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Podtrac: iHeart Topped U.S., Global Rankings In April.

April was a triple win for iHeartMedia as Podtrac reports the company was not only the largest podcast publisher in the U.S., but also had the biggest reach among ad networks in the U.S. and worldwide among those it measures. At the same time, Podtrac’s monthly update continues to evolve, with the U.S. ranking including a mix of not only individual publishers, but also advertising networks. This month, it added Libsyn Ads’ network of nearly 900 shows, mostly made up of podcasts hosted by Libsyn.

Podtrac, a key public ranker of shows and networks in podcasting, updated its monthly ranker in March to include not just podcast publishers but podcast sales networks as well. The distinction can be meaningful: A sales network generally has the right to monetize third-party podcasts on a non-exclusive basis, while a publisher has a hand in the actual production and often ownership of a show and can therefore distribute and monetize it exclusively. Due to this, one show’s downloads may in fact be counted by several sales networks.

For all the change to the U.S. ranker, the trio of companies that have been the top three U.S. publishers in Podtrac’s ranking for the past year remains the same. In terms of publishers, iHeartPodcasts is the biggest. It had 180.1 million streams and downloads in the U.S. during April, with a unique audience in the U.S. of 32.6 million. NPR ranked second, with 110.2 million downloads and a unique audience of 20.5 million. Wondery ranked third with 79.8 million downloads and a reach of 19.8 million listeners. 

Among the U.S. podcast advertising networks, the iHeart Audience Network, which includes the 890 iHeart produced and distributed shows as well as more than 23,000 others, remained the biggest. Podtrac says its total downloads and streams approached 382 million with a unique U.S. audience of 71.2 million. 

Newcomer Libsyn Ads ranked second, with 102.5 million downloads and 24.4 million listeners, followed by Acast with 80.2 million downloads and 21.8 million listeners.

Podtrac’s ranking of global publishers and ad networks now includes the iHeart Audience Network for the first time in April. It reports iHeart’s ad network had 665 million streams and downloads around the world, which included 41 million YouTube views to the 30 podcasts in the network that are available on the video site. Acast was the second biggest with downloads of about 400 million, followed by Libsyn Ads with 154 million.

Paramount remains the publisher with the most YouTube views, according to Podtrac. With 30 shows available on the video app, it had nearly 44 million YouTube views during April.

Overall, Podtrac says April was a stronger month for podcast listening than March. Among the publishers it tracks, the report says the unique monthly audience was up for all but one of the big publishers and networks.

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