The Swedish Podcast Report 2022

The very best thing about podcasts is their personal appeal and diversity. On Spotify you can find popular interview podcasts from creators whose star status is close to that of the biggest artists. But you can also find really niche content that’s only relevant to supporters of a particular sub-culture.

Almost all podcasts share the sense of proximity we get from another person’s voice in our headphones. It becomes an intimate, enthusiastic and personal experience, almost every time we press Play.

The same applies to the communities created around many podcasts – that only us listeners understand. In 2021, the podcast became a widespread phenomenon, with extremely broad penetration – and at the same time there’s a voice and a story for each one of us. Personally, I have several favorites. On the way to work I enjoy listening to supporter podcasts, where informed fans discuss the latest happenings on Swedish football pitches, the latest episode of “Stammis”, or a new documentary from Spotify Dok.

Learn more

Johan Seidefors, Head of Content, Nordics for Spotify

The Podcast Report 2021 is based on data and insights from Spotify and survey data from Kantar Sifo. Happy reading (and listening)!

In a hurry?
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Swedish podcasting
in brief

Swedish podcasting is continuing to grow – with more listeners and more content to choose from

54% of all Swedish respondents aged 18-79 listen regularly to podcasts.*

In 2021, the figure was 51%.

Young people listen most, and listening is continuing to increase.
The 18-29 age group listens most, with a full 65% listening to podcasts every week.

Despite this already high penetration, the proportion of young listeners is continuing to increase. Since last year, the proportion of young people listening regularly to podcasts has increased by 8 percentage points.

We enjoy listening several times a week
12% of those asked say they listen to podcasts every day.

2 in 5 Swedes – say they listen to podcasts several times a week.

We listen most via Spotify
Spotify continues to be the largest platform for podcast listening. A full 60% of Swedish respondents say they listen via Spotify. The next most common platform is SR Play (32%), and in third place Apple Podcasts (20%).

*Regularly means that the person listens to a podcast at least once a month


the increase in those listening to pocasts at least once a week.

2022: 40%
2021: 37%
2020: 33%


of those aged 18-29 listen to podcasts every week – an increase of 8 percentage points since 2021.

2 out of 3 people listen for at least 30 minutes every time they listen to podcasts

We devote a great deal of time to podcasts as a medium. 2 out of 3 people listen for more than 30 minutes each time they listen to podcasts. At the same time, the slightly shorter listening periods (16-30 minutes) have increased by 4 percentage points this year.

Young people listen longest

The length of the listening sequences varies with age.

We find the longest listening time per occasion amongst younger people. In the age group 18-44, almost half of respondents listen for 45 minutes a time.

The oldest listeners (65-79) have the shortest average listening time. Almost half of respondents listen for less than half an hour a time.


of those who listen to podcasts at least once a week listen for half an hour or more.

2021: 72%

Most common to listen during the commute

The fact that Swedes have returned to their workplaces after the pandemic can be seen in the statistics. More than half (51%) of those who listen to podcasts at least once a week listen on the way to and from work, which is an increase from last year. In the 18-29 age group, almost 70% say they listen while commuting.
42% listen to podcasts while cooking or cleaning, and 41% while working out or exercising.

Where/when people usually listen to podcasts

Time well spent

2 out of 5 people who listen to podcasts at least once a week want to reduce their screen time during their leisure time. In the age group 18-29 this figure is even higher, with more than half (56%) saying they want to reduce screen time.

At the same time, almost half of those asked who listen to podcasts at least once a week say that podcast listening is more enriching than the screen time spent on a cellphone, tablet, or computer.

A full 7 out of 10 think that podcasts increase their knowledge of society.

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in the 18-29 age group want to reduce their leisure time screen use.


of all Swedes percieve podcast listening as more enriching than the screen time they spent on their cellphone, tablet, or computer.


The transformation
of podcasting

“Podcasts have an ability to entertain, educate, touch, and move”

Podcasts have a unique ability to entertain, educate, touch, and move. And they often provide food for thought in conversations with other people.

Learn more

Karin Bäckmark, Nordic Podcast Lead at Spotify

Most popular podcast genres on Spotify in 2021

Society and culture



True crime


Podcasts that topped the charts in 2021

The range of podcasts is growing both in terms of scope and quality, and here in Sweden many exciting new voices have made themselves heard.

The most popular podcasts during 2021 are documentary narratives and discussion podcasts. True crime continues to draw large groups of listeners.

On the global top list, we find infotainment, discussions and true crime, but also sounds that provide relaxation rather than education, such as ASMR and white noise.

The most popular podcasts on Spotify in 2021

Documentaries overtake discussion podcasts

According to last year’s survey, discussion podcasts were the most popular podcast format on Spotify. But things have changed since then, and in this year’s report documentaries are the listeners’ preferred genre.

It’s primarily Swedes in the 30-64 age group that prefer documentaries (73%). In the younger group of 18-29-year-olds, discussion still comes in first place (72%). Within this age range, the fiction format also stands out. As many as 1 in 5 respondents listens to fiction podcasts often.


prefer to listen to documentary narratives.


prefer to listen to conversation.

Genres that increased most on Spotify in 2021




Lifestyle & health


Balance between entertainment and learning

Those who listen to podcasts do so primarily to obtain greater knowledge of different subjects (53%) and to be entertained (51%). Compared to last year, 6% more respondents state greater knowledge as the primary reason they listen to podcasts. This means knowledge-seeking has knocked entertainment from its spot as top reason.

If seeking after knowledge is the primary reason, podcast listening appears to be having the desired effect.

7 out of 10 Swedes feel that podcasts have contributed to increased knowledge of society to a quite or very high degree.

The reasons people listen to podcasts demonstrate greater variation compared to previously years. This may be because more people have expanded their listening habits and discovered that podcasts can have many different purposes.

Reasons people listen to podcasts


think podcasts contribute to increased knowledge of society.


of those who listen weekly talk about the podcasts’ content to other people.

The impact and influence of podcasts

It’s a fact that podcasts have become part of our everyday conversations. The majority of listeners (93%) discuss podcast content with other people to some extent. 4 out of 10 people do so very or quite often. Despite this, 65% claim that podcast content doesn’t affect their opinions to a very high degree. Listeners between 18-44 consider that they are influenced more than the older generation.

All age groups share a high level of confidence in the content they hear. 81% consider to a quite or very high degree that the content of podcasts is generally truthful and correct, which is an increase of 5 percentage points compared to last year. The number of skeptics has simultaneously fallen from 20% to 16%.


don’t feel podcast content influences their opinions to a particularly high degree.

8 of 10

have high levels of confidence that podcast content is truthful and correct.

Controversial content and freedom of speech

Maintaining an open platform is important for Spotify. In the podcast universe, creators create their own soundspace, which means opinions are expressed on the platform which do not represent the company’s values. Spotify has clear rules about the content that is permitted, and doesn’t hesitate to act in cases of infringement. But silencing voices shouldn’t be done lightly.

Of those who listen to podcasts every week, 45% agree wholly or to some extent with the statement that it is important for freedom of speech that controversial podcasts can exist.

22% agree scarcely, or not at all. The responses differ between women and men, with more than 1 in 2 men agreeing with the statement, compared to only 1 in 3 of women.

Opinion is also divided about who is considered to have greatest journalistic responsibility for the actual content of a podcast. 44% think it’s those participating in the podcast who are responsible, but almost as many (42%) feel it’s the production company’s responsibility.

9% feel that the biggest journalistic responsibility lies with the platform where the podcast is distributed.

The podcast industry is still in its infancy, and together we’re constantly learning how to better handle these complex issues.

More about different voices


The future of

“As the universe of the podcast expands, so too do the boundaries of what a podcast can be”

A captivating narrative can transport the listener through both time and space. It can simultaneously entertain, educate and start conversations about our period and our society.

Learn more

Karin Bäckmark, Nordic Podcast Lead at Spotify

Listening is continuing to increase

During the last few years, we have seen steady growth, both in terms of what’s on offer and listening, amongst podcasts on Spotify. And it looks like growth will only continue.

Almost 9 out of 10 people who listen to podcasts every week believe that in two years they will listen at least as much as they do today. Only 9% believe they will listen a lot less or slightly less than they do now. While the younger age group has already embraced the podcast, the figures show that a significant increase in listening will take place amongst those who are 45 or older.

Will listen to podcasts in 2 years

Niche subjects and information about society are at the top of listeners’ wish lists.

To a large extent, what people choose to listen to is governed by personal preference, and with today’s wide range of podcasts, it’s easier than ever to find one that suits your interests.

This year’s survey shows that 1 in 5 listeners are happy with the existing range of podcasts, but also that there is a desire for more niche subjects (31%) and more information about society (28%).

A relatively new and popular podcast category is fictional narrative. Listening in this category has increased by 67% over the last year.

Successful podcasts in the last year in the fictional narrative category:


want to hear more information about society in future podcasts.


are satisfied with the current range of podcasts.


of young people between 18-29 could imagine starting their own podcast.


of young men could imagine starting a podcast.


of young women could imagine starting a podcast.

Young people are interested in starting podcasts

Listeners’ interest in starting their own podcast is still high, above all amongst the 18-29 age group. Here, 37% say they could imagine starting a podcast. Young women demonstrate a greater interest (43%) than young men (33%), and the interest wanes with age.

Half of the listeners have interacted with a podcast’s extra material

Today, many podcasts have become more than “just” audio. Increasing numbers of creators are spreading their content via social media, live broadcasts, live shows, and competitions. Some have even taken inspiration from the music world and created their own merchandise.

Around half of those who listen to podcasts every week say they have interacted with a podcast’s extra material to some degree.

Most common is to follow the podcasts’ own accounts on social media (52%), listened to extra episodes (43%), or viewed a live show (20%).

Younger respondents have interacted with extra material to a greater degree than older ones.


follow podcasts on social media.


listen to extra episodes.


have at some point experienced a podcast’s live show.


Podcast &

“Today’s informed target audience know what they want”

The advance of podcasting in Sweden has created new advertising opportunities and exciting possibilities for brands to communicate their messages. At the same time, the importance of optimizing and analyzing results is ever greater, as today’s informed target audience know what they want and how they want to listen.

Learn more

Gabriel Aksan, Head of Sales for the Nordic region at Spotify

6 av 10

prefer the advertising material in a podcast to be separate from the editorial content.

Advertising should be separate from editorial content

Feelings about advertising in podcasts don’t differ from feelings about advertising in general. The majority (65%) of those who listen to podcasts every week perceive advertising as just as disruptive as in other channels. In other words, you have to tailor your advertising and make it as relevant as possible.

However, there is a preference about the positioning of marketing in a podcast episode – a full 6 out of 10 respondents say they prefer it when advertising is completely separate from the editorial content: in other words, during a designated advertising break. The older the age group, the more people agree with this.

Source important for almost 1 in 3 between 18-29

How and from whom advertising comes has some effect on its credibility. 1 in 5 podcast listeners (21%) think advertising is more credible when a podcaster they personally like is conveying the message. Among young people aged 18-29, the proportion is even higher (31%).

But the question of whether advertising in a podcast should follow the theme of the content splits respondents. One third (32%) consider that advertising should follow the episodes or the theme of the podcast, while just as many (36%) disagree. 31% are neutral on this question.

1 of 3

think advertising should follow the podcast theme.


Want to start your
own podcast?

How to get started:

  • Choose a subject you’re passionate and can talk about. This can be something personal, something that starts a debate, makes people laugh or engages people in some other way.
  • Record your podcast yourself, for example via Soundtrap.
  • Upload your podcast via Anchor or another publishing tool.
  • Spread your podcast via social media so people start to listen.
  • Follow your listeners via Spotify for Podcasters, where you can see when they’re listening, how long for, what target group they belong to, and even which music they like.

About the survey

Method and implementation

  • The survey was carried out in Kantar Sifo’s online panel. This consists of a representative selection of the public between 18 and 79 years of age.
  • A screening question about podcast listening was asked of 3002 people.
  • 1000 interviews were then carried out in the group listening to podcasts at least once a week.
  • The interviews were carried out in the period 9-17 March 2022.