There was an unusual amount of stability among the top-ranked podcasts in the latest monthly ranker of most listened-to shows. Podtrac says the top six podcasts came in the same in April compared with May. The New York Times-produced The Daily remained in the top spot for the 18th consecutive month. It was followed by NPR’s hourly five-minute podcast NPR News Now, which has benefited from Podtrac’s decision to begin including the growing number of podcasts that publish multiple times a day. Those shows had previously been excluded. The NPR-produced Up First stayed in third, with The Daily Wire’s The Ben Shapiro Show, NPR’s This American Life and iHeartRadio’s Stuff You Should Know each holding their same positions on the chart compared with a month earlier.
The rest of the top 20 offers glimpses into the psyche of listeners during a month marked by coronavirus lockdowns. WNYC Studios’ Radio Lab and NPR’s Planet Money posted the largest month-to-month gains, while the quest for escapism brought iHeart’s The Ron Burgundy Podcast back onto the top 20 ranker. CNN Audio’s Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction went from being the highest debuting show during March to the biggest decliner in April.
Here are the top 20 podcasts for April:
Podtrac earlier announced that in its first COVID-19-era ranking of the top publishers the iHeartPodcast Network overtook NPR during April. The report shows iHeart had a monthly unique U.S. audience of nearly 22.6 million compared to NPR’s 21.8 million. NPR still had a slight edge in terms of global downloads, although both companies again topped 200 million.
Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Podtrac’s April report shows among the top ten publishers the average audience increased 11% compared with a year ago. And downloads grew by a 20% rate compared with a year ago, despite a 6% month-to-month drop when compared with March.