Podcast Benchmarking

Podcast Benchmarking

We started publishing benchmarking data in 2021, aimed at addressing the ever-present question on every podcast publisher’s mind— “What constitutes a ‘good’ number of downloads?” (a friendly reminder, our usual caveat around use of the word ‘good’ applies — this is an emotional damage free zone). In 2022, we expanded the data to include different geographies. So now, back by popular demand, here’s our 2023 data.

One more reminder before we dive in — the data we’re about to share is only for content hosted on Omny Studio. Despite hosting a meaningful volume of shows in the industry, it is just a slice of the podcast pie (a delicious slice, we’ll give you that).

Ok.. diving in! Let’s start at the top, with a look our 2023 global benchmarking percentiles, for episodes 30 days after publishing.

How many doenloads per episode is 'good'?

Interestingly, we’re seeing a slight decline from 2022 where 50,000 downloads for an episode within the first 30 days of publishing got you into the top 1%. Is the ever increasing number of podcasts available for listeners to choose from playing a role here, or perhaps it’s the industry adjusting after Apple’s iOS17 updates.

Now, let’s delve deeper and see what those global numbers look like when we drill into specific categories. First up, News — arguably the most popular category in podcasting. Not a lot of movement from 2022, to be honest.

Benchmarking by podcast category - News

Next up, Comedy where depending on your download numbers, you may be laughing when I tell you that we’ve seen a significant change in what it takes to crack the top 1% — down from 176,029 in 2022 to 82,026.

Benchmarking by podcast category - Comedy

Society & Culture also saw a significant shift, with the threshold for the top 1% decreasing from 155,451 downloads.

Benchmarking by podcast category - Society & culture

From Culture to Sports, where the top 1% downloaded shows increased by about 20,000 this year. NFL podcasts talking about Taylor Swift, perhaps? Two worlds colliding, for the benefit of podcasting.

Benchmarking by podcast category - Sports

Moving on from individual podcast categories, can I interest anyone in some country specific data? We looked at the top podcast downloads, across categories, for our highest performing regions.

First up, Australia. A country dear to my heart, where, despite me leaving the continent, there was a slight increase from 2022 percentages. If your episodes get more than 16,624 downloads in their first 30 days — congratulations, you’re in the top 1% down under.

Meanwhile, the UK is leaping ahead, doubling the downloads needed to hit the top 1% from last year!

How many downloads per episode is 'good' in the UK

North America is holding strong, with very little change from 2022. Given the maturity of the market, I think it would take a lot to move these numbers meaningfully.

For the first time, we’re releasing benchmarking data for LATAM — a region we’re anticipating to see further growth in 2024. The top 1% is entering our benchmarking with a bang, where you need 23,330 downloads in the first 30 days to be included.

How many downloads per episode is 'good' in LATAM

Well… that’s a wrap for another year. For all of you who ask me to report this data each year (you know who you are) and for those new to this data, I hope it’s valuable and offers you insights into how your episodes perform relative to others in the industry.

Until next year, my friends….

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