IAB Analysis Finds Pandemic-Era Podcast Consumption On The Rise.


In its latest COVID Impact on Consumer Media UsageReport, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) gathers data to illustrate how the global pandemic is significantly impacting media usage, both traditional and digital — and it’s on the rise. In fact, the IAB reports consumers spent 14% more time online during the time period of March-April 2020 versus the same time period in 2019.


For podcasters the coronavirus could expose more Americans to the format. That’s because the IAB data shows 13% of those surveyed report they have either started listening to podcasts or have increased the amount of time they’re spending with podcasts since the impact of the lockdowns began in March.


The biggest gains are likely to be among Millennials. The IAB survey found 26% of that age group said during the quarantine they’ve spent some of their internet time listening to podcasts. The data also shows among the two age groups on either side of them – Gen X and Gen Z – that 16% said they have listened to podcasts. Baby Boomers were least likely to be turning to podcasts to stay entertained – just 7% said they’d listened to a podcast since the stay-at-home orders took effect.


Overall, the survey shows the significance of social-distancing and self-isolation on consumer media consumption. By March 31 of this year, a whopping 87% of consumers reported they were consuming more media compared to pre-outbreak, with the average time spent on digital media overall spiking once consumers began to self-isolate.


The IAB also finds that even when the pandemic finally comes to an end, many consumers plan to continue their current media usage. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of those surveyed said once the COVID-19 pandemic fades they expect they will continue listening to more podcasts.


The IAB report also shows that it’s not just podcasting where news content proved especially popular in recent months. A Magid survey conducted in April found 79% of those surveyed were seeking out news about the coronavirus at least once a day. But those listeners may not stick with the news genre as America reopens. That’s because the same number of those surveyed said getting more news was one of the primary ways they were passing the hours.

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