Podcast publisher iHeartRadio edged out NPR to become the top podcast distributor in July with 24.6 million listeners in July, Podtrac’s monthly industry analysis found.
Podtrac tracks the top 20 podcast publishers each month by audience size. July saw iHeartRadio’s audience increase slightly — from 24.5 million listens in June — but it surpassed competing publishers like NPR, which counted roughly 24 million listeners.
“Eight of the top 20 publishers saw an increase in U.S. monthly audience in July over June, and 13 of the top 20 publishers saw positive growth in their Global Download numbers from June to July,” Podtrac noted in its report.
ESPN and ABC’s podcast divisions saw the highest increase in its monthly audience, up 38% from the prior month with the addition of ABC to the network.
Several podcast publishers climbed in the rankings compared to June’s listing, including Serial Productions (co-listed with This American Life), which moved up three spots from No. 14 in June to No. 11 in July with 5.4 million listeners. WarnerMedia also moved up in the rankings two spots, landing at No. 9 with roughly 6 million listeners.
Overall the average unique U.S. monthly audience of podcast consumers stayed flat month-over-month — but there were 22% more listeners compared to July 2019, Podtrac noted. Globally, unique streaming and download counts for the top 10 podcast publishers increased 72% annually.