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America’s Most Popular Podcasts: What Are You Listening To?

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These days more and more people are turning to podcasts to get through long morning commutes and keep up with current events. With fewer commercials than radio shows and specialized presentations for different topics, people get more of what they’re interested in than they might from the radio. Podcast topics range from murder mysteries to beauty or sports. As the podcasting trend grows, it seems there are limitless podcasts to subscribe to and listen to. So our question here at SimpleTexting was, what podcasts are people most interested in?

America’s top podcasts and most popular podcasts by state.

To answer that question, we reviewed Google search data in the U.S. over the past 12 months to determine which podcasts were being searched for the most. Like so many other things, the first place people turn when looking for a good podcast is Google. We’ve analyzed the results, and these are the podcasts that people searched for the most across the country.

Podcasts selected as the favorite by the most states.

The big winner with the highest search volume in 10 states was “The Last Podcast on the Left”. This podcast dives into urban legends, serial killers, monsters, and mayhem, leaving everyone a little uneasy in the dark. This podcast was also the top ranking podcast searched in 3 out of 4 U.S. Regions – the Midwest, the West, and the South. Some of the most popular episodes according to Google Trends feature Edmund Kemper, Jim Jones, and David Berkowitz. People seem to enjoy the combination of the creep factor and the information.

Coming in second for nationwide search volume is “Serial”. This podcast thrives on the concept of a cliffhanger. Each episode features a part of a story that will last for the entire season, meaning that listeners need to take the time to listen to the episodes in order and pay attention to the plotline. Season 1 featured a murder mystery, while Season 2 tells the story of a soldier who was held prisoner in Afghanistan.

Most popular podcasts by U.S. region.

Tied for top podcast in the West region is “Dirty John”, a true crime story based on the character John Meehan. Each episode of the podcast is a chapter in the story, and it’s set up to feel like you’re listening to an audiobook. The podcast proved to be very popular not only in the U.S., but also in Australia, Canada, and the UK.

In the Northeast, podcast fans are listening to “WTF with Marc Maron”. Marc Maron began as a comedian and has recently expanded into podcasts. Episodes of his show feature celebrities, authors, or significant personalities who have conversations with Maron on the air. He asks the tough questions, but also keeps it light-hearted and funny, depending on the guest and the subject matter.

In the South, “Stuff You Should Know” came out on top as the best podcast. This series focuses on simplifying and explaining a wide variety of topics for their audience. Much of their show is meant to entertain, and the information spans from inconsequential and interesting to current events and complicated concepts. The diversity of subject matter and the personality of the presenters has proved successful. Not only was it the most popular choice in the South, but the podcast was recently expanded to a TV show on the Science Channel.

So, what were most people interested in based on their podcast preferences? The most popular podcasts dealt with topics that straddle the line of interesting and frightening. It looks like the U.S. can’t get enough of things that go bump in the night! Podcasts have become a popular source of entertainment for busy professionals, and at SimpleTexting we’re always keeping our eye on the latest trends to see what the next big marketing tool will be.

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