COVID-19’s Impact on Podcast Listening

We don’t have to say it, because you’re living it, but we’re experiencing the biggest change of daily schedules and human habits – on a global scale – than we have in a long time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For better or worse, there’s not an industry or business that isn’t pivoting or adjusting since consumer behaviors are altering so significantly. The podcast industry is, of course, no different. We’ve already seen changes like new daily shows popping up and producers asking for grace as sound quality may decrease, plus a variety of other alterations. 

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The State of the Podcast Universe Report 2019

Introducing The State of the Podcast Universe 2019

It’s been nothing short of a banner year for the podcasting industry. While podcasts were gaining some serious steam in 2018, the explosion of growth and evolution of content this year truly took podcasting mainstream. With over 800,000 podcasts in existence and the industry on track to make $1 billion in ad revenue by 2021, there are a whole lot of factors to unpack when it comes to examining what caused podcasts to become part of more than 62 million listeners’ weekly routines this year.

In our report, we’ll unpack the biggest podcast industry breakthroughs of 2019:

    1. The “Hollywoodification” of podcasts takes the industry mainstream
    2. International podcast content thrives
    3. Programmatic advertising conversations rise above a whisper

And we’ll cover just about everything that’s been going on throughout the year, plus what we have to look forward to:

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Apple vs. Spotify (October Data)

In the majority of the months that we’ve been covering the battle for podcast listeners between Apple and Spotify, we’ve seen both companies make serious investments and improvements to gain new users… until September. In last month’s update, we shared that Spotify was the only one who continued to make big moves in the podcasting department. However, it made sense considering that Apple’s new product releases occur most years in September. Yet, here we are detailing the happenings of October and Apple let another month go by without making any podcast countermoves. 

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Apple vs. Spotify — September Data

While, of course, Spotify and Apple aren’t the only places to listen to podcasts, it’s been incredibly interesting to watch the two audio giants duke it out for listeners during a year of immense growth in the industry. We started reporting on the battle in March – based on the listener data from Voxnest Audience Network – and with nearly each month’s update, we’ve seen one (or typically both) of the companies make pretty significant acquisitions, platform improvements and announcements. 

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Voxnest’s Spreaker Joins Forces with StreetLib, Strengthening Audio Component of Book Publishing

Audio technology company Voxnest is proud to announce the partnership between their podcasting platform, Spreaker, and StreetLib, an Italy-based digital book distributor. The two companies are partnering in order for their podcasters and book publishers to easily develop a secondary medium to spread their stories even further.

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Report: Top Podcast Revenue Categories & Advertisers

Regardless of who you are or what you do, there’s a pretty solid chance that you’re aware of the increasing number of podcasts at your fingertips. But, the average joe might not be aware of just how much growth the podcast industry is experiencing. Yes, according to Chartable, there are 700,000+ podcasts out there; but the more staggering statistic that truly showcases the industry’s explosiveness – and helps to legitimize it – is that, as reported on by The Verge, podcasting is expected to hit $1 billion in revenue by 2021. 

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Apple vs. Spotify — August Data

Since March, we’ve been tracking the crusades for podcast listeners from both Apple and Spotify. Without fail, both companies have brought a new announcement or improvement to their podcast offerings each month. And, each month we’ve seen listeners gained by Spotify, while Apple often re-stakes their claim in countries that were previously stolen from them. 

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Lessons Learned from Podcast Movement 2019

While we’ve been to just about every big industry event over the last several years, Podcast Movement earlier last month was one of our favorite events that we’ve been a part of! A big reason for that was our sponsorship of the Live Stage sessions. While there were a ton of great sessions throughout the week in Orlando, we had the pleasure of setting the program for five of the panels. Led by our Head of Content, Jonathan Zenti, we truly had a fantastic variety of topics and speakers.

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