2020 was a year where lives and routines were completely upended. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic millions of people started working from home day after day, major festivals and tourist attractions shut down, and even everyday destinations like the gym or movie theater experienced shutdowns and altered hours as the world figured out how to safely continue their lives in the COVID era.
One area that saw major impacts from all these changes was the world of podcasting. Podcasts are a medium that has experienced steady growth in recent years, with listenership climbing 37.5% from 2017 to 2020. When the world shut down and people began commuting less, podcast listens understandably went down. However, as everyone adjusted to the pandemic, those fans made listening to their favorite pod a part of their quarantine routine, with many going further than that and actually starting a podcast of their own with the new free time on their hands.
Data shows that nearly 900,000 new podcasts were started in 2020, a number that is almost three times higher than the number of new pods released the year before. While the initial dip in podcast plays that occurred at the start of the pandemic may have been a concern for some in the industry, this infusion of content and talent in the space shows that there was nothing to worry about, and the downtick was only temporary. With all the new options created and released in 2020, the future of podcasting seems brighter than ever before.
Of course, this incredible increase in content means that people looking for the right podcast for them have to search through more content than ever before to find the perfect pod. For those looking to jump into podcasts as the pandemic continues or just looking for their next audio obsession there is hope, however, as lists of the most popular podcasts around the country or the top charting podcasts overall helpfully spotlight popular podcasts in a wide range of genres that have proven to be popular with fans over the long haul.
No matter what you’re into, there is sure to be a podcast that can become a familiar and welcome part of your day, both now and in the future once the pandemic has passed. Sports fans, true crime junkies, comedy nerds, and so many more have already found the perfect podcasts for them, so there is sure to be something out there no matter your interests. And who knows, making podcasts a part of your routine both now and in the future once the pandemic is over may just inspire you to start your own!