No. 1 in iTunes: “Question of the Day” podcast rises to the top of the charts one day after launch

Wed, September 02, 2015 by Kari Wethington

CINCINNATI —The latest show from podcast industry leader Midroll Media hit No. 1 in the iTunes Podcast charts in the U.S. on Tuesday, just one day after it launched.

The podcast, “Question of the Day,” is hosted by journalist, podcaster and co-author of the best-selling “Freaknomics” books Stephen J. Dubner (@freakonomics) and author, entrepreneur and investor James Altucher (@jaltucher). Posted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, each episode is just 10 minutes and has the co-hosts tackling a new question of the day. (View the iTunes page to learn more and subscribe to the show.)

The topics are wide-ranging but never superficial, deep but never heavy. What is the best way to start an engaging conversation with a stranger? How important is focus in life? And what can you learn right now that will help you for the rest of your life? The first five episodes, available now, tackle three very different questions:

• Why are so many people content to work a 9-to-6 job? • What new words does the English language need? • Why don’t we like the way our voice sounds in recordings?

Since its launch Monday, “Question of the Day” (@QOD) has climbed up the iTunes charts, quickly overtaking recent hit series like “Serial” and longtime favorite “This American Life.” The show was produced by Midroll for its Earwolf network. In addition to iTunes, it is also available for free streaming or download at and the Howl app for iOS.

“Launching ‘Question of the Day’ with Earwolf gave us a lot of freedom to experiment with the format of the podcast medium, to come up with something truly new, and it appears that people are embracing it,” said Dubner, whose “Freakonomics Radio” podcast, produced with WNYC, is regularly at the top of the iTunes podcast charts.

“The reaction has been fantastic,” said Altucher. “We’ve got some great content coming in the next weeks, so we’re happy to see that we’ve got the subscribers ready to hear it!”

(View a video of the co-hosts discussing the new podcast.)

The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) acquired Midroll in July. The five-year-old Los Angeles-based company creates original podcasts and operates a network that generates revenue for more than 200 shows. Earlier this month, Midroll rolled out its Howl Premium audio service that delivers exclusive access to a large library of content including the entire Earwolf, Wolfpop and “WTF with Marc Maron” episode archives, all ad-free and on-demand. The service is available on the web at or via the Howl iOS app.

About Scripps
The E.W. Scripps Company serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of television, radio and digital media brands. Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners, with 33 television stations in 24 markets and a reach of nearly one in five U.S. households. It also owns 34 radio stations in eight markets. Scripps also runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses, including podcast industry leader Midroll Media, over-the-top video news service Newsy and weather app developer WeatherSphere. Scripps also produces television shows including The List and The Now, runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and serves as the long-time steward of the nation’s largest, most successful and longest-running educational program, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”