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News Genre Stayed Strong In May, Podtrac Data Shows.

Interest in COVID-19 continued to drive News category podcast listening in May. Podtrac says among the publishers it tracks, News had the largest average U.S. audience across its top five shows again in May at 5.6 million. But that was a 5% decrease from April, when the top five shows had a 5.9 million cume.

The News category’s top five biggest podcasts remained the same last month. Podtrac says the New York Times-produced The Daily was up 5% in May versus April, but its audience was still up 40% year-over-year. NPR’s hourly five-minute podcast NPR News Now was flat month-to-month but had a 154% increase from last May. The NPR-produced Up First was third, with a 9% month-to-month drop and a 50% gain compared with last year. The Daily Wire’s The Ben Shapiro Show saw a 16% increase in its audience size during May. It also was up 3% versus a year earlier. Rounding out the top five was the on-demand version of Fox News Radio’s hourly newscast, which saw its audience shrink 12% during May compared with the prior month, but it was up 47% from a year earlier.

The public’s interest in COVID-19-related information also waned, with CNN Audio’s Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction — after having become a top five show during March — remained off the list for a second month.

It was a three-way tie for the category with the most podcasts, with positive audience growth between April and May as Comedy, Health and Sports each had 29 shows with month-to-month gains. Music was the category with the most shows (10) losing audience last month compared with April.

Podtrac says among the publishers it works with, iHeartRadio had the most shows (93) across the most categories (17) in its May ranker. NPR has the most No. 1 shows (6) across all genres. The May ranking covers 545 shows from 171 different publishers.

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