Podtrac Top Podcast Publishers for January, plus RAIN remix

Podtrac has released the January edition of the measurement company’s Top Podcast Publishers ranker. (See graphic below.) As always in this ranking, iHeartRadio (#1) and NPR (#2) reside at the top, separated by a small percentage in the key metric, US Unique Monthly Audience. They have flipped those 1-2 slots several times in the past.

Podtrac noted the following key metrics in the January report:

  • Eighteen of the Top 20 publishers saw an increase in US monthly Audience in January over December.
  • Seventeen of the Top 20 publishers saw positive growth in their Global Download numbers from December to January.
  • The average US Unique Monthly Audience for the Top 10 publishers was up 11% month-over-month.
  • Global Unique Streams & Downloads increased for the Top 20 publishers by 5% from December and increased by 12% over January 2020.

Below is the Podtrac ranking graphic. Scroll down for RAIN’s remix, showing average audience and average streams per active show for each publisher.


We take an interest in remixing the Podtrac Top Podcast Publishers chart with a consideration of the number of active shows for each publisher. It is clear, on the face of it, that some publishers strategize around attracting a big audience into a small number of shows (e.g. Hidden Brain Media and This American Life / Serial), while others build out extensive networks and spread audiences through a big portfolio (e.g. iHeartRadio).

The following remix has two portions. First, we see a new ranking based on average unique audience per show. Note that Hidden Brain Media soars from #20 to #1 by pulling an average two-million listeners into a one-show portfolio.

Next, we remix the ranking on the basis of average streams/downloads (e.g. plays) per show. Hidden Brain wins this remix too, followed by The New York Times.


Brad Hill