Podcast listening continued on its upward trajectory last week according to the latest data from Podtrac. Among the publishers it measures, Podtrac says downloads were up three percent last week compared to a week earlier. And even more noteworthy is that downloads soared 27% versus a year ago.
The charge forward was led by the Science genre where downloads increased 21% week-to-week from the week of December 6. It was up twice that (42%) from a year earlier. Several other genres also posted a week-to-week increase in downloads, including Religion & Spirituality (+5%), Society & Culture (+4%), Arts (+4%), History (+3%), News (+3%), Sports (+2%), and Business (+1%). The outlier was True Crime, which Podtrac says saw its downloads slip one percent last week.
Podtrac reported Monday that for the month of November iHeartRadio was the top publisher with nearly 337 million downloads and streams last month, a five percent increase compared to a month earlier and a U.S. monthly unique audience of 32.6 million -- an increase of about 1.5 million. It was followed by NPR, Wondery, the New York Times and The Walt Disney Company as the top five publishers were the same in November as October.
Overall, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 were flat during November compared to a month earlier. And it was on par with download numbers of a year ago.
Podtrac also reports seven of the top 20 publishers posted an increase in their unique monthly U.S. audience in November compared to October – the rest were either down or flat. It reports the average publisher had a one percent month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience last month despite the impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. They were flat versus a year earlier.