Stability was the key word for last week as Podtrac says among the publishers it measures downloads overall were flat during June 13-20 versus a week earlier. But reflecting on a year that is shaping up to be a lot different, downloads were down 11% compared to the same week last June when the pandemic had bored Americans looking for ways to while away the hours at home.
The Sports category had the best performance last week. Podtrac says downloads of shows in that genre were up 17% among the publishers it tracks. The Society & Culture category also had a good week, with downloads up by 10%. But those gains were offset by some declines across several other categories. The end of the school year gave Education podcasts the biggest drop for a second consecutive week. Its downloads were off by 16% last week. Declines were also logged in the Science (-12%), History (-10%), True Crime (-7%), Business (-4%), News (-3%), and Arts (-3%) genres. Comedy was flat week-to-week.
Podtrac previously reported that most publishers it monitors posted gains during May. For instance, top-ranked iHeartRadio saw an eight percent increase in its unique U.S. audience month-to-month while also setting a new record for the number of downloads and streams. And the rest of the top five was also up: NPR (+2%), New York Times (+1%), Barstool Sports (+6%), and Wondery (+4%).
Fourteen of the top 20 podcast publishers measured by Podtrac had month-to-month increases in their U.S. monthly audience during May. Among the top 20, downloads were up an average of four percent between April and May. And downloads were up one percent last month compared to a year ago.
Podtrac also reports that among the top 20 publishers, their U.S. monthly audience during May was also up an average of three percent between April and May with a one percent gain over May 2020.