Numbers are based on 2095866 episodes in the selected interval of last year .

MP3 has been the first audio format used for podcasts due to its compatibility with major browsers and devices. Unsurprisingly, a significant 93.5 % of all podcasts utilize the MP3 format, making it the preferred choice for content distribution.

Nevertheless, a growing number of podcasters are exploring alternative formats, with approximately 6.5 % opting for AAC/M4A. AAC/M4A is known for its ability to provide superior sound quality at lower bitrates, appealing to creators seeking to enhance the listening experience for their audience. AAC/M4A is supported by Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and most other major podcast players. Some older podcast players, however, may not support AAC/M4A yet.

The open audio formats OGG and OPUS are still niche formats. These formats are notable for their efficient compression algorithms, allowing for a balance between audio quality and file size. While their usage remains relatively niche, they are sometimes provided by podcasts as an alternative to their main audio format.

Format plot


The majority of podcast episodes are encoded in stereo, accounting for 84.3 % of the dataset. In terms of bitrate, the dominant choice among podcasters is 128 kbps (kilobits per second), constituting 55.7 % of the analyzed podcasts.

Bitrate Percentage
64 kbps 5.5 %
96 kbps 6.7 %
128 kbps 55.7 %
192 kbps 12.1 %
256 kbps 4.1 %
320 kbps 5.7 %

Bitrate

Bitrate plot

Channels

Channels plot




The podcasting community is split on the loudness target. The most common loudness target is -16 LUFS (Loudness Units Full Scale). However, a significant number of podcasts use a loudness target of -18 LUFS. Apples Podcasts recommends a loudness of -16 LUFS.

A wide field of loudness ranges is used by podcasters. Most Podcasts use a relatively narrow loudness range, with a difference of 3.5 LU (Loudness Units) between the softest and loudest parts of the audio. However, a wide range of loudness ranges is used by podcasters, with some podcasts having a loudness range of 10 LU or more.

Furthermore, the true peak is typically set at 0 dBTP (decibels True Peak). Apples Podcasts recommends a true peak of -1 dBTP.

Loudness

Loudness plot


Loudness Range

Loudness range plot

True Peak

True peak plot