Comedy and News the top podcast categories in 2021

The top hour for podcast listening is 7 – 8am according to annual statistics just released by the Australian Podcast Ranker.

Tuesday is the most popular day of the week for podcast listening.

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

Comedy and daily news are the two most listened two genres of podcasts, understandable in a pandemic year when people either crave information about covid or want to avoid it completely and have a laugh instead.

The data comes from annual insights from the Australian Podcast Ranker, released today by Commercial Radio Australia and Triton Digital. The podcast ranker does not include stats from the ABC, so podcasts made by the national broadcaster are not included in the annual summary.

Comedy, which includes 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, commissioned by industry body Commercial Radio Australia, 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.

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

“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 November figures, released yesterday, show that there were 3.7 million weekly podcast 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.


The Australian Podcast Ranker is published by Triton Digital in accordance with IAB Tech Lab’s Podcast Measurement Guidelines.

Participating publishers include Audioboom, ARN/iHeartMedia, DM Podcasts, Equity Mates Media, Hidden Brain Media, Kinderling Kids Radio, LiSTNR (SCA), Motorsport Podcast Network, News Corp Australia, Nine, NOVA Entertainment, Podshape, Schwartz Media, Sports Entertainment Network (SEN), Stitcher Media, TOFOP Productions, The Chaser, Wavelength Creative and West Australian Newspapers.

The ABC does not currently participate in the ranker.


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