COVID Cases Are Going Up, And Now So Too Is Computer Podcast Listening.


Could an uptick in coronavirus cases be leading more Americans to stick close to home and near their computers for podcast listening? The latest monthly update from Libsyn shows mobile downloads’ share of listening slid for a second month in September. Mobile downloads still represented a majority, however, totaling 85.7% of all downloads for shows the company hosts. That was a one percent decline compared to August.


“The raw number was actually a little bit higher, but there was a lot more browser usage,” said Libysn VP Rob Walch. The company said computer listening accounted for 14.1% of downloads in September versus 13.1% in August and 10% in July. But even more noteworthy is that last month’s desktop share was actually bigger than the earliest days of the lockdowns, when computer downloads rebounded. But those numbers — computer downloads totaled 12.7% of all downloads in April and 11.6% in May — have now been eclipsed.


The tally also shows that downloads to smart speakers and gaming devices totaled 0.26% last month versus 0.23% in August. Walch said the release of the new Apple HomePod Mini could help increase those numbers, pointing out in the latest episode of the company’s The Feed podcast that the new device includes several apps that support podcast listening such as iHeartRadio, Radio.com and TuneIn.


Walch also reported 62.6% of downloads to Libsyn-hosted shows were in the U.S. during September, down slightly from August. The UK was the next biggest market with a 5.1% share, followed by Canada (5%), Australia (3.5%), Germany (2.7%), Sweden (2.1%), Mexico (1.8%), Brazil (1.1%) and Japan (1.1%).


Apple Podcasts was responsible for 64.3% of all downloads of Libsyn-hosted shows last month. Spotify ranked second with 9.7%, followed by Google Podcasts with a 1.9% share. Walch said he has long expected that would become their top three, but Google’s jump last month made that ranker appear a bit sooner than anticipated. He also reported that among Libsyn-hosted shows, iOS had 5.4 downloads for each one on an Android device.

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