Podtrac released two special podcast ranking charts. The first lists the top 20 podcasts in the United States for 2017. The second chart is the top 10 new podcasts that were published for the first time during this year. Both lists used average U.S. downloads per episode across listening devices as the main metric.
In an impressive performance, S-Town topped both Podtrac lists. The new show from Serial Productions tapped into the current wave of fascination with true crime, and drew on some top industry talents for the production. It also tested the waters of binge listening, with the entire season released at once rather than pacing them out weekly.
The rest of the top podcasts for 2017 list included several of the expected heavy hitters of he audio world. Serial placed second, followed by This American Life and Radiolab. NPR produces six of the top 20 shows.
Two other podcasts made the top 20 ranker as well as the new podcasts list. Dirty John, the multimedia investigative report by the L.A. Times, was second on the new show ranking. Pod Save America, the political show from four aides who worked under President Obama, was third. News and politics were well represented on this chart. The Daily and Up First, two shows digging into the day’s top news stories, were fourth and fifth, respectively. Ear Hustle, the winner of Radiotopia’s Podquest competition, also had a strong debut and placed sixth.