Want Your Podcast To Pop Off? Grab A Guest, Says Pew


As podcasts evolve into a vital platform for news and entertainment, a recent study by Pew Research Center has revealed a key aspect of what drives engagement with the medium – the guest.

Pew analyzed the 434 top-ranked podcasts on Apple and Spotify, revealing that a 76% majority featured at least one guest in 2022. The study further highlighted that 22% of these podcasts regularly included guests, while 5% had guest appearances in nearly all episodes.

The split wasn’t even between genres, though. Podcasts focusing on sports, entertainment, politics, and self-help were more likely to feature guests, with these genres hosting guests in at least three-quarters of their episodes in 2022. In contrast, the true crime genre, despite its popularity, was less inclined to include guests, with approximately 40% of top-ranked true crime podcasts not featuring any guests.

The research uncovered that over 7,000 individuals made guest appearances on top-ranked podcasts in 2022, contributing to almost 11,000 appearances across about one-third of the 24,000 episodes released that year. Interestingly, while the majority of guests appeared only once, those who made multiple appearances significantly impacted the guest ecosystem, accounting for half of all guest appearances.

The Joe Rogan Experience emerged as a popular destination for these repeat guests, hosting 44% of those that made the list in 2022.

Individuals associated with The Daily Wire were also among the most frequent podcast guests, thanks to cross-promotion from often visiting each other’s shows. More in-depth data can be found in the Pew study.


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