Sport Social Podcast Network, (Sport Social) has seen a significant increase in downloads of its cycling and cricket podcasts over the last two months, linked to the return of the Tour de France and The Ashes. According to the network’s latest listener data, the number of cycling and cricket shows that were downloaded on the network across June and July increased by 49%, as compared to April and May.
The spike in listeners shows increased appetite from fans for podcast content following key competitions and tournaments. It comes as Sport Social reaches a milestone of 8 million monthly downloads across the network.
During the Tour de France, The Geraint Thomas Cycling Club saw a staggering 96% increase in downloads in July, as compared to June. While the race was on, the podcast – which is developed by Crowd Network – launched a series of special episodes in celebration of the competition, including commentary and day-by-day recaps of the Tour. It also included appearances from competitors, giving listeners exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes access to the event.
The Ashes also had an impact on listener numbers for cricket podcasts on the network. Downloads for shows including Wisden Cricket Weekly and Storylines: The Women’s Cricket Show by The Analyst increased by 54% between June – July, as compared to April – May figures. During The Ashes, both Wisden and The Women’s Cricket Show produced episodes dedicated to expert analysis, highlights, opinions and debates inspired by the tournament.
Stefan Doyle, Head of the Sport Social Podcast Network, said: “The recent increase in downloads that we’ve seen for our cycling and cricket podcasts specifically, during the Tour de France and The Ashes, shows the power of podcasting when it comes to giving fans more of what they love.”
“Audio is a space that provides people with an opportunity to soak up every second of a major competition, and it’s clear there is a growing appetite from fans and listeners to interact with their favorite sports via podcasts. We’ve built a captive audience of cycling and cricket fans across these verticals, and this means there’s real opportunity for brands and rights holders too, to reach new fans whether through advertising or partnerships with the podcasts directly.
“People aren’t just engaging with their favorite sports simply through TV or radio anymore. They want to be part of every conversation and the buzz that surrounds huge events. Podcasting is an ideal medium to do that, from official shows or something grassroots, and produced by fans themselves. It’s an exciting space to be in.”