A Year End Stitcher Report Update & Some Podcaster Insights

4 min readDec 7, 2021


2021. Phew. It’s almost over. And what a year it was. The vaccine. The return to society — even if in just some ways. The variants. The ups and downs. In some ways, the world of podcasting followed the rollercoaster and, in other ways, the industry made its own mark on the year. Here’s a snapshot of some interesting stats from our platform:

  • Listening is back! The small dips we saw during the pandemic wave 1 and wave 2 have fully recovered and, in fact, listening has grown this year to above pre-pandemic levels.
  • The podcast space is getting even more crowded. The number of shows on Stitcher YOY has surpassed 450,000 to hit 462,042 (as of October 31), an increase of 13.8% so far this year.
  • Fewer people sought out information about current events via podcasts — at least via searches. Compared to 2020, where we saw a huge spike in search terms related to the presidential race, the pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter movement, listeners have seemed to returned to seeking out a particular show or host.
  • The Top 5 Most Searched podcasts were Dateline NBC, The Daily, Crime Junkie, True Crime Garage and Morbid. The Top 5 Most Searched hosts were Conan O’Brien, Rachel Maddow, Ben Shapiro, Ezra Klein, Bill Burr, and Brene Brown.
  • There’ve been some shuffles among the top most-listened to podcasts. Some news and politics shows have dropped in rankings and we saw a new member of the scene, You’re Wrong About, make the Top 25. Suffice to say, there’s plenty of room here for some of our Hosts of Color as well as female and gender queer creators. Let’s support them in 2022!
Top 10 Podcasts by Number of Listeners


This Fall, we also surveyed the creators that publish their shows on Stitcher. Nearly 3,000 people responded (THANK YOU!) and shared some valuable insights about how they monetize and get the word out about their shows. Below we decipher the different ways smaller (25,000 or fewer listens per month)and larger podcasts (25,000+ listens per month) market and monetize their shows:

  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, 87.1% of smaller shows listed Word Of Mouth as one of the methods they’ll leverage to grow their audiences in 2022, followed closely by Organic Social (83%). At the other end of the spectrum, only 9% stated they would use paid audio ads.
  • For larger shows, Word of Mouth and Organic Social still dominated the marketing focus, with nearly identical percentages citing using those channels. However, 25.2% of larger shows say the will use paid audio ads to grow their shows in 2022.
  • On the monetization front, merchandise sales led the way for smaller shows to earn revenue with 47.2% relying on it. This was followed by 26% mentioning they self-sell ads or sponsorships whereas soliciting subscriptions/donations were tied at 23%.
  • 57.7% of respondents whose audience is over 25,000 listens/month said they self-sell sponsorships or ads as a way to earn money from their show. 41.5% rely on paid subscriptions to their shows and 36.6% use an ad network to help sell ads.
  • Ways shows with fewer than 25,000 monthly listens monetize….
Monetization Channels Leveraged by Shows with Less Than 25,000 Listens/Month
  • Ways shows with more than 25,000 monthly listens monetize…
Monetization Channels Leveraged by Shows with 25,000+ Listens/Month

Needless to say, we’re looking forward to closing out 2021 and starting 2022 with a fresh new look, along with updated data and insights to share about the podcasting industry. Stay tuned!




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