Podcast downloads grew three percent last week (Aug. 10-16), compared to the week prior, across all the shows measured by Podtrac. Downloads were up 52% from a year ago. Based on what it says was “popular demand,” Podtrac has restarted the release of weekly podcast download information, data that it first began making public during the pandemic lockdowns. The company said iHeartMedia is underwriting the effort.
Comedy and News, two genres that proved especially popular during the lockdowns, continue to attract lots of ears, according to this latest peek into what Americans are downloading. Podtrac said Comedy had the largest week-over-week increase in downloads last week among the top categories, increasing seven percent. News podcasts showed the second biggest gain with downloads up 6% compared to the prior week.
Increases were also recorded in the Sports genre of podcasts – up five percent versus the week before – as well as for the Education and Arts categories, which both posted a four percent gain. Fewer podcast downloads were logged in the History (-7%), True Crime (-2%), Business (-2%), Society & Culture (-1%), and Science (-1%) categories. Even so, all of the categories had year-over-year growth rates, most by double-digits.
Podtrac released eleven weekly updates in the spring to help the industry sort through the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. The final update was released in early June.