October’s Winners & Losers: ‘Dateline NBC’ Has Its Best Showing So Far.


A month before the election and it’s not news but true crime that was the hot podcast during October for NBC News. The podcast version of Dateline NBC had its highest showing to date on the Podtrac monthly ranker, jumping three spots to become the second most listened-to show last month. News did still sit at the top with the New York Times’ The Daily remaining No. 1 among the shows measured by Podtrac for the 49th consecutive month. But Dateline NBC’s rise pushed back Wondery’s true crime show Morbid and NPR’s two news-driven podcasts Up First and NPR News Now one spot in what is an uncharacteristic amount of movement among Podtrac’s ranking of the top five podcasts.


Among the top 20 shows, Wondery’s celebrity-driven SmartLess advanced two. Also rising two were CNN 5 Things and NPR’s Fresh Air. The biggest drop in the top 20 was to the New York Times’ Serial, which had a pop a month earlier after it released a special episode following the release of season one focus Adnan Syed from prison after 23-years of being incarcerated.


During October, Podtrac says Hidden Brain returned to the top 20 while PodcastOne’s The Jordan Harbinger Show slid off the ranker.


NPR had the most shows on Podtrac’s list of top 20 shows for October. It had four make the grade. Wondery and the New York Times each had two. No other publisher had more than one.


Overall, Podtrac says the average unique monthly listeners in the U.S. for the top 20 publishers grew one percent between September and October, while total global downloads were up three percent.

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