Weekly Insights · January 17, 2024

Comedy and Tragedy: Podcast Genre differences in the U.S. and UK 

By Edison Research

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Edison Research recently released the second wave of data from its Edison Podcast Metrics UK study. As it does in the U.S., Edison Podcast Metrics UK captures podcast listening information among weekly podcast listeners. This release gives us the opportunity to compare genre listening between weekly podcast listeners in the two countries. The table below shows the overall strength of the top podcast genres among weekly listeners, while also illuminating one key difference between the U.S. and UK markets.  

The most noticeable difference here is the portion of weekly podcast audiences who listen to True Crime.  

True Crime is one of the largest and most-buzzed-about podcast genres in the U.S., with close to one-fifth of weekly podcast listeners reporting listening to the genre. If you consider some of the most notable and influential podcast franchises, an impressive number of them fall under the True Crime genre: Serial, Dr. Death, My Favorite Murder, Crime Junkie, among many others. Note how much larger the U.S. audience for True Crime is when compared to the UK. True Crime is the third largest genre in the U.S. and has almost double the reach than in the UK. It is hard for us to know if this indicates more room to develop the UK True Crime podcast audience or if there is simply less of an appetite for this genre across the pond.  

Meanwhile, the British tradition around comedy shows itself in this data as well. While Comedy leads in both countries, listening is five percentage points higher the United Kingdom. 

Overall, the top five podcast genres are the same, albeit in different orders. It’s rather fascinating to see that Society & Culture podcasts reach an identical percentage of weekly listeners in the U.S. and in the UK, at 23%. The same is also true for News podcasts, which account for 19% in both the U.S. and UK. 

More insights regarding weekly podcast listening can be found in both Edison Podcast Metrics UK and Edison Podcast Metrics U.S. Contact epm@edisonresearch.com to learn more about our work.  

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