The facts and the funny. Those are the two things that people are turning to podcasts for this summer. Media Monitors just conducted a survey among podcast listeners, and it found that Comedy – including all its subcategories – was the most popular genre among podcast listeners. Forty-seven of the top 200 shows hailed from that genre in the Media Monitors Podcast Listener Survey. News tied with Society & Culture for second place, followed by True Crime. Sports podcasts also remain popular, despite COVID-19 cancellations.
The Media Monitors Podcast Listener survey was fielded from June 15-26 among adults aged 18 and older who said they had listened to a podcast within the prior seven days. Survey takers asked them the titles of the shows they listened to, with participants encouraged to open their listening apps to help remember what they consumed.
In terms of specific shows, Media Monitors said that The Joe Rogan Experience was the podcast that most weekly listeners said they had listened to. It was followed by the New York Times-produced The Daily. “Though their placement is expected, both shows seem to have expanded their audiences since our last survey was taken,” said Media Monitors. “Each podcast doubled the total number of respondents that reported listening in the past seven days,” it explained.
By relying on telephone recall and not server-based data, Media Monitors is able to offer a snapshot of how shows that are not measured by other services such as Podtrac are performing. For instance, Audiochuck’s Crime Junkie and Exactly Right’s My Favorite Murder rank as top five shows in the Media Monitors Podcast Survey, but fail to turn up among Podtrac’s top 20.
Among the other standouts was the New York Times-produced 1619 podcast, which Media Monitors says saw “strong gains” in the latest survey, which it said is “commensurate with increased national attention on the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and around the world.” There was also the debut of the Office Ladies podcast at No. 14, which Media Monitors says is probably due to the large and dedicated fanbase to the television series “The Office.”
Even as Stuff You Should Know and the on-demand version of the syndicated The Breakfast Club morning radio show were the only two podcasts from iHeartMedia that made it into the top 20, the company’s strategy of going deep appears to have paid off. Media Monitors said iHeart had 13 podcasts among the top 200, slightly edging out NPR. They were followed by Wondery and Stitcher’s comedy network Earwolf.
Only two COVID-19 targeted podcasts appeared in its list of the top 200 shows. NPR’s Consider This, which previously had been titled Coronavirus Daily, was No.22. And the BBC’s Coronavirus Global Update, which was No. 50. Media Monitors said the mediocre showing for pandemic-related shows was likely due to the fact that the survey was conducted in July when parts of the U.S. had already begun reopening and there was less of a rush for information about the virus.