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True Crime Does Better In U.S. While Comedy Has Bigger Numbers In U.K.


Overall crime is 16% higher in the U.S. than the U.K. according to Nation Master data, so that could be while the two countries are similar in their top two podcast genre preferences, True Crime does much better in America. Edison Research, which began releasing a ranking of the most listened to shows in the U.K. last year, says Comedy is tops on both sides the Atlantic. In the U.S., it has 35% while in the U.K. four in ten weekly podcast listeners said they heard a Comedy podcast in the past week. About a quarter of listeners also tune into a show in the Society & Culture category with an identical 23% reach in both countries.


But the U.S. and U.K. go their separate ways after that. In America, 19% of weekly podcast listeners hear True Crime and News podcasts, while 19% of British weekly podcast listeners turn to News and Sports podcasts. True Crime is still a top five genre in the U.K., but its reach is 11% — with nearly half the reach as in the U.S.


“It is hard for us to know if this indicates more room to develop the UK True Crime podcast audience or if there is simply less of an appetite for this genre across the pond,” says Edison. “Meanwhile, the British tradition around comedy shows itself in this data as well. While Comedy leads in both countries, listening is five percentage points higher the United Kingdom.”


Even with the differences, what is interesting is that the top five podcast genres are the same, albeit in different orders in the two countries. That includes identical percentage of weekly listeners in the U.S. and in the U.K. for both Society & Culture and News podcasts.


Edison’s most recent ranking of the top 25 podcasts that listeners in the U.K. for the third quarter of 2023 shows that it is not just show genres that have some commonalities. Similar to the U.S. ranking by Edison, Spotify’s The Joe Rogan Experience tops its U.K. ranking.

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