Downloads up, audience down (Podtrac) and RAIN Remix of September ranker

In Podtrac’s Top Podcast Publishers monthly ranker for September, out this week, we learn that the metrics for downloads and audience size are mixed. Specifically, Podtrac sent these notes:

  • Five of the Top 20 publishers saw an increase in US monthly Audience in September over August, while 16 saw an increase in Global Downloads for the same period.
  • The average US Unique Monthly Audience for the Top 20 publishers was down 7% month-over-month and down 6% over September 2020.
  • Total Global Downloads for the Top 20 were up 7% month-over-month and down 14% year-over-year.


RAIN Remix

The RAIN Remix of this report rearranges the listing by ranking the key metrics per active show of each publisher. This creates a different view from the original, which ranks networks as entire portfolios. The two measurements Podtrac uses for this monthly ranker are U.S. Unique Monthly Audience and Global Downloads & Streams, shown below:

The first RAIN Remix below shows the top 20 list sorted by average monthly audience per show for each publisher.

The original ranking numbers (on the left) identify each publisher to see quickly the extent to which the list is shuffled into a new order. The difference is dramatic: iHeartRadio moves from #1 to #20, and This American Life moves from #17 to #1.

In our view there is no better or worse in the remix. Different publishers have different business strategies in this regard, and they can range from piling their resources into many shows or few shows. Either way, they have landed on an elite list.

The second RAIN Remix re-sorts the original by average streams/downloads (e.g. plays) per show. The result is a light shuffle of the first remix:


Brad Hill