Podtrac coronavirus tracking: New high for downloads; upward spike for comedy

Podtrac sent us the latest weekly update of U.S. podcast listening, both in downloads and audience, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (You can see everything HERE.) Its latest data is for the week of May 18 – May 24. In this installment of Podtrac’s series, the data show a +5% gain for downloads and +4% gain for audience. According to Podtrac, “This is the fifth consecutive week download growth has been flat or positive, and the sixth consecutive week audience growth has been flat or positive.”

Here is the download/audience chart, in which we can see that downloads reach a new year-to-date high for the first time since the week ending March 2, before shelter-at-home kicked in.

The Top Categories chart for this week is interesting. The high-flying News category still prevails, but look at the Comedy line rampaging upward to nearly the same altitude. As we ponder this, it’s worth remembering that The Joe Rogan Experience, so much in the news this week, is categorized in Comedy — even though it is not a humor show and is mostly serious conversation. Easy to speculate that the entire Comedy group was lifted this week as podsphere attention was driven to Rogan.



Brad Hill