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Podcast Downloads Jump Double-Digits In August; iHeart Remains Top Publisher Says Podtrac.

The traditional summertime slowdown in media consumption proved to be short-lived for podcasters this year as Podtrac reports downloads for its top 20 publishers were up double digits last month after what had been a soft July. August downloads increased 13% from a month earlier for the publishers Podtrac measures, while downloads increased 7% month-to-month.

The top publisher in Podtrac’s ranking remains iHeartPodcasts, which saw its unique audience jump 22% to 36.9 million as its roster of active shows continued to grow. It now totals 877, up two dozen from a month earlier. Downloads for iHeart topped 420 million last month, which was an 11% gain on July’s total.

Second place Wondery had a 10% increase in its unique monthly reach, rising to 25.6 million in August. Its downloads gained four percent month-to-month, totaling 187.7 million last month.

NPR remained in third place thanks to a 14% jump in its unique monthly listener total, which Podtrac puts at 19.5 million for August. Downloads grew fast for NPR shows, up 19% from July to August.

The top ten podcast publishers in Podtrac’s ranking remained the same in August as during July. The biggest change was Barstool Sports and Vox Media swapped positions.

The increase in average monthly listeners and downloads helped boost the network numbers last month. Among the four measured by Podtrac, the combined audience was up 15% in August versus a month earlier.

The Wondery Sales Network remained in the lead with a unique U.S. audience of 27.2 million, up 10% month-to-month, and over 212 million downloads. Acast saw its monthly audience increase eight percent to 24.7 million, remaining in second place.

Libsyn’s AdvertiseCast had the biggest growth among the four networks in August with 18.3 million listeners last month – up 31% compared to July. And it had a download tally that surpassed 166 million, up 28% month-to-month.

PodcastOne also has double-digit growth numbers celebrate, with its unique audience increasing 19% from July to August, when it totaled 6.5 million. Downloads declined seven percent, however, to 44.9 million.

Overall, Podtrac reports the average top 20 publisher had a 13% month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience during August. Compared to a year earlier, last month’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers declined three percent compared with August 2022. Among the top 20 publishers, Podtrac reports all but one publisher had an increase in their unique monthly audience last month.

In terms of downloads, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall was up seven percent month-to-month during August, and they were flat compared to a year earlier.

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