Recently a fellow podcaster and I got into a discussion about if it mattered where people listened to a podcast. As more podcast platforms introduce statistics, watching your numbers has become a new favorite pastime for podcasters. So my fellow pod jockey insisted that he would only put effort into getting his show on platforms with good statistics.
I countered with the idea that it doesn’t matter where and how someone listened to your show, only that they did and that they enjoyed it. After an hour of back and forth, neither of us would be swayed to the other’s point of view.
If a podcast is listened to and no-one logs that listen, did anyone ever hear it?
This need to silo information in an attempt to control it illustrates a weakness in the current paradigm of how we distribute content on the internet. We all want to reach as many ears as we can, but in the same breath, we put limits on where things should appear based on our ability to track them.
Suites of solutions have been built to compensate for this weakness, but many of them are expensive, time-consuming and complicated. They take the focus away from what you wanted to do when you decided to podcast.
The act of discovery is very personal. How I go about getting to your show shouldn’t be hindered by my lack of software or refusal to participate in a particular platform. Yet, people are making this decision for reasons as trivial as the ability to track.
Obviously this does apply to platforms that allow you to monetize your creations, but those are few and far between when it comes to podcasts (and most other things nowadays).
But what if they like my show? How will they subscribe?
Have you ever heard a podcast that you liked and weren’t able to find it online after the fact? No.
After enjoying your rouge podcast, people will Google your show and then will subscribe to it on whatever service they feel most comfortable using.
Wait, this sounds like it can apply to non-podcasts.
It does. If ad revenue is not your model, what you want is people consuming whatever it is you make. If they like it, and why wouldn’t they? You are very talented. Then they will look for the place that is most convenient for them to find you in the future.
Does this mean I should be creating outside my niche to try and reach the most people I can?
Not at all. You should always say focused on your niche and your community. But you should be mindful that not everyone in your niche or community is using the same tools and platforms as you.
So get whatever you are creating out there. Share it and post it where you know ears and eyes might spot them. These are your creations, they don’t need to be kept behind some artificial wall that only offers a reassuring statistic.