Edison Research is pleased to announce its first Top Ten Podcast ranker, new from the company’s subscription product, The Podcast Consumer Tracker (PCT). The ranker depicts the top ten podcasts in America by reach among weekly podcast consumers. The PCT is the only comprehensive and all-inclusive study of the reach of podcast networks and shows in America.
The top ten podcasts in America for the third and fourth quarters of 2019, as ranked by the percentage of weekly podcast consumers 18+ who have listened to them, is as follows:
(1) The Joe Rogan Experience
(2) This American Life
(3) The Daily
(4) My Favorite Murder
(5) Crime Junkie
(6) Stuff You Should Know
(7) Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
(9) Pod Save America
Begun in Summer 2019, the PCT is now in its third quarter of fielding and is the only study that measures the entire podcast space continuously, compared to other download rankers which only measure participants/customers of those rankers, or users of a specific platform. As such, the PCT offers a holistic view of the reach and impact of all leading podcasts and podcast networks.
“This ranker looks deceptively simple,” notes Edison Senior Vice President Tom Webster, “but it’s the product of hand-coding tens of thousands of podcasts from a sample of over 4,000 podcast listeners. Podcast listening is still fairly fragmented, and it wasn’t until we had this large sample that we felt it would be responsible to even put out a top ten, let along a longer list.”
The PTC is sampled continuously throughout each quarter to negate the effects of limited releases and new shows and is weighted to the industry standard measure of podcast listening, the Infinite Dial research series from Edison Research and Triton Digital.
Edison Research has delivered to clients the first and only comprehensive measure of the comparative reach of America’s top podcast networks, the Podcast Consumer Tracker.
Edison, the leading podcast research company in the world, has been studying this rapidly evolving medium since 2006, and the Podcast Consumer Tracker represents the first successful endeavor to present a unified look at audience information at the publisher/network level. The Podcast Consumer Tracker also contains competitive intelligence, audience demographics, and sales targeting information for podcast publishers and networks.
The Podcast Consumer Tracker from Edison currently has 10 charter subscribers, including NPR, PodcastOne, Wondery, ESPN, WarnerMedia, and other significant publishing and agency partners. The study is based on a continuous sampling of consumers who have listened to a podcast in the last week. Comparative rankings of publisher networks are available only to subscribers.
Among the findings in the first report:
- The Joe Rogan Experience is the leading podcast in terms of reach amongst weekly podcast consumers.
- There are significant content consumption differences between iPhone and Android users, rendering “Top Podcast” charts derived exclusively from users of either to be unrepresentative of total listening behavior.
- While the study tracks the relative reach of the top podcast networks, 54% of weekly podcast consumers have listened to an unaffiliated, independent podcast in the last week.
“This is the first study in the podcast space to tackle a universal measure of reach,” notes Edison SVP Tom Webster. “There are, of course, various charts of downloads that cover parts of the overall universe, but those either reflect only a portion of the podcast audience, or they measure publishers that opt-in. The Podcast Consumer Tracker’s goal is a truly inclusive measure of the comparative penetration of the leading publishers and networks. In that, we have been highly successful.”
In addition to network reach statistics, the study also provides the only nationally representatives look at the purchasing and consumption patterns of podcast listeners, content preferences, and advertising targeting information across a broad array of consumer goods and services.
Edison Research, a survey research company, recently published a report called “Why Podcasting Is Bigger Than You Think.” This report expands on the “Share of Ear” survey conducted earlier this year, where Edison reported that approximately 2% of all daily audio consumption is devoted to podcasts. And while on its face, that 2% value may seem insignificant, Edison explains:
In Edison’s recent edition of our Share of Ear study, we released a graph showing that nearly 2% of the total time spent listening to audio was devoted to podcast listening. There were some who may have seen that figure and thought it small. It is not small. Certainly, as a “share” of audio, you can compare it to the share of a popular television show and see straight away that we are talking about significant consumption. But we also have to look at the fact that podcasts are not consumed by 100% of Americans (even if they were, by the way, a 1.7% share of ear would still be remarkable). In fact, if we deduct the persons from this statistic who don’t listen to podcasts, we get a very notable figure indeed.
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