Founded in 1919, Daily News is one of New York City’s biggest tabloid newspapers, rivaling Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. It has a long history of covering sensational crime stories, political wrongdoing and social intrigue such as the romance between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII that led to her abdication. Daily News is owned by Tribune Publishing, which is also the parent company of The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.
About seven-in-ten Americans say that on a typical weekday morning they start their day with some type of news – and many of those tune into at least one of the myriad of daily news podcasts launched since coronavirus first struck. A number of publishers have taken advantage of heightened interest in on-demand audio to launch or expand their daily news offerings, with the majority of the examples included in this report having started within the last year.
In the case of a few, these podcasts have pushed to differentiate themselves from the pack through an emphasis on either length or presentation style. For example, a deep-dive format pioneered by The Daily offers more scope for the personality of a host to come through, while short podcasts like microbulletins and some news rounds-ups place greater focus on the efficient delivery of the news itself, with the use of other audio branding such as musical stings playing a key role in this.
For those pursuing subscription business models, these daily podcasts have been seen as a way to build loyalty and reduce churn. Indeed, a handful of the publishers interviewed for this research have already reported that their podcasts have performed better than other genres in terms of retaining listeners during the COVID-19 lockdown, with some stating that their advertising revenue is even higher than it was pre-COVID-19.
However, patterns of listening were impacted during the pandemic by coronavirus, with the majority of the podcasts included in this report losing some or all of their listeners – and for some, that loss was significant. The one exception to this trend is the FT’s Today in Focus, which regained many of its lost listeners thanks to the publication’s agile approach and dedicated coverage during the pandemic. As a result, the FT says its weekly podcast reaches almost two million people worldwide. This represents a significant opportunity for other news publishers looking to make the most of increased interest in daily news podcasts.