Sometimes the surprise comes in what is not there. In the case of Media Monitors’ quarterly ranking of top podcast publishers and shows, it is the disappearance of NPR from the top 10 publishers list that is noteworthy. The public radio network finished second in the fourth quarter ranking with a dozen podcasts in the top 200. But in first quarter 2022 that number fell to just three. Media Monitors says that was not enough to overcome a surge in popularity for productions from SiriusXM, Amazon Music/Wondery and Audacy, as well as smaller publishers including Kast Media, Barstool Sports, and The Roost.
Overall, the iHeartPodcast Network remained on top with 21 shows in the top 200. That was three more than during the fourth quarter.
Spotify moved up to second place with a dozen shows, up from nine in Q4. Also advancing were Amazon Music/Wondery and SiriusXM/Stitcher/Earwolf, each with nine in the top 200. Audacy/Cadence13 was at No. 6, up one spot from the fall, with eight shows in the top 200 compared to five in Q4.
The quarterly ranker showed Comedy remained the top genre among the top 200 shows, with 46 podcasts hailing from that category -- or two more than the previous quarter. True Crime held onto second place with 35 in the top 200, one fewer than in Q4 when its tally jumped 50%. The latest update suggests that was not a fluke.
Media Monitors says Society & Culture remains in third place with 30 shows in the top 200, followed by News with 20. Sports, which had been No. 5 in the fall, dropped to sixth place in the latest ranker as it swapped places with the TV & Film genre.
Overall, Media Monitors says its ranker was once again led by The Joe Rogan Experience but there were lots of moves in the rest of the list during the first quarter. The New York Times produced The Daily, which had been in second, dropped back to sixth place in the Q1 ranking. That opened things up for Audiochuck’s Crime Junkie, which is now No.2. Spotify’s Call Her Daddy jumped from No. 6 to No. 3 while Morbid: A True Crime Podcast jumps from No. 16 to No. 6. The Daily Wire’s The Ben Shapiro Show advanced from No. 14 to No. 5.
The Media Monitors Podcast Listener survey was fielded March 14-31, 2022. Participants aged 18 and older were screened on whether they had listened to a podcast in the last seven days and then asked to list the podcast titles. Participants were encouraged to consult their podcast app of choice during the survey. These unassisted responses were then individually matched back to unique RSS feeds which were polled to collect information about genre and publisher.
Media Monitors notes there were 27 independent shows in its top 200 ranker. Among that group, it says indie podcasts using Patreon to distribute premium versions or give listeners a way to support the show, tallied 15 in the top 200.