Acast Reports Record Numbers As People Turn To Podcast For News & Distraction

Shot of a woman speaking into a microphone in a recording studio

Podcast giant Acast today announces new listening figures from around the world after recording its biggest ever weekend for listens.

The weekend of March 21-22 saw a seven per cent increase in listens globally, equivalent to more than 750,000 additional listens in just two days. This number is reflected in Australian listens which saw a near five per cent increase over the same two-day period.

As Acast navigates how the current circumstances and societal shifts will translate into changes in listener behaviour, one thing is clear: podcasting is maintaining its popularity on a global scale.

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 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.

Listener figures for non-Corona-related content is also up with a number of other podcasting genres seeing significant spikes over the weekend — with Education, Entertainment, Science and Medicine, and Health all up more than 10 per cent respectively.

With podcasts’ popularity continuing, Acast is 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, said: “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 will be continuing to monitor and analyse changes and trends in listener data to ensure its creators and advertising partners stay one step ahead.

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