No New Podcast Hits? Chartable Analysis Reveals 22% Of Top 200 Launched In Past Two Years.


There are no new hits. That was the claim of an article that rocketed around the world of podcasting that showed that many of the top shows have been around for a few years. While podcast series at the very top of the charts may look familiar, an analysis of the wider top 200 shows by Chartable suggests there are a lot more shows bubbling up than many believe.


“There’s plenty of room for new hits – the data shows it,” Chartable CEO Dave Zohrob said during a presentation at the Podcast Movement conference in Los Angeles.


Chartable data shows 22% of the new shows in its Top 200 were launched in the past two years. That includes podcasts that have debuted since the start of this year, such as Netflix-Kast Media’s We Have The Receipts and SiriusXM’s It’s Me, Tinx as well as 2020’s SmartLess and 2021’s Welcome To Our Show from iHeartRadio.


“It’s not true that new shows can’t reach the charts. It’s also true that what it means to be No. 10 or No. 100 is different today than it was a year ago or a few years before that,” Zohrob said. “Because we have seen so much growth over the last few years, the No. 10 show is getting more downloads than the No. 10 show did a few years ago – it’s not really an apples-to-apples thing to say the new shows are not hits.”


Chartable says among the top 1,000 shows, English remains the most listened-to podcast language, followed by Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and Portuguese. The most popular genres include Society & Culture, which makes up a third of all listening among the publishers and shows it tracks, followed by News (25%), Comedy (20%), True Crime (16%), and Politics (10%).


During 2021, Chartable says True Crime was the fastest-growing genre, accounting for 16% of the top 200 shows, up from 8% a year earlier. History also had a big jump, accounting for 9% of the top 200 last year versus 4% in 2020.


The U.S. remains the country where the most listening is recorded, but it no longer represents the vast majority of podcast listening. Instead, Zohrob said U.S. listening now makes up less than half of total consumption worldwide. “We’re seeing growth across all kinds of shows, all around the world,” he said.


Chartable says within the U.S., the top five cities for podcast consumption in 2021 were New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and Dallas.


Because of how Chartable measures podcasts, it is able to track if a show is being listened to through a home Wi-Fi connection or through mobile downloads. Zohrob said it has given them a way to follow how the pandemic is impacting listening habits with the mobile number a proxy for how much people are on the move.


The recent “valley” in mobile listening came in early January when the impact of the Delta and Omicron variants forced many people to stick close to home. But Zohrob said their data shows cellular downloads are “creeping back up” in recent weeks.Still, it is unlikely mobile will dominate anytime soon. “Overall, home Wi-Fi dominates for people who are following podcasts since Apple will automatically download the shows you follow while it’s on your nightstand,” he explained.


To help people tackle show discovery, Zohrob says their data shows nothing works better than promoting a podcast on another podcast. And one format stands out in front. “True Crime listeners love true crime. They hear a promo for your True Crime show on another True Crime show, and you have got more than double the average chance to get them to listen,” he said.


According to Chartable data, for every 1,000 promo impressions on True Crime, the show being advertised gets 156 new listeners to their show. Chartable’s SmartPromos tool shows Technology podcast promos deliver 109 new listeners from a similarly-sized base, with gains also for Science (100), Documentary (99), and Drama (90).


“That’s why we say cross-promo works,” Zohrob said. “It’s a great way to grow your audience – so if you’re not doing it, give it a try.”

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