NPR Slips to #3 as iHeartPodcast Retains the Top Spot


NPR Slips to #3 as iHeartPodcast Retains the Top Spot

Media Monitors

Media Monitors

Media Monitors has released its latest Podcast Listener survey, fielded between September 20-30. Participants aged 18+ were screened on whether they had listened to a podcast in the last 7 days, then asked to list the podcast titles. Participants were encouraged to consult their podcast app of choice during the survey. The unassisted responses were then individually matched back to unique RSS feeds which were polled to collect information about genre and publisher.

The iHeartPodcast Network had another strong quarter, retaining its overall lead for most podcasts in the Top 200 within our measured sample. “Stuff You Should Know” moved from #10 to #5 overall while “The Breakfast Club” jumped from #32 last quarter to #15. New shows this quarter included “Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette” (#85) and “The Colin Cowherd Podcast” (#90), both produced in conjunction with The Volume, a sports focused network launched in January and coproduced by Colin Cowherd and iHeartRadio.

NPR lost its place in the #2 slot this quarter to SiriusXM. NPR has been relatively consistent quarter-over-quarter, but with the recent acquisition of “99% Invisible” (#62) and the launch of several SiriusXM branded shows including “Comedy Gold Minds with Kevin Hart” (#92), we have combined SiriusXM’s Stitcher Originals, Earwolf, and Laugh Out Loud Radio under a single entry.

Audioboom Studios and Audioboom Creator Network has also been combined and includes an impressive slate of shows propelling them into a tie with Amazon Music/Wondery for fourth. Audioboom’s “Dark History” jumped from #22 to #7 this quarter and “Crime Weekly” jumped from #282 to #44.

As an interesting point of reference, independent podcasts using Patreon to distribute premium versions and/or give listeners a way to support the show, tallied 18 in the Top 200. Standard independent shows (no mentions of Patreon on their websites/podcast descriptions) counted for another 16 of the Top 200.

As mentioned in Q2, “The Joe Rogan Experience” (#1) is back to its former glory with a commanding lead among surveyed podcast listeners. Rogan has never fallen out of the #1 spot, but his dominance was rivaled for a brief period after his transition to Spotify exclusivity. It seems his listeners have figured out how to download the Spotify app, and Spotify’s podcast listening overall has surged in recent months.

Interestingly, “Dr. Death” (#23) from Amazon Music/Wondery jumped back into the Top 25 this month, likely propelled by the release of the Dr. Death TV show on NBC’s Peacock streaming service.

The only newcomers to the Top 25 this month are PRX/Radiotopia’s True Crime podcast, “Criminal” (#16) and Joel Osteen’s Religion & Spirituality podcast, aptly named “Joel Osteen Podcast” (#22).

Comedy remains the most popular genre of podcast, but this quarter Sports podcasts increased from 13 in Q2 to 17 in Q3 with the return of active football and basketball seasons.

Notable Sports podcasts from Q3 in the Top 200: “Fantasy Focus Football” (34#) and “First Take” (#49) from ESPN, Wrestling podcasts “Talk is Jericho” (#66) from Cumulus Podcast Network and “Jim Cornette Experience” (#48) from MLW Radio Network and Kast Media.


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