Spotify reveals top podcasts for 2023 as part of annual Wrapped event

The Joe Rogan Experience takes first place for fourth year in a row

Spotify has announced the most popular podcasts of 2023, according to its annual year-end Wrapped list, with The Joe Rogan Experience taking the worldwide number one spot for the fourth consecutive year. 

Other podcasts that made it to the top five globally included science podcast Huberman Lab, Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain - which signed a deal with Spotify at the end of 2022, but ceased being fully exclusive earlier this year - and iHeart’s On Purpose with Jay Shetty.

Joe Rogan’s podcast was also the most popular in the UK, followed by award-winning business podcast The Diary of A CEO, Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster, Parenting Hell, and Call Her Daddy. The Diary of A CEO was also ranked as the number one podcast in the Apple Podcasts UK year-end charts revealed yesterday. 

Many of the top podcasts also appeared in last year’s Wrapped list, and according to Spotify’s head of Studios for UK and Ireland Chris Baughen, the top rankings have tended to be relatively stable over the past couple of years.

“We tend to see a stability around that top 30 to 50,” he told PodPod, “and we've seen that over the past year or so. I don't think there were too many surprises that we've seen that come into that space.”

Both The Joe Rogan Experience and Call Her Daddy with Alex Cooper (which made it to second place globally) are exclusive to Spotify, meaning neither of them appeared on Apple’s end-of-year rankings. According to Edison Research’s UK and US podcast metrics, however, The Joe Rogan Experience is the most popular podcast overall, based on weekly audience reach. 

This year, the audio giant revamped its podcast strategy, relinquishing the exclusivity over some of its podcasts in order to increase their audience and ad sales. However, this move is unlikely to have affected the end-of-year rankings, and Baughen told PodPod that the company’s exclusivity-based strategy succeeded in its goal of winning more podcast listeners over to Spotify’s platform.

“I think there's no argument that we managed to succeed in that,” Baughen said. “I think moving forward into next year, it's been interesting that now we have those numbers and that size of listenership on platform, it's not necessarily as important for us to have all of that content as exclusive.” 

In addition to the top podcast charts, Spotify also launched its 2023 Wrapped for Podcasters experience, which gives creators insight into data points such as their top episodes, the percentage of users that have discovered them this year and what episode they started with, the top country and emerging markets their fans are in, top genres that are popular with their fans, podcast ratings and social sharing, fan interactivity, video milestones, charts, year on year growth, and top podcast rankings. 

“For millions of creators, the Wrapped for Podcasters experience offers a unique opportunity to celebrate their milestones and discover how their podcast resonated with global fans,” Spotify for Podcasters director of marketing Anna Sian told PodPod. “Beyond that, it’s a great opportunity for podcast creators to reach new audiences and tap into totally personalised insights so they can head into the new year more equipped for success than ever.”

Baughen also highlighted the role that these insights can play in helping podcasters approach potential sponsors, encouraging them to look at metrics like how much of their episodes the audience listens to in order to highlight their fans' engagement.

“The completion rate data I think is a strong data point showing potential commercial partners that your audience has very much locked into your show and are consuming a high percentage of it; that shows that engagement which I think is key when speaking to commercial partners.”

According to data from Spotify, video podcast consumption on the platform has grown by over 750% since 2020, when video podcasting was first introduced to the platform. Ad revenue for podcasts has also hit double-digit growth from 2021 to 2022, and continued to grow in 2023 despite macroeconomic challenges.

In October 2023, Spotify for Podcasters introduced new tools for creators on the platform, which included discoverability features like adding host recommendations and marking specific episodes as ‘best place to start’ on show pages, access to impression analytics for full shows and individual episodes, and the ability to increase opportunities for monetisation through Automated Ads and promotional tools for subscriber content.