Why It’s Time To Partner With A Podcast, Not Launch One

With consumers being mandated by their governments to stay at home wherever possible, are podcasts an ideal channel for brands to turn toward right now?Recent reports published by Global suggest they are, as they highlight a surge in listening since the COVID-19 outbreak across both radio and podcast media, with LBC’s daily reach increasing by 43% and DAX, Global media’s podcast arm, reporting an uplift of 10% in listenership. Opinions on the subject are far from unanimous however, with Chartable and Quartz reporting a 10% drop in month-on-month listenership at the same time as ACAST tout record figures and a 7% increase in global listenership. The discrepancy between audience figures is due to the challenges with consistent measurement in the podcast space. It's a longstanding issue that has improved considerably over time, without being solved, that speaks to a broader question about what the impact of COVID-19 actually is on podcasting. On the one hand, there are many people stuck at home providing a significant audience, but on the other hand there is a huge reduction in commuters -- the audience most classically synonymous with the medium -- so are listener numbers up or down?Podcast trade newsletter Hotpod carried out some research with Ad Results Media to investigate download trends pre- and post-quarantine and, somewhat surprisingly, the overall numbers are flat at an aggregate level. This appears to suggest that at a macro level, the positive and negative changes in podcast listener behaviour are currently cancelling each other out, for the time being the channel is holding its popularity.

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