The mainstreaming of podcasting has been on full display this year, most notably in the coverage the industry has received from digital news publishers. An analysis done by the technology company Taboola reveals a massive increase in press coverage from January 2017 to October 2019.
During 2018 there was a 16% increase in readership to articles posted about podcasts, compared to 2017. And now this year the numbers show readership to podcast-related stories is tracking up 19% compared to last year. This comes as some forecasters, such as eMarketer, predict 76.4 million people in the U.S. will listen to podcasts in 2019.
The analysis shows last March had one of the biggest spikes in readership to stories about podcasting. It was up 60%, compared to the average story total in the 12 prior months. A big part of that was a decision released by the Maryland Court of Appeals that overturned an earlier ruling granting a new trial for the convicted murderer Adnan Syed, featured in the first season of Serial.
For some readers, the stories about podcasting may have helped serve as a discovery tool that opened their eyes and ears to a new listening option. Taboola rep Dave Struzzi says the rise in stories being written about podcasting likely also has something to do with the gains in podcast listenership. “It is likely more articles contributed to more attention on podcasts, and therefore listenership. At the same time, more high profile podcasts, with larger listenership, meant more publishers covering their emergence,” he said in an email.
The analysis includes stories published by about 1,300 digital news publishers, including such big names as Business Insider and Huffington Post.