HistoryExtra podcast hits 200 million downloads

Since launching in 2007, the podcast now has an average of five million downloads per month

The HistoryExtra podcast has achieved 200 million downloads, publisher Immediate Media has announced, hitting its latest milestone last month.

The series is an offshoot of BBC History magazine, and explores ancient history in the UK and the US featuring interviews with well-known historians. Topics explored on the six-times-a-week podcast include the history of medicine, the British royal family, Tudor England, the first World War, and more. 

“Reaching 200 million downloads for the HistoryExtra podcast is something I could have only dreamt of when I clicked the record button on my 2007 interview with eminent historian Sir Ian Kershaw about the rise of Nazi Germany,” said Dr. Dave Musgrove, history content director for Immediate Media. “I had an inkling that audiences passionate about history would embrace the chance to hear such gifted story tellers first hand, but I had no idea that moment would lead to 200 million downloads world-wide 15 years later.”

HistoryExtra’s latest six-episode series, titled ‘Conspiracy’, explores historical conspiracy theories such as Hitler’s escape to South America, the existence of aliens in Ancient Egypt, whether Shakespeare was really the one who wrote his works, whether the moon landing was faked, and more. 

On average, the HistoryExtra podcast now receives five million downloads per month with top followings across the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, and its most downloaded episode to date is ‘A Year in Medieval England’ - in which presenter Helen Castor interviewed mediaeval historian Dan Jones on what life was like in 1215 - with almost 300k downloads.

“To have achieved a loyal and passionate global following is testament to the hard work from a dedicated team that continues to grow and innovate to bring the best story-telling and historical insight to our audiences,” said Musgrove. 

In the UK, history podcasts are an extremely popular category - next to news podcasts - with Goalhanger’s The Rest is History currently ranking as the third most popular series on Apple Podcast’s Chartable list. Additionally, the BBC’s history podcast You’re Dead to Me was the second most-listened-to podcast on BBC Sounds during the festive period, next to current affairs daily podcast Newscast.