It’s a bit of a snooze for those anticipating dramatic action among the Top 10 Podcast Publishers for May 2019. Podtrac’s ranking for the month is a virtual snapshot of the April ranking, with the top 5 remaining static. In fact, the only shift in the countdown is WNYC Studios escalating to No. 7 from No. 9 month over month. “This American Life/Serial,” in turn, flips places, to No. 9 from No. 7.
WNYC Studios is the only publisher to see an increase in the Unique Monthly Audience in May over April, to 5.503 million, from 5.168 million. “This American Life/Serial” lost a sizeable chunk of its tune-in, falling to 5.282 million from April’s 6.166 million.
Consistent leader NPR actually dipped, as well, posting an audience of 18.890 million, compared to April’s 19.385 million. From there, the top 10 includes: iHeartRadio, PRX, Wondery, New York Times, Barstool Sports, WNYC Studios, ESPN, “This American Life/Serial” and Daily Wire.
The Average U.S. Unique Monthly Audience across the top 10 publishers—at 8.6 million—was down slightly (2%) from April 2019 and up 41% year-over-year (from April of 2018), Podtrac reports. Global Unique Downloads and Streams are up 6% in May 2019 over April.
Last month, as Podcast News Daily reported, Podtrac employed a new measurement algorithm, resulting in numbers that shifted from previous months for the podcasters it measures. Podtrac said then that the new measurement algorithm means the numbers aren’t directly comparable to prior months, although the order of the top five has remained consistent.
Podtrac’s April numbers reflected a one-time reset brought on by the use of the new IAB v2 standards, which kicked in last month. The new standards change what counts as a download. For example, in the past, if someone were to listen to a podcast, press stop, then play again, that would count as two downloads. Now, it counts as one. Plus, someone needs to listen for a full 60 seconds before it counts as a download.
Meanwhile, the top three podcasts remained the same in May as April, according to Podtrac, as reported June 17. The New York Times-produced morning news “The Daily” is the most listened-to podcast, based on U.S. unique monthly audience. It is followed by “This American Life” and iHeartRadio’s “Stuff You Should Know.” NPR’s morning news podcast “Up First” and Daily Wire’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” round out the top five.