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Big Podcasters Generate Big Numbers

Financial site provides some data reference points

Among the top 10 podcast publishers, iHeartRadio and NPR account for nearly half of the streams and downloads.

That’s a data point noted by the financial publication Learnbonds, which dug into some interesting numbers about podcasting in an article for investors. It found that as podcasts continue to become more mainstream, major publishers have emerged as top players that account for almost a billion streams and downloads within a month.

“Data gathered by indicates that only 10 podcast publishers accounted for 893.78 million streams and downloads in May 2020,” it wrote, citing Podtrac data.

[Read: Westwood One’s Wordock on Maintaining — and Monitoring — Podcast Audiences]

“iHeartRadio podcasts attracted the highest downloads and streams at 216.15 million followed by NPR with 208.92 million. Among the top 10 podcast publishers, iHeartRadio and NPR accounted for 47.6% of the streams and downloads.”

Number three was the New York Times, number four PRX and number five Barstool Sports.

“It is no surprise that iHeartRadio hosted podcasts had the highest streams and downloads in May,” the company told its readers. “The platform has a large library of podcasts covering diverse topics. In 2019 iHeartRadio embarked on a mission to grow its numbers of podcast listeners. iHeartRadio launched a podcast recommendation engine to its listeners based on their audio preferences. This new feature on the app has played a major role in increasing the number of podcast streams and downloads. Additionally, iHeartRadio acquisition of Stuff Media made it the top commercial podcast publisher.”

“The growing downloads and streams for the highlighted publishers are driven by various factors like marketing. However, most people might have turned to podcasts as a means of passing time while in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak,” Learnbonds wrote.

Among other findings, the company listed countries where podcasting is most popular, based on data from several sources, and found South Korea leading with 53% of citizens having listened to podcasts, followed by Spain, Ireland and Sweden. The United States is fifth with 35%.