The New York Times-produced “The Daily” remained No.1 for the tenth consecutive month in Podtrac’s August ranker of the most popular shows among publishers it tracks. The iHeartPodcast Network show Stuff You Should Know regained its No. 2 spot last month from This American Life which fell to third place. It’s a reversal of the back-and-forth between the two shows that has been transpiring during the past few months. The Daily Wire’s “Ben Shapiro Show” had its best showing to date, rising to No. 4 in August and pushing NPR’s “Up First” back to fifth place. August wasn’t all seriousness however. The return of iHeart’s The Ron Burgundy Podcast last month gave the network another top entry at No. 6.
Podtrac’s ranker also included the return of the on-demand version of a broadcast radio morning show. In this case it’s the Premiere Networks’ syndicated “The Breakfast Club.” Based at iHeartMedia urban contemporary “Power 105.1” WWPR-FM New York, the DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God-hosted show airs on more than 80 stations nationwide.
The heating up of the 2020 presidential campaign also helped give the NPR Politics Podcast its first appearance on the Podtrac ranker at No. 18.
Podtrac’s numbers reflect an update made in April to the measurement algorithm that calculates unique downloads. It was brought about by Podtrac’s embrace of standards develop by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab. The IAB’s Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.0 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. Podtrac has said that most podcasters didn’t see a “substantial” change in their unique monthly audience numbers, however download numbers mostly declined because of the new guidelines.