headphones

Libsyn has shared its monthly statistics, offering the industry a snapshot of podcast listening trends. The data shows 84.74% of all downloads and streams of Libsyn-hosted podcasts went directly to mobile devices during October. That’s a small 0.18% decrease versus September, offering freshly-minted evidence that mobile’s share of podcast consumption has plateaued. On an episode of The Feed podcast, Rob Walch, Libsyn’s VP of Podcaster Relations, said desktop downloads and streams for Libsyn-hosted shows totaled 15.06 % in October, a slight month-to-month increase. And downloads to smart speakers and gaming devices totaled 0.2%. “Basically the same as it has been since May. It really hasn’t changed,” he said.

In October, Libsyn reported 63.8% of downloads to shows it hosts went to listeners in the U.S., followed by Canada (5.5%), U.K. (5.2%), Australia (3.4%), Sweden (2.9%), Germany (2.4%), and France (2.0%). Those figures don’t account for Spotify listening, however. 

In terms of downloads by Spotify users of Libsyn-hosted podcasts, Walch said the U.S. market represented 46.3% of downloads for the shows it hosts—a 1.2% increase compared to September.

The biggest mobile aggregator app remains Apple, which Libsyn said accounted for 58% of all downloads from shows on its platform in October. That number was roughly on par with the prior month and marks the fourth month in a row that Apple has been below 60%. Spotify jumped to 13% in October, down from 13.1% in September. It was followed by Overcast (2.4%), Stitcher (2.4%), CastBox (2.2%), Google Podcasts (1.9%), Podcast Addict (1.7%) and Pocket Casts (1.3%). 

Libsyn is alerting podcasters that use its service to expect to see changes in the numbers when the November data is released. That’s because Spotify will no longer be making copies of those podcasts and hosting them on its own servers, choosing instead to use a pass-through that sends users to the files hosted on Libsyn’s server. That means podcasters won’t need to add the Spotify download numbers to their Libsyn tally. Walch said based on what he’s seen so far, the numbers that Spotify had been sharing were “pretty darn close” to what Libsyn is now seeing from its data – generally within 0.3% of the earlier listening numbers.

One advantage to Spotify no longer making copies of its own is that when a show makes an update or edit to an episode, it will now appear on Spotify. In the past, because the streaming service typically made a copy when the episode was published, any changes didn’t get through to Spotify users – much to the frustration of podcasters.