London-based podcast firm Audioboom has reported a 20% growth in revenue for the six months ended 30 June 2020.

It reports its half year revenue increased to $11.8m, an increase on 2019’s $9.8m, outpacing the US podcast industry.

The firm, which floated in 2014, creates its own podcasts and supports existing shows through its network. Its shows include hits such as Casefile, Undisclosed, and No Such Thing as a Fish.

Its results were posted with further context on the pandemic’s effect on listener habits.

The company said  saw it suffered an initial 10-12% drop in downloads during the last two weeks of March, which it said could be attributed to changes in audience schedules as  commuting ground to a halt.

However, it reports listening levels recovered during April, returning to pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of that month.

Audioboom said it has since grown downloads and available advertising inventory across May and June, which can be attributed to the signing of new publishers to the network during this period.

It reports its premium advertising reached 854 million in 2020, a 24% increase on the same period in 2019.

Advertiser demand was “quickly and deeply impacted by Covid”, the company said in its update.

A number of brands and agencies enacted their 30-day cancellation policies in mid-March, leading to the removal of certain pre-booked campaigns from mid-April through to the end of June. 

Many advertisers also paused placing new business and the combined result is lower than expected revenue across Q2 2020, the company reports. 

The impact of low advertiser demand caused its eCPM, or ‘cost per thousand listeners’ to drop.

In June 2019, its eCPM was $26.38. For Q1 2020 it reported an eCPM of $38.40.

However, in June 2020 this number was $25.32, a reduction on its Q1 performance and a 4% year on year decrease.

Stuart Last, CEO of Audioboom said continued cost control and working capital management, new partnerships, and the continued growth of its creative content operation would enable it to continue its progress as the pandemic subsides.

“I am delighted to report that Audioboom’s growth story continues in 2020, despite the immense challenges the sector has seen from the Covid-19 pandemic. Revenue growth for the period of 20% highlights a business model that continues to prove itself,” said Last. 

“The most severe impact of Covid-19 was felt in May and June, however, July and August bookings are displaying signs of rebounding with advertiser demand increasing from previous lows. I am confident that Audioboom’s expansion will continue in the second half of 2020 and I look forward to updating shareholders regarding future developments.”