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Podtrac Puts iHeart At Top Of Publisher Ranking In September.

Perhaps it was the loss of all the summertime leisure hours, but Podtrac says September gave back some of the double-digit listening gains seen in August. It reports among the top 20 publishers it measures, overall downloads and audience size were both down ten percent in September versus a month earlier. The top spot among publishers it measures is again held by iHeartPodcasts which notably surpassed the 900-show mark for the first time with the addition of 200 podcasts to its network during the past year. In the most recent ranker, Podtrac says iHeart had 388 million downloads and an audience of 32 million during September.

Wondery is growing too. It added about a dozen podcasts during the past year, and it remains in second place with 188 million downloads and an audience of nearly 26 million. Among the other top publishers, Podtrac says the Walt Disney Company pulled ahead of DailyWire last month. Disney’s portfolio includes both ABC News and ESPN, both of which were boosted by new releases and the start of the football season.

There is also a notable entry at No. 20 where Lemonada Media has made a rare showing in the ranker. Its 20 shows had 36 million downloads with a reach of nearly 2.3 million listeners. But if the ranker were to have been sorted by downloads, Lemonada would have been at No. 15. The addition of Lemonada also came with TED falling out of the top 20.

The softness felt by publishers meant lower numbers for the podcast sales networks measured by Podtrac. The Wondery Sales Network easily remained on top with just under 24 million listeners reached in the U.S. last month. But that was down 13% from a month earlier, as its download tally also slid 11%.

Second place Acast had a steeper 15% decline its U.S. unique monthly audience size, while third place Libsyn was off 10% and No. 4 PodcastOne was down 13% in September versus August.

Overall, many podcasters may be forgiven for wanting to forget about September. Podtrac says only two of the top 20 publishers saw gains month-to-month. Among the top 20, the average unique monthly audience was down ten percent from August, and also down ten percent from a year earlier.

In terms of downloads, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall were also down ten percent month-to-month during September, and they were down five percent compared to a year earlier.

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