It’s easier to see the trends if we group the five weekdays together. You’ll notice that episodes published in the early morning hours generally perform better, even 4 AM when we don’t have as many episodes being published. It looks like shows that publish before the morning commute do increasingly better up until 5 AM, then the performance drops off.
However, it’s also possible that listeners are discovering podcasts for the first time by owning an Apple Watch. Because listeners in rural states have generally been slower to adopt podcasting, it makes sense that access to a new technology simplifying podcast listening would register more noticeably in those areas–it has less competition from existing apps. We saw a similar trend with Spotify downloads, which suggests that the more methods listeners have to access podcasts, the more people will give the medium a try.
Second, because Spotify is stronger in states with less listening overall, the app is likely helping new listeners discover podcasting. This is big. Everyone in podcasting talks about the need to introduce new listeners to the medium; our research shows Spotify is an effective tool for doing just that.