New worldwide listening figures from Acast have recorded the biggest weekend ever for the number of listens.
The weekend of March 21–22 saw a 7% increase in listens globally, equivalent to more than 750,000 listens, suggesting that, with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, more people than ever before are turning to podcasts.
This number is reflected in Australian listens which saw a near five per cent increase over the same two-day period.
While cancellations of sporting events has led to a 2% drop in sport-related podcast, Education, Entertainment, Science & Medicine, and Health podcasts are all up more than 10% respectively.
Acast’s data also 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 Jan 22.
These episodes, which reference “corona” or “covid” in the episode title have been downloaded more than 27.5 million times globally to date.
SVP of Content at Acast, Susie Warhurst, said: “It’s incredibly heartening — but not surprising — to see podcasters adapting to these new challenges. Podcasting is a digital medium in almost every sense, so we have total flexibility to carry on putting out top quality shows no matter what.
“We’re also immensely proud to have just had our record weekend for listens across the Acast network, which suggests consumer appetite for podcasts is as healthy as ever — and that more people are turning to on-demand audio as they change their daily routines.”
Managing Director at Acast Australia and New Zealand, Henrik Isaksson, 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 will be continuing to monitor and analyse changes and trends in listener data to ensure its creators and advertising partners stay one step ahead.