A look at growth and the investment opportunity in audio. From DWNLOAD Media.

Hello and welcome to The DWNLOAD Report: The State of the Podcast Industry Q1 2024.

DWNLOAD Media released our first-ever DWNLOAD Report: The Case for Increased Investment in the Podcast Industry in early January. Our goal with that whitepaper was to share the realities of the podcast industry today and why it is one of the most undervalued investment opportunities in media. The TL;DR showed that audience and revenue continue to grow, and headlines claiming the “podcast bubble had burst” were not only clickbaity but also flat-out wrong. [Read the full report here]

Given the feedback and reach of our first report and now that the major companies have shared Q1 earnings, we thought it’d be worth checking back in and sharing some updates on the overall health of the podcast space and providing guidance on where the industry is tracking for ‘24 and beyond.

I’m always happy to share more insights on DWNLOAD Media and the podcast industry, so don’t hesitate to reach out with any comments or questions. Also, I’ll be at the London Podcast Show May 22-23 - if you’re in London or plan on attending, let’s set a time to connect!

Let’s dive in.

Chris Peterson, Founder & CEO of DWNLOAD Media

[If you were forwarded this email and want to join our community of investors and audio builders, sign up here, and you’ll be added to all of our updates on the podcast industry.]


Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened in Q1: 

  • All major platforms (Spotify, SiriusXM, iHeartMedia, Acast, etc) continue to see out-paced growth in podcast revenue compared to their overall business. I break down each company with thoughts below.

  • The IAB released its latest revenue study, showing that podcast revenue slowed in 2023, growing only 5%—missing projections.

    • But major platforms saw growth. Why did the market “cool?” Well, simply, the mid-tier companies struggled as brand dollars focused on the scale players. We’re already seeing dollars trickle back down to the smaller guys in ‘24 and increased spending on the big guys. It’s all good.

    • Podcast revenue is projected to more than double its 2023 ad revenue growth rate in 2024 and is tracking to a total spend of $2.6b by 2026, so it remains a strong revenue growth story in digital media (and a great investment opportunity, too!)

  • Edison Research released its latest Infinite Dial, which showed continued growth.

    • An estimated 135 million people in the US listen to podcasts monthly, up from 104 million in 2020.

  • We also surveyed over 50 podcast CEOs to gauge their opinions on the space, including which platform they see as the most important in the future, their use of AI, and more. The results are below (and might surprise you).

Subscribe to keep reading

This content is free, but you must be subscribed to DWNLOAD Media to continue reading.

Already a subscriber?Sign In.Not now