Top Audio Content Platforms for 2024


The podcast medium has shown meteoric growth in recent years. The Pew Research Center reports that 42% of Americans aged 12 and older have listened to a podcast in the past month. This shows substantial growth over the audience a decade ago, which comprised only 12% of Americans.

Because of this growing audience, there is also an increasing demand for great new audio content for Americans — and people worldwide — to consume. However, any podcast listener knows that not all audio content platforms are created equal.

While many platforms offer podcasts in addition to their primary offering of music, many are emerging that are designed exclusively for podcast content. Audio content listeners have a sea of options to choose from when it comes to their next listening obsession, and here are a few platforms that really stand out:

Pocket FM

The audio series platform Pocket FM has pioneered the audio series category since 2021, focusing on long-form episodic audio fiction. With a library of more than 1500 audio series, each boasting hundreds or even thousands of episodes, the platform and its content are designed with “binge listening” behavior in mind — the average user spends more than 150 minutes listening to content on the platform daily.

Pocket FM offers something for everyone with series in English and localized storytelling across various genres, including romance, horror, fantasy, sci-fi-, mythology, suspense, thriller, and more. A few of Pocket FM’s many “blockbuster” audio series include “The Return” (180 million plays), “Insta Millionaire” (156 million plays), and “Saving Nora” (125 million plays).

In a crowded landscape of audio entertainment, Pocket FM is set apart thanks to its commitment to delivering superior storytelling and excellent entertainment to its listeners. This makes Pocket FM a perfect companion for anyone’s lifestyle, whether commuting to work, doing household chores, winding down, or destressing at the workplace.

Pocket FM also has a unique pricing model that does not ask users to pay for a subscription to listen to their content. Instead, it’s a freemium app that provides users with limited free episodes every day and allows them to continue binging by paying for additional episodes via microtransactions. This pay-as-you-consume model will enable users to only pay for what they want to listen to.

Spotify

A recent study conducted by Podtrac and reported by Podnews revealed that the streaming platform Spotify holds the largest share of the US podcast audience, with 33.7% of listeners — a third of the podcast audience in the country.

However, it’s important to note that this statistic does not necessarily reflect the number of listeners actively looking for audio content. The service tends to include podcasts in its radio channels and personalized playlists, so this figure may be inflated by people who weren’t interested in podcast content but were instead looking for music.

However, Spotify stands out thanks to its industry-leading use of AI and machine learning technology in its platform. Using artificial intelligence, Spotify drives higher user engagement and retention among its user base through methods like gathering better user insights, using automated testing for new content, and providing personalized recommendations.

This innovative use of AI could prove transformational for the audio content field. As AI expert and Standard CEO Aaron Rafferty put it, “Netflix has been using AI for years, and their move to hire a director of Generative AI for roughly $900k/year should give some understanding regarding the level of investment. While not every company needs a proprietary LLM, they should consider how to structure their datasets so they’re secure and optimized for use by an AI model specific to their company.”

Apple Podcasts

The report by Podtrac and Podnews reveals that Apple Podcasts holds the number two market share in the US, with 27.6% of listeners. Still, these listeners are arguably more devoted than Spotify’s. While Spotify only accounts for 8.9% of total podcast downloads, a whopping 70.8% come from Apple Podcasts.

As such, the audience for Apple Podcasts comprises listeners who come to the platform looking specifically for high-quality podcast content. Although Pocket FM offers more binge-worthy content, there are plenty of longer series on Apple Podcasts for audiences to dive into.

Amazon Music

What Amazon Music lacks in market share in the podcast space, it makes up for with a unique value proposition. Amazon Prime members have the added benefit of ad-free listening to a selection of top podcasts.

On some other platforms like Spotify, listeners often have to put up with ads on the content — even if they pay a subscription fee. With Amazon Prime already having a large base of subscribers for its free shipping benefits, many listeners have taken advantage of this unique benefit for their audio content needs. The service’s library isn’t half bad either, with several podcasts exclusive to Amazon-owned platforms like Audible and Amazon Music.

iHeartPodcasts

The audio company iHeartRadio might have made a name for itself in the terrestrial radio space, but the company has also begun to increase its offerings of on-demand content through its iHeartPodcasts division. With a wide variety of content, from sports to lifestyle to narrative podcasts and more, the company claims to be the “#1 podcast publisher globally, with more hit shows in more categories than any other podcasters.”

A large part of this success is iHeart’s library of content, which features many partnerships with A-list talent to create exciting new audio series. However, the other part of this is a lack of exclusivity. iHeartPodcasts distributes its series to other major audio platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, meaning iHeart listeners don’t have access to any content specifically for them

What audio content platform is best for you

Each of these platforms has its benefits, but Pocket FM is quickly emerging as a superior choice for audio entertainment. Thanks to its vast library of binge-worthy content with numerous episodes, Pocket FM is an excellent choice for listeners looking to dive into exclusive, high-quality storytelling for hours on end. 


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