iHeartMedia Sees 78% Increase in Downloads Across Business, Finance Podcasts

Podcast newsletter "Hot Pod" cited new numbers from Podtracyesterday, highlighting trends among consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Podtrac reports that U.S. podcast downloads among the shows it tracks dropped by 4% during the week ending March 29. The week before saw a 2% drop and the week before that, a 1% drop.

However, those numbers varied according to subject, with podcasts about technology, history and true crime seeing the most significant decline, while fiction, business, science and kids/family all experienced increases in downloads.

Also yesterday, iHeartPodcast released its own findings that share some similarities with the Podtrac numbers. They show an increase in listening, with variations by topic, as consumers find themselves confined to their homes.



“Broadcast radio has long served as a trusted voice in local communities during times of crisis and uncertainty, and now podcasts are also playing an integral role as a much-needed companion for millions of Americans,” said Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network. 

Most popular in the iHeartPodcast network were shows about business, finance, entertainment, those led by radio personalities and network shows.

Throughout its network of more than 350 podcasts, iHeartPodcast reports listenership is up 6% month-over-month. Locations where people have been ordered to shelter-in-place show a higher increase. California reports a 13% increase and New York an 8% in one week.

Among business and finance podcasts, downloads and streams have increased by 78% week-over-week among original podcasts. Music, entertainment and comedy podcasts have also seen increases, as have personality-driven shows like “Elvis Duran” and “The Breakfast Club.”

Listeners are also hungry for educational podcasts, iHeartPodcast’s “Stuff” podcasts, such as “Stuff You Should Know” and “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” showed a 21% increase week-over-week.

iiHeartPodcast’s true crime shows show a decline, while its new “Daily Coronavirus Update,” hosted by Oscar Ramirez, has become one of its most listened to podcasts.

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