Podcast listening growth continued last month as Podtrac reports a 50% year-over-year increase in the monthly unique U.S. audience among the publishers it tracks. The audience size was essentially on par with June.
The 60 active shows in NPR’s portfolio continued to attract a bigger unique audience in July than any other publisher, Podtrac says, with a 2% increase compared to June. The largest commercial podcaster remained iHeartRadio, which saw a 3% decline in downloads—a drop most likely tied to the summer hiatus of the popular Ron Burgundy Podcast. PRX remained in third place with a 1% month-to-month increase. The New York Times returned to fourth place as its nine active podcasts experienced a 7% jump in their unique audience. That was enough to put it back above Wondery, whose podcasts had a combined 8% month-to-month decline in audience.
The remainder of the top 10 also included the same podcast publishers, albeit with a few changes in their order. Bartstool Sports and ESPN remained in sixth and seventh place, respectively, while This American Life/Serial advanced a position to No. 8. That pushed WNYC Studios back to ninth place as Daily Wire remained the tenth-largest publisher.
Summertime listening is traditionally a bit unpredictable on broadcast AM/FM radio as typical media consumption habits are shaken up by the warm weather months. Some of that may also be reflected in podcast use. Podtrac reports four publishers saw slight decreases in their U.S. unique monthly audience in July while the remainder showed slight increases or remained flat.