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What Do iHeart And Joe Rogan Have In Common? First Place Finishes, Says Media Monitors.

Media Monitors says iHeartRadio had the biggest number of podcast shows in its latest survey of the most listened-to shows. The Media Monitors Podcast Listener survey says iHeart had 15 podcasts that made the top 200.

The top ranked show for the iHeartPodcast Network was Stuff You Should Know, which jumped to fifth place compared to a tenth place finish previously. And The Breakfast Club moved from No. 32 last quarter to No. 15. Media Monitors says iHeart also benefited from strong debuts of new podcasts including Oral Sessions with Renée Paquette, which was No. 85, and The Colin Cowherd Podcast at No. 90. Both shows are produced in conjunction with The Volume, a sports-focused network launched in January and coproduced by Colin Cowherd and iHeartRadio.

The now-combined SiriusXM, Stitcher and Earwolf has jumped into second place with 11 shows as NPR, which previously ranked second, slid back to third place with 8 podcasts – or a third fewer than when the prior report was released in July.

“NPR has been relatively consistent quarter-over-quarter, but with the recent acquisition of 99% Invisible (No. 62) and the launch of several SiriusXM branded shows including Comedy Gold Minds with Kevin Hart (No. 92), we have combined SiriusXM’s Stitcher Originals, Earwolf, and Laugh Out Loud Radio under a single entry,” said Media Monitors.

The Amazon/Wondery combo and Audioboom tied for fourth place, each with seven shows in the top 200. Media Monitors says Audioboom Studios and Audioboom Creator Network have also been combined and include an “impressive slate of shows” such as Dark History, which jumped to No. 7 compared to No. 22 in the prior quarter. And Crime Weekly, which jumped from No. 282 to No. 44.

Media Monitors also says independent podcasters accounted for 34 of the top 200.

The quarterly Media Monitors Podcast Listener survey says The Joe Rogan Experience remains the most listened-to podcast, as cited by those it surveyed. The show appeared to lose listeners after its Spotify deal to become a podcast exclusive earlier this year, but during the past two quarters it has rebounded. It says he now has a “commanding lead” among listeners. “Joe has never fallen out of the No. 1 spot, but his dominance was rivaled for a brief period after his transition to Spotify exclusivity. It seems his listeners have figured out how to download the Spotify app, and Spotify’s podcast listening overall has surged in recent months,” it said.

The New York Times’ news show The Daily is now in second place followed by Audiochuck’s Crime Junkie, This American Life, and iHeart’s Stuff You Should Know which knocked Exactly Right’s My Favorite Murder out of the top five.

The quarter was especially light on newcomers breaking into the top 200. Media Monitors says only PRX/Radiotopia’s true crime podcast Criminal entered the chart at No. 16. And Joel Osteen’s self-published religious podcast debuted at No. 22.

The update also points out the power of TV to help drive people to podcasts. After NBC’s Peacock streaming network released the TV adaptation of the Wondery series Dr. Death, the podcast jumped back into Media Monitor’s ranking at No. 23.

Comedy remains the most popular genre of podcasting in the latest report with 44 of the top 200 coming from that category. News ranked second with 33, followed by Society & Culture with 30, True Crime (24) Sports (17).

Notable Sports podcasts in the top 200 included ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Football (No. 34) and First Take (No. 49) from ESPN, wrestling podcasts Talk is Jericho (No. 66) from Cumulus Podcast Network and Jim Cornette Experience (No. 48) from MLW Radio Network and Kast Media.

The Media Monitors Podcast Listener survey was fielded September 20-30. Participants aged 18 and older were screened on whether they had listened to a podcast in the last seven days and then asked to list the podcast titles. Participants were encouraged to consult their podcast app of choice during the survey. These unassisted responses were then individually matched back to unique RSS feeds which were polled to collect information about genre and publisher.

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