How Popular Is This Podcast? 9 Ways to Tell (Solved)

Determining the popularity of a podcast is not as easy as in social media posts or youtube. In these types of media social shares and views are enough to know their popularity.

In contrast, podcast popularity isn’t that straightforward.

Nonetheless, in this article, you will learn about the crucial metrics that can help podcast performance tracking.

Here’s How to Know The Popularity of a Podcast

To know if a podcast is popular or not, you ought to observe key popular indicators. The most popular ones include; podcast reviews, their rating, ranking. Others are the number of downloads and listeners per episode, backlinks, monitoring social media, and more.

1. Number of Podcast Reviews

Podcast reviews are one of the key indicators of podcast episode popularity. If your podcasts are receiving more reviews, that is a sure sign of interest in your podcast by your listeners.

This metric is even clearer, especially with some podcast directories, where you can see rankings and reviews by episodes.

Of course, it can be positive or negative, but any review is a great indicator of the direction of the popularity of your podcast.

If you receive plenty of positive reviews, that is a strong indication of soaring popularity.

However, you should take negative reviews as a learning experience. Take a close look at the concerns of your listeners and improve on them.

Some of the examples of the issues could be in the quality of the content itself or the podcast audio. But overall, the more positive reviews you get the more popular your podcast is.

2. Level of Podcast Rating

Podcast rating is a metric that is shown by the number of stars by the listeners and can be done so anonymously

The higher the number of stars the more popular is the podcast. But often, focusing on this metric alone is not helpful.

The reason is, it is possible for a podcast to have five-star ratings, but the total rating still is low compared to other sites.

What is important is to have a good mix of high star ratings, as well as a high total number of ratings.

That means, a podcast with  2000 mainly four-stars might be more popular than its competitor with say 500 mainly five-star ratings.

That is why, while the star rating is important, the volume of the rating is a better indicator of the podcast’s popularity.

3. Podcast Ranking Position

The ranking shows in which category the show is placed. Apparently, all podcast categories are not equal. If the podcast has multiple categories, the episode that is placed in the first category is considered to be higher ranked.

This implies that a podcast with more shows in the first category is more popular.

In addition, podcast episodes in the upper category receive higher subscribers which is a vote of their popularity in comparison to their competition.

4. Number of Downloads Per Episode

The number of podcast downloads critical sign of its popularity. If more people are downloading your shows, clearly they want to listen later, and most probably with friends.

Clearly, that is a vote of confidence and value in your content. We all know people keep what they value. Furthermore, depending on the platform you’re using, you can even opt to analyze the source of the downloads.

For example, you can find out the age of people downloading, their location, or the devices they are using.

Using this data you can target these groups with more marketing campaigns to further boost the podcast’s popularity.

5. Number of Listeners Per Episode

Tracking the number of plays each episode receives is a great method of testing the popularity of your podcast shows.

Of course, it is difficult to get a clear approximation by merely looking at a few shows. To get a clear picture of the performance of the episodes you have to track subsequent episodes.

If for instance, your show receives 200 listeners in one episode and 500 in the next one, that is an indication of growing popularity over time.

Keep in mind, these estimates are just well, estimates. As for indicators of popularity, they may not be perfect. However, they can help you in identifying the weak content areas to work on to boost the podcast’s popularity.

6. Number of Podcast Subscriptions

One of the ways of getting your podcasts known is by boosting your subscriber base. By increasing your podcast RSS feed, push or email notification, you can shore up your podcast number.

And by monitoring these numbers you can tell whether your podcast is increasing, or declining in popularity. If more people have subscribed in the recent episode, that is a thumb up.

That means you’re most likely doing something right with this podcast episode.

In contrast, if you’re losing these subscribers, it is a sure wake-up call to up your game. Critical analysis can earth the causes.

Improve the quality of your content, bump up your marketing spend. Find out what is slowing down your popularity.

7. Number of Podcast Backlinks

Just like in blog posts, links to your podcast are a vote of confidence in your podcast content.

Every website linking to your website is a direct indication of your podcast popularity. In other words, website owners want to share some of the value in your content, with their own audience.

That can only happen if they highly regard your podcasts. So the more backlinks you have pointed to your podcast the more popular is your podcast.

However, keep in mind that not all links are equal. While some build your popularity, others are destructive. You need to use a good backlink analysis tool to flush out such backlinks.

Examples are spammy links from shady sites which you should immediately disavow to avoid spoiling the popularity of your show.

8. Using Social Media Analytics

One of the ways of promoting your podcast shows is through the use of social media. Using popular social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, or Tiktok you can help gauge the popularity of your podcast.

Ensure to monitor your listeners’ comments, likes, shares among other social media factors. The unique thing with social media users is that they are straightforward.

If your shows are mediocre they will tell you straight to your face.

With that said, the greatest problem with social media is that it is teeming with trolls. People can gang up to tear down your podcasts for no valid reason.

Yes, the show may have some weaknesses, but with social media, every minor weakness is magnifiable.

But overall the more likes, shares, and positive comments the more popular the podcast is.

9. Newsletter Open Rates

Most people run newsletters to promote their podcasts which is a perfect marketing strategy.

With newsletters, you can not only promote your podcasts but also find out their popularity. The key is to monitor the performance analytics.

Be sure to observe the open rates and click-throughs. If there is a downward trend in these variables, seek feedback from your subscribers. By analyzing the data you obtain, it is easy to understand what is popular or not.

One of the common causes of podcast unsubscription is failure to do regular podcasts. To lower the rate you need to have a clear podcasting schedule, so your listeners can know what to expect and when.

That is a sure way of keeping up your podcast popularity.

10. Invitation to Other Podcasts and Platforms

Over several years of podcasting, you will likely carve your own niche. Your peers will hold you with respect and consider you as a resource person on matters of podcasting.

That is why they will seek to tap into your well of knowledge in various ways. One of them is through invitations to forums, blogs, and other podcasts.

Additionally, they will seek partnership and network opportunities with your podcasts. All these are indications of growth in the stature of your podcasting brand among your peers and the podcasting industry in general.

Final Thoughts

Tracking the popularity of a podcast is not as straightforward as most other media channels.

While other media have clear factors such as social shares, likes, and views with podcasts you have to use less straightforward considerations. Notably, it may sound complicated to find out whether a podcast is popular, but it is not impossible.

All you have to do is to monitor key indicators as we have elaborated above. If you haven’t been observing these key metrics, the time to start doing that is now.

This will help in not only finding out how popular your podcast is but help in boosting its popularity.


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