Thursday, April 9, 2020

Podcasts During Pandemic


Podcast listening is down, but not as much as you’d think. Here’s my daily and weekly app sessions.

Weekends are always about 30% lower than weekdays.

Quarantine reduced the weekdays by 20% (likely commuters), but weekends are unchanged.

Total usage is only down about 15%.

Jason Snell:

This actually matches what I’ve heard - some people are listening to way more podcasts now, while others no longer have all that listening time because their commutes are gone. Net result seems to be slightly reduced listenership, but not as dramatic as you might think.

I hope the advertising holds up.

Update (2020-04-15): Podtrac:

Podcast streams and downloads during peak weekday morning commute times were down an average of 26% for the week of April 6-12 compared to the week of March 2-8 across all Podtrac measured podcasts.

Update (2020-05-22): Overcast:

Podcast listenership is slowly increasing toward pre-quarantine levels.

Here’s graphs of Overcast’s daily (valleys are weekends) and weekly sessions.

The first few weeks of quarantine were down about 16% from the prior average.

Last week was down only 12%.

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I wonder if apps like Overcast are really representative though: they may be mainly used by tech enthusiasts and people used to work from home, meaning used to listen to podcast out of their commute habits. My guess is, for "regular" people using the default apps (like me) or Pocket Casts alike, the drop might be even stronger. If I had to pick a podcast app where the drop was smaller, I would have said Overcast. Pure intuition though.

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