The State of Podcasting in Latin America

David R. González
12 mins
Sobre nosotros

Executive Summary

By 2027, there will be more podcast listeners in Latin America than any other region in the world

The podcasting landscape in Latin America is on the brink of a significant transformation, poised to become a global powerhouse in the medium by 2027. Despite currently lagging behind in terms of internet access and content availability, Latin America boasts a vast population of Spanish and Portuguese speakers, laying the groundwork for exponential growth. 

As of 2023, Latin America already has 135.2 million podcast listeners, with Brazil leading the region with 51.8 million listeners. Projections suggest that by 2025, Latin America will surpass North America in total podcast listenership and will continue to lead globally in listener growth by 2027.

Although challenges such as monetization hurdles and attribution missteps persist, opportunities abound for advertisers and content creators alike. With the expanding internet connectivity and rising purchasing power in the region, Latin America presents an attractive market for podcasting.

Key conclusions highlight the industry's continuous growth trajectory, emphasizing the responsibility of stakeholders to navigate the evolving landscape thoughtfully. Brands are expected to increasingly recognize podcasting as a cost-effective medium for reaching diverse audiences, while the appeal of Spanish content offers opportunities for global outreach.

Moreover, the industry is expected to witness the entry of new players, including US agencies and production companies, further diversifying and enriching the Latin American podcasting ecosystem. As the region embraces podcasting as a mainstream medium, it is poised to redefine the global podcasting landscape in the years to come.

The State of Podcasting in Latin America

In the podcasting realm, 2024 is gearing up to be a game-changer for Latin America – and it's about time.

When discussions arise about the nascent stage of the podcasting industry in the US, I can't help but reflect on the notion that, if indeed the industry is in its infancy there, then in Latin America, we are at the starting line. The untapped potential for growth in this region is immense.

When I write about Latin American (LATAM) podcasts, I’m referring to podcasts whose main audiences are based in Hispanic-speaking countries outside the United States. But it’s important to mention that we’ll be including Portuguese-speaking Brazil, the biggest country in the region in terms of population (214 million people) and podcast listeners (51.8 million listeners).

Given Brazil's substantial role in the podcasting landscape, our focus will be strategically divided among Hispanic Latin America, Brazil, and, for practical considerations, Spain.

So, when it comes to native Spanish speakers, the numbers are staggering – there are a whopping 485 million native speakers, with Mexico leading the pack at 126 million, trailed by Colombia, Argentina, and Spain. To put it in perspective, there are an estimated 380 million native English speakers

Given this substantial pool of native speakers, you would assume a proportional surge in podcast listenership. However, reality doesn't quite mirror expectations. Factors such as internet access, content availability, and purchasing power come into play, creating a disparity when it comes to LATAM podcasting.

Here's the crux: Podcasting in Latin America is experiencing an explosive growth, and the momentum is expected to carry on in the coming years. The goal here is to i) shed light on the current state of podcasting in the region, ii) pinpoint the key challenges and opportunities ahead, iii) and draw out key takeaways for the coming years. 

So, where are we right now in podcasting in Latin America?

  1. Listeners 

In 2023, an estimated 135.2 million listeners tuned in to podcasts from Latin American countries, as reported by Insider Intelligence and Emarketer. Among these, Brazil emerged as the frontrunner with 51.8 million listeners, trailed by Mexico with 27.5, and Argentina with 10.4 million listeners.

To put this in perspective, it’s estimated that the US had 130 million podcast listeners in 2023.

  1. Rapid growth

With its expansive population, Latin America already hosts tens of millions more podcast listeners than Western Europe (refer to the chart below), surpassing even the United States by a narrow margin (135.2 million versus 129.9 million).

Adding to the impressive landscape, when excluding China, the most substantial podcast growth in the world in the next few years will come from Latin America. 

Brazil and Mexico, currently hold the third and fourth-largest positions in podcast consumption, and are forecasted to sustain notable growth in the coming years.

Projections paint a compelling picture: by 2025, Latin America is anticipated to surpass North America (U.S. and Canada) in the total number of podcast listeners. Looking ahead to 2027, the region is expected to lead globally in terms of listener growth, emphasizing its pivotal role in shaping the international podcasting landscape.

This becomes even more intriguing when you factor in that a smaller proportion of the Latin American population, at 20.4%, engages with podcasts compared to Western Europe at 25.8% and North America at 37.8%.

Nonetheless, it's crucial to note that this seemingly lower percentage is influenced by a significant portion of the population in the region that has yet to embrace the online realm. Among internet users, the podcast scene tells a different story, with popularity in Latin America essentially matching that of Western Europe (28.2% versus 30.3% in 2023). As connectivity continues to expand throughout the region, it's set to unlock a substantial pool of potential podcast enthusiasts, painting a vibrant and promising future for the medium in Latin America.

  1. Brazil

The Global Podcast Listeners Forecast 2023 does not yet have podcast metrics for several large countries—such as India and Indonesia—but given the digital usage trends that we do know about, it’s likely that Brazil would still end up as the third or fourth largest podcast market in the world even if we had listener data for every country. Brazil’s internet penetration rate and smartphone user rate have surged over the past 10 years, and its population has become eager adopters of new digital media like podcasting.

  1. Spain

In 2023, Spain is set to lead Western Europe in podcast listenership, with an impressive 37.0% of internet users and 31.1% of the overall population listening in. These figures outshine the metrics of every other market in the region, even surpassing the UK. However, despite this substantial listener base, Spain will rank fourth in total listeners in Western Europe, a position influenced by its relatively smaller population compared to other countries in the region. The podcasting landscape in Spain is thriving, marking the country as a standout hub for audio content consumption in Western Europe.

  1. How do we consume podcasts in Latin America?

In the realm of audio podcasting platforms across Latin America and Spain, Spotify reigns supreme. At Genuina, we manage millions of downloads per month, reaching audiences spanning the entire Spanish-speaking world. Our recent analysis of metrics shed light on our listenership patterns.

Astoundingly, 90% of our listeners in Latin America opt for Spotify, while 6% favor Apple Podcasts, and 1.4% tune in via Google Podcasts. 

The primary driver behind this distribution becomes evident when considering the smartphone landscape in Latin America, where 73% of users have Android devices compared to the 27% utilizing iOS. With the Apple Podcast App exclusive to iOS, Spotify emerges as the dominant player, catering to the majority of our diverse audience across platforms.

  1. Video podcasts - What is the question?

In contrast to the trend in the United States in 2022, where video just started coming into play as a companion for audio, Latin America has taken a different route. Here, we didn't go through a distinct audio-only phase. Podcasts and video have been intertwined since the inception of podcast listenership in the region.

YouTube stands out as the foremost podcast player in Latin America. Its dominance stems from unparalleled audience accessibility and cost-effectiveness compared to alternative platforms. The preference for video content from the outset has shaped the podcasting landscape in the region, setting a unique trajectory that reflects the diverse preferences of the Latin American audience.

The paradoxical nature of Latin America's digital landscape becomes evident in the fact that, despite not having the highest internet access rates, the region still claims the second-largest share of YouTube viewership globally. This phenomenon underscores the profound impact of digital content on the Latin American audience, as YouTube emerges as a powerful and widely embraced platform, transcending connectivity challenges.

Challenges and Opportunities for Latin America Podcasting

I. Room for Growth

Despite the optimistic outlook presented by podcast listener downloads in the region, there are notable areas where the industry is lagging, with expectations for it to catch up.

1. Monetization Challenges

While the podcasting scene in Latin America paints a promising picture, the financial aspect lags significantly. According to Statista, in 2023, only $62.5 million was spent on audio podcasting across the entire region, a substantial contrast to the $2 billion industry in the US. Anticipating the region's surge in podcast listenership, advertisers are expected to allocate more budget to this medium, potentially benefiting from lower CPMs in comparison to the US market.

II. Professionalizing the Industry

Given the youth of the industry in LATAM, several challenges need to be addressed for its professionalization.

1. Attribution Missteps

One recurring issue in LATAM is the lack of emphasis on attribution metrics. Agencies, independent podcasts, and brands often neglect to measure the success or completion of their campaigns. The industry's slow adoption of attribution tools creates an information asymmetry between sellers and buyers, hindering progress.

2. Brand Safety Dilemma

We’ve all been hearing about the upcoming necessity for brand safety features tools in podcasts. But when it comes to Spanish or Portuguese content, brands don’t have access to trustworthy information.

III. Moving Forward: Key Conclusions

1. Podcasting in Latam is only growing

By 2027, there will be more podcast listeners in Latin America than any other region in the world. Fueled by the region's expanding internet connectivity, rising purchasing power, and an influx of high-quality content, Latin America is set to captivate brands, podcasters and listeners, solidifying its position as the next podcasting powerhouse.

2. Industry Responsibility

The next few years will be pivotal for the development of the podcasting industry in LATAM, with a responsibility for both buyers and sellers to navigate this burgeoning landscape responsibly and learn from past mistakes in the US industry.

3. Patience for Monetization

For the multitude of podcasts not currently monetizing despite substantial audiences, patience is key. Brands are expected to recognize podcasting as a cost-effective medium to connect with untapped audiences in the near future.

4. Universal Appeal of Spanish

Spanish is more universal than often perceived, allowing podcasts from different countries to reach Hispanic audiences globally. Quality content will prevail over regional accents.

5. Expansion of Industry Players

The Latin American podcasting industry is poised to welcome more participants, including US agencies, production companies, ad-tech, attribution companies, and tools that have proven successful in the US market. The landscape is set to evolve and diversify with the entry of new players.

David Roemer-Gonzalez is co-founder and CEO of Genuina Media.

If you're eager to delve into the dynamic world of podcasting in Latin America or engage with the vibrant Hispanic community in the US, don't hesitate to connect with us at 

Lee la versión en español

¡Ups! Algo salió mal al enviar el formulario.