Podcasting in Canada 2020

Expanded Options for Brands Looking to Engage a Growing Audience

Executive Summary

The podcast advertising business in Canada is evolving as publishers improve their ad offerings and brands incorporate podcasts into their audio strategies. Despite a pause in many campaigns due to the coronavirus pandemic, podcast marketing is now kicking back in to greet the reopening of the economy.

What are the latest podcast listener trends in Canada?

Canada is among the leading countries in podcast listenership, both in terms of penetration and frequency of consumption. The options for listening are almost limitless and appeal to the most niche audiences. During COVID-19 quarantines, listenership held steady despite restrictions on behaviors typically tied to podcast listening, like travel.

What does the podcast publishing landscape look like in Canada?

Most of the major media companies in Canada have launched podcast networks to house repurposed radio and to market original podcasts. These join pure play podcast networks, which were the first to test the economic viability of funding podcast content with advertising.

What are the leading platforms for listening to podcasts?

Apple and Spotify lead the way as audio platforms, but YouTube is also instrumental for podcasts with a video simulcast. Overall, it’s a decentralized ecosystem that includes many hosts and dozens of apps that people use to consume podcasts.

What are the opportunities for brands in podcasts?

Advertising options have become richer as metrics around consumption and data on attribution have matured. The host-read creative model still performs best for brands looking to tap a loyal and lucrative audience. Sponsored content in podcast form has also become part of the brand-content marketing mix.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report details podcast listener data for Canada from leading research polling in early 2020. It also lays out the podcast publisher landscape and options for brands looking to engage audiences.

KEY STAT: More than half (54%) of adult podcast listeners in Canada accessed podcasts through a smartphone, the leading device for podcast consumption.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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13expert perspectives

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The Latest Listener Data
  3. The Developing Ad Ecosystem
  1. The Podcast Opportunity for Brands
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. Insider Intelligence Interviews
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Will Bradley
Growth Lead
Interviewed June 29, 2020
Jesse Brown
Canadaland Media
Interviewed June 23, 2020
Tony Chapman
Chatter that Matters
Interviewed June 23, 2020
Chris Duncombe
Corus Entertainment
Director, Streaming and Podcasting
Interviewed July 23, 2020
Gwynne Fane
Vice President, Communications and Marketing
Interviewed June 30, 2020
Armin Huska
Head of Media and Agencies
Interviewed July 6, 2020
Roger Nairn
JAR Audio
Interviewed July 6, 2020
Arif Noorani
CBC Podcasts
Executive Producer
Interviewed June 23, 2020
Steve Pratt
Pacific Content
Interviewed June 9, 2020
Sarah Thompson
Chief Strategy Officer
Interviewed June 20, 2020
Jeff Ulster
The Podcast Exchange
Chief Content and Technology Officer
Interviewed June 4, 2020
Dave Zohrob
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed June 15, 2020
Kimberly Hacuman
Entertainment One Podcast Network
Senior Producer
Interviewed July 13, 2020

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Paul Briggs


Angela Kim
Senior Researcher

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast