iHeart, NPR Strong In New Podcast Survey


Media Monitors has released a list of the Top 25 Podcasts it says is based on listener recall. The company says companies like iHeart and NPR have helped podcasting go “mainstream.” The new survey also provides results that show just how wide of a reach many podcasts now have, and sheds some light on the different type of listeners podcasts are now pulling in.

Media Monitors also says the findings in its study indicate there is significant untapped opportunity to advertise on niche podcasts that don’t yet have sponsors.

Media Monitors President and CEO Philippe Generali says podcasts are a new chance for advertisers to reach content-engaged millennials who might use less of the traditional media. He adds that accurate metrics on which programs people are actually listening to have been difficult to get. “Opt-in redirects or server-based download measurements services don’t tell the full story. They might be an indication of who subscribes to a show, but here, this survey asked respondents to name the shows they actually listen to, and we think the findings challenge some of the leading assumptions about podcast listeners.”

As everyone knows by now The Joe Rogan Experience is consistently listed among the top downloaded podcasts. While the Media Monitors survey results confirm the show is widely listened to, they also show Rogan’s across-the-board popularity. The program ranks first in almost every category. It’s number one among men and women, in every income bracket, among listeners of any education level, and in every region. The program ranks first in every age bracket except 35-44, where it sits at number two.

iHeartMedia is first among podcast and streaming platforms, with 11 shows in the top 100 list, followed by NPR with nine.

Media Monitors says its survey results demonstrate podcasts attract a more diverse audience than advertisers and content creators might expect. “Listeners tend to be young, and they live in populous areas, according to the research.

The true crime genre is very popular, and as Generali points out, female listeners love the category. “Women are avid listeners of true crime podcasts. And they are predominately driving the genre’s popularity among the top 25. Men, by contrast, tend to listen to sports, news, or comedy.”

Among women, the top five shows are: The Joe Rogan Experience, Phil in the Blanks, Crime Junkie, My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, and The Dave Ramsey Show. Men named The Joe Rogan Experience, ESPN, The Daily, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, and Rush Limbaugh Morning Update as their top shows.

Here’s the full Top 25 Media Monitors list — according to listener recall.

The survey research also found there is significant untapped opportunity for advertising. More than half of respondents said they couldn’t recall any brand advertising on the podcasts they follow. The top brand names mentioned were Geico, Squarespace, ZipRecruiter, and Quip.

Media Monitors will begin offering regular podcasting metrics in 2020.

The survey was conducted by Precision Sample, a Macromill Group company, between January 5 and January 8, 2020 among respondents who indicated they had listened to podcasts in the last seven days.


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