The iHeartPodcast Network remained the biggest podcast publisher in November among the entities measured by Podtrac. With a portfolio of five hundred podcasts, iHeart had 27.4 million unique listeners in the U.S. last month, with nearly 244 million streams and downloads. That was a small dip from a month earlier, when iHeart set a new record, but still enough to hold off NPR in what had been a back and forth between the two publishers. Interest in election news helped NPR grow its podcast reach two percent in November as it remained in second place.
The campaign season also resulted in a four percent increase in the reach of podcasts published by the New York Times last month. The home to the popular The Daily podcast remained in third place. Wondery rode a 13% jump in its U.S. podcast audience into fourth place, up from sixth a month earlier. ESPN/ABC’s audience decreased six percent as it slid back to fifth place and PRX fell out of the top five, with its audience declining by six percent.
Barstool Sports also had a down month in November – its reach was off by eight percent, but it remained at No. 7. Similar to NPR and the New York Times, a heavy portfolio of news and talk podcasts gave Cumulus Media/Westwood One a boost in November. Its audience grew 15% and the company jumped two spots to No. 8. That left WarnerMedia and NBC News – both of which saw their audience numbers tick down – to round out the top ten.
Nine of the top 20 podcast publishers measured by Podtrac saw an increase in their U.S. monthly audience from November. And three of the top 20 had increases in global download numbers.
Among the top ten publishers, the average U.S. unique monthly audience was up one percent month-over-month. In terms of downloads, the top ten publishers had an average 10% growth rate between October and November, and a 40% increase last month versus a year earlier.