The Trends of 2023 as Told by Podcasts

This past year, there was no single trend or topic that commanded the cultural conversation for too long—something new was always emerging. But throughout these massive moments, listeners consistently took the time to slow down, learn about these trends, and connect with other fans through the immersive world of podcasts. 

Spotify is the most-used audio podcast platform in many key markets around the world and is also the number-one podcast publisher in the U.S., according to the most recent Edison Research data. Because of this, podcasters have bigger audiences than ever. 

“Podcasts are the perfect format for audiences and fans to engage in cultural moments due to a few key factors,” says Lizzy Hale, Head of Podcast Editorial at Spotify. “Many of the best podcast hosts are journalists or experts themselves. They are the ones reporting on these stories, and in the podcast format, they can bring their stories to life.” 

According to Lizzy, podcasts are also uniquely positioned to bring people together.

“Podcasts are a place for community,” Lizzy adds. “When there is a viral moment in culture, fans come to podcasts to feel connected to that bigger moment. A podcast feels like you are talking to your best friend about the story you are obsessing about. They also become artifacts of what our culture’s reactions and opinions were in the moment.” 

So as you reflect on your year in listening, check out the podcasts that exemplify what was driving pop culture in 2023 as selected by our podcast editorial team.