Podcast listeners went highbrow last week as the Arts category showed the latest week-over-week gain in downloads. Podtrac says shows in the genre posted a 15% gain, the largest increase of any of the major podcast categories. At the same time the unofficial last week of summer showed the Comedy and News genres had the biggest week-to-week dip, falling eight percent.
The Society & Culture category was up one percent while a lighter listening week due to the Labor Day holiday brought dips for several other categories, including True Crime (-6%), Science (-4%), Sports (-3%), History (-2%), Business (-1%) and Education (-1%). On a year-over-year basis, each of the categories was up double and triple digits.
The holiday weekend brought a dip in downloads overall. Podtrac says for the week of September 2-6, which includes part of the Labor Day holiday weekend, downloads were down 4% compared to the previous week. They were, however, still up 52% over the same period last year.
Podtrac earlier reported that NPR was the largest podcast publisher during the month of August, reclaiming the top spot from iHeartMedia. Roughly 700,000 podcast listeners separated the two companies, which have spent 2020 trading first and second place. Podtrac said 17 of the 20 had an increase in their U.S. monthly audience from July to August. And 11 of the top 20 podcast publishers had increases in global download numbers.