Post-lockdown America continues to tune into podcasts on the go, according to the latest snapshot provided by Libsyn. It has released June listening download data for the more than 69,000 podcasts it hosts, and the numbers show it was a record-setter for mobile downloads as summertime weather combined with more businesses reopening.
Libsyn said that 89.4% of all downloads in June went directly to mobile devices, a 1.2% gain from the prior month for what it said was an all-time high for the shows it hosts. At the same time, downloads to desktop computers hit an all-time low of 10.4% in June, which was a 1.2% drop compared to May. “The pendulum swung hard,” Libsyn VP Rob Walch said on the company’s The Feed podcast. “All stats have been affected by COVID and things are swinging in different ways.” The tally also shows that downloads to smart speakers and gaming devices totaled 0.23% versus 0.25% in May. “Set top boxes and smart speakers just aren’t getting there yet,” Walch said.
The jump in mobile listeners continues to reflect the impact of America reopening after the coronavirus lockdowns. Apple’s Mobile Trends Report shows a third more people are driving compared to January. Walking is up 18% while mass transit usage remains roughly half of its pre-pandemic levels.
In an unrelated update, Walch said Libsyn has begun encouraging podcasters to add a new distribution destination to their shows. Audible and Amazon Music have not yet begun making podcasts available to users, but they have asked Libsyn-hosted shows to add the destination so that they are in the directory when their podcast feature goes live.
Libsyn is under a non-disclosure agreement with Amazon and Audible. Expecting questions about the tech giant’s plans, however, it provided two answers to what it expected to be the most common questions.
Libsyn has not been told when podcasts will begin appearing on the apps. But Walch said he believes Amazon Music and Audible are still working on their launch schedule. “There is a high probability that if your show is in early when they do alpha and beta testing internally, your show will get played and found and bumped up in the search algorithms,” he said. “So the earlier you get in the better.”