Podtrac: The Apology Line Was 2021’s Biggest Debut; iHeart And Wondery Had Most Hits.
The Apology Line had 2021’s biggest debut according to Podtrac’s annual ranking of the top 25 podcasts. The six-episode series from Wondery is hosted by Marissa Bridge, who knew the man known as Mr. Apology. He was the creator of a phone line that for 15 years allowed people to call and get something off their chest, hearing stories ranging from shoplifting to infidelity, drug dealing to murder. Working in The Apology Line’s favor was that it had the entire year to rack up downloads – the series made its debut Jan. 19.
The list is dominated by iHeartRadio and Wondery, each of which had nine of the top 25 new shows this year according to Podtrac. The ranker also includes series from Campside, NBC News, Barstool Sports, NPR, Imperative Entertainment, KastMedia, The Daily Wire, and ABC News/The Walt Disney Co.
Here are Podtrac’s Top 25 new series for 2021:
The Apology Line - Wondery
Suspect - Wondery/Campside
Killer Role - NBC News
Drama Queens - iHeartRadio
The Devil Within - Wondery
Death of a Starlet - Wondery
The Case - Barstool Sports
Spy Affair - Wondery
MANslaughter - Wondery
The Office Deep Dive with Brian Baumgartner - iHeartRadio
Bridgewater - iHeartRadio
The Vaping Fix - Wondery
Camp Hell: Anneewakee - iHeartRadio
On Our Watch - NPR
Killer Psyche - Wondery
Algorithm - iHeartRadio
Fox Hunter - Imperative Entertainment
Good Assassins: Hunting the Butcher - iHeartRadio
The Opportunist - KastMedia
Operator - Wondery
Morning Wire - The Daily Wire
Smart Talks with IBM - iHeartRadio
In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson - The Walt Disney Company
Dear Chelsea - iHeartRadio
Haunted Road with Amy Bruni -iHeartRadio
Podtrac’s ranking for top new shows for 2021 is based on average downloads per episode as measured by Podtrac across all podcast listening apps and ranks shows which were published for the first time between Dec. 1, 2020 and Nov. 31, 2021. Episodes marked by a publisher as Bonus or Trailer episodes were excluded from the calculations.