Podtrac Puts iHeart On Top Again, As Its Downloads Topped 300 Million During October.

In a first for iHeartRadio, it had more than 300 million global streams and downloads during October as Podtrac reports the gap between iHeart and the other publishers it measures continued to widen. Podtrac says iHeartRadio had more than 321 million downloads and streams last month, a 14% increase compared to a month earlier. And iHeart’s monthly audience topped 31 million – an increase of about a million as the company added a dozen new shows to its lineup.

NPR remained in second place in October. Podtrac says its downloads were up three percent month-to-month while its unique U.S. audience of nearly 21 million was on par with what it had in September. Wondery also remained in third place as its downloads and unique U.S. reach both increased four percent. Powered by its top-ranked podcast The Daily, the New York Times had a seven-percent month-to-month increase in downloads, which topped 90 million for the first time. The Walt Disney Co. rounded out the top five. The parent of both ABC and ESPN saw its downloads decline seven percent although its unique U.S. reach remained at 8.4 million.

There was more movement in the second half of the top ten. PRX moved up to No. 6, swapping spots with now No. 7 NBC News, whose downloads tumbled 12% compared to September. And No. 8 Barstool Sports traded places with now ninth place Cumulus Podcast Network – which despite sliding one spot saw its download numbers go up eight percent month to month.

ViacomCBS also made its debut on the monthly ranker at No. 12. It has quietly built a portfolio of 142 shows so far to which Podtrac says it had more than 32 million downloads and streams last month with a unique U.S. reach of nearly 4.5 million listeners.

Overall, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 were up nine percent during October compared to a month earlier. But with more of the world open versus last fall, it notes downloads were down nine percent year-over-year.

Podtrac also reports only one of the top 20 publishers posted a decline in their unique monthly U.S. audience in October compared to September – the rest were either up or flat. It reports the average publisher had a seven percent month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience last month, reversing a similarly-sized drop a month earlier. They were also up one percent versus a year ago.

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