The most popular podcasts from around the world


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A century after the world’s first commercial radio broadcast, podcasts are bigger than ever.

The media landscape is pure sci-fi compared to 1920. Video games, 3D cinema, and artificially intelligent household devices battle for our attention. But the humble radio show has evolved to keep up.

The podcast is simple and convenient: you listen when you want, where you want. It demands only your ears, a fraction of your attention. One report found that 65% of podcast fans listen on portable devices, and 90% of listeners do so at home – suggesting we love to listen while getting on with other stuff. The gym, car, and public transport are other popular venues.

At the other end of the wire, podcast popularity means big money. Advertising revenue will hit $1.7 billion by 2024. And Top Dollar estimates that the world’s top podcast is worth $72 million per year.

Image Credit: coffeekai/istockphoto.

Top 10 podcasts around the world

We compiled the top 20 podcasts in individual countries across both Spotify and Apple lists using Chartable. Then we found the selected podcasts on Castbox and recorded the number of plays, number of overall episodes, and the number of episodes in the last 12 months.

Following the calculation that CastboxFM sees about 2% of overall plays, we multiplied the number of plays by 50 and calculated the number of plays by episode.

We then estimated potential earnings in the last 12 months by assuming three 60 second ads per episode and taking CPM values from AdvertiseCast. We repeated the process for particular genres: True Crime, Business, Comedy, Technology and Sports.

The data was collected in February 2021.

We found 14 countries where the most-listened show has potential earnings of over $1 million. The top podcast comes from the U.S., but the other Top 10 podcasts are mainly divided between Europe and Asia.

Image Credit: Lyndon Stratford / istockphoto.

10. Spoktimmen (Sweden)

  • Author: Jenny Borg & Linn Larsoon | Spoktimmen
  • Genre: True Crime
  • Earnings: $2,246,161

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

9. Australian True Crime (Australia)

  • Author: Smart Fella
  • Genre: True Crime
  • Earnings: $2,596,975

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

8. Martha Debayle (Mexico)

  • Author: MarthaDebayle
  • Genre: Lifestyle
  • Earnings: $2,654,312

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

7. The Blindboy Podcast

  • Author: Blindboyboatclub
  • Genre: Lifestyle
  • Earnings:  $2,713,636

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

6. 밀레니얼의 시사친구, 듣똑라 (South Korea)

  • Author: 듣똑라
  • Genre: News
  • Earnings: $3,255,258

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

5. Sadhguru (India)

  • Author: Sadhguru  Official
  • Genre: Spirituality
  • Earnings: $4,483,281

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

4. PoupeCast (Brazil)

  • Author: mepoupenaweb
  • Genre: Money
  • Earnings: $5,920,236

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

3. Steingarts Morning Briefing- Der Podcast (Germany)

  • Author: Gabor Steingart
  • Genre: News
  • Earnings: $8,036,118

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

2. S**ged Married Annoyed (U.K.)

  • Author: Chris & Rosie Ramsey
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Earnings: $10,563,670

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

1. The Joe Rogan Experience (U.S.)

  • Author: Joe Rogan
  • Genre: Talk-Show
  • Earnings: $72,287,456

Image Credit: Apple Podcasts.

Top earners

The Joe Rogan Experience is the top-earning podcast in the U.S. and the world. Rogan is a comedian with a political edge who got in early, starting his show in 2009.

Today, his listenership rivals the top talk radio shows, with an average of nearly 5 million plays of each of his 180 episodes per year. We reckon this means he’s good for $72,287,456 in annual ad revenue.

The U.K. is home to the second-biggest earner, Sh**ged Married Annoyed. The comedy show is described as the only way the married hosts “can have a conversation without being interrupted by a toddler or ending up staring at their phones.” We estimate their potential earnings at $10,563,670.

To find more top-earners by genre or country, click here.


This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

Image Credit: Anton Ostapenko/istockphoto.