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So Long Sweats? Podtac Says Health & Fitness Genre Had Last Week’s Best Download Gains.

As warm weather arrives, it looks like Americans are getting ready to shed the sweatpants that have dominated wardrobes during the past two years. Podtrac says downloads of Health & Fitness podcasts more than doubled last week -- soaring 126% compared to a year ago. It was pro sports that had the best week-to-week numbers. Sports, along with True Crime, both had six percent increases in their download numbers. That was better than any other category.

Podtrac says week-to-week increases in downloads were also seen for several other genres, including Arts (+4%), Business (+2%), and Comedy (+1%). Genres that were down included History (-10%), Science (-6%), Health & Fitness (-7%), Society & Culture (-4%), and News (-1%).

Overall, downloads slid one percent week-to-week among the publishers measured by Podtrac. But the company says downloads were up 50% compared to the same week a year ago.

Podtrac earlier reported that iHeartRadio remained the top publisher among those it measures during March with more than 443 million downloads and streams. It was followed by NPR, Wondery, New York Times, and NBC News. March was a solid month for podcasting as Podtrac reported among the top 20 publishers it measures downloads grew 13% percent from February, with year-to-year download numbers jumping 50% compared to a year ago.

Overall, Podtrac reported the average publisher had a three percent month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience in March. And compared to a year earlier, March 2022’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers was up 22% versus March 2021.

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