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February’s Podcast Winners: True Crime-Focused ‘Dateline NBC’ Has Its Best Showing To Date.

The NBC News podcast Dateline NBC has been among the top-ranked shows measured by Podtrac, but its special coverage of the trial of South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh for the murders of his wife and son helped to propel the show to its highest point to date. Podtrac says Dateline NBC was the second most downloaded show in February among the publishers it measures, a jump from fourth place a month earlier.

The New York Times-produced The Daily was the most listened-to show for a 53rd consecutive month according to Podtrac, while the NPR morning news series Up First held steady in third place. The gains by Dateline NBC pushed Wondery’s true crime podcast Morbid back to fourth place, while the NPR News Now podcast remained at No. 5 during February.

One of the biggest moves in the top was The Dan Bongino Show, which returned to the top ten thanks to a three position rise. Yardvark’s This Past Weekend podcast also rose three to No. 16 in February. And after its entry into the top ten in January, This American Life fell back to No. 12 last month.

Podtrac says NPR had four shows in the top 20 last month, more than any other publisher. Wondery had two, while no other publisher had more than one entry in the ranker.

Overall, Podtrac says the average unique monthly listeners in the U.S. for the top 20 publishers declined five percent between January and February. But it was up one percent from the prior year. Total global downloads declined eight percent month-to-month and yet they grew three percent year-to-year.

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