True Crime is the Most Popular Podcast Genre

We all have our favorite music, but new research reveals that one thing Americans love to listen to is true crime. A new Pew Research study of 451 of the top-ranked podcasts in the U.S., nearly a quarter (24%) are focused on true crime.

After true crime, the most popular genres are much more spread out:

  • 10% focus on politics and government
  • 9% on entertainment, pop culture and the arts
  • 8% on self-help and relationships
  • The rest cover a broad range of topics, including comedy, religion, health, sports and money.

According to the research:

  • 15% of the top podcasts focus on news and 18% are affiliated with a news organization.
  • News-focused podcasts can cover any topic, but most are about politics and government (49%) or sports (29%).
  • On average, top podcast episodes last more than 20 minutes, but less than an hour.
  • The top-rated podcasts tend to release an episode once a week.
  • About half of podcasts have accompanying videos, and the other half don’t.
  • The popular true-crime podcast “Serial” was released in 2014 and became the fastest podcast to reach 5-million downloads on iTunes.
  • Top-ranked podcasts include a variety of formats: 38% use deep reporting or explain a topic, 23% are interview shows and 16% are based around commentary.
  • More than half (58%) of top-ranked podcasts have a single host, while 37% have multiple hosts.

Source: Pew Research

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