U.S. Rankers · February 9, 2021

The Top 50 Most Listened to U.S. Podcasts of 2020

By edison

Edison Research Announces Top 50 U.S. Podcasts for 2020 by Audience Size

Edison Research, the leading podcast research organization for over 15 years, is pleased to announce the first comprehensive U.S. Top 50 podcast chart. This list ranks the 50 biggest podcasts of 2020 by audience size, based on the Podcast Consumer Tracker, the only podcast measurement service that measures the relative audience size and demographics of all podcast networks. Among the top shows of 2020 are as follows:

1. The Joe Rogan Experience
2. The Daily
3. Crime Junkie
4. This American Life
5. My Favorite Murder
6. Stuff You Should Know
7. Office Ladies
8. Pod Save America
9. Planet Money
10. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

The entire list of 50 is attached.

“We have sampled over 10,000 podcast listeners to determine who they are, what shows they listen to, what they buy, and the demographic profiles for every leading network and top podcast,” said Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “There is no other service available for producers or agencies that provides this information for the entire industry.”

The Edison Research Top 50 Most Listened to U.S. Podcasts of 2020 list is derived from data collected continuously throughout 2020 from surveying weekly podcast consumers ages 18 and older. 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 hand-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.

“Existing measures of downloads are important,” noted Webster. “We aren’t replacing that–but currently we have demographic data on all major networks, how they rank against each other, and credible estimates of network size calibrated by our ongoing work on The Infinite Dial® research series, which remains the most widely-used audience data in the industry. It is the only service based on actual listens, not downloads.”

Current subscribers to The Podcast Consumer Tracker include half of the top 20 networks in podcasting as well as leading technology platforms, and is growing quarterly. Subscribers include Stitcher/Midroll, NPR, Wondery, ESPN/ABC/Disney, WarnerMedia, and more. “From day one of a subscription we are able to provide leading podcast networks with the size and demographic makeup of their audience. Our dataset gets more and more robust every day, and we are immensely proud of this service we can provide to the industry,” added Webster.

For information about the Podcast Consumer Tracker, contact Edison Research SVP Tom Webster at info@edisonresearch.com.

About Edison Research
Edison Research is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Wondery, PodcastOne, Slate, Spotify, Stitcher/Midroll, ESPN, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space. The company’s annual Infinite Dial® study has been the most widely-cited data in the podcasting space since 2005, and Share of Ear® from Edison Research remains the only single-source measure in America of the relative size of podcast listening compared to other audio media. In 2019, the company introduced the Podcast Consumer Tracker, a quarterly study that provides the only comprehensive data on podcast listening by network in the world. Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool for the past 17 years, conducting exit polls since 2004 and collecting real-time vote results in all 50 states to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.

Get our latest insights delivered to your inbox.