Edison Research U.S Top 10 Podcast Ranker Q1 2020


We are pleased to announce the Edison Research U.S. Top Ten Podcast ranker for Q1 2020, from our subscription product, the Podcast Consumer Tracker (PCT). The Podcast Consumer Tracker is the only comprehensive and all-inclusive study of the reach of podcast networks and shows in America.

The ranker lists the top ten podcasts in America by reach — not downloads — among weekly podcast consumers. Reach is the percentage of weekly podcast listeners who say they have listened to one of these shows in the last week.

Number one is the Joe Rogan Experience, which will be exclusive to Spotify later in 2020. Office Ladies and Planet Money enter the Top Ten for the first time, replacing Serial and Radiolab from our Q4 2019 ranker.

“Spotify’s recent deal with Joe Rogan stands a very good chance of increasing Spotify’s reach, since once again the JRE is comfortably in the top spot of our national ranker,” said Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “It’s also worth noting the strong debut of ‘Office Ladies,’ which has only been out since October 2019. We are pleased to be able to cover the entire podcasting space, without gaps, in the industry’s only all-inclusive ranker.”

The top ten podcasts in the U.S. in Q1 2020, as ranked by the percentage of weekly podcast consumers 18+ who have listened to them, are as follows:

1. The Joe Rogan Experience

2.  The Daily

3.  This American Life

4.  Crime Junkie

5.  My Favorite Murder

6.  Stuff You Should Know

7.  (tie) Office Ladies

7.  (tie) Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

9.   Planet Money

10.  Pod Save America

Begun in Summer 2019, the Podcast Consumer Tracker 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.

The PCT 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®.

How The Study Was Conducted: The Podcast Consumer Tracker Q1 2020 Top 10 Ranker is based upon 2,013 online interviews with weekly podcast consumers in the United States, ages 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Sampling was conducted continuously over the first quarter of 2020: January 7 – March 30, 2020, which does include two weeks of COVID-19 restrictions. All respondents were instructed to enter the names of all podcasts they listened to the week before the interview into an online diary and were provided instructions to obtain that information from their podcast client/player of choice. All responses were unaided and hand-coded by Edison Research to determine actual show name, producer, genre, and other information. Data is weighted to nationally representative numbers for weekly podcast consumers from The Infinite Dial 2020, from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Fielding is continuous and currently underway for the next quarterly report in the series. Click here for more information on the Podcast Consumer Tracker.

The Infinite Dial 2020 Canada

Click here to download The Infinite Dial Canada 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital in English

Click here to download The Infinite Dial Canada 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital in French

Scroll down to view a replay of the webinar.

Podcast consumption levels in Canada are now equal to those in the United States, according to The Infinite Dial® 2020 Canada, the third annual comprehensive study of digital media behavior in Canada, from Edison Research and Triton Digital®. 

Thirty-seven percent of Canadians age 18 and older are monthly podcast listeners (compared with same estimate in the U.S.37% age 18+) and 24% of those in Canada age 18+ are weekly podcast listeners (compared with 23% of those in the U.S. age 18+).  

These and other findings were presented by Tom Webster, Senior Vice President from Edison Research, the leading provider of high-quality survey research about audio in the U.S. and worldwide, and Stephanie Donovan, SVP, Publisher Development North America at Triton Digital, the global technology and services provider to the digital audio and podcast industry, in an online presentation earlier today. 

significant number of Canadian adults are consumers of online audio, as the study found that 70% have listened to some type of online audio in the past month (compared with 67% in the U.S.) and 60% have listened to online audio in the past week (compared with 58% in the U.S.). 

Despite these high online audio reach numbers, online audio has not yet made its way into the car for most Canadians. Of those in Canada age 18+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month, 18% have listened to online audio in-car, compared with 33% of those in the U.S. Fifty-seven percent of adults in Canada use AM/FM radio most often as their in-car audio source while 27% use owned music (including owned digital files) most often in-car, followed by SiriusXM at 7%, online audio at 4% and podcasts at 4%. 

Sixty-nine percent of adults in Canada have listened to AM/FM radio in the past week, and 14% of adults in Canada have listened to AM/FM radio online in the past week.

Regarding smart speaker ownership, the study found that 26% of those in Canada age 18+ own at least one smart speaker, and of those owners, 42% own two or more devices. 

According to Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research, “We observed some strong gains in many of our key audio metrics, from podcasting to smart speaker ownership. Canada is amongst the leaders in the world in terms of digital audio consumption.”

“We are proud to once again unveil the latest insights and trends around media usage and consumption in Canada,” said Stephanie Donovan, SVP, Publisher Development North America at Triton Digital. “Broadcast radio listeners remain loyal to the brand, but with one in five Canadians having listened to broadcast radio online in the last month, it’s clear the technology through which they choose to consume is changing.” 

Other key The Infinite Dial® 2020 Canada findings include: 

  • At-home is where most Canadians have consumed a podcast. Eighty-one percent of podcast listeners in Canada age 18+ have listened to a podcast at home and 40% have listened in a car/truck
  • 80% of adult Canadian podcast consumers listen to all or most of a typical podcast episode
  • Half of adult podcast listeners in Canada have listened to a podcast from a public radio producer
  • 14% of those in Canada age 18+ own a Google Home smart speaker, 11% own an Amazon Alexa, and 3% own an Apple HomePod
  • The dominant brand of online audio is Spotify, with 28% of Canadian adults listening to Spotify in the past month, compared with Apple Music at 13% and Google Play Music at 11%. Of those who use various online audio brands, 37% say they use Spotify most often. 

The Infinite Dial survey, conducted in the first quarter of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic, is a high-quality telephone survey and uses a nationally representative survey of 1,076 people in Canada age 18 and older. The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprised of both mobile phones and landlines. The data is weighted to 18+ population figures.

The Infinite Dial study is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in the U.S. and now includes studies in Australia, Canada, Germany, and South Africa. 


About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information in over 50 countries for clients including AMC Theatres, AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, The Brookings Institute, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, and SiriusXM Radio. The national tracking study The Infinite Dial® and the syndicated Share of Ear® are two of the most widely cited studies in the audio space. Edison is also the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the podcasting space.  Edison’s network of more than 20,000 experienced interviewers allows the company to conduct research in almost any location. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool. For the 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.

About Triton Digital
Triton Digital® is the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry. Operating in more than 45 countries, Triton provides innovative technology that enables broadcasters, podcasters, and online music services to build their audience, maximize their revenue, and streamline their day-to-day operations. In addition, Triton powers the global online audio industry with Webcast Metrics®, the leading online audio measurement service and Podcast Metrics, one of the first IAB certified podcast measurement services in the industry. With unparalleled integrity, excellence, teamwork, and accountability, Triton remains committed to connecting audio, audience, and advertisers to continuously fuel the growth of the global online industry.  Triton Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).  For more information, visit www.TritonDigital.com.

Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listening from the NAB Show Express

Even though the NAB Show wasn’t held in person in Las Vegas this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the show went on online. Edison Research’s Meg Vartan, along with Front Row Insights’ Jane Charneski, presented Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listening, a compelling look at Gen Z’s relationship with radio.

To access the free presentation, click here.  You must register, but registration is free. Content will be available through the month of August.

Utilizing the most recent Share of Ear® data and listener interviews, Edison Research and Front Row Insights deliver findings from a cutting-edge new study focused on Gen Z (13-24 year old) listening habits. Discover what audio is meaningful to this generation, how their habits have evolved in the last five years and what steps your radio station can take to entice them to tune in consistently.

Lunchtime Webinar Series — Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine

Edison Research SVP Tom Webster presented the latest installment in our Lunchtime Webinar Series — Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine on May 21, 2020.

Click here to download the presentation, Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine 2020 Edison Research

Scroll down to view the webinar

This presentation includes previously unreleased data from the Podcast Consumer Tracker, the only comprehensive, all-inclusive measure of podcast listening in the U.S. This data was collected continuously before and during the current COVID-19 crisis, and is the industry’s only look at how podcasting’s audience, not just their downloads, has been impacted by the pandemic.

Additionally, the recording below includes videos of interviews with podcast listeners from the last few weeks, as they share their experiences with listening to podcasts during quarantine, along with new data on podcast listeners from The Infinite Dial® 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Key findings include:

  • 41% of  weekly podcasters have had their work reduced or eliminated
  • The employment and work patterns of those in the U.S. age 18-34 have been affected the most by COVID-19
  • While those who have had their jobs reduced/eliminated are listening more, those whose work from home hours have increased are spending less time with podcasts
  • Desktop/laptop listening has risen as a result of quarantine. AM/FM listening by podcast listeners is down
  • Usage of on-demand delivery/convenience services has risen among weekly listeners
  • While genre consumption has begun to return to pre-quarantine levels, News and various Home and Self Improvement topics have increased significantly


The Smart Audio Report 2020 from NPR and Edison Research

Use of Smart Speakers in the U.S. Increases During Quarantine

NPR and Edison Research release The Smart Audio Report Spring 2020, find 77% of adults in the U.S. have had a change in their typical routine due to COVID-19 outbreak

New research from The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research finds that 77% of those in the U.S. age 18+ are experiencing a change in their typical routine due to the outbreak of COVID-19 as of April 1, and voice-assistant usage has expanded during these disruptions. The annual survey, part of the industry’s longest-running public research series about smart speaker consumer behavior in the U.S., captures new data on smart speaker ownership — now reaching 24% of the U.S. population A18+ (60M) — and how consumers are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic at the time the survey fielded March 31- April 1, 2020.

The full study is available now at npr.org/smartaudio.

With stay-at-home orders and the closing of nonessential businesses across the country from mid-March to the present, adults in the U.S. are behaving in accordance with regulations. Forty-one percent of U.S. adults say they are staying at home and not leaving unless it is an emergency, and 54% are only going to places they feel safe and/or are necessary. The Smart Audio Report measured how those affected by the restrictions are using voice assistants:

  • 36% of U.S. adult smart speaker owners say they are using their device more to listen to music and entertainment since the outbreak, and 52% of 18-34-year-olds say the same.
  • 35% of U.S. adult smart speaker owners are listening to more news and information since the COVID-19 outbreak, and 50% of those ages 18-34 say the same.
  • Usage of voice commands in general has increased slightly since the COVID-19 outbreak, with 52% of voice-assistant users saying they use voice tech several times a day or nearly every day, compared to 46% before the outbreak.

“With tens of millions of Americans no longer commuting, smart speakers are becoming even more important as a conduit for news and information,” noted Edison Research SVP Tom Webster, “and this increased usage and facility with voice assistants will likely increase demand for this technology in vehicles once our commutes resume.”

“Our daily routines may have changed, but our need for easy access to reliable journalism remains critical – even more so than ever before, “ said NPR Vice President of New Platform Partnerships Joel Sucherman. “We see that in listening patterns and the continued growth in the number of devices Americans have in their homes.”

Other key findings include:

Of those who use voice assistants, more than two-thirds say they ‘make their lives easier’.

46% of smart speaker owners say they use their smartphone voice assistant more since acquiring their smart speaker

59% of smart speaker owners who also use a voice assistant on their smartphone say the tasks they use for each of the devices are mostly different

52% of smart speaker non-owners who use some type of voice commands are likely or very likely to buy a smart speaker in the next six months — 34% of all smart speaker non-owners say they are likely or very likely to buy a device in the next six months

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in 2017, is a recurring study on trends in Smart Speaker ownership and voice assistant user behavior. A full archive of research from the Report is available at www.npr.org/smartaudio.

How This Study Was Conducted
The Smart Audio Report Spring 2020 is based upon a national telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted December 31, 2019 through January 5, 2020, and a national online survey of 1,660 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted March 31, 2020 through April 1, 2020. Ethnographic interviews were conducted in Denver, Kansas City, and Orlando. The device owner data was weighted to nationally representative figures on Smart Speaker users from The Infinite Dial 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

About NPR
NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (npr.org/stations), and now it’s easy to listen to stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, “Play NPR,” and you’ll be tuned into your local Member station’s live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, the NPR One skill, NPR News Now, and Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at npr.org/about and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.