The seasonal dip in podcast downloads continued last week. Podtrac says among the publishers and shows it measures overall downloads declined five percent week-to-week. They were still up double digits from a year earlier, gaining 15% compared to the same week in 2019.
December tends to be a slower month for the debuts of new shows or seasons, and that impacts the genres that are seeing the biggest increases in week-to-week downloads. Podtrac says the Science category was the best performer among the major genres, although it had just a one percent bump last week among the publishers it measures. The other big categories all posted softer numbers last week including True Crime, Society & Culture, Business, and Education – each seeing an eight percent drop in downloads week-to-week. Other declines came in categories including Sports (-4%), News (-4%), Comedy (-3%) and Arts (-3%).
Podtrac earlier reported the iHeartPodcast Network was the biggest podcast publisher in November. It was followed by NPR, the New York Times, Wondery, and ESPN/ABC.
Overall, the average U.S. unique monthly audience for the top ten publishers grew one percent from October to November. Podtrac said nine of the top 20 podcast publishers saw an increase in their U.S. monthly audience from November.
Among the top ten publishers, the average U.S. unique monthly audience was up one percent month-over-month. In terms of downloads, the top ten publishers had an average 10% growth rate between October and November, and a 40% increase last month versus a year earlier.