The new year started off strong for podcast publishers as post-holiday listening roared back. Downloads among top 20 publishers measured by Podtrac saw a 17% year-to-year increase in streams and downloads last month. Powered by an eight percent increase in downloads, iHeartRadio remained at the top with more than 422 million downloads in January.

It was the first time iHeart crossed the 400 million download mark and it came despite having four fewer shows in its network compared to the prior month. Podtrac says iHeart’s U.S. monthly unique audience was more than 30 million. It marked 16 consecutive months that it has led the ranking of publishers measured by Podtrac.

Overall, Podtrac reports the average publisher had a two percent month-over-month increase in their U.S. unique monthly audience last month. And compared to a year earlier, January 2022’s unique reach for the top 20 publishers was up one percent versus January 2021.

Podtrac also reports 13 of the top 20 publishers posted an increase in their unique monthly U.S. audience in January compared to December – the rest were either down or flat.

Podtrac says global downloads for the top 20 publishers overall were up five percent month-over-month during January. They were also up 17% over the download numbers from a year earlier.