Religion remains podcasting’s most active genre, according to an analysis of what shows are being published. Dan Misener, head of audience development at Pacific Content, says that’s one thing that hasn’t changed in the months since Apple’s new podcast genres took effect last August. But one thing that has changed is the rise of Daily News, which is now among the categories with the most episodes. In a blog post, Misener says that makes sense – not just because the daily news podcast offering has grown, but the shows are by their very definition, daily.
In Misener’s latest analysis he used a sample of 764,379 shows, and with more than six million episodes the Religion & Spirituality genre is the most crowded, with Christian-focused content comprising about two-thirds of the episodes available. That’s the same as when Misener did his previous analysis in 2018. The genre also had the most prolific show producers, with the Religion & Spirituality: Buddhism and Religion & Spirituality: Christianity most prolific, on average, with each producing more than 70 podcasts.
The broad Society & Culture genre ranks second with nearly 2.4 million episodes, followed by Business, Sports and Comedy. And while True Crime gets a lot of the attention, it’s not as crowded as one might think, with about 43,000 episodes published in the genre, which the new Apple categorization broke out separately for the first time.
At the other end of the spectrum, Misener’s analysis shows the least-crowded categories are Science: Mathematics, Sports: Swimming, and Science: Chemistry. “With a scant 14 shows on the Apple Podcasts U.S. Swimming charts, it’s one of the least competitive categories to chart in,” he wrote in the blog post.
For podcasters looking to get noticed, which genre a show appears in can make a difference. Misener suggests that when producers are trying to decide between different podcast categories and more than one seems like a good fit, the best option is selecting the least-crowded one.