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What are they listening to in Moscow?

What do People Use to Listen to Podcasts in Russia?

Articles in English



The recent year witnessed several studies designed to determine the platforms podcasts are popular with in Russia. Most commonly, they were based on surveys. However, they either could not boast a large sample size or the wording of the questions left much to be desired, thus diminishing the credibility of the resulting data.

We decided to approach the issue from a different angle and asked the major podcasters and recording studios to reveal some of their data, i.e. the percentage distribution of their audience by platform. “Либо/либо”, “Это разве продакшн?”, “Подкастерская” (Castpodcast) and “ТОЛК” studios as well as Zavtracast, The Big Beard Theory and “Животные в студии” podcasts provided us with an opportunity to unveil the numbers.

It is also important to point out that video podcasts published on YouTube are banned from the comparison as the audience of the KuJi podcasts YouTube channel or the “Без души” project by Danila Poperechniy taken alone is more significant than that of the whole Russian audio podcast industry. Not to mention we consider video podcasts to constitute a different type of content requiring different quantities of effort and initial investments for promotion. Therefore, we consciously disregard YouTube.

Putting long story short, here are our key findings:

All roads lead to Apple

Apple podcasts top the charts, being most popular with the audience of all podcasts. Moreover, for the leaders-incumbent of the podcast industry the share of this platform is almost identical and approaches whopping 50%.

For the three podcasts by Christina Vazovsky the share amounts to 46, 44 and 52% respectively. For the “Полка” podcast, it constitutes 53%.


Meanwhile, there is a certain group of podcasts that enjoy a lower share of Apple podcasts users. E.g. only around 38% of “The Big Beard Theory” audience opt for the Apple app. The same percentage is true for “Это разве секс?” podcast. One can find 35% Tim Cook adherents among the Zavtracast followers and just 33% among those who listen to “Хорошо, что вы это сказали” podcast by the “Либо/либо” studio.

To sum up, on average 33 to 63% of users listen to podcasts on Apple Misic (the latter share being true for the “Так вышло” podcast). This amounts to from a third to a half listeners of the projects taking part in the survey.

Yandex expanding

According to Leo Pekalev, the founder of the “Подкастерская” studio, podcasts’ meta is going through a sea change. Quite recently, Apple podcasts attracted 70 to 80% of the whole podcast audience. At the moment, however, Yandex.music is gaining momentum and attention. The platform’s exclusive content is not the only pillar of the trend.

For the majority of podcasts, sharing the data with us, the percentage of Yandex users constitutes 12 to 33%. Moreover, there are some gross divergences, e.g. 54% of the audience of the “Хорошо, что вы это сказали” poadcast give their vote to Yandex.music.


We asked a representative of the “Либо/либо” studio, what he attributes such a high share to and his answer was:

Quote: “Such a high percentage must be due to the podcast trailers getting a lot of listens. Yandex often includes them into mixes and compilations. At the same time, our major loyal audience still uses Apple Podcasts”.

There are also divergences in the opposite direction. For the group of podcasts that were (rather roughly) called “podcasts for geeks” on our ecosystem map, the share of Yandex users approaches 1 to 5%. This is true for “Животные в студии”, Zavtracast and The Big Beard Theory projects in particular.

Our service data

Our smart link creator “Podcast.ru” saw the light of day only a month ago. However, within this short period it was resorted to by such big companies as Meduza, “Батенька, да вы трансформер”, Rambler, Labelcom; Strelka institute; “Подкастерская”, “Venture Media” and “Brainstorm FM” studios. Our site already boasts 30000 visits.

Taking into account the above, we decided to count, which platforms the users were forwarded to as they wanted to listen to a podcast.

There is nothing new in terms of the leader, it’s still Apple as shown by the major podcasters’ data. This platform is the choice of 30% of the users of our service. However, Apple is by no means winning by a landslide. The share of Yandex is unbelievably high and amounts to 29%.

Google Podcasts and Castbox managed to conquer 16 and 6% of the audience respectively.

“Вконтакте” (which occupies the top spot on the list of social media in Russia) is not represented on our site but according to the data provided its share is marginal indeed and constitutes no more than 1% of the audience.


Though 30000 respondents is more than any survey managed to cover before, the sample size is still not ideal. Next year as the popularity of Podcasts.ru inevitably grows, we will be able to determine the popularity of podcast platforms with Russian users even more accurately.

Do not be a hothead

All the previous discussion was, of course, a preface to one comprehensive picture, displaying the platform-to-platform ratio, to which you can refer.

However, before showing such a picture, we would like to warn you that it might contain discrepancies between nominal and relative values. The easiest way to explain this is to site an example.

Imagine a podcast with 100 listeners, 50 use Apple, 50 use Google. At the same time, there is a podcast with 10 listeners and ALL of them use Apple. If we calculate a ratio, we will find out that the first podcast has 50% Apple listeners and 50% Google listeners, whereas the second is 100% Apple.

Then we’ll try to take the average and will reveal that 75% of these two podcasts’ audience use Apple and 25% prefer Google. However, if we return to nominal indicators, it’ll turn out that 60 users opt for Apple and 50 for Google.

When we do the same to the data provided by the podcasts, the result might be as erroneous as shown above. We do not possess data on the overall amounts of listens to a given podcast participating in our survey. That’s why we cannot calculate the nominal platform audience.

However, the similar data structure for the majority of podcasts and the fact that divergences are double-sided, thus rendering error sum close to Zero, enable us to consider our results the most accurate compared to any other survey previously written in Russian.


Finally, behold the DISTRIBUTION!

40% of listeners in Russia use Apple Podcasts
20% of listeners in Russia use Yandex.music
8% of listeners in Russia use Google Podcasts
7% of listeners in Russia use Castbox
1% of listeners in Russia use “Вконтакте”


This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 at 7:36 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.