Podcasting in COVID-19: 5 podcast trends for 2020

The struggle that the general population has been facing for almost the entirety of 2020 has caused detrimental effects on seemingly everything. The economy is failing, unemployment rates are rising, and everyone is generally worried to walk out of their front doors.

Having said that, out of all the trends that seems to have been booming since the beginning of COVID-19, and that is the popularity of the podcast. More and more people are turning away from Spotify playlists and opting for a true-crime podcast instead. Who can blame them? We too enjoy listening to the same recount of what happened on that fateful day in a Portugal hotel room in 2007.

podcast trends for 2020With the rise of podcast popularity being rapid and unexpected, many people scrambled at the chance to jump on the bandwagon and begin their own podcasts. If you weren’t as quick as these people and fear that you might have missed the opportunity to start your own podcast, never fear as it seems as though the hype is far from dying down.

Below we’ll be looking at five of the most interesting podcast trends for 2020 so that you can pick one or two to follow. Learning the podcast trends and using them to your advantage can grow your audience quickly and offer up more opportunities for you to expand your business.

Trend one: Podcast consumption is growing rapidly

From March to April of 2020, people all around the world turned on their favorite podcasts and started listening more frequently. Global consumption of podcasts grew 42% over the span of only one month, which is an incredible jump and shows promise for many budding podcasters.

However, this does not only apply to US listeners, and they have actually stopped listening to as many podcasts as the rest of the world. While Europeans played more podcasts so much that their consumption increased by 53%, Americans actually consumed 20% fewer podcasts than before lockdown.

Don’t give up just yet, though! There is a simple explanation for this number and light at the end of the tunnel. Europe has never been big on podcasts, so when they were forced to stay indoors and do nothing all day, they suddenly found the magic that is podcasts.

Americans; however, have been enjoying listening to podcasts for years. As they adjust to their new normal, they have had to adjust their schedules which has sometimes left no time for their usual podcast consumption. COVID-19 seems adamant to stick around, so these numbers will likely increase throughout the year.

Trend two: Quality will always come before quantity

When people begin the process of starting a podcast, they often think that a lot of episodes will attract more listeners. For this reason, they’ll record multiple podcasts over a short amount of time without giving much thought to the quality of the production. More episodes also appeal to marketers, so podcasters want to get a large portfolio so they can start making money from their podcasts.

Having said that, a larger audience is also appealing to marketers, and listeners have proven to stick around when a podcast is of a higher quality. High-quality podcasts make people feel smarter and grab more of their attention, whereas poor-quality podcasts are often turned off halfway through.

Podcasts are still considered a niche compared to blogs and YouTube channels, with there being 500 and 25 million of each respectively. Compare that with the 0.9 million podcasts available, they still have a long way to go before they can begin running with the big boys. Therefore, 2020 is the ideal time to start up a high-quality podcast before creators jump on these trends and start flooding the market with low-quality content.

Trend three: Podcasts will remain excellent marketing strategies

Marketers have been using audio marketing for years, even before podcasts became a thing. Radio talk shows were and are always littered with advertisements because so many target audiences listen to the radio. With COVID-19 keeping everyone at home, radio consumption has increased and therefore more marketers are turning back to audio advertisements.

The same idea relates to podcasts as well, and marketers are more inclined to opt to advertise with podcasts rather than radio shows. This is because young people are more likely to listen to podcasts because they can choose the topic rather than having to listen to how the talk show host’s morning has gone so far.

Young people are often the main target audience for the majority of marketers which is why podcasts are the ideal place to advertise. Moreover, podcasts are listened to by niche audiences which means adverts can reach smaller target audiences to be listened to by only people who would benefit from them. This will benefit businesses’ return on investment.

Trend four: Understanding your niche will go a long way

It has been shown time and time again that podcast listeners prefer to listen to people who are well educated in the topic that they’re talking about. 61% of people who listen to music podcasts and TV and movie podcasts consider themselves incredibly interested in the topic, so it stands to reason that they’ll want to listen to an expert on the topics.

If you don’t do your research and only skim over certain areas, you’ll often find that people will turn off the podcast halfway through and find another one. Some preparation will go a long way in growing your podcast throughout 2020.

Trend five: More people will learn about podcasts

In America alone, 75% of people are aware that podcasts exist. However, only 55% of them have tried to listen to a podcast, meaning that over 57 million people have not yet listened to a podcast. A study showed that 41% of people who had never listened to a podcast hadn’t done so because they didn’t have a podcast app on their phone. 33% of people also didn’t know how to listen to a podcast.

If you have a smartphone, you’ll know that podcast apps are already installed on them when you first purchase them. These above statistics show that the majority of people who don’t listen to podcasts do so simply because they are uneducated. With the rise of podcast popularity due to COVID-19, we can assume that more people are going to become educated and therefore begin listening to at least one podcast.