Podtrac reports downloads jumped 45% last week versus a year ago among publishers it measures. But on a week-to-week basis, it says downloads slipped two percent. The category with the strong growth once again was Sports. Podtrac says the genre saw its downloads more than double from a year ago -- up 111% year-to-year -- although the category did slide six percent week-to-week.
The Society & Culture category showed the strongest week-over-week growth with downloads up five percent. Among the other genres that posted gains last week were True Crime (+3%) and Business (+1%). But most others saw their download numbers dip from the prior week. The biggest drop was for Science podcasts, which saw a seven percent decrease in downloads according to Podtrac. Others that lost ground included History (-6%), Comedy (-5%), Religion & Spirituality (-4%), News (-3%), and Arts (-3%).
Podtrac earlier reported that iHeartRadio remained at the top of Podtrac’s ranking of top publishers for February with a ten percent jump in its unique U.S. reach and a two percent increase in its streams and downloads. NPR was second, followed by Wondery, the New York Times, and the Walt Disney Company – which includes podcasts from ESPN and ABC Audio.
Overall, Podtrac reports the average publisher had a six percent month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience last month. And compared to a year earlier, February 2022’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers was up 18% versus February 2021.
In terms of downloads, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall were down two percent month-over-month during February. But they were up 32% compared to the download numbers from a year earlier.