As an iOS update rolls out into more Apple devices, podcast numbers are climbing at a faster rate. Podtrac reports downloads last week increased eight percent compared to a week earlier among publishers it measures. That is the largest week-to-week gain since Apple last month released the latest update to its operating system that comes packed with a fix that has been causing some podcasters to have fewer than normal downloads. The iOS 14.7 update no longer prevents automatic downloads for new episodes from completely downloading in the background. It is expected the Apple glitch will impact August full month numbers when they are released next month.
The Podtrac numbers also suggest that some stay-at-home habits embraced last year may be easing up slightly. The company says that downloads last week were down ten percent compared to a year ago among publishers it tracks.
After posting a decline a week earlier, the True Crime genre sprang back to life last week with a 23% week-to-week increase in downloads. That was a bigger gain than any other category. Also seeing more downloads were News (+12%), Education (+12%), Society & Culture (+8%), Sports (+4%), Comedy (+4%), Business (+3%), and Science (+1%). The History genre was flat compared to a week earlier, while Arts (-2%) was the only big category seeing a decline.
Podtrac earlier reported that iHeartRadio remained at the top of Podtrac’s monthly ranking of the top publishers it measures during July. NPR ranked second, followed by the New York Times, Wondery, and PRX.
In an analysis of the July data, Podtrac says it shows a “continued downward trend” in Apple Podcast downloads during July which was not seen to the same extent with other apps. “Downloads from Apple Podcasts, which Apple’s June bug affects, are down 31% from May to July across all Podtrac measured podcasts,” it said. But because Apple Podcasts still accounts for a majority of podcast listening, that was a big contributor to lower year-over-year download numbers for the month of July.
Podtrac says among the top 20 publishers it measures only four had an increase in their global download numbers during July. And just two saw an increase in their unique U.S. monthly audience last month.