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Apple and Spotify’s Top On-Platform Podcast Performance Lists

Two associated things, in case they’re the kind of bananas that interest you:

(1) Apple has published a “Best Listens of 2019” page for the Apple Podcast platform, which contains both picks by the in-house editors that manage the front page curation as well as a listing of shows, new and existing, that performed the best on the platform over the past year. Intriguingly, the page also appears to feature the editorial team’s podcasts picks for Best True Crime (NPR’s White Lies), Best Fiction (QCODE’s Carrier), and Best History (NYT’s 1619). Which, you know, feels a little strange, but whatever. You can find the page here.

(2) Similarly, Spotify has pubbed its spiffy annual Year-in-Review data highlight splash, which highlights what the company says are the top-performing podcasts on the platform. There’s a global angle here. The top five podcasts are, in descending order: The Joe Budden Podcast (a Spotify exclusive), My Favorite Murder, Gemischtes Hack (a German podcast), Fest & Flauschig (another German podcast, but this one’s a Spotify exclusive), and The Misfits Podcast.

By the way, you should pair the Spotify thread here with the recent news that the company is setting up its own music awards… based on streaming data. Again, strange, but whatever.

For what it’s worth, I found the following take from Water and Music’s Cherie Hu somewhat helpful in calibrating my gut reaction: “The more a music awards show is ‘based on data,’ the less it will actually matter in the sense of being culturally influential and driving taste. because at that point, it’s just another chart.” Hmm.