More than a quarter of podcasts have just one episode, study finds

Podcasts on iPhone 11 Pro
Podcasts on iPhone 11 Pro (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's podcast library might have two million entries but 26% have just a single episode.
  • Almost two thirds have three or fewer episodes.

Apple's podcast library has two million shows for listeners to choose from, but it turns out that 26% of them have just a single episode available. In fact, 64% have fewer than 10 episodes available, according to a new report by Amplifi Media.

Analyzing data from Apple Podcasts reveals how that statistic is misleading. Out of the two million titles reflected in Apple Podcasts (and similar results from Podcast Index), a remarkable 26% have produced just a single episode. One and done. That suggests many people fired up their creative juices, especially during the pandemic, and stopped after creating one episode. Roughly 1/4th of all podcasts are out of business, or more likely, were never really in it.

Amplfi Podcast Chart

Amplfi Podcast Chart (Image credit: Amplifi Media)

The news should perhaps not be all that surprising, however. People like the idea of recording and publishing a podcast but the work required to do it on the regular takes a level of commitment people don't seem to have. As for the relatively low number of shows with 10 or more episodes, Amplifi says that might actually be for the best.

Not all podcasts are meant to be unending series. You can find plenty of great and evergreen content designed to run for just a handful of episodes. That's part of the beauty of podcasting, but the one-and-done titles unfairly inflate the overall number of podcasts, and it is revealing that 44% have three or fewer episodes.

You can listen to your favorite podcast via Apple's Podcasts app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Looking to create your own podcast instead? These are some of the best podcasting microphones around, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.