Month after month the “Stuff You Should Know” podcast is among the most listened-to, ranking third on Apple Podcast’s year-end ranker for 2018. All of those downloads have added up and “Stuff You Should Know” has become the first podcast to cross the one-billion download milestone. The show, a production of Stuff Media/iHeartRadio, was conceived in 2008 as a podcast version of the articles that were appearing on the HowStuffWorks.com website.
With more than 1,000 episodes recorded over the past 10 years, hosts Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark have tackled a wide variety of topics—from champagne to Satanism, from the Stonewall Uprising to El Nino. The show has built a strong following as the podcast averages 30 million downloads per month.
“We aren't experts on any of the topics we discuss on the show, we just happen to be good at talking together about what we've dug up and I think that makes the podcast accessible and enjoyable for everyone,” Clark says. “Reaching one billion downloads has really validated what we've built over the past ten years and it makes us excited about the next ten too.” The iHeart announcement points out the podcast’s live shows have sold out venues in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, New Zealand and Australia as well as spurred the creation of a television series. It also has a spin-off: the streamlined version of the podcast called Short Stuff.
“In the last decade, podcasting has exploded into the mainstream, now producing some of highest-quality content in the world,” says Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network. “And one of the best parts about this medium is its listeners. The relationship between podcast creators and their audiences is like nothing else: intimate, authentic, passionate. These are the fans behind every one of these billion downloads. We are thrilled to be the first to reach this milestone, and we look forward to the next one billion.”
Stuff You Should Know has received a number of awards over the years, and it’s in line for three more, having secured nominations for Podcast of the Year, Best Curiosity and Most Bingeable categories at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Friday night (Jan. 18) in L.A.