The podcast industry is experiencing another shift in audience interest: Podcasts related to coronavirus have largely dropped off the top charts on Apple Podcasts, while podcasts about race are rising. (However, as Hot Pod’s Nick Quah reminds us, the charts are supposed to be “a measure of heat more than bigness.”)
Audiences are turning to podcasts, both new and old, to help guide them through today’s events and discussions related to the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as to help educate themselves more broadly on race in America. For instance, The New York Times’ “1619,” NPR’s “Code Switch,” and Crooked Media’s “Pod Save The People” have all moved up to place on the top 10 podcasts. With the exception of NPR’s “Coronavirus Daily” and CNN’s “Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction,” most of the pop-up coronavirus podcasts dropped off the Top 200 list.
As Nick Quah notes, this movement has also sparked conversations around inequality in the podcast industry: Podcast producers of color, and workers in the media industry in general, have turned to their social media to share their stories of racism and inequality in the workplace. One notable response thus far: Broccoli Content’s founder Renay Richardson has created a pact to challenge the audio industry by taking a pledge to enforce five actions towards equality within their companies. Over 200 podcast companies have signed this pledge.