Podcasting’s growth streak continued last week as Podtrac reports downloads among the publishers and shows it measures increased three percent. Downloads were also up 54% compared to the same period a year ago.
Interest in the Super Bowl was likely behind the category that saw the biggest increase year-to-year -- Sports -- with the genre showing a 123% increase in its downloads last week versus a year ago. The category was up a more modest three percent week-to-week.
On a week-to-week basis, it was True Crime that had the best growth numbers last week. Podtrac says its download number was up six percent. Other genres having a growth week included Business (+4%), History (+3%), News (+3%), Comedy (+2%), Religion & Spirituality (+2%), Science (+1%). Podtrac says the Society & Culture genre was down two percent week-to-week. It also says that each of the show categories were up versus February 2021.
Podtrac earlier reported that iHeartRadio was its top publisher in January as it topped 400 million downloads for the first time. It marked 16 consecutive months that it has led the ranking of publishers measured by Podtrac. NPR continued to hold second place, followed by Wondery, the New York Times and NBC News.
Overall, Podtrac reported the average publisher it measures had a two percent month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience in January. And compared to a year earlier, January 2022’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers was up one percent versus January 2021.
In terms of downloads, Podtrac said global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall were up five percent month-over-month during January. They were also up 17% with the download numbers from a year earlier.