When Apple released the iPod all those years ago it probably didn't know that music might not be the biggest thing to come out of it. Podcasts were born, and now they're big business and listened to by millions of people around the globe. There are tons of ways to listen to podcasts now, including Apple's own Podcasts app. And now the data collected by Apple Podcasts has been used to show us the most popular podcasts of the year.
Apple shared details of the most popular shows in a press release that was broken down into a few different categories. In terms of the most popular show, that honor fell to Crime Junkie while The Daily and Dateline NBC made up the top three podcasts.
For fans of finding new podcasts, the next category will be most interesting - top new shows. At the top of that list was Scamanda, while The Retrievals and The Deck Investigations rounded out the top three most popular new shows according to Apple Podcasts.
In terms of the most followed shows, the tables turned slightly with Huberman Lab taking the top spot with SmartLess and New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce rounding out the top three.
Apple also shared a list of the most shared shows with Scamanda again taking top spot. Sold a Story and The Retrievals were second and third respectively, while the most shared episodes were also made public. According to Apple podcasts the most shared episode of any podcast was Huberman Lab: 'What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health.' Interestingly, Serial: 'The Alibi' was in the top ten despite being almost ten years old at this point.
The other categories included the top free channels, won by iHeartPodcasts, and the top subscriber channels, topped by Wondery.
It's worth remembering that this data is all based on information collected on users listening to podcasts in the United States only and of course, they had to be listening via the Podcasts app for any of this data to be collected, too. That means that people listening via third-party apps like Overcast or any of the many other options weren't counted here. For those who do want to see global charts, there are some available across almost 100 countries and regions with the link available at the bottom of this post. If you open the link on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac with Apple Podcasts installed the link will take you into the app for easier browsing, too.