Work at home. Eat at home. Live at home. And most importantly, listen to podcasts at home. That is how life has become in the first half of 2020 for many listeners due to the coronavirus pandemic. And in Voxnest’s mid-year State of the Podcast Universe report, the global podcast technology company says it has had an impact on the devices people around the globe are using to access shows.
“Based on the devices that consumers are using, it’s very evident that people are listening to podcasts at home, possibly even as a family,” says the report. Voxnest says its desktop listening has increased 58% so far this year. Listening through an internet-connected television has grown 28%. And listening using smart speakers is up 11%. Smartphones remain the biggest access point to podcasts for most people, and Voxnest says that has grown too, rising by a third this year.
The coronavirus is also having plenty of other impacts, including more people using their free time to launch a show. Voxnest says there was also a “surge of creativity” from people looking to take their minds off COVID-19. During the months of February and March, Spreaker, the Voxnest-owned podcast hosting platform, saw an increase in new sign-ups by 75% for their most popular plans. And where the pandemic was worse, the effect was even bigger. In Italy it says sign-ups nearly doubled. “While the spikes have steadied since, the time at home certainly brought a bunch of new podcasters into the fold,” the report says.
Education category podcasts saw the biggest jump during the first five months of the year on Spreaker, likely an outgrowth of kids around the globe now resigned to home-schooling. The other fast-growing categories worldwide included Education, Arts, Society & Culture, Music, and Health & Fitness. Voxnest also points out that there was also a “massive rise” in COVID-19 related content, from new daily podcasts about the coronavirus to a plethora of individual episodes about the pandemic.
Rise Of Spanish-Language Podcasts
With operations around the globe, Voxnest also offers a snapshot of how podcasting is developing worldwide. And among the headlines is the continued growth of Spanish-language content. “During the first five months of the year, the number of monthly active
Spanish-language podcasts grew by 94%,” the report says. That continues a trend it says began in 2018 as established podcasters entered the Spanish-speaking world along with a surge in interest from brands and advertisers.
It is a similar story for Portuguese-language podcasts, which increased by 103 percent from January to May of this year on the Voxnest network. Because of this growth, its Spreaker division launched its hosting platform in Portuguese and is now actively engaged in the podcasting communities of Brazil and Portugal.
Voxnest says among its users, the ten fastest-growing countries for podcast creation were Brazil, Great Britain, Canada, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Poland, New Zealand and the U.S.
“It’s no wonder that nearly half — Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Spain — make up the top 10 fastest-growing podcast creation countries from the first five months of 2020,” the report says.
The report also offers an update on the ongoing battle between Apple and Spotify. Among Voxnest-hosted podcasts, Apple had a 59% share worldwide during the first five months of 2020 compared to 41% for Spotify. While Apple remains in the lead by a comfortable margin, the gap between the two companies has closed during the past year. In recent months Spotify overtook Apple in countries like Bangladesh and Azerbaijan, while Apple reclaimed the lead in countries including Vietnam and Qatar. “We expect to see this nearly literal tug-of-war go on as Spotify continues to double down on their podcasting efforts,” the report says.
Get a copy of Voxnest’s mid-year State of the Podcast Universe report HERE.