How podcasting has become a major news source
Earlier this year, Global’s news podcast report showcased how podcasts are proving popular as a trusted news source. According to further reports, almost 1 in 4 US adults get news from podcasts. Furthermore, YouGov found that one in five listeners now chooses podcasts are their primary news source.
According to the report from Global, the UK’s leading media company on News Podcasts Making Headlines for Brands 2023, two-thirds of listeners (66%) consume more news podcasts now than they did a year ago. That’s not all, as 71% intend to listen more this year.
As Ofcom’s news consumption survey in 2022 found, news consumption via printed newspapers is down by 24% and magazines by 6%. Podcasting is bridging the gap.
So, what’s driving the movement?
Why podcasting has become a popular news source
Trusted and diverse voices
As fake news is rising, listeners are searching for trusted and diverse voices to turn to for easily-digestible news. As an antidote to false information and multiple sources on multiple platforms, news podcasts are an easy way to stay updated with current affairs with minimal effort.
Furthermore, when listeners engage with the same creators for news, it offers a sense of companionship. Rather than simply stating facts, podcasters often cover topics in much more detail in a format that is both engaging and accessible.
A quick look at the podcast charts will show you how popular the format is, with The News Agents, FT News Briefing and The Guardian’s Today in Focus all climbing this week.
47% of Global’s respondents say they hardly have the time to read newspapers or articles. But, thanks to the convenience of podcasts, listeners can get their news fixed while on the go or doing other things.
One respondent explained, “I think podcasts fill a gap between TV and radio news and newspapers. TV and radio news can only concentrate on headlines. Newspapers can provide depth of coverage but require time and concentration. Podcasts can go behind the headlines and also liven up what could be a ‘heavy’ read in a newspaper.”
As over 80% of people aged 16-25 are likely to turn to the internet – including podcasts and social media – for the news, the demographic is driving the popularity of news podcasts. According to Ofcom’s News Consumption Survey, only 25% of 16–24-year-olds would listen to the radio, and 30% would read newspapers. So, it’s clear to see the preferred medium for the younger generation.
The future of news podcasts
Podcasting offers a more engaging way to deliver news, incorporating a storytelling element that other mediums lack. As the way people consume media continues to evolve, we suspect we’ll see a lot more news podcasts cropping up. With leading publishers already taking the leap, more will follow suit in 2023 and beyond. Watch this space!
If you enjoyed this article and want to know more about news podcasting, watch this session from the International Women’s Podcast Festival last summer now on the Content is Queen YouTube channel. And if you’d like to stay in the loop with all things podcasting, subscribe to our newsletter here.