How many listeners are needed for a podcast to be considered successful? It's a question that all podcasters ask themselves sooner or later and is a pretty difficult one to answer.
The number of listeners your podcast has depends on many factors, including the topic, the niche, and the existing competition in the market. In this article, we’ll learn how many listeners is good for a podcast and help you gauge your podcast's success and improve your show.
How Many Listeners Is Good for a Podcast?
Podcasting has been around for over a decade now, and in that time it has become one of the most popular forms of content consumption. In fact, according to Edison Research's Infinite Dial 2022, 62% of Americans have listened to a podcast at least once. But exactly how many listeners should you have to consider your podcast successful?
The answer to that question depends on the show's topic. Many podcasters spend days and nights trying to work out how to make their show unique. It's no wonder creators consistently want to come up with original topics, or at least new angles on existing ones, because that's how they convince people to listen to new episodes.
The key is understanding that potential audience size depends on the topics you choose. If you want to attract more listeners you have to find a topic that has broad appeal. Statistics also take into account the popularity of different topics.
Podcasters can't just produce any show and expect people to start flocking to them. They need to be strategic about how they produce and market their podcast if they want to build an audience.
And that's where most podcasters make mistakes.
Fatal Mistakes Podcasters Make
- The marketing strategy for a podcast differs significantly from a marketing strategy designed for any other product or service.The most common mistake podcasters make is not understanding how to market their show properly. Many podcasters treat their show as a blog post or a YouTube video. Of course, sharing it on social media or even running ads can help gain some traction, but that's not how you will build your loyalaudience.
- The second mistake is not being strategic about releasing new episodes. Consistency is key when it comes to podcasting. You need to release new episodes on a regular basis if you want people to keep fans coming back. However, republishing old episodes with new dates won't be a clever move. Ensure each new episode appearing on the channels is well-produced and valuable for listeners.
- The last mistake, and probably the most common one, is focusing on numbers. Of course, this doesn't mean podcasters should ignore their download and listen numbers altogether. But obsessing over these statistics is an unhealthy habit.
Here's a tip: do the research and discover how many listeners is good for a podcast streaming in a particular niche. Don't get disheartened if your numbers are lower. Remember, podcasters who obsess over numbers often lose sight of the bigger picture and eventually give up. Instead of worrying about every lost fan, focus on how you can improve your content.
We know that our readers are committed to success, so we've put together a couple of statistics to help you understand what's best for you!
Snapshot of Podcast Statistics
According to Buzzsprout Platform Stats, updated monthly, more than 170,000 new episodes were released in May 2022, and more than 110 million were downloaded. There are no strict rules regarding how often you should release new episodes. However, over 34% of podcasters seem to prefer the weekly format.
As for the average length of an episode, it's around 41 minutes. The median length is between 20 and 40 minutes.
Now that we know how long an average episode is, let's see how many downloads it gets. Several studies paint the following picture:
- -- A podcast episode with over 3,400 downloads appears in the top 10% of all shows.
- -- An episode with approximately 9,000 downloads appears in the top 5%.
- -- If your show is lucky enough to reach 50,000 downloads per episode, it will appear in the top 1%.
Remember that not every listener will download your show. Most of the time people stream episodes directly from the platforms. Thus, the median number of downloads per episode is not the ultimate measure of success. It's the number of listeners that counts the most.
Podcast Downloads vs Listeners
As we saw earlier, the number of downloads is not as important as the number of listeners. Downloads can be easily manipulated by republishing old episodes with new dates. The number of listeners tell you how many people are actually interested in your show and engage with it on a regular basis.
Tracking the duration of a listen is the most accurate way to find out how many people finish an episode. The average completion rate is 60%. It means that if you have 100 listeners, only 60 of them will finish the episode. The number can be lower for some shows and higher for others.
The median number of listeners who complete an episode can range from as low as 100 to several thousand. However, what matters the most is remembering that even with 100 listeners, a show can find its audience and expand its reach.
There is no need to worry if your podcast doesn't have millions of downloads. Even a small number of engaged listeners can help you reach your goals. The most important thing is to produce quality content and release new episodes regularly. Love what you do and do it for the right reasons - your listeners will appreciate it!