As an early podcast pioneer and leading podcast publisher today, NPR believes sharing knowledge lifts all boats and benefits the entire industry. In this new semiannual report, NPR shares learnings from audience research and analytics on all things podcast. The Summer 2020 release starts with a look at trends NPR is seeing in overall audience, content that resonates, and sponsor effectiveness.

In The Summer 2020 Report

  • NPR Podcast Trends: As the pandemic upsets normal listening habits, on-demand listening and NPR’s podcast audience continue to grow.
  • Feature Stories: Specific NPR podcasts saw a spike in interest as listeners sought context for America’s reckoning with racial injustice.
  • Impact for Brands: NPR podcasts consistently drive brand awareness, interest, and positive opinion for brands that sponsor NPR.

Highlights include: 

  • Q2 2020 has seen a 20% YoY increase in weekly listeners and 26% increase in podcast downloads.
  • News shows “NPR News Now” and “Up First” are the fastest-growing shows since Q4 2019. The list also includes “Short Wave,” “Throughline,” and “Life Kit.” The report features growth numbers for each of these shows individually. 
  • Two case studies from the broadcaster also show a major impact on advertisers’ brand presence. Owing to NPR podcast campaigns, a CPG company showed a 159% increase in brand awareness and a tech brand a 264% increase in brand awareness. 
  • Download the complete study here.


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