Podcasts Start Falling In Popularity Due To Quarantine

14 April 2020

The main reason is that people skip the morning commute

Downloading and listening to podcasts have dropped 26% since the beginning of the quarantine. This data was published by Podtrac, which reports podcast analytics. 

Downloads and Listening Dynamics

The week from March 2nd was the most successful of the year for the industry. Since the implementation of first quarantine measures, podcasts have been gradually falling in popularity

Average listening between 5 and 10 a.m. was hurt the most. It’s time for the daily commute, the primary environment for podcast consumption. 

Morning time is becoming less popular with podcast listeners. Now, Americans are downloading and listening to morning podcasts 26% less than before the quarantine.

Service that focuses on news and podcasts Stitcher followed up with similar data. According to Stitcher, average listening between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. has dropped about 20 percent. 

Day listening figures also took a hit. During the first week of the quarantine (March 16-22), podcasts’ overall unique weekly audience fell by 8%. However, over two weeks after that, the figure didn’t go above 5%.  

Genre-specific Findings

News and Comedy became the most popular categories last week. From April 5th to 12th, Americans downloaded news podcasts 59% more often than they did at the beginning of 2020. Comedy is also among the winners: its downloads have risen by 25%. 

Business podcasts are right behind. Last week, they got a 9% rise in downloads. On March 23rd, when authorities were just starting to implement aggressive quarantine measures, business section appeared second after the news. 


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