Podcast downloads slipped two percent last week among all shows measured by Podtrac. Yet it says on a year-to-year basis there was no ignoring the growth story with downloads up 55% versus the same period a year ago.
The Sports genre continued to benefit from March Madness. Podtrac says shows in that genre were up 16% week-to-week, the largest gain of any category. Sports downloads were also up 146% from a year ago.
Among the other genres, week over week download growth was also logged in Science (+6%) and Business (+2%), while several others were down, including History (-14%), News (-8%), True Crime (-7%), Society & Culture (-6%), Comedy (-1%), Arts (-1%), and Religion & Spirituality (-1%).
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.