The New York Times issued a milestone brag today: Its flagship podcast, The Daily, has surpassed one-billion total downloads. “That’s billion with a b,” the company clarifies. “On any given morning, the show is now downloaded two million times, making it the most popular news podcast in the country,” the statement discloses.
The show started in early 2017, so is less than two years old. Many other podcasts with high-altitude reach — e.g. The Joe Rogan Experience and WTF with Marc Maron” have been operating for much longer.
Let’s do a little arithmetic. We don’t know what cpm the show charges for its ad spots. In today’s edition of The Daily, there is a 30-second non-host-read recorded spot for 20th Century Fox, and a 30-second post-roll for Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. A 60-second promo for NY Times subscription follows the midroll, and might drive secondary revenue. If we imagine a standardized two-commercial format, pre and post, at $30 CPM, the billion downloads add up to $30-million in show revenue. In a recent earnings call the Times declared $436M in quarterly revenue. A bit of multiplication, division, rounding, disregard of unknowns, and back-of-the-envelope fudging leads us to imagine that The Daily could represent one percent of Times revenue.