What’s in Store for Podcasts This Holiday Season?

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, Oct 27

Festive music piping through the radio has long provided a soundtrack to the holiday season. But in 2020, with more people listening to and downloading podcasts, will Americans also look to podcasts for some holiday cheer? 

According to a recent Podtrac survey of podcast listeners, 6 in 10 respondents expect to spend the same or more time than last year traveling by car over the holidays, and 8 in 10 plan to spend more time than last year with family.

Could this be the year podcasts gain traction as a source of entertainment on family holiday road trips? Although it’s difficult to predict exactly how car travel and family time will affect podcast listenership, iHeart Executive VP Hetal Patel said podcast listeners actively looking forward to the holidays can only mean good things for podcast listening. Patel said:

“Our survey indicates that three-quarters of podcast listeners are looking for experiences that improve their mood this holiday season. Podcast listening has continued to grow during the pandemic and, given the early indicators we are seeing, we expect people to continue listening to podcasts as it provides the enjoyment they crave.”

For more insight into what 2020 holiday podcast listening might look like, Podtrac took a look at historical data. Here is what they found: 

  • Wednesdays are consistently the highest podcast listening day of the week. 
  • Podcast traffic dips on the weekends, with Sunday being the lowest listening day of the week. This pattern has continued through the pandemic to date.
  • October tends to be the highest podcast listening month of the year.
  • Podcast downloads dip slightly in November and December but remain higher than they were during the earlier months of the year.
  • Podcast listening tends to drop over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays, but is above average before and after those holidays, with strongest listening for the season in early January.

Podtrac can’t be certain what holiday podcast listening will look like this year, but signs point to continued growth. 

To discuss podcast advertising rates and how to advertise on podcasts, contact SMI today. 

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