What are top 10 biggest podcasts in the world in terms of listenership and/or downloads?

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What are top 10 biggest podcasts in the world in terms of listenership and/or downloads?

Hello! Thanks for your question about the top 10 most popular podcasts in the world. The short version is that the most popular international podcasts include This American Life's S-Town, TED Radio Hour, Stuff You Should Know, and The New York Time's The Daily. Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.

METHODOLOGY

A global pre-compiled lists of the top 10 largest podcasts was not publicly available. In order to create a list the 10 most popular podcasts in the world, I analyzed several podcasts databases and lists to determine the most popular podcasts in the world. During my search, I found a service called PodTrac which provide members with podcast statistics including downloads and listenership. I was also able to verify that the podcasts have achieved international success by using the iTunes Charts database.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to work out the number of listeners for those podcasts in the sources who have stated the number of radio stations in their networks, rather than the actual number of listeners. Since the listenership information was not available for all the podcasts, I included two bonus podcasts for a total of 12 podcasts.


TOP 12 INTERNATIONALLY SUCCESSFUL PODCASTS

The Daily (The New York Times)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, Australia and Brazil"
Listeners: 20 million

S-Town / Serial (This American Life)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, Australia and Brazil"
Listeners: 16 million

Planet Money (NPR)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, Australia and Brazil"
Listeners: 8.3 million

Freakonomics (WNYC Studios)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Spain and Australia"
Listeners: 8 million

Fresh Air (NPR)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, Australia and Brazil"
Listeners: 6.2 million

This American Life (This American Life)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, Australia and Brazil"
Listeners: 2.2 million weekly listeners and 2.5 million weekly downloads on 500 stations

Radiolab (WNYC Studios)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Spain and Australia"
Listeners: On 500 radio stations

Revisionist History (Malcolm Gladwell)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, Australia and Brazil"
Listeners: N/A - However it is ranked #1 by iTunes and Podcast Chart and PodTrac.

TED Radio Hour (NPR)
Popular in: USA, UK, Australia, Germany France, Spain, Brazil, Italy, and Canada
Listeners: On 590 radio stations

Invisibilia (NPR)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, Australia and Brazil"
Listeners: N/A - However it is ranked #2 by iTunes and Podcast Chart and PodTrac.

Stuff You Should Know (HOW STUFF WORKS)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Italy, Canada, Spain, Australia and Brazil"
Listeners: N/A - However it is ranked in the top 5 by iTunes and Podcast Chart and PodTrac

30 for 30 (ESPN)
Popular in: "United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia."
Listeners: N/A - However it is ranked in the top 5 by iTunes and Podcast Chart and PodTrac


AVERAGE AUDIENCE / LISTENERSHIP

On average, podcasts receive 141 downloads after they have been posted for at least 30 days. Only 10% of podcasts have over 3400 downloads and only 5% have over 9000 per episode. Podcasts that get more than 50,000 downloads per show are considered to be in the top 1%.

CONCLUSION

To wrap it up, NPR publishes a lot of the most popular podcasts including Invisibilia, TED Radio Hour, and Fresh Air. All of the above podcasts are considered to be in the top 1% for listenership and downloads.

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