July’s Top Podcast: ‘The Daily,’ Giving ‘Serial’ An Immediate Boost.


The same five podcasts remained at the top of Podtrac’s monthly ranker of the biggest shows among the publishers it tracks. The list is again led by the New York Times morning news podcast The Daily, which remained in the top spot for the 21st consecutive month. It was followed by NPR’s hourly five-minute podcast NPR News Now and the NPR-produced Up First. The Daily Wire’s The Ben Shapiro Show moved up to and into the top five. In fact the only change in the top ten was the iHeartPodcast Network-produced Stuff You Should Know which moved up to No. 6, swapping spots with This American Life.


The big mover was Serial, which after being acquired by the New York Times mid-month, quickly began to benefit from the cross-promotion with The Daily. Despite not releasing a new season, Serial moved to No. 11 in July, up from No. 59 in June.


Podtrac earlier reported that iHeartRadio had the largest unique monthly U.S. audience among the publishers it tracks with a reach of 24.6 million in July. NPR remained close behind with a reach of nearly 24.1 million. The New York Times remained in third place, demonstrating the success of a single show like the The Daily which gets more than 3.5 million downloads each day.


Podtrac said the average U.S. unique monthly audience was flat month-over-month. But on a year-to-year basis Podtrac says there was an average 22% increase from July 2019. In terms of downloads, the top ten publishers had an average 4% growth between June and July. And a 72% increase in July versus a year earlier.

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