The first thing you’re going to think about when I tell you why your podcast downloads don’t matter is that they, in fact, DO matter. And, I’m going to agree – at least, to a certain extent. Podcast downloads are important, but not in the way you think.
So here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to transform podcast downloads from a measurement of ‘success’ and use something else to determine how your podcast is performing.
Here’s why your podcast downloads don’t matter and what to focus on instead:
As always, you can listen to the related episode on Moms Who Podcast here:
What is a Podcast Download?
A podcast download is when someone downloads your podcast episode with their app whether they listen to it or not. When someone follows a show, it automatically downloads new episodes so all you, as a user, have to do to listen is click play.
You can check the number of downloads your show has in your app – it can be used to give you insight into how many people are interested in our content.
In fact, according to The Podcast Host, if your show has more than 478 downloads you’re in the top 10% of podcasts. If you have more than 1,123 downloads, you’re in the top 5% of podcasts. With more than 5,082 downloads, you’re in the top 1% of downloads – a huge shift from back in 2022 when 3,062 downloads would land you in the top 1% of all podcasts.
Ultimately, podcast downloads are just a metric, a number. They’re like Instagram followers. For example, the number of Instagram followers you (or someone else) have does not directly correlate to how much money they make. The same applies to your podcast downloads.
Why Your Podcast Downloads Don’t Matter
Your podcast downloads are a vanity metric – it looks and feels good when they go up, but that’s it. It doesn’t impact how many clients you’ve booked or who joined your Facebook group after listening to your episode. It can give you some insight into how much visibility your podcast is getting, but that’s about it.
There’s nothing wrong with looking at these metrics, but it’s so easy to get stuck in them and devalue our hard work. When I first started a podcast I would wait for my downloads to grow and I would compare the downloads from my two shows, Moms Who Podcast and Mama Knows Business.
To get out of the mindset of “this is not enough” I had to really think about who my audience is. My shows are very niche, specifically Moms Who Podcast and while my downloads feel low, I know that every single one of my listeners is my target audience. I touch a little bit more on my own podcast downloads in my podcast episode if you’re curious.
You have to put it into perspective too, because I don’t know about you, but I would be honored to have 60 people (the average downloads per episode for my show) in a room and listening to what I have to say.
What to Focus on in Your Podcast Metrics
This might be a controversial take, but you’re not going to focus on your podcast metrics. You can look at your downloads, your listens, your follows – but you’re not going to measure the success of your podcast by them, instead, you’re going to focus on what your listeners are saying about your show.
Are they giving you good feedback? Are you telling them how to do something in your podcast episode? Are they taking action? That’s how you can measure your podcast growth.
Instead of stressing the metrics, continue putting strategies in place with your podcast. Focus on your SEO and make sure your podcast episodes are catchy. Make sure you’re marketing your podcast and putting out good content – your podcast will keep growing, so don’t worry about your podcast downloads.
And if you ever need help managing your podcast and making sure you’re putting out quality content, check out my podcast support designed to help you manage your binge-worthy podcast.