Podcast Audiences Drop Along With Commuting, Due To COVID-19

Podcasts have seen audiences tumble in recent weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic has slashed the number of people commuting, and those now working and generally staying at home are increasingly glued to cable TV news channels. 

Data from Podtrac, the podcast usage trends monitoring company, shows podcast downloads down about 10% and total unique listeners down 20% since the beginning of March, reported WWD

The declines began to accelerate after March 9, the date that trading in the U.S. was briefly halted in response to massive stock selloffs and plummeting prices. 

News, podcasts’ largest audience category, saw the least severe decline: 10%. 

Sports podcast audiences are down about 13%, and true crime — which has done much to drive podcasts’ growth in recent times — suffered the worst hit, down nearly 30%.

1 comment about "Podcast Audiences Drop Along With Commuting, Due To COVID-19".
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  1. chris rooke from Self, March 30, 2020 at 9:20 p.m.

    Dynamics differ by network and content owner. Prime example, Megaphone data bucks this trend, and Acast recently reported record listening levels.

    Megaphone CEO post from 3/25:


    1/ Overall podcast downloads have been trending UP, consistent with the industry’s historical average over the past 12 months - downloads are up +20% to 600MM as of 3/24;

    2/ As fewer listeners commute, they’re shifting toward a more constant consumption pattern throughout the day versus spiking during commuter peaks, and

    3/ Listeners have shifted categories of podcasts they’re listening to with news surging +30% as of 3/24

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