By The Numbers

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A publisher with Omny Studio seeing more than 100 downloads per episode in the thirty days after release is within the top 50% of podcasts we host. Publishers receiving over 28,000 downloads in the same period, are our top 1%.

Slicing the data across a few categories, those benchmarks look like the below.

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That L-shape of downloads and the gaps between percentiles holds fairly steady, with a small percentage of episodes accounting for the greatest volume of downloads. Axios shared similar data from Libsyn in January 2021 which led them to draw the conclusion that “the top 1% of podcasts receive 99% of downloads”.

What, Where, When and How

For me, the beauty of podcasting is that there is so much choice in content and category of show. Across all shows hosted on Omny Studio, the majority of downloads fall into ten top categories.

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That L-shape of downloads and the gaps between percentiles holds fairly steady, with a small percentage of episodes accounting for the greatest volume of downloads. Axios shared similar data from Libsyn in January 2021 which led them to draw the conclusion that “the top 1% of podcasts receive 99% of downloads”.

What, Where, When and How

For me, the beauty of podcasting is that there is so much choice in content and category of show. Across all shows hosted on Omny Studio, the majority of downloads fall into ten top categories.

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Geographically, the majority (over 60%) of Omny Studio downloads come from the US and Canada. That’s not surprising, given North America has the largest population of established podcast listeners. Emerging markets for podcasting is something that we are focused on growing at Triton Digital, which is why the balance of country downloads being served is split pretty fairly across Australia, the UK, the EU, LATAM and South East Asia — all responsible for solid single-digit percentages of downloads.

If we look at when content is being listened to, we see the majority of listening is on the same day or within 2–3 days after publication. And if the question of whether the back catalogue of podcasting is listened to still needs to be answered, feast your eyes on the breakdown below.

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It was interesting to see how some categories perform. The obvious timely quality of news podcasts total an expected 51%+ of downloads on the same-day, but later listening in days 61–180 is also surprisingly high. Does this active back catalogue for news shows make a case for programmatic backfill, to ensure there’s no money being left on the table? I think so.

True crime is another standout, with an even split across same-day and days 61–180. Proving that murder can be enjoyed day or night, rain, snow or shine.

And lastly, what devices are people listening to podcasts on? We shared some data in our last post around platform and device listening in the podcasting ecosystem.

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Drilling down, iOS is still the clear winner in mobile — accounting for 65% of downloads, to Androids 19% in 2020. That’s despite Android overshadowing iOS in North America (where the majority of podcast listening takes place) according to ScientiaMobile, published by PodNews. If Google building a native podcast app for Android won’t shift that number meaningfully, what will?

Alexa certainly had the hold on smart speakers for Omny Studio hosted content in 2020, accounting for just over 61% of all HiFi downloads. Google followed close behind and are more than 50% of the way to catching Amazon. Apple HomePod sadly nowhere meaningful to be seen, but considering the giant is the largest listening platform and now making their own content, could that change?

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Platform listening numbers have held steady for 2021 so far but is that set to change, based on eMarketers latest research?

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Personally, I’m highly dubious. From the data we see at Omny Studio and based on all my conversations in the space, this seems like the kind of forecast that can and should be hotly debated. Predictions are not foregone conclusions (an appropriate disclaimer, given my last blog was all about my own predictions for the space 😊) and I’ll stick with measuring the amount of content consumed on each platform, instead of a user count. We’ve already seen with Google that simply having a user base does not equate to dominating in podcasting… time will tell.

That’s a wrap

One thing that is certain amongst all this data, is that podcasting continues to surge forward as a medium. As content formats, platforms, and overall awareness of the space continues to grow, the listeners and dollars will undoubtedly follow.

If you’re an Omny Studio client and would like to learn more about about how your podcast compares to what we see in the industry, reach out at any time.

Happy podcasting, everyone!