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True Crime Has Biggest Share Of Top 500 Shows, Says Pew Review.


Pew Research studied nearly 500 of the top podcasts and while True Crime may not be the biggest genre across the board, it found that it ranks first when it comes to the biggest shows. Podcasts in the genre make up nearly a quarter (24%) of the top podcasts it examined. Another finding reveals one in ten podcasts were in the Politics and Government category.


“True crime is the most common topic among top-ranked podcasts, accounting for 24% of the 451 shows we analyzed” says Pew. “These shows – which women and young people tune in to more than men and older listeners – investigate murders, scandals, and other criminal acts. Almost all of them (95%) use deep reporting, meaning they examine a story or topic in depth.”


Pew’s analysis of political podcasts found that they cover the ideological spectrum and use a variety of formats, with similar shares using interviews (33%), deep reporting (28%) and commentary (28%) to discuss politics and government. 


Nearly as many (9%) of the top shows fall into the entertainment, pop, and arts category. Pew’s review showed more than a third (36%) are recap shows while about a quarter (24%) are interview based.


Self-help podcasts make up eight percent of the top-ranked shows, of which 39% of the top shows are structured around interviews. And six percent of the top podcasts cover sports. Pew says 82% of sports podcasts are commentary and opinion based.


Several more genres, from history to comedy to science, each make up less than 5% of the top-ranked podcasts. And one-in-five focus on multiple topics, sometimes even within the same episode,” says Pew. “This fragmentation showcases the ways in which niche content has flourished as podcasts have grown increasingly popular.

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