Magellan: Coronavirus coverage is dominating many podcast categories

Magellan published a blog post assessing how coronavirus content has taken over a wide swath of the podcasting world. It suggested that focusing on the pandemic could wind up being costly. Many companies are looking to avoid putting advertisements on content discussing the virus, but podcasts of all genres are increasingly putting a focus on the pandemic.

Magellan reviewed the rate of different podcast categories that include keywords about COVID-19. It found that every genre saw an uptick between February and March. News podcasts had the biggest surge, with shows discussing the virus leaping from a 31% share in January to 89% in March. It has also come to dominate comedy and sports, with 80% and 70% rates of coronavirus content in March, respectively.

The smallest changes happened in history podcasts, where coronavirus only appeared in 21% of March shows, and in true crime, where the rate was 26%.

Across all genres, Magellan found a 43% increase in podcasts addressing coronavirus. That included 1,132 podcasts with episodes about the virus. Those shows included 1,728 individual advertisers and Magellan detected 11,961 ads on those shows. That represents a large pool of advertising revenue that could be lost if brands do withdraw their support from shows covering coronavirus.

Anna Washenko