Podtrac has released its January 2018 ranking of the top 10 podcast publishers, a list of the highest performers among companies that use its measurement tools. iHeartMedia has returned to the chart as a top publisher, after a brief absence due to a ranking misunderstanding that caused its removal in January. In that instance, some of iHeartMedia’s short on-demand programs were auto-downloaded to web players on station websites, to give listeners who click the Play button instant streaming. That auto-download mechanism goes against IAB guidelines, and Podtrac removed iHeart pending corrected measurement numbers.
In today’s release of the Podcast Industry Ranking, Podtrac notes that those auto-downloads do not contribute to iHeartMedia’s ranking (see the footnote in the chart below). iHeartMedia is showing a slight increase in number of published programs from its earlier appearance (up from 603 to 612), so evidently its audience and download numbers for those shows reflect listening that aligns with the IAB’s and Podtrac’s measurement protocols.
NPR continues to lead the pack with a U.S. unique monthly audience of more than 16.3 million. The publishers included on the list are mostly unchanged; iHeartMedia knocked WBUR out from the December 2017 accounting.
Total global unique streams and downloads across the publishers rose 15% for this month over December. On-year, the figure increased by 112% from January 2017.