The September 2018 Top Podcast Publishers rankings from Podtrac show a familiar number one, NPR. But the rankings will soon look very different with the recently conjoined iHeartRadio and HowStuffWorks posing a formidable competitor to the public broadcaster. The merger would rank second overall and first among commercial broadcasters when their unique monthly audiences are combined.
Earlier this week iHeartMedia closed on its $55 million purchase of Stuff Media. The combined podcast publishing power of iHeartRadio, with 639 active shows in the September rankings, and HowStuffWorks, with its 40 active programs, would easily put iHeartRadio in second place going forward.
NPR, with a U.S. Unique Monthly Audience (UMA) of 16,386,000 in September, continued its number one ranker. In the latest rankings, iHeartMedia is fourth with 5,796,000 UMA, down from second last month. HowStuffWorks is eighth with a UMA of 5,440,000. Combine the two and they overtake Wondery and This American Life/Serial for second place with 11,236,000 UMA.
When looking at Global Unique Streams & Downloads, the iHeartRadio-HowStuffWorks combo adds up to 118,909,000, with the nearest publisher behind the new partners being PRX, which posted 53,136,000 Global Unique Streams & Downloads in September. HowStuffWorks had 63,628,000 Global Unique Streams & Downloads, while iHeartRadio’s global reach accounted for 55,281,000. NPR is still on top with 143,651,000 Global Unique Streams & Downloads in the newest rankings.
Overall in the September 2018 Top Podcast Publishers rankings, NPR is first (16,386,000 UMA), This American Life/Serial is second (7,724,000 UMA), followed by Wondery (6,029,000 UMA), iHeartRadio (5,796,000 UMA), WNYC Studios (5,600,000 UMA), PRX (5,551,000 UMA), ESPN (5,470,000 UMA), HowStuffWorks (5,440,000), New York Times (5,355,000 UMA), and Barstool Sports (2,522,000 UMA).
In September eight of the top ten publishers showed Unique Monthly Audience gains. New releases, including “Serial 3” and “Dr. Death” helped propel This American Life/Serial and Wondery to second and third, respectively. Total Global Downloads were up 10% in September for the Top 10 publishers, while year-over-year Total Global Downloads grew 63%.