Downloads Grew For Most Publishers In May; Podtrac Says iHeart Remains Top Publisher.


There was a mixed bag of results for some of podcasting’s biggest publishers in May. Podtrac says the average publisher had a four percent month-over-month decrease in their U.S. unique monthly audience last month. But there was also plenty for publishers to be happy about too. Among those measured by Podtrac, iHeartRadio was again in the top spot. Its global streams and downloads rose two percent last month to more than 448 million.


Second place NPR had a two percent download bump, with its total topping 167 million. Third place Wondery’s downloads increased 18% month-to-month to nearly 110 million – its best download number to date. Downloads for fourth place New York Times grew 11% to 134 million. And No. 5 NBC News had a one percent dip in its downloads to 61 million. Podtrac says the top five remained the same in May as in April, with each of the publishers experiencing a decline in their U.S. monthly unique audience last month.


Podtrac reports the Walt Disney Company – whose podcasts include the ABC Audio and ESPN Audio portfolios, held onto sixth place. The Daily Wire advanced one spot to No. 7, trading spots with PodcastOne, which slid back to No. 8. Barstool Sports remained in ninth place, while PRX held onto No. 10.


Beyond the top ten, All Things Comedy made the biggest move. It dropped from No. 11 in April to No. 18 in May as its downloads last month dropped 40% according to Podtrac.


Among those on the upswing were the Cumulus Podcast Network, which advanced two to No. 16, and American Public Media, which returned to the ranker at No. 20. Falling off the list last month was TED. This American Life continues to be the outperformer on the list of publishers. Despite having just a single show, it moved up two slots to No. 14 in May from No. 17 in April with nearly 13 million downloads, a 12% month-to-month gain, and 3.7 million unique listeners in the U.S.


Overall, Podtrac reports the average publisher had a four percent month-over-month decrease in their U.S. unique monthly audience last month. But compared to a year earlier, May 2022’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers was up 11% versus May 2021.


Podtrac also reports five of the top 20 publishers posted an increase in their unique monthly U.S. audience in May compared to April – the rest were either down or flat.


In terms of downloads, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall increased one percent month-over-month during May. But they grew 32% compared to the download numbers from a year earlier.

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