The podcast stats, which appears to have been sent directly to TechCrunch by Apple, include other data as well. Apple's hosted podcasts come in more than 100 languages, from 155 countries.
The podcast total is up from 525,000 back in April, and a total of fifty billion episodes have been streamed or downloaded since Podcasts launched back in 2005 (when the service had a mere 3,000 shows).
Last year, some 13.7 billion episodes were consumed, up from 10 billion in 2016. The Stuff You Should Know podcast is the most consumed, passing 500 million downloads.
TechCrunch also reports that Apple will be tightening up the rules around what podcasts can access the Podcasts Analytics service it offers, mainly around things like including Cover Art on shows and adding metadata like publication date.
Yesterday, Apple announced that a Podcasts app would be added to the Apple Watch with watchOS 5, expanding the universe of Apple devices which can consume podcasts.