During iHeartMedia’s Q2 earnings call, Thursday, CEO Bob Pittman spent a lot of time talking about podcasting. The company is all in on the podcasting craze and is certainly taking the lead in the radio industry when it comes to podcasting.
Pittman said, according to Podtrac, iHeartRadio is the number one commercial podcaster in America. Podtrac releases a monthly podcast download chart, which is what Pittman is referring to. iHeart is always at the top of that chart with NPR.
Pittman also detailed the power radio has to turn an average podcast into a mega-hit using it’s 850 radio station megaphone as a promotional tool. As an example, Pittman cited the podcast Disgraceland, which was downloaded 100,000 times the last month it was on its previous platform. When the show moved over to iHeartRadio, and the company decided to flex its promotional muscle for the show, monthly downloads jumped to 2 million.
The company has also started producing branded podcasts for businesses, including Spit with 23andMe and others with Proctor & Gamble.
There are 250,000 podcasts on iHeartRadio and the app has seen 300% growth in listenership, which Pittman attributed to the popularity of podcasting. In 2018, iHeart purchased Stuff Media. One of the podcasts that came over as part of that deal was Stuff You Should Know, which has now been downloaded over a billion times.