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Post-Holiday Podcast Bump Returns As Podtrac Says iHeart Again Topped Its Monthly Rankings.


There is more evidence of the post-holiday rebound returning to podcasting last month. Podtrac says among the publishers it measures January audience and downloads not only increased from the seasonal December dip, but grew beyond the levels seen a year ago. Podtrac reports the average top 20 publisher had a seven percent month-over-month increase in its U.S. unique monthly audience during January.


The post-holiday rebound returning to podcasting last month as Podtrac says among the publishers it measures January audience and downloads not only increased from the seasonal December dip, but grew beyond the levels seen a year ago. Podtrac reports the average top 20 publisher had a seven percent month-over-month increase in its U.S. unique monthly audience during January.


Once again iHeartPodcasts remained at the top, driven by a 12% jump in downloads to top 412 million, and a unique U.S. audience last month that rose nine percent month-to-month.


In what was a stable top ten – no publisher moved up or down between December and January – Wondery ranked second last month with 188 million downloads and nearly 25 million unique U.S. listeners. That reflected a 17% jump in downloads and a 10% increase in unique listeners.


NPR – which had more shows in the top 20 than any other publisher measured by Podtrac – held onto third place as its download total rose nine percent to just shy of 20 million and its unique U.S. audience increased one percent month-to-month.


The New York Times held onto fourth place last month. It had more than 116 million downloads, a 10% jump and its audience reach grew 11% to more than 10 million. Downloads increased four percent at fifth place NBC News, whose downloads topped 64 million in January. Its unique U.S. audience increased two percent to more than 10 million.


Podtrac’s says TED returned to the top 20 last month, while Slate slide out of the ranker.


The return to normal listening habits helped the podcast ad sales networks too. Among those measured by Podtrac, it says the combined audience increased six percent from December to January.


Podtrac’s monthly ranking of ad sales networks shows the Wondery Sales Network again topped the list with a total reach of 27.2 million during January, a nine percent jump month-to-month. That includes podcasts Wondery represents on its Art19 platform.


Acast was second with 21.8 million unique U.S. listeners – the same number it had in December. Libsyn’s AdvertiseCast held onto third place with 12.8 million listeners, up 16% from a month earlier. And the PodcastOne Sales Network had just under five million, a seven percent decline from December.


Overall, Podtrac reports the average top 20 publisher had a seven percent month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience during January. Compared to a year earlier, last month’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers was up 16% versus January 2022.


In terms of downloads, Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall grew nine percent month-to-month during January, in part due to the post-holiday rebound. They were also up six percent compared to the download numbers from a year earlier.

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