ESPN’s Podcast Audience Continues to Grow

ESPN AudioESPN Podcasts

ESPN’s Podcast Audience Continues to Grow

In June, ESPN Podcasts experienced 42.7 million downloads, the eighth month in the last nine with a total of 40 million or more.  The number represents a 31% increase over June 2019.

According to The Podtrac Podcast Category Audience Rankings, in the Sports Podcast category ESPN has 11 of the top 30 podcasts, more than twice as many as any other publisher.  The rankings are available for each of the 19 Apple Podcasts categories and include the top 30 podcasts in each category by Unique Monthly Audience; measurement is voluntary.  With 1,025,870 listeners in June The Dan LeBatard Show is the third ranked podcast in the sports category and up +12% over last month as measured by Unique Monthly Audience.

The imminent return of sports following the shutdown in March helped drive the results.  Of note, original podcast content enjoyed a 65% increase in downloads year-over-year, with 17.1 million.  Among ESPN’s strongest performers were Jalen & Jacoby, The Lowe Post (NBA) and Bomani Jones’ The Right Time.

ESPN’s unique podcast audience is verified by Podtrac and download totals by Rawvoice.

ESPN Podcasts

ESPN Audio launched its first podcast in 2005 and is a leader in the sports genre – in 2019 ESPN Podcasts were downloaded in total a record 425 million times, by on average six million listeners a month – with more than 35 original offerings, plus shows from ESPN Radio and television. Offerings focus on “sports passions” (NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.), storytelling (30 for 30 and ESPN Daily with Mina Kimes) and compelling personalities. The most popular titles include 30 for 30, Fantasy Focus Football, The Lowe Post, and podcasts of ESPN Radio’s The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, and TV’s First Take.



Dave Nagle

As I write this on 11-11-21, it's now 35 years for me at ESPN, the only real job I’ve ever had. I joined merely to help with the upcoming America’s Cup in Australia. I was told it would be for three months at all of $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville, Darlington, Indy and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals, Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, my main areas are tennis, UFC, boxing, network-wide ratings (by month/quarter/year), and corporate communications documents, including fact sheets, chronologies, lists and nearly 35 of the Year in Review press releases. UPDATE EXACTLY ONE YEAR LATER: Today, November 11, 2022, I am retiring from ESPN -- 36 years to the day I began. As I ride off into the sunset – top down and E Street Radio blaring – I do so with so many wonderful memories, proud of my contributions and a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity. 
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