First-ever Canadian study proves podcasting is a big deal here, too

Finally - a comprehensive podcast study about Canadian listeners.

It’s a whopper! Definitive data gathered from thousands of Canadians tells us more than we’ve ever known before about their podcast habits and interests.

It’s called The Canadian Podcast Listener, and it's a two-phased study of more than 4,000 Canadians, conducted by Ulster Media and research company Audience Insights, with support from The Globe and Mail.

I so wished I had access to this information in my many years as Director of Digital Talk Content at CBC Radio. We looked at US studies (and there were plenty), we looked at our own limited metrics, we heard anecdotes - but we were always yearning for more useful and reliable data that could help us understand and become more relevant to podcast audiences.

Now that’s changed. 

The findings confirm that podcast listening is indeed "a thing" in Canada, too:

  • Nearly 10 million Canadian adults have listened to a podcast in the last year
  • And that number is growing. More than 70% of past month listeners started listening in the last 3 years with 41% starting in the past year alone.
  • Primary reasons for listening to podcasts: 1) to be entertained; 2) hear interesting stories and 3) learn something new.
  • There’s an appetite for Canadian content, with 47% of podcast listeners wanting to know more about what Canadian podcasts are available. Four of the top 10 podcasts listened to in the last month were Canadian.

Those are a few of the broader headlines, featured in our Summary Report. The larger report also fills in the gaps on listener demographics, Canadians' most listened to podcasts and genres, and how and where they listen to podcasts. There are also insights about how people discover podcasts, how they feel about advertising, how iOS users behave compared to Android users, and much more. It’s quite comprehensive, and we plan on releasing updates to measure growth trends and changes in behaviour.

 Here's a link to the Canadian Podcast Listener website, where you can download the 57-page Report as well as a 15-page summary version (pdf).

If you’re interested in subscribing or learning more, feel free to reach out to me here.  You can also reach out to Jeff Vidler at Audience Insights at And/or you can reach out to Lanna Crucefix at The Globe and She can talk about The Globe's involvement with the research and their activities in podcasting.