The post-Thanksgiving bounce was expected, but Podtrac’s weekly download update points again to a stronger holiday season for listening than in years past. Podtrac reports that downloads were up 21% last week among the publishers it measures. Not only is that jump bigger than the drop seen a week earlier -- downloads fell 17% Thanksgiving week -- but it also represents an 18% increase in downloads compared to the corresponding week a year ago.
Podtrac says every big show category had week-over-week gains, none more than the Sports genre which saw its downloads jump 31% thanks to college bowl season and an NFL regular season that is heading into its final weeks. The Sports genre was also up by 81% versus a year ago.
Among the other categories Podtrac has with all up arrows are True Crime (+28%), News (+23%), Business (+22%), Religion & Spirituality (+20%), Society & Culture (+31%), Comedy (+16%), Arts (+15%), Science (+5%), and History (+4%).
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.