Month after month the New York Times-produced morning news podcast The Daily tops the Podtrac ranker of the most listened-to shows. The numbers have added up to a significant milestone. The Daily has now had more than one billion total downloads. “On any given morning, the show is now downloaded two million times, making it the most popular news podcast in the country,” said an announcement from host Michael Barbaro and producers Lisa Tobin and Theo Balcomb. The podcast has nearly 10 million monthly uniques.
Balcomb told Axios they saw audience spikes following big news events like the firing of FBI director James Comey. Many of those listeners have remained and built the podcast into their daily routine. “In general, something that feels like a huge political or cultural conversation brings people in,” she said. The most downloaded episode of The Daily so far in 2019 is a show that has nothing to do with politics – a March episode focused on Michael Jackson.
The Daily has also found an audience on broadcast radio. The Times partnered with American Public Media in 2018 to distribute the show to radio stations and its affiliate base totals about 150. Earlier this year APM said the podcast-turned broadcast is now heard by nearly two million radio listeners per week. (Nationwide DMA data, Persons 12+, Fall 2018). And while no specific research has been done on the show’s radio demographics, APM pointed out 52% of public radio’s new audience falls in the 25-54 age group and is 45% female, 55% male.
The New York Times Company doesn’t release podcast-specific revenue but it said its total digital revenue advertising revenue grew 14% during the second quarter. On a conference call with investors, CEO Mark Thompson said The Daily is “intrinsically cash positive and generates revenue” for the company.