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A closeup of Edison Research's supplied graphic of the top 50.

Edison Research Announces Top 50 U.S. Podcasts by Audience Size for Q2 2021

PRESS RELEASE · Somerville NJ, USA ·

Edison Research announces the comprehensive U.S. Top 50 Podcast chart for Q2 2021.This list ranks the 50 biggest podcasts by audience size, based on the Podcast Consumer Tracking Report, the only podcast measurement service that measures the relative audience size and demographics of all podcast networks. The Podcast Consumer Tracking Report is the only measurement based on actual listening, not downloads.

The entire list of 50 is below. The top three podcasts, The Joe Rogan Experience, The Daily, and Crime Junkie, also ranked in 1-2-3 order in the Top 50 Podcasts of 2020.

“This is the second anniversary of the Podcast Consumer Tracker, and the top shows have been fairly consistent over that time. Because our research covers the entire space, regardless of publisher or listening application, we have been able to report that stability even as the space continues to evolve," said Edison Research SVP Tom Webster.

The Edison Research Top 50 Podcasts of 2021 list is derived from data collected continuously from Q3 2020 – Q2 2021, from surveying weekly podcast consumers ages 18 and older in the U.S. Participants indicate which podcasts they listened to in the past week along with a variety of demographic, psychographic, and purchase behavior information. The results are then coded and analyzed to ascertain the genre, network, and sales representation for each podcast. The relative audience size of each podcast network is then calculated and expressed as the percentage of weekly podcast listeners reached by that network. Surveys of over 8,000 podcast listeners were conducted Q3 2020 through Q2 2021.

“What is fascinating about these data is that we are seeing some marked differences between people who primarily get their podcasts through Apple Podcasts, those who primarily use Spotify, and those who mainly use YouTube. The character of the shows--and of the audiences--differs by platform,” added Webster.

Current subscribers to the Podcast Consumer Tracker include the top networks in podcasting as well as leading technology platforms, and is growing quarterly. Subscribers include SXM Media, Google, NPR, Wondery, ESPN/ABC/Disney, WarnerMedia, and more.

Editor’s note: Podnews has taken the list as supplied by Edison Research, and linked to each show. We’ve also compared these podcasts with the last data from Edison Research for the calendar year of 2020. Note that the data overlaps by six months.

The Joe Rogan Experience
1 (→ 1) The Joe Rogan Experience
From: Joe Rogan
Hosted by: Libsyn
The Daily
2 (→ 2) The Daily
From: The New York Times
Hosted by: Simplecast
Crime Junkie
3 (→ 3) Crime Junkie
From: audiochuck
Hosted by: Megaphone
This American Life
4 (→ 4) This American Life
From: This American Life
Hosted by: Simplecast
Stuff You Should Know
5 (↑ 6) Stuff You Should Know
From: iHeartRadio
Hosted by: Megaphone
My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
6 (↓ 5) My Favorite Murder
From: Exactly Right
Hosted by: Omny Studio
Pod Save America
7 (↑ 8) Pod Save America
From: Crooked Media
Hosted by: Megaphone
Office Ladies
8 (↓ 7) Office Ladies
From: Earwolf & Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey
Hosted by: Omny Studio
9 (↑ 13) Serial
From: Serial Productions
Hosted by: Simplecast
The Ben Shapiro Show
10 (↑ 12) The Ben Shapiro Show
From: The Daily Wire
Hosted by: Megaphone
Call Her Daddy
11 (↑ 15) Call Her Daddy
From: Alex Cooper
Hosted by: Megaphone
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
12 (↓ 10) Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
From: NPR
Hosted by: NPR
Planet Money
13 (↓ 9) Planet Money
From: NPR
Hosted by: NPR
Up First
14 (↑ 16) Up First
From: NPR
Hosted by: NPR
15 (↓ 11) Radiolab
From: WNYC Studios
Hosted by: WNYC
Dateline NBC
16= (↑ 22) Dateline NBC
From: NBC News
Hosted by: Simplecast
Fresh Air
16= (↓ 14) Fresh Air
From: NPR
Hosted by: NPR
Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
18 (→ 18) Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard
From: Armchair Umbrella
Hosted by: Megaphone
Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend
19 (→ 19) Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend
From: Team Coco & Earwolf
Hosted by: Omny Studio
The Ramsey Show
20 (↓ 17) The Dave Ramsey Show
From: Ramsey Network
Hosted by: Libsyn
The Dan Bongino Show
21 (↑ 40) The Dan Bongino Show
From: Cumulus Podcast Network | Dan Bongino
Hosted by: Megaphone
H3 Podcast
22 (↑ 32) H3 Podcast
From: Ethan Klein
Hosted by: Megaphone
23= (↑ 30) Criminal
From: Criminal & Radiotopia
Hosted by: PRX
Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
23= (NEW) Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
From: Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
Hosted by: Audioboom
WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
25= (↓ 20) WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
From: Marc Maron
Hosted by: Omny Studio
The Michelle Obama Podcast
25= (↑ 39) The Michelle Obama Podcast
From: Higher Ground & Spotify
Hosted by: Megaphone
TED Talks Daily
27 (↓ 23) TED Talks Daily
From: TED
Hosted by: PRX
Hidden Brain
28= (↓ 24) Hidden Brain
From: Hidden Brain
Hosted by: Omny Studio
Impaulsive with Logan Paul
28= (↑ 38) Impaulsive with Logan Paul
From: Logan Paul
Hosted by: Omny Studio
The Bill Simmons Podcast
30 (↓ 24) Bill Simmons Podcast
From: The Ringer & Bill Simmons
Hosted by: Megaphone
Freakonomics Radio
31 (↓ 20) Freakonomics Radio
From: Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher
Hosted by: Omny Studio
The Joe Budden Podcast
32= (↓ 31) The Joe Budden Podcast
From: The Joe Budden Network
Hosted by: Libsyn
The Rachel Maddow Show
32= (↑ 36) The Rachel Maddow Show
From: Rachel Maddow, MSNBC
Hosted by: Simplecast
34 (NEW) SmartLess
From: Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, Will Arnett
Hosted by: ART19
The Moth
35 (↓ 26) The Moth
From: The Moth
Hosted by: PRX
Code Switch
36 (NEW) Code Switch
From: NPR
Hosted by: NPR
The Breakfast Club
37 (↑ 40) The Breakfast Club
From: iHeartRadio
Hosted by: Megaphone
Reply All
38 (↑ 46) Reply All
From: Gimlet
Hosted by: Megaphone
Rush Limbaugh - Timeless Wisdom
39 (↓ 28) Rush Limbaugh Morning Update
From: The Rush Limbaugh Show
Hosted by: Megaphone
VIEWS with David Dobrik and Jason Nash
40 (↓ 28) VIEWS with David Dobrik and Jason Nash
From: jayson weathers
Hosted by: Anchor
NPR News Now
41= (↑ 47) NPR News Now
From: NPR
Hosted by: NPR
Mark Levin Podcast
41= (↑ 47) The Mark Levin Show
From: Cumulus Podcast Network
Hosted by: Megaphone
Monday Morning Podcast
43 (↓ 35) Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast
From: All Things Comedy
Hosted by: Omny Studio
How I Built This with Guy Raz
44= (↓ 42) How I Built This with Guy Raz
From: NPR
Hosted by: NPR
44= (↓ 34) Lore
From: Aaron Mahnke and Grim & Mild
Hosted by: Megaphone
Last Podcast On The Left
46= (↓ 33) Last Podcast On The Left
From: The Last Podcast Network
Hosted by: Libsyn
The NPR Politics Podcast
46= (↓ 37) NPR Politics Podcast
From: NPR
Hosted by: NPR
Dr. Death
48= (NEW) Dr Death
From: Wondery
Hosted by: ART19
The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe
48= (↑ 50) The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe
From: Mike Rowe
Hosted by: Libsyn
Pardon My Take
50 (↓ 42) Pardon My Take
From: Barstool Sports

Compiled Jul 7 2020 to Jun 30 2021; 8,015 respondents. Comparison with “2020” figures: Jan 6 2020 to Dec 23 2020; 8,042 respondents


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This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions.
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