As Talk Radio Goes Through Lots Of Change, Conservative Podcasts Post Subscriber Gains.
Two of the top ten podcasts on Podtrac’s May ranker among shows it measures came from conservative talk hosts – Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino. And now TheRighting – a media company that researches traffic to conservative websites and publishers – is shedding additional light into how right-leaning personalities are increasingly finding an audience among podcast listeners. Using Castbox data, it finds those hosts are racking up tens of thousands of subscribers.
Its ranker shows a show produced by The Daily Wire ranked as conservative media’s fastest-growing news podcast in May. The Ben Shapiro Show added 2,856 subscribers on the Castbox app in the month of May, the most of any conservative podcast. Altogether, the show has 419,737 subscribers on the Castbox app, more than any other right-wing podcast.
TheRighting also points out that among mainstream and liberal news podcasts, only the New York Times’ The Daily –which added 5,223 subscribers – and the BBC’s Global News Podcast – which added 4,470 – attracted more new subscribers in May than The Ben Shapiro Show.
The second-fastest growing conservative show was The Dan Bongino Show, which added 1,535 subscribers during May. That jump was no doubt tied to his late-month debut as a syndicated talk radio host for Westwood One, filling the timeslot once held by Rush Limbaugh on dozens of radio stations. It was Limbaugh’s February death that has set off a series of changes on conservative talk radio.
One-time radio host Bill O’Reilly has the second largest number of subscribers on Castbox among conservative shows, but the growth of his No Spin News may have capped. It grew by just 65 subs between April and May.
The report offers a peek into what is likely a larger trend overall. Castbox represents just a slice of podcast listening, but it is the only app to make show subscriber numbers public.
TheRighting says The Daily Wire had more than just Shapiro’s show to be happy about. Its new series Candace, which launched March 19, and features young conservative Black political commentator Candace Owens, generated 2,116 Castbox subscribers for the month. That made it the second fastest-growing conservative podcast, according to TheRighting’s research.
Other Daily Wire productions on the top 20 conservative podcast chart include programs from Andrew Klavan (No. 11), Michael Knowles (No. 12) and Matt Walsh (No. 17).
TheRighting also says Steve Bannon’s War Room, which didn’t make its top 20 list, nonetheless added 456 subscribers, making it the eighth fastest-growing conservative news podcast for May. Several talk radio syndicators such as iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One have already been making their shows available as podcasts, and in some cases looking to podcasting for the next generation of radio hosts.
The growing interest among conservatives in podcasting led Salem Media Group to look beyond radio. The Salem Podcast Network launched in January, and now features Charlie Kirk, Dinesh D’Souza, Todd Starnes, Eric Metaxas, Sebastian Gorka, Mike Gallagher, Hugh Hewitt, Larry Elder, and Dennis Prager. It now boasts more than 2.5 million downloads weekly and last week it announced a new show hosted by Trish Regan.