The problem of podcast discovery

The problem of podcast discovery. In this post, why is it so hard to get my podcast found? 

Are you tired of feeling frustrated and overwhelmed trying to get your podcast discovered? It can be tough to stand out in a sea of over 2.4 million podcasts, with celebrity shows and well-funded networks often taking up the top spots. It's easy for great shows like yours to get lost in the shuffle and low listener numbers can be disheartening. In fact, the difficulty of getting discovered is often what leads many podcasters to give up after just a few episodes.

But don't let that be you! To succeed in podcasting, you need to be resilient and determined. It all starts with understanding the challenges of podcast discovery. By learning about the issues and finding ways to overcome them, you can give your show the best chance of reaching a wider audience. So let's get started and make sure your podcast gets the attention it deserves.

So what are the key issues? Here's my small but not exhaustive list:

1 - With so many podcasts, standing out is a real challenge.

The sheer number of podcasts available makes discovery difficult for both content creators and consumers. For podcasters, the large number of shows means it's difficult to gain visibility and attract listeners. For listeners, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming, they'll often just stick to the same handful of podcasts they already know and love rather than branching out and discovering new ones. 

2 - Podcast players are not your friends. (In my opinion!)

All podcast players including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, rely on algorithms for recommendations. This coding can hinder podcast discovery because algorithms are based on a user's listening history and preferences, they often only suggest similar podcasts and limit the listener's exposure to new and potentially interesting content. These algorithms also don't favour new, smaller or independent podcasts.

3- The issue with promoting your podcast on social media. 

Social media seems an obvious choice for podcast discovery but it can be problematic for several reasons. Social media can be a noisy and cluttered space, making it difficult for podcasts to stand out. Think about how you use social media, is finding a podcast something you use it for regularly? Obviously, it can be time-consuming to constantly create and share engaging content to gain visibility. It's also tricky to guage if a social post converted someone into a listener. Additionally, social media algorithms can make it difficult for content creators to reach their desired audience, as they may only be shown to a limited number of users. 

4 - Podcasts aren't a visual medium

Podcasts don't have the same visibility as other forms of media, such as online video, television or movies. Because they don't have the same visual aspect it's harder to grab the attention of potential listeners. Yes you can create vodcasts (video your podcast) or visual soundbites, but again these must be shared on social media.

5 - Podcasts need to be read because the web runs on text

Obviously podcasts are audio files. But audio files l(MP3's and WAV's) aren't as readily seach engine friendly as text files like blogs and online newspaper articles. The internet generally favours text over audio files for a few reasons. 

  • Text is easily searchable and indexable by search engines, making it easier for users to find relevant content. Audio files, on the other hand, are not as easily searchable and may require additional metadata or transcripts in order to be discovered. 
  • Text is more compact and requires less storage space than audio files. This makes it more efficient for websites and apps to handle and transmit. 

So these are just some of the barriers to podcast discovery but there is an answer. To get your show found it must be search engine friendly. That means creating transcripts of your shows and optimising you podcast content so Google can find it and read it.



How to grow your podcast
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