People are changing how they listen to Spotify as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced in its latest earnings release today. Spotify says that it has met its forecasts in the three-month period ending March 31st, but noted that people’s daily routines are changing. “Morning routines have changed significantly,” says Spotify. “Every day now looks like the weekend.”
The report clarifies that the impact is clearer on podcasts than on music. This corresponds with my experience as a podcast listener and producer. With regards to the former, I now have less “free” time I can devote to listening to podcasts. With regards to the latter, stats on my own podcast are lower since the lockdown started.
Like talk radio, podcasts are a great way to get information while doing something else that doesn’t require all of our attention. Commuting is one obvious use case, but there are others, such as doing household chores. Many commutes are now gone, and while there are now more opportunities to do stuff around the house, we’re less likely to do so alone. Music is easy to enjoy in a group setting, but listening to podcasts is mostly an individual activity, and those of us who live with other people now have less time to multitask on our own.
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