More than 4 million, to be precise, according to the database Podcast Index. In the past three days alone, nearly 103,000 individual podcast episodes were published online, a deluge of audio content so voluminous that listeners need never run out of options. You could spend the rest of your life working through the existing true crime catalog on Apple Podcasts or the sports chat shows on Spotify and end up dying of old age in 2070 while Michael Barbaro reads an ad for Mailchimp to your corpse.
In the ongoing generative AI gold rush, though, opportunistic entrepreneurs are looking for entry into even the most saturated markets. A wave of startups, including ElevenLabs, WondercraftAI, and Podcastle, have introduced easy-to-use tools to generate AI voices in minutes. So, as if on cue, AI podcasts are here, whether anyone asked for them or not.
In these early days, nobody’s keeping track of how many listeners this strange new genre of podcast has. Major hubs like Apple Podcasts and Spotify don’t have separate charts for robot hosts. There are, however, a few individual AI podcasts that have clearly found audiences, at least for their first crop of episodes.