The iOS 14.7 update by Apple may already be showing up in podcast download numbers. The latest software version released last week fixed a problem that had been causing some podcasters to have smaller than normal download numbers. Now after several weeks of reporting declines, Podtrac says among the publishers it measures downloads grew three percent week-to-week. And while year-over-year downloads were still down by 22%, it was a much smaller drop than the 52% decline reported by Podtrac two weeks ago.
Apple last week released the latest update to its operating system that addressed what the company conceded was a glitch. The iOS 14.7 update will no longer prevent automatic downloads for new episodes from completely downloading in the background. Apple said that the glitch, while not impacting listening, could reduce downloads reported by third-party hosting providers such as Podtrac.
To address concerns download growth had slowed, Podtrac has released an analysis of its June data that suggested among the publishers it measures downloads did not decline after all. Instead, it said they grew five percent compared to a year ago. That would have put the month in line with the average it has seen for the first five months of the year.
In terms of what show categories did well last week, Podtrac says the Sports and Society & Culture categories had the strongest week-over-week growth with downloads rising eight percent. Also growing were History (+4%), Comedy (+3%), News (+3%), Business (+3%), Arts (+3%), and Education (+3%). Among those posting week-to-week declines were True Crime (-4%) and Science (-2%).