Podcasting, like many other industries during the pandemic, is seeing a strong shift over the past six months, which has resulted in more shows and fewer listeners. While some avid podcast fans have taken solace in listening to their favorite shows to stay connected, many listeners who previously had podcasts built into their routines have turned to other forms of media consumption in the absence of a daily commute.
In April, global podcast listening was up 42% (and 53% in Europe) as lockdowns began in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Although listening in the U.S. went down 20%, certain verticals remained strong, such as true crime, music interviews, science, medicine, religion and spirituality, and self-improvement.
Prior to the pandemic, the podcasting industry was experiencing a boom, with experts projecting marketers to spend over $1 billion in advertising by 2021. The pandemic has thrown a wrench into the industry’s growth. In the months of continued isolation and social distancing, E-marketer recorded its first contraction in time spent listening since it began tracking in 2015 but estimates a rebound in the coming years.