Podtrac: ‘Nice White Parents’ Was The Biggest New Podcast Of 2020.


There are lots of year-end lists of the best podcasts released from the author’s perspective. Podtrac lets the data do the talking in its year-end roundup. It has crunched the per-episode download numbers for shows published for the first time Dec. 1, 2019 and Nov. 31, 2020. Among those it measures, Podtrac says the New York Times-Serial Productions release Nice White Parents was the biggest new show of 2020. The five-part podcast, hosted by journalist Chana Joffe-Walt, looked at the forces that have shaped the institutional structures of public education, concluding well-off white families are to blame for the state of public schools. Nice White Parents was also one of Apple Podcast’s biggest new shows of the year. And it is a nominee for Podcast of the Year at next month’s iHeartPodcast Awards.


Overall, Podtrac said half of the top new podcasts during the past year were produced by Wondery, led by its shows The Dating Game Killer and Dr. Death Season 2. The iHeartPodcast Network was second with seven shows on the top 20, including Missing in Alaska and Monster: DC Sniper.


The Potrac Top 20 Of 2020


  1. Nice White Parents - The New York Times

  2. Down The Hill: The Delphi Murders - WarnerMedia

  3. The Dating Game Killer – Wondery

  4. Missing in Alaska - iHeartRadio

  5. Motive for Murder - NBC News

  6. Dr. Death Season 2: Dr. Fata - Wondery

  7. Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment - Wondery

  8. Monster: DC Sniper - iHeartRadio

  9. The Piketon Massacre - iHeartRadio

  10. Paper Ghosts - iHeartRadio

  11. Blood Ties - Wondery

  12. WeCrashed - Wondery

  13. Joe Exotic: Tiger King – Wondery

  14. Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach and Donald - iHeartRadio

  15. Billionaire Boys Club – Wondery

  16. Do No Harm - Wondery

  17. Dying For Sex - Wondery

  18. Bunga Bunga - Wondery

  19. Forgotten: The Women of Juarez - iHeartRadio

  20. The Dream Team Tapes with Jack McCallum – iHeartRadio


Podtrac said to qualify as “new,” a show must have published its first episode between Dec. 1, 2019 and Nov. 31, 2020. The ranking is based on average downloads per episode as measured by Podtrac. It also says that episodes marked by a publisher as “bonus” or “trailer” were excluded from the calculations.

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