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‘SmartLess’ And Fox News Are The Big Movers In Podtrac’s August Download Rankings.

There were two big movers in Podtrac’s monthly ranking of the most listened to podcasts among the publishers it measures. Wondery’s SmartLess leapt onto the chart, debuting in ninth place. The ranking is probably a sigh of relief for Amazon which just inked a multi-million dollar deal for the distribution rights to the show hosted by actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett. New episodes of SmartLess are released on the Amazon Music and Wondery+ apps one week before they are more widely available on other apps.

The other big mover was Fox News Radio’s on-demand version of its hourly radio newscast. Driven by news of the U.S. exit from Afghanistan, it returned to the top 20 at No. 12. It was in 22nd place in July.

Heading in the other direction was the Jad Abumrad-hosted Radiolab. After having the biggest move up in June, the WNYC Studios-produced podcast had the biggest drop in August, sliding seven spots to No. 18.

Stability reined in the top five once again last month. Podtrac reports among the publishers it measures the New York Times-produced The Daily marked 34 consecutive months at the top. It was followed by NPR’s hourly five-minute podcast NPR News Now and the NPR-produced morning news podcast Up First and the Dateline NBC podcast which continues to leverage the long-running television series’ true crime archive. The Daily Wire’s conservative talk The Ben Shapiro Show rounded out the top five – all in the same position in August as they were in July.

NPR had the most podcasts among the top 20 during July – with five shows making the cut. No other publisher had more than one show in the August ranker.

Meantime, Podtrac reports downloads were up at month’s end. For the week of Aug. 31-Sep. 5 it says downloads among the publishers it measures grew one percent week-to-week. They were down seven percent from a year earlier, however.

True Crime had the best growth rate for the week. Downloads in that genre were up 15% week-to-week. Also gaining were Science (+11%), Arts (+4%), Sports (+2%), and History (+1%) while Business (-6%), Education (-6%), News (-2%), and Comedy (-1%) were down. Downloads in the Society & Culture category were flat week-to-week.

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