Podtrac Top Podcast Publishers shows audience growth, and RAIN Remix

In the Top Podcast Publishers ranking in July from Podtrac, (HERE) we are told that the unique monthly audience (UMA) increased for two of the top 20 publishers, month-over-month. Meanwhile the average monthly audience for the entire cohort was down by nine percent.

Podtrac measures all its clients for this monthly ranker; accordingly, some networks like SXM Media do not appear. Below is the July ranking as presented by Podtrac.

Leading networks iHeartPodcasts, Wondery, and NPR take the top three spots based on the ranker’s native sorting by unique monthly audience, and the 1-2-3 rank holds for downloads also.

RAIN Remix

But things get shaken up in the RAIN Remix, which re-sorts the Podtrac data to show audience and downloads per active show. The remix gives an interesting view of Podtrac’s measurements while factoring in the number of podcasts each publisher represents.

This creates a different view from the original, which ranks networks by their entire portfolios, big or small. The remix conveys an understanding of portfolio strategy.


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 #18, and This American Life moves from #17 to #1.

In our view there is no good or bad 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 below re-sorts the original by average streams/downloads (e.g. plays) per show. The result is a light shuffle of the first remix. This American Life retains the #1 spot in this Remix, with over 10-million average streams/downloads per show — it is a one-show network. iHeartPodcasts, number one in raw audience and streams, fares well in this remix, taking the #11 spot with an average 442,000 downloads in its sprawling 853-podcast network.


Brad Hill