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The coronavirus pandemic is changing which podcasts people are listening to

A man with headphones walking
Reuters/Carlo Allegri
A virus makes you want to listen to different podcasts.
  • Dan Kopf
By Dan Kopf

Data editor


Even with fewer people commuting to work, Covid-19 couldn’t stop the rise of podcasting. Overall downloads of podcasts in the US have soared in 2020, according to data from podcast measurement company Chartable.

Chartable’s data tracks 12,000 podcasts. It found that overall downloads by US listeners in the week ending Sept. 21 were up over 150% from the first week of 2020. (Global data are not tracked.)

It’s possible that this growth would have been even greater without the coronavirus pandemic. Podcast listening was growing swiftly at the start of the year, with commutes a popular time to listen. Stay-at-home orders decelerated that rise in late March, but only briefly.

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