NPR held onto the top spot on Podrac’s monthly ranker of the most listened-to podcast publishers in October, powered by a 10% increase in its U.S. unique monthly audience, compared to a month earlier, with nearly 26 million listeners last month. iHeartMedia remained the biggest commercial publisher as its unique monthly audience increased 6.3% to just under 24 million unique listeners in the U.S.
Unique listeners jumped 18% for the nine shows published by the New York Times, and that pushed them up one position to No. 3 in October with nearly 12 million uniques in the U.S.
Despite a 1% increase in its audience last month, PRX slid back to fourth place while Wondery held steady at No. 5 as its unique U.S. listeners grew 13%.
The monthly ranker saw a first-time appearance by NBC News, which has been investing more resources into producing podcasts. Podtrac says the 24 shows published by NBC had 6.7 million unique listeners in the U.S. last month. That was enough for NBC to debut in ninth place. Its entry pushed Kast Media out of the top ten, one month after its debut in the monthly report.
Podtrac reports each of the publishers in the bottom half of its ranker showed month-to-month increases in their unique listeners last month. Barstool Sports, ESPN and WNYC Studios each remained in the same position in October as they held in September. The entry of NBC pushed This American Life/Serial down one, to tenth place.
With across the board audience growth, Podtrac reports the top ten publishers overall experienced an average 10% unique monthly U.S. audience growth rate in October compared to September. Even more significantly, it says audiences jumped an average 41% versus a year ago.
Here’s a look at Podtrac’s October 2019 numbers —