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Joe Rogan and “The Daily” Add to Audience Strength

Media Monitors ranks the most popular podcasts, publishers and genres

Who’s on top of the podcasting world these days?

Media Monitors has released its latest Podcast Listener survey; the findings are shown in three charts below. The results reflect the ongoing popularity of certain podcasts but also the shifting relationships and acquisitions on the business side of podcasting.

Top Shows

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan

Media Monitors reported that “The Joe Rogan Experience” and “The Daily” from The New York Times remain at the top, but “both shows seem to have expanded their audiences since our last survey was taken. Each podcast doubled the total number of respondents that reported listening in the past seven days.”

The New York Times’ “1619” enjoyed strong gains, helped by national attention on racial issues including Black Lives Matter.

“Office Ladies” appeared for the first time this quarter, likely drawing on a dedicated fan base from the TV series “The Office.”

“My Favorite Murder” and “Crime Junkie” made repeat appearances, with MFM down somewhat. Comedy podcasts “The Misfits Podcast,” “Ear Biscuits” from Ramble, and “Unlocking Us with Brené Brown” from Cadence13 all were notable.

Media Monitors Top 25 podcasts Q2 2020

Top Publishers

Media Monitors noted that the second quarter “saw further consolidation in the podcast space” as Spotify purchased exclusive rights to “Joe Rogan” and SiriusXM closed its deal to buy Midroll/Stitcher/Earwolf.

The latter deal, it said, gives SiriusXM some level of access to Midroll’s represented shows “but it is unclear how that relationship will evolve moving forward.”

Also notable was the recent acquisition of Serial Productions by the New York Times. “Although the exact terms of the deal are unclear (including a reported “’creative and strategic’ partnership with ‘This American Life’), The New York Times has clearly moved to increase their footprint in upper echelon of podcasting.”

Two NPR’ daily news programs broke int the Top 25: “Up First” and “Consider This from NPR.” MM also recommended keeping an eye on Crooked Media, breaking into its Top 25 chart with “Pod Save America.”

iHeartMedia has the most podcasts in the top 200, 13 podcasts. “These include a mix of their radio-first properties published in podcast form, as well as their podcast-first Stuff Media properties. Coming in second is NPR with 12, followed by Wondery with 8. This seems to bode well for Wondery’s new standalone app and premium service, debuted in June.”

MM added that The New York Times (tied at 7) would jump to #4 if combined with This American Life & Serial Productions.

Media Monitors top podcast publishers Q2 2020

Top Genres

Comedy (including sub-categories) remains the most popular genre in the survey, while news is tied with society and culture at #2; also popular are true crime and sports.

Media Monitors top podcast genres Q2 2020

Media Monitors is a network and local monitoring company that covers various media; its survey was conducted in late June. Participants had to be 18 or over and were screened on whether they had listened to a podcast in the last week, then were asked to list the titles, and were encouraged to consult their app during the survey. These “unassisted” responses were then matched back to RSS feeds that were polled to collect info about genre and publisher.