Australian Podcast Ranker 2021 insights: downloads hit half a billion and comedy tops the list

Australians downloaded more than half a billion podcasts in 2021, 28% more than the year before.

Comedy was again the most popular category, followed by news; society & culture and true crime, according to annual insights from the Australian Podcast Ranker, released today by Commercial Radio Australia and Triton Digital.

Comedy, which includes many radio show podcasts, accounted for 118.61 million or 22% of the 543 million podcasts downloaded during the year, but the fastest growing categories were business (up 57% to 22.21 million downloads) and health & fitness (up 54% to 22.16 million downloads).

Casefile True Crime was the ranker’s top podcast of the year based on 22.3 million downloads, followed by Stuff You Should Know (18.5 million) and Hamish & Andy (18.4 million), with The Kyle & Jackie O Show coming in at number four with 16.7 million downloads and Life Uncut with Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne rounding out the top five (11.6 million, and up from 12th place last year).

The best performing debut podcast of the year was The Sure Thing, a six-episode program about Australia’s biggest insider trading case, by Nine Publishing, which achieved 426,000 downloads when it launched in March.

The Australian Podcast Ranker reports monthly on the top 100 most popular Australian and international podcasts in the country among participating publishers across radio, TV, print and independent producers.

CRA chief executive officer, Joan Warner, says. “2021 was another stellar year for podcasting as Australians gravitated to comedy and news, and podcasts moved into mainstream consumer conversations.

 “With performance data for each title now publicly available since September, It’s clear that the top shows in the ranker have established sizeable, loyal and growing audiences.  The plethora of new shows being launched and increased promotion will see momentum continue to build in 2022.”  

The podcasts in the ranker attracted 3.7 million weekly listeners in November 2021, an increase of 12% compared to November 2020.

Between January and November 2021, the average listener downloaded 3.3 podcasts and listened to one hour and 54 minutes of content each week.

Tuesday was the most popular day of the week to stream or download podcasts.

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