Daily News Podcasts

daily news

Daily news is an area of rapidly growing interest for publishers and audiences alike. It’s a format that’s proved a real lifeline during the coronavirus pandemic, helping to maintain listening levels when many other types of content dipped – and one which is now driving significant subscription revenues for some of the world’s most well-known media brands.

This report looks at the world’s 102 active daily news podcasts, of which 37 have been launched in the last year alone. The New York Times’s The Daily has been a key driver of this growth, but many French and Danish public broadcasters and commercial publishers have made investments too. In Australia, launches by News Corp and The Times have contributed to a doubling in the number of shows.

In terms of genre, the most successful podcasts tend to be longer in length and take a more in-depth approach than shorter bulletins. However, there is considerable variation in the exact format and scope of each show. For example, National Public Radio has a range of different shows – from the long-running All Things Considered to more short evening round-ups aimed at specific markets and audiences. The FT has also experimented with more conversational interviews, as has BBC Radio 4 (whose Today in Focus has recently been rebranded as This Week).

While the podcast business has grown quickly, daily news remains relatively small as a proportion of overall downloads. In the US, it accounts for less than 10% of podcasts. However, it’s punching above its weight in other markets: it’s a significant contributor to listener numbers in France and Australia where it makes up 9% of total podcast downloads.

For most publishers, the creation of a daily news podcast is a major investment and it takes time to establish traction. The most successful shows have highly engaged audiences. The Guardian’s Today in Focus, for example, is downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people each day – more than now buy its daily newspaper. The FT’s News Briefing has more than 2 million monthly downloads in the UK and around 770,000 in France. In Denmark and Sweden, daily news podcasts have a smaller audience share but still account for substantial revenue.

It’s important to note that daily news doesn’t have to be political. Indeed, some of the most popular shows in our analysis are non-political, with a focus on entertainment and lifestyle. However, breaking news stories are a great way to help students learn about a range of topics that will expand their understanding of the world. For teachers, each story will come with an accompanying Teacher Guidance document, written by experienced teachers. This will include advice on how to use each article to support students’ reading comprehension.