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Podtrac Says iHeart Topped U.S., Global Rankings In June.

Podtrac says iHeartMedia remained at the head of its rankings for both for individual publishers and for sales networks in the U.S. and worldwide in June among the publishers 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, the New York Times is no longer listed as an individual publisher although its flagship show The Daily continues to top Podtrac’s ranking of most listened-to shows among the publishers it measures.

Among publishers, iHeartPodcasts had the biggest reach with a unique reach in the U.S. during Juen with more than 29 million listeners and downloads topping 154 million. NPR was the second-largest publisher, with nearly 18 million listeners and downloads just shy of 100 million during June.

Among sales networks, the iHeart Audience Network led in the U.S. with more than 345 million downloads to the 23,175 shows that its reps to advertisers. Libsyn ranked second, with 90 million downloads, followed by Acast with nearly 75 million. As a reminder, 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.

Podtrac says June had softer listening for most of the publishers it measures, with only two of the U.S. ranking participants – PodcastOne and Lemonada Media – posting month-to-month gains in their unique monthly audience size. And only one publisher – Lemonada – saw an increase in U.S. downloads.

Podtrac’s ranking of global publishers and ad networks shows two of the global networks posted growth, with gains for both Libsyn and Sonoro. But it was iHeart Audience Network, which made its debut in the global ranking in April, that remained in first place. Podtrac says it had nearly 647 million streams, downloads and video views around the world last month. That includes nearly 77 million YouTube views for the 43 podcasts in the iHeart network that also make their show available on the streaming viewing service.

Acast ranked second, with nearly 366 million global streams and downloads in June for the 919 shows in its network. That came without the help of any video views from YouTube. Libsyn followed by 174 million – including 51 million YouTube views to the nine shows it posts on the video site. Sonoro did not have nearly as many video views – its total was 3.3 million June – but it still had more than 78 million streams, downloads and video views around the world last month, which was enough a fourth place finish.

Several changes to the lineup of publishers and networks measured by Podtrac has led the company to suspend releasing both month to month and year to year comparisons of how the industry is performing. But a review of the data shows numbers remain lower than a year ago, thanks largely to last fall’s rollout of iOS 17.

The Apple Podcast update, which changed how automatic downloads are dealt with, has been an overhang for the past several months. Prior to the release of the iOS 17 operating system in September, when a listener would un-pause automatic downloads, the system would automatically download all un-played episodes. But since the release of the new OS, Apple Podcasts will resume automatically downloading only the new episodes. And the previous episodes will not be downloaded at all. Apple Podcasts also says that when a podcaster publishes an older episode to their show, they will no longer present themselves as new. The changes came at the request of several podcast companies, which have said the resulting data will be more accurate in the long term.

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