Why have we started to spend so much time listening to health podcasts?
Paulo Saka, senior podcast editor at Spotify, explains the 73% increase for health and lifestyle podcasts, shares his favourite shows, and states what will become the next major trend.
8 Jun 2021

Saka’s (pictured) job — to help listeners find their next favourite show — means listening to about 20 podcast episodes a day to stay updated about what’s happening in the Nordic podcast industries. A few weeks ago, Spotify unveiled new numbers for Sweden, the home market, showing a significant boom for health and lifestyle podcasts — up 73% between April 2020 and February this year.

— It’s a global trend, Saka states, and probably fueled by the past year when a lot of people have spent more time at home and have searched for ways to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.

— The past year has been a struggle for many people so I think that podcasts that are focused on health are serving an obvious need. But most of all, I think it’s about the connection to mind, body, and spirit that everyone is more aware of during these times.

Will this tendency continue even after the pandemic?

— I think people will continue to increase their podcast listening, and with that listen to a variety of genres. The podcast medium is shifting right now from the classic conversational shows to a lot of well produced ones that truly captures the listeners and both educates and entertains.

Speaking of that, what’s the next big thing for podcasts?

— Definitely fiction! Saka states. We’ve already seen the success of shows with fictional elements and I think we’ll see even more in that space in the next few years. 

— I’m also very excited and passionate about Sound Up — our educational program to help increase the representation of women of color in the podcast industry. We’re in phase two now with 11 remaining candidates and in just a couple of weeks, two winners will be announced that will have their podcast ideas funded.

Paulo Saka’s 5 favourite health and lifestyle podcasts in English:

– Unlocking Us with Brene Brown
– Super Soul by Oprah
– Relaxing White Noise
– The Friend Zone
– Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chateerjee