Acast leads top podcast publishers / networks globally; YouTube poorly represented

In today’s release of Podtrac’s monthly Top Publishers & Networks ranker, we observe that Acast owns the #1 ranking among the seven included networks. (Only Podtrac measurement clients can be included in this server-side measurement.)

In the ranking table below, two of the included networks (Acast and American Public Media) do not have counts in the “VIEWS (YOUTUBE)” column. We asked Podtrac about this, and were informed that the YouTube counts are included “when available.” Further, that the absent measurements are “a work in progress.” We presume they will appear in a future release.

In the meantime we can look at Global Streams, Downloads & Views (the ranking column), and the “Views YouTube” column. Subtract the latter from the former, and you arrive at the decisive Global Streams column.

Of particular interest is the number of YouTube shows (far-right column) compared to the number of audio-only shows (next to it). The difference between the two represents a key reality: Most of the shows in this chart, belonging to the world’s leading podcast networks, neglect YouTube to a great extent. (Keeping in mind that the podcast network is not necessarily the creator of all its podcasts.)

YouTube participation notwithstanding, we observe with interest that YouTube views can compete with globalstreams, even when YouTube has a fraction of the network’s shows. A good case is Paramount, whose YouTube views (42,809,494) are higher than its RSS count (26,969,318) … while the network has only 26 shows on YouTube compared to 85 RSS shows.

Brad Hill


  1. Is there any rhyme or reason to the Podtrac rankings? They randomly mix and match what companies go into their US vs Global rankings. For example, Libsyn Ads is #2 globally, yet does not show up on the US rankings even though it is a predominantly US company. US #1 iHeart is nowhere on the global rankings.
    They also randomly sort the US list by audience, while the global list is sorted by downloads/streams.
    Is inclusion based on who pays to be on their lists or is Podtrac just scary disordered in how it presents information?
    Here is a simple table that I would expect:
    Column 1: Publisher/network
    Column 2: US downloads & streams (sort/rank by this)
    Column 3: US unique audience
    Column 4: US active shows
    Column 5: Global downloads & streams
    Column 6: Global unique audience
    Column 7: Global active shows

    It’s. Just. Not. That. Hard.

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