Podcast Downloads Bounces Back To Pre-COVID Levels

Via Will Francis on Unsplash

The Takeaways:

  •  In June, Chartable tracked 825 million downloads, up from 600 million in March.
  • News shows in particular have driven a disproportionate share of the listening so far for the first half of the year.
  • “I was really pessimistic in March, and I was wrong,” said Dave Zohrob, the CEO of podcast analytics and ad attribution measurement firm Chartable. “There’s still a lot of excitement among media buyers around this stuff.”

What happened:

After lockdown measures were imposed in March and people stopped commuting, the podcasting industry took a big hit, with downloads declining about 10%, according to Chartable.

But podcasts have managed to find their place in peoples’ new daily routines. “Now the downloads spike around lunchtime,” said Marshall Williams, the CEO of media agency Ad Results Media.

Indeed, the industry shows no sign of slowing down and companies seeking opportunities to reach new audiences are joining the party to get their share of the market. Apple recently launched Apple News Today, an original podcast show coming to Apple News listeners in the United States.

Support from advertisers:

While for many publishers these continue to be trying times, as noted in the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s new report, podcasting is becoming a reliable source for long-term ad investments.

Advertisers, with keen eyes for promising areas to invest in, have kept spending up, helping to sustain the podcast industry during these uncertain times. Many are producing content for paying subscribers. Earlier this month, Omnicom signed a $20 million deal for podcast ads with Spotify. Exclusive rights to “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast played a significant role in closing the deal.

The new Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual report revised U.S. podcasting revenues growth to 14.7%. This is down from an original projection of 28% growth, yet still on track to hit $1 billion this year.


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