Interesting - I had never heard of this particular search engine before. All I really use is iTunes and (rarely) spotify. And the occasional cross-promotion from within a podcast.
Of particular interest from their dataset is the "Dead" vs. "New". It's interesting how the "Dead" is level around 30k, while the new is a simple exponential curve.
But you can see what podcast episodes are people listening to on Listen Notes right now: https://www.listennotes.com/realtime/
The podcasts I listen to are like shows to me - I wait for the episodes and listen to them as entertainment.
Edit: At least as of last month, when I last talked to my friends in podcasting / in advertisement purchasing for podcasts.
But on your topic I've taken to walking in the morning and evening just to get my podcast time in.
It was fun a couple years ago.
As things get worse, it's less fun.
Where a movie can get subtitles or dubbing, where a music don't need any translation, an English podcast will only be listened by people fluent in English and will need to be adapted for other languages, either by the original podcaster or by a local one without any fear of copyright infringement.
Thus it's hard to directly compare movies, music and podcasts figures together.
You may get spin-offs for other languages like Radio Ambulante (Spanish) for NPR. But that's a whole other podcast in its own right, not a translation.
The difference in numbers should be obvious to you: anyone can start a podcast that lands on podcast aggregators, and the production is just recorded voice at minimum. Few people make movies or music that lands on imdb and spotify, and the production is more than just recorded voice at minimum. Why wouldn't you expect podcasts see much higher numbers in its stats?
Given how similar the current podcast "cultural gold rush" feels compared to the way it did slightly more than a decade ago, I can't help but wonder if we're heading for another bust. The economic boomtimes that created so many willing sponsors of the last four or five years are coming to an end, and the onrushing economic difficulties are driving more and more people into podcasting as a potential source of income. Can a whole industry support itself on the pockets of Squarespace and Casper mattresses?
Meanwhile it would be news to me if any of my friends in Mexico and Spain (the two places I spend time in nowadays) listen to podcasts at all. I also listen to Mexican/Spanish podcasts to practice the language, and there just is no contest with the top 1% of US podcast -- what most people are listening to. So you need to also have a sufficient proficiency in English to get into podcasts.
The sibling comment focusing on public RSS feed is looking down the wrong rabbit hole when there's a simpler answer: US has high absolute and per capita numbers for podcast listeners which is what you need to have a culture of podcast production.
In HK and Japan, while it is still quite widely used by the relatively more tech inclined people, you can't randomly ask a new friend if they like any podcast and expect them to know what you are talking about.
Also, English is a widely used language. My native language is Cantonese, but the amount of shows in that is very low, and I'm more comfortable with English than other Chinese dialects including Mandarin, so I listen to mostly English podcasts. I imagine similar thing might happen in countries with more than one spoken languages. I know some Indian friend who has a podcast that they did in English even though the topic and target audience are mostly Indians as well.
There are exclusive "podcasts" on Spotify that are not publicly accessible and not distributed via rss.
There are other forms of spoken audio contents that are publicly accessible but not distributed via rss.
Open RSS-based podcast ecosystem is less developed outside US, for countries with comparable (or larger) population.
There are many walled garden audio platforms in countries like China. For example, probably most of you haven't heard of Lizhi FM , a "podcasting" platform from China that just went public early this year. Most of its audio contents are not distributed via RSS.
An audio program that isn’t published via an RSS feed is no more a podcast than the proprietary pages that AOL use to host are “web pages.”
In terms of dead podcasts, most podcasts don’t actually set the complete tag (most likely to leave the door open for future eps) they just stop. So that figure will be way higher in reality. When crawling Podcasts I came across a lot of RSS feeds that were still up but hadn’t had a new episode for over 3-5 years etc
I'm surprised by the episodes numbers they claim on the site as we see around a half of those numbers across Spotify and Apple, but we deduplicate them, so maybe that's why.
In any way, very interesting statistics.
Notable are Chapo Trap House, a communist/socialist podcast making nearly $2M a year, and Cum Town, a low production value comedy podcast pulling in almost $700k.
Chapo and C*town provide 2 RSS feeds. The free/paid feeds don’t show up next to each other in your podcast app because they’re named differently (dumb). No way to merge feeds in the popular podcast apps.
Smart producers like Stratechery/Dithering provide individual personal RSS feeds that combine the free and paid. And deliver only the free if your subscription lapses. But those are one-off CMSs that most Patreon podcasts don’t have the means to deploy.
A similar scheme has worked in the screencast space as well, I recall Railscasts followed a similar approach of free "shows" and then you got more of the same if you paid. It seems to work really well as a format.
If there's not redirect, then we use the exact url, e.g., http://feeds.podtrac.com/nice-peter doesn't redirect, then it's podtrac.com