Biggest Branded Podcasts, Pt. 1
The biggest branded podcasts in the US are The Dave Ramsay Show, Duolingo's Spanish Podcast, The goop Podcast, Goldman Sachs's podcasts and the LifeAfter/The Message podcast by GE.
- The Dave Ramsay Show Podcast is a podcast offering consumer advice about finances and money. It is ranked #14 on the Apple charts and has 4.6 stars from over 13,000 ratings. Dave Ramsay, while he has humble beginnings as mere a financial advice celebrity, has grown his "Dave Ramsay" brand into a network of tools, affiliated service providers, classes and events.
- Duolingo Spanish Podcast is designed to help people learn Spanish. It is produced by the popular language-learning app, clearly to fit in well with learning Spanish within the app. This podcast ranked #155 on the Apple podcast charts and #2 among all education-tagged podcasts.
- The goop Podcast is produced by the Gweneth Paltrow-owned-and-run lifestyle brand. The podcast ranked #191 on the Apple charts is #6 in the health and fitness category. The podcast has 4.4 stars from over 6,000 reviews.
- The Goldman Sachs podcasts consist of three broadcasts: Top of Mind, Talks at GS and Exchanges at Goldman Sachs. The most recent episode of Exchanges at Goldman Sachs ranked #1 on SoundCloud last week. The podcast is followed by 17,900 people.
- The Message/Life After is produced by GE (General Electric). This podcast had the highest number of reviews among all branded podcasts listed in several media articles. The podcast is rated 4.3 stars from over 2,800 reviews. The podcast reportedly has over 8 million downloads.
Two of the largest podcast distribution platforms are Apple and Spotify. Therefore, we aimed to check the charts for the 250 podcasts (where there is, of course, much overlap) to then pull out the first five branded podcasts among these. However, even with 250 podcasts on Apple's "top" list, there were only 3 branded podcasts among these. We then found two other podcast platforms, SoundCloud and Stitcher, and checked their charts. SoundCloud's chart only lists episodes, rather than whole podcasts, but it stands to reason that popular episodes would also translate to popular podcasts as a whole. After this, we had four branded podcasts. Stitcher did not list any branded podcasts in its top 100.
We then changed our approach and sourced several articles listing the top or most popular branded podcasts in existence. We checked every podcast listed across these several expert articles and found the most popular, by number of reviewers, was GE's The Message. This then served as our fifth entry on the list.
As a note, "branded podcasts" was defined as podcasts from companies with actual products, not media or news outlets. Religious podcasts, affiliated with a certain church or figure, were not considered "branded".