Everyone who listens to podcasts has a favorite, but that selection might be influenced by the region where they live. A new infographic from SimpleTexting reveals the most popular podcast by state, and the map is a clear indicator of how culturally diverse each state can be.
According to Apple, over 525,000 active shows are currently offered on its platform. These 18.5 million available episodes include content in 100 languages and the numbers continue to climb. A report published in FastCompany claims there were only 13.7 billion downloads and streams of episodic podcasts across iTunes in 2017. But by the first quarter of 2018, that number has already reached 50 billion.
It’s clear that podcasts are a rapidly growing platform that can cater to any interest, and according to this map, public demands vary greatly by state.
To create the map, researchers at SimpleTexting compared Google search interest data from the past 12 months from each state. Using the iTunes top 50 podcasts as of April 2018, data scientists were able to explore each state’s search interest data and identify the most popular podcast in specific regions.
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The team discovered that states in the same region tended to agree with one another. For example, WTF With Marc Maron is #1 in two of the nine Northeastern states, despite not ranking in any of the states in the other US regions. Stuff You Should Know is a hit in the South, whereas Felonious Florida is most popular in Florida and Illinois, for some reason.
Despite regional connections, there isn’t much agreement outside of neighboring states. “It was interesting to see that 23 different podcasts appeared on map — there wasn’t just a small handful of very popular podcasts that appeared across all states,” a representative from SimpleTexting told Inverse. The only notable exceptions to that seem to be Serial and Last Podcast on the Left, the latter of which appears in eight states across the West coast, the Midwest, and the South.
Meanwhile, researchers were surprised to see that the first season of Serial, which came out in 2014, is popular enough to appear as #1 in Delaware, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and West Virginia.
The United States is a vast, eclectic country and sometimes the best way to reflect that is with a gorgeous map. Podcasts are growing exponentially across the US, where Nielsen reports that 44% of Americans have already been listening. These maps reveal the diversity of American interests in this growing industry.