Shredding any notion that the summer holiday season and disruption of normal media habits would impact podcast listening, August delivered one of the strongest months for listening so far this year. Podtrac reports among the top 20 publishers it measures there was an 18% increase in U.S. unique monthly audience reach last month compared to July. And downloads overall increased seven percent. In both cases there were double-digit gains when compared to last August.
Podtrac says iHeartMedia easily remained the top podcast network among those it measures during August, powered by more downloads, listeners and shows. The company saw its global downloads and streams increase seven percent compared to July, to more than 456 million. That came as iHeart’s unique U.S. audience also jumped 20% to nearly 36 million as its number of active shows rose from 678 in July to 689 in August.
Wondery, which overtook NPR in second place in June, put more distance between itself and the public media organization in August. Wondery’s unique U.S. audience jumped 15% to more than 24 million with downloads and streams that totaled 181 million, a two percent month-to-month gain.
NPR had growth, too. Its unique U.S. audience rose 16% to nearly 20 million while NPR’s downloads rose five percent to 168 million.
There were no changes across the top ten publishers according to Podtrac. It again had the New York Times in fourth place in August. Its unique U.S. audience grew 21% month-to-month while its download tally increased nine percent.
NBC News rounded out the August top five with a 17% increase in its unique U.S. audience and an eight percent bump in downloads compared to July.
Overall, Podtrac reports the average top 20 publisher had an 18% percent month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience last month. And compared to a year earlier, August 2022’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers was up 35% versus August 2021.
Podtrac also reports 19 of the top 20 publishers posted an increase in their unique monthly U.S. audience in August compared to July – one of the best showings this year.
In terms of downloads, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall increased seven percent month-over-month during August. They were also up 68% compared to the download numbers from a year earlier.