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Podtrac: Last Week’s Download Tally Was Up 28% From A Year Ago.

After several weeks of consecutive increases in downloads coming off the traditional holiday slowdown, Podtrac reports among the publishers it measures downloads slipped one percent week-to-week during Jan. 17-23. The growth was not hard to find, however. Podtrac says downloads were up a solid 28% from a year ago.

The Religion & Spirituality category showed the strongest week-over-week growth at 11%. Podtrac says it also saw growth for the History (+5%) genre while Business was also up four percent. Podtrac says most other categories were down, including Arts (-7%), True Crime (-4%), Science (-4%), Society & Culture (-3%), News (-2%), Sports (1%). Comedy was flat week-to-week.

Podtrac previously announced that iHeartRadio led its December rankings. It reported iHeartRadio saw a 16% increase in its downloads during December as it remained in the lead of Podtrac’s monthly ranking of top publishers. Podtrac says iHeartRadio had nearly 392 million global downloads and streams last month. And iHeart’s U.S. monthly unique audience was just shy of 32 million. The ranking not only closed out 2021 on a high note for iHeart but it also marked 15 consecutive months that it has led the ranking of publishers measured by Podtrac.

NPR finished second, followed by Wondery, The New York Times, and NBC News.

Overall, Podtrac reports the average publisher had a five percent month-over-month decrease in their U.S. unique monthly audience during December in part due to the Christmas holiday effecting normal listening patterns. The bright spot is that compared to a year earlier, December 2021’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers was up 20% versus December 2020.

In terms of downloads, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall were up nine percent month-over-month during December. They were also up 19% with the download numbers from a year earlier.

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