Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Report: Americans Increase Listening To Podcasts

iHeartMedia today announced new statistics that provide insight into how Americans are consuming a vast array of podcasts as they stay home and practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to seeing increased podcast listenership, especially in markets with stay-at-home orders, Americans are specifically turning to podcasts covering business, finance, education and entertainment, including shows from several leading iHeartRadio personalities - versus true crime podcast listening, which has seen a slight decline.

In addition, as news consumption grows across podcasting, the iHeartPodcast Network’s recently launched “Daily Coronavirus Update” has become one of iHeartRadio’s most listened to podcasts. The daily show hosted by Oscar Ramirez from the “Daily Dive” podcast provides stories on what to know about COVID-19 and how health and government officials are acting to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Across its more than 350 podcasts, listenership for the iHeartPodcast Network is up six percent month- over-month (month to date) as more Americans began staying at home. That number is even higher in markets where governors announced shelter-in-place orders, with listening up 13 percent in California and eight percent in New York state in just one week.

During a time of economic uncertainty, Americans are listening to more business and finance podcasts – for which downloads and streams are up 78 percent week-over-week among the iHeartRadio Original podcasts. Listeners are also turning to music, entertainment and comedy during this time, where iHeartPodcasts have shown an increase in listening as well. In addition, listeners are staying connected with the personalities and shows they know and trust, finding human connection and conversation in the on-demand podcasts from iHeartMedia’s leading radio personalities like Elvis Duran and The Breakfast Club, all now seeing a growth in listens -- with Top 5 on-demand shows being up 9 percent month to date. Listenership of the iHeartPodcast Network’s leading educational podcasts, like “Stuff You Should Know” and “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” is also showing big growth: These popular “Stuff” podcasts are up 21 percent week-over-week. Interestingly, the true crime genre, one of the longstanding dominant genres in podcasting, is now flattening and even showing a slight decline month to date, as listeners seem to be moving away from these shows during these uncertain and stressful times.

“Broadcast radio has long served as a trusted voice in local communities during times of crisis and uncertainty, and now podcasts are also playing an integral role as a much-needed companion for millions of Americans,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “During this pandemic, we’re actually seeing listener interest shift on our iHeartPodcast network to genres like business, entertainment, education and news, and the seemingly unstoppable true crime format is seeing a slight dip at the moment as we move through this new, challenging territory together as a country.”

The iHeartPodcast Network is home to more than 750 original podcasts with 170 million downloads each month. iHeartRadio Original Podcasts span every category from business, sports, spirituality and technology to entertainment, family, comedy and true crime – and everything in between – making iHeartRadio the largest publisher of podcast content in the world. iHeartRadio is home to one of the most successful podcasts of all time, “Stuff You Should Know,” and creator of hits like “The Ron Burgundy Podcast,” “Disgraceland” and the “Atlanta Monster” series as well as fosters over a hundred shows from its on-air talent like the popular “Bobbycast” and “The Breakfast Club” radio show podcasts. These shows are distributed on all major podcast platforms, including the iHeartRadio app, which additionally distributes more than 320,000 shows.

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