We're listening to more podcasts about the pandemic

By Jenni Gilbert | 26 March 2020

As the number of podcasts covering coronavirus continues to rise, Acast has reported its biggest weekend for global podcast listens -- up 7%.

The percentage was equivalent to more than 750,000 additional listens in just two days. This number is reflected in Australian listens which saw a near 5% increase over the same two-day period.

Acast data shows a continual increase in the number of podcasts covering the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with more than 1,400 podcast episodes now hosted on its network since January 22.

These episodes, which reference “corona” or “covid” in the title have been downloaded more than 27.5 million times globally to date.

Listener figures for non-Corona-related content is also up, with a number of other podcasting genres seeing significant spikes over the weekend -- education, entertainment, science, medicine and health all up more than 10 per cent respectively.

Acast reports seeing an influx of content overall, with creators turning to new means and ways of putting out episodes, such as remote recording or format changes.

Susie Warhurst, SVP of content at Acast, says: “It’s incredibly heartening to see podcasters and listeners adapting to these new challenges. Podcasting is a great way to stay informed or distracted during troubling times.

“The incredible content from our podcasting partners combined with listener numbers shows the sheer power and persistence of the podcasting community. We’re immensely proud to be leading the charge as more people than ever turn to on-demand audio.”

Henrik Isaksson, managing director at Acast Australia and New Zealand adds: “The numbers reflect a consistent upward trend in podcast listenership, both globally and locally here in Australia.

"Beyond numbers, it’s clear that Aussies are turning to podcasts to help stay informed and entertained during these troubling times -- be it the in-depth reporting of The Guardian Australia’s Full Story or the return of Meshel Laurie’s much loved Nitty Gritty Committee. For advertisers, podcasting is an essential medium right now.”

Acast hosts more than 10,000 podcasts worldwide.

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