Podcast downloads slid four percent last week, according to Podtrac, which reports that among the shows and publishers it tracks the rate of growth was still undeniably double-digit — downloads were up 50% compared to the same week a year ago.
For the week of Oct. 12-18, Podtrac says downloads for podcasts in the Arts category showed the only week-over-week positive download growth at 1%. In a week where download numbers stepped back, that was good enough to be the biggest gainer among the top show categories. Podtrac says among the other genres, download numbers were mostly down. Business podcast downloads dropped 8% week-to-week, with declines also recorded in categories including Science (-7%), Society & Culture (-7%), History (-6%), News (-6%), True Crime (-4%) and Sports (-2%). Even as many of the genres were down week-to-week, Podtrac said most were up double digits compared to a year ago.
Podtrac earlier reported that NPR and iHeartMedia split the top spot on its September ranker. NPR had the biggest unique U.S. monthly audience among publishers measured by Podtrac, while the iHeartPodcast Network had the largest number of downloads and streams during the month. Podtrac says NPR edged out iHeart in terms of reach by just 82,000 listeners during September, while iHeart had nearly 33,000 more downloads than NPR. The New York Times remained in third place during September, followed by ESPN and PRX.