While podcasts can’t necessarily be considered a new medium at this point, roughly a decade out from when they first started to dot the digital environment, they are just now starting to hit their stride. With the popularity of smartphones, hardware lends itself to the rise of podcasts in the social zeitgeist, providing the ease demanded of a growing listener base always on the go.
Of course, as economic theory has long stated, there will always be a growing supply to meet market demand. In the case of the podcast revolution, the hardware once again provides a significant boost to those who are adventurous in spirit and want to launch their own podcast. With inexpensive equipment and convenient platforms to host a show, podcasters don’t have to break their budget to produce a show that has great production values.
However, the technical aspects of producing a new podcast are just one of the factors involved in launching a new show. Many other considerations must be taken into account to give a new podcast the very best chance of engaging an initial audience and building the listener base towards a successful future.
How Many Episodes to Launch With
Choosing the number of episodes to launch with can depend on the type of person creating the new podcast. While it doesn’t speak much of future consistency, a person who tends to procrastinate might be best launching with just a single episode. This could motivate the new podcaster to continue their efforts once the initial episode had been recorded, produced and released.
Otherwise, launching a new show with three to five episodes seems to be an ideal number to allow the podcast to find its voice while also providing listeners enough to engage and want more. Once a podcast launches and listeners enjoy their first listen, they are much more likely to download additional episodes. This behavior significantly increases the chances of the listenership subscribing to the show and becoming regular listeners.
Having episodes backlogged and ready for release can be helpful in relieving some of the stress in producing new episodes that are subject to a self-imposed deadline. While podcasts don’t typically face deadlines like other forms of media, a consistency in release dates that deadlines breed are important in creating a sense of reliability to subscribing listeners. Having up to 10 episodes backlogged at any given time provides the podcaster some breathing room without enough of a time lapse between episode production to lose the voice and perspective that drew listeners to the show in the first place.
When to Release New Episodes
It’s important to keep the target audience in mind when choosing the day and time of the day to release new episodes. What might be an early morning release in California would be midday in New York so release times are always subject to differences in time zones. However, as a rule of thumb, early morning releases give listeners the most opportunity to find the new episode on the day of release.
Likewise, releasing episodes toward the beginning of the work week gives them the best chance of surviving the onslaught of workplace deadlines and weekend plans that tend to dominate the typical listener’s schedule. Monday through Wednesday is best when targeting a typical listener with career and family demands. Using Backtracks’ analytics podcasters can hone in on the release schedule that works best for their audience (we have many customers that releasing on a Thursday or Friday works well for example).
Lastly, listener behavior is somewhat dependent on the type of podcast being listened to. Serialized podcasts that feature a single story being continued over multiple episodes are more likely to be downloaded and listened to in a listening binge than those that are not. Still, no matter the nature of the show, frequent podcast listeners listen to multiple episodes in a single sitting roughly 64 percent of the time. Obviously, much like streaming television, podcasting is a medium where listeners will binge multiple episodes if the content is engaging. Keep it up, you’re off to a great start.
If you need help hosting your podcast, getting analytics, and more then please do check Backtracks out.