Do We Have A Discoverability Problem?

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That depends on who you ask. Some (mostly the long-time podcasters) have said to us, certainly not. And that’s most likely because they’ve been around a long time and can find what they’re looking for with a click or two. Others (mostly newer podcasters) have said, absolutely, there is a problem.

Many believe that if Google ever decides to put the word “podcasts” on its home page, that will help. Time will tell if Google thinks podcasting is that important.

Finding a podcast is certainly not as easy as radio. You turn on the radio, you flip through your pre-sets, you probably know which station carries which format, and you listen. With podcasting, should you listen on the Apple Podcasts app, Pocket Casts, an individual app, or the many others out in the space? Then, a new listener has to figure out if the app they’re listening on is updating their favorite shows or not. If you’re a podcaster, you’ve heard the advice: get on every device possible, build a website and have a player there, get on iHeart, get on Stitcher, get on Spotify, etc. etc. So, perhaps the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Let’s turn to our friends at The Podcast Host to see how they addressed the discoverability issue this week.

They conducted a two-week survey in December and received 218 responses.

Here’s the question they asked:
You Want to Find a New Podcast to Listen To. What Do You Do First?

And, here are the results:
Ask on Social Media or Online Community – 43%
Directly Ask Someone I Know Who Likes the Same Stuff – 23%
Search My Podcast App’s Directory – 16%
Search on Google – 12%
Browse Through a Podcast Chart – 6%

The Podcast Host folks say that in the comments section of the survey, many talked about how they followed certain people online who have their finger on the pulse with shows in their favorite genre.

And check out this commentary they also added, “Podcast charts such as New & Noteworthy are the clear loser here with only 6% of the vote, which might alarm those podcasters who spend the majority of their time and energy trying to get on them. Hopefully, this data will help show that there are far more important things to focus on when running a podcast.”

What are your thoughts on the topic? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  1. There is evidence of a discovery problem. Last March, Edison Research published their Podcast Consumer 2018 report which surveyed 2000 Americans over the age of 13. From that data set, they determined that while 180 million people are “aware” of podcasting, only 73 million (just 40% of the “aware” total) are listening on a regular basis monthly. The weekly listening figure is even worse. It seems to me that the gap between awareness and regular listening is clear and compelling evidence that podcast discovery has a long way to go to be solved. It will no longer be a problem when that 40% figure rises to that of broadcast radio which, last time I checked, was close to 93% who listen regularly.

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