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February’s Pod Stars: ‘SNL’ Appearance Lifts ‘Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast’ Into Top 20.

Comedian Shane Gillis served as host of “Saturday Night Live” last month and followed it up with news that he has signed an expanded deal with Netflix. That promotion played out in Podtrac’s ranking of the top shows in February as the Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast – which Gillis cohosts with fellow comedian Matt McCusker – was the biggest mover. It jumped to No. 16 in Podtrac’s February ranker, up from No. 32 in January. The podcast is also the top show on Patreon, with more than 81,000 paying listeners – making them the top creators on the crowd funding platform. 

The New York Times’ morning news podcast The Daily retained its hold on first place in February among the publishers measured by Podtrac. It was again followed by the NPR hourly news podcast NPR News Now, NPR’s Up First, and the NBC News’ true crime series Dateline NBC. Wondery’s Morbid returned to the top five as it swapped places with sister podcast SmartLess, reversing a move made a month earlier.

Two of the other big moves last month were The Ben Shapiro Show, which rose two to No. 7. And iHeartPodcasts’ Stuff You Should Know, which reentered the top ten as it finished at No. 9 in February. 

The addition of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast pushed WNYC Studio’s Radiolab out of the top 20 ranker. Among the big decliners was Scicomm Media’s Huberman Lab, which slid back four to No. 12. And CNN’s 5 Things, which also moved down four to No. 20.

Overall, Podtrac says total U.S. downloads for the top publishers was down nine percent month-to-month. It blames the calendar in part – there were two fewer days in February than January. The impact of iOS 17 download changes is also likely a continued factor. The average U.S. monthly audience for the top 20 publishers was down three percent month-to-month, and down four percent versus a year earlier.

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