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More Listeners And More Downloads In May Says Podtrac, As iHeart Remains Top Publisher.

More Americans listened to podcasts in May than in April and that led to a three percent bump up in downloads month-to-month according to Podtrac. Among the publishers it measures, it says iHeartPodcasts continues to have the most listeners and downloads. It had just under 33 million unique U.S. listeners in May, a two percent increase from April, with downloads that exceeded 374 million, which was a three percent gain.

Second place Wondery also saw growth in both metrics. Podtrac says Wondery’s unique audience grew to three percent between April and May to more than 23 million, while its downloads exceeded 169 million.

NPR remained in third place despite a one percent drop in its reach. Podtrac says the public broadcaster had a unique U.S. reach of nearly 19 million and downloads totaling 168 million, which was on par with a month earlier.

NBC News overtook the New York Times in fourth place. Podtrac says NBC had just under 11 million unique listeners in the U.S. while its downloads rose three percent to 65 million. The New York Times saw a decrease in both listeners and downloads last month as it slid back to fifth place.

Vox Media – which made its debut on Podtrac’s ranker – held onto tenth place in May. Its unique U.S. reach rose three percent to 6.1 million while its downloads jumped five percent month-to-month to more than 35 million.

Across the top 20 publishers, there were more winners than losers last month. Podtrac says 14 of the top 20 had gains in their unique U.S. monthly audience in May compared to April.

Not only did publishers mostly see growth in May, but so did some of the sales networks with a 50-50 performance. Among the four measured by Podtrac, the combined audience was up two percent month-over-month in May as two of the four had growth and two others lost ground.

The monthly ranking again put the Wondery Sales Network atop the list with a total reach of 26.3 million during May, a three percent increase month-to-month. That includes podcasts Wondery represents on its Art19 platform.

Acast was second with 24.1 million unique U.S. listeners – a three percent increase compared to April.

The two sales network that posted declines in May includes third place Libsyn’s AdvertiseCast which slid one percent last month, falling to 17.4 million. And in fourth place, the PodcastOne Sales Network had a reach of 5.34 million listeners during May. It too was down month-to-month.

Overall, Podtrac reports the average top 20 publisher had a one percent month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience during May. Compared to a year earlier, last month’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers was up 11% compared with May 2022.

In terms of downloads, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall increased three percent month-to-month during May. They were flat versus from a year ago.

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