Podcast listening roared forward last week as Podtrac reports among the publishers it measures downloads grew nine percent week-to-week for April 26 to May 2. That was a 17% increase compared to a year ago when the industry was already on the mend from the mid-April low point in downloads that Podtrac measured during the early weeks of the pandemic.
Podtrac released eleven weekly updates last spring to help the industry sort through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The low point was the week of April 13-19 after which the numbers began to climb again.
This year has seen no such bumps in the road and in the latest update Podtrac says the Business category had the strongest growth with downloads in that genre increasing 21% week-to-week. Among the other categories posting gains were History (+17%), News (+13%), Arts (+11%), Sports (+10%), Society & Culture (+8%), Comedy (+5%), and Science (+1%). Among those that lost ground last week were True Crime (-3%) and Education (-2%).
Podtrac earlier reported that iHeartMedia topped its ranker for March with a unique U.S. audience of more than 30 million listeners, a new record, and downloads and streams that topped 257 million.
Podtrac also said all but two of the top 20 publishers it measures had an increase in their monthly audience in March compared to February. Among the top 20, downloads were up an average of 11% between February and March although downloads were flat last month compared to a year ago.