced among the 18-34 age group. This could be attributed to the rise of video podcasting as 27% of this age group claim to have watched a video podcast in the past month.

% monthly audio podcast listeners by survey


Please note: the Spring 2020 survey used a different methodology and the usual methodology has been used for subsequent surveys.


Who is listening to podcasts?

While the overall audio podcast audience in Canada is fairly balanced in terms of gender, video podcasting is more male-dominated. The video podcasting audience trend is younger with 47% of viewers to video podcasts being aged 18-34.  Conversely, older adults seem to be embracing audio podcasts, with the 65+ age group comprising 11% of the audience, up from 8% in the fall 2022 survey.

Canadians who have listened to a podcast in the past month by age group




How do listeners access podcasts?

Podcast accessibility remains paramount, with two-thirds of listeners using music streaming services or YouTube to access their favourite shows. Spotify remains the number one platform of choice attracting  35% of monthly podcast users, followed by YouTube at 22%. Interestingly, the age profile of these platforms varies, with Spotify attracting a younger audience demographic.

Age profile of different podcast platforms




The impact of podcasts on radio listening

Podcast listeners have a voracious appetite for all types of audio content, consuming nearly 22 hours per week on average, 3 hours more than the general adult population.

While they engage slightly less with online radio, they consume the same amount of traditional radio as Canadian adults overall.

Self-reported hours spent with audio content in a typical week


Advertising in podcasts

Advertising within podcasts is also on the rise as ad technology and measurement catches up with consumer adoption. Not only do podcasts provide advertisers with engaged and captive audiences but research has shown that the trust and authenticity of the medium leads to effective advertising with more than 6-in-10 podcast listeners saying they have taken an action after hearing a podcast ad.

Also, when we compare podcast advertising to other forms of digital advertising, it seems podcast ads are less likely to be avoided by the audience. Insights from the latest Numeris RTS survey show that 46% of Canadian adults claim to frequently avoid ads on podcasts compared to 60% who claim to avoid them during web browsing.

% of adults 18+ who frequently avoid ads on these digital media


Discovering new podcasts

Finally, discoverability plays a pivotal role in podcast consumption, with word-of-mouth recommendations remaining the most influential. Approximately two-thirds of audio podcast listeners rely on recommendations from friends or colleagues, while platform-generated algorithms and social media recommendations also contribute significantly to content discovery. 
We asked the NLogic team for their suggestions and quickly received a long, varied list of different podcasts. Here are some highlights:


Sound Off Podcast

A must for radio industry lovers in Canada (sponsored by NLogic)


Hard Fork

Exploring the latest developments in the rapidly changing world of tech.


Media People Podcast

Lively & insightful chats with the people who power the Canadian media industry.


Huberman Lab

Dr. Huberman discusses science and science-based tools for everyday life.


Ongoing History of New Music

Canada’s longest running radio documentary examining the alt-rock universe with Alan Cross.



"Because it makes me laugh" (comedy being the most popular podcast genre)

All images: Apple Podcasts