Should You Care About Apple’s New & Noteworthy Chart?

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(By Ed Ryan) When I launched my first podcast with my wife back in August, I never gave a thought to where the show might rank on Apple’s New & Noteworthy. Our main priority was to be as entertaining as possible. My second priority, being a former radio salesperson, was how could I package and pitch our show to local advertisers.

Apparently that Apple chart to the left means a lot to podcasters. We found that out Thursday when we linked to a blog on the Spreaker website. Spreaker is a very respected hosting company. They’ve been around a long time.

The blog was called “Growing your podcast listeners? Try These 8 tips.

How could that be bad?

Well, a portion of the blog gave advice to podcasters on how to get their show onto Apple’s New & Noteworthy chart (that advice has since been removed). That New & Noteworthy chart advice did not sit well with many of the industry’s long-time podcasters. And, we heard from a bunch of them.

Dave Jackson was the first to sound the alarm, Thursday. “Ed, there are a couple of myths that have been debunked time and time again. 1. You only get ‘eight weeks’ to be in [Apple Podcast’s] ‘New & Noteworthy.’ Not true (and ‘New & Noteworthy’ doesn’t really deliver much punch); 2. You need to launch with (insert number) so when people subscribe you get (insert number) of downloads which boosts you up the chart. So easy to prove wrong, just subscribe to a podcast. How many episodes download? One, yet people still believe this.

“This just makes many of us go ‘Oh brother, there it is again…’ and people believe this and freak out about their ‘eight weeks’ (and in the article I now see it’s six weeks) to get into ‘New & Noteworthy.’ So your podcast’s first 15 days are crucial if you want to make it to the Apple Podcast ‘New & Noteworthy’ section. After those, you have six more weeks to try and get as many downloads and positive reviews as possible” has all been proven wrong on many accounts via Daniel J Lewis, myself, and Rob Walch.”

Jackson even cut a YouTube video about the charts.

Evo Terra, who’s been around the podcasting space since 2004, was next to reach out to us. We had a very nice conversation on the phone after he read the post and we agreed to take it down and post a correction. Evo then took to Twitter after our conversation about the Spreaker blog.
After being scolded by Evo, Dave Jackson and a few others, we decided to dig deeper. We reached out to several experts in the space about the New & Noteworthy chart.

Here’s what Erick Johnson from The Podcast Talent Coach says about “New & Noteworthy”: “I’m not sure ‘New & Noteworthy’ does much for growing the show. The studies I have seen show most people discover new shows through recommendations. This could include conversations with friends, social media, suggested by other shows, and various other mentions. There is a misconception that a show can only get into ‘New & Noteworthy’ in the first few weeks of the show. This simply isn’t true. ‘Noteworthy’ shows that are no longer ‘new’ get included. This Podcast Will Kill You is on N&N today. It has released 17 episodes since October 23, 2017. Fourteen months. Hardly new. If you see any spike from ‘New & Noteworthy,’ it isn’t guaranteed to last. Slow growth is healthy growth. Create relationships rather than ‘get rich quick’ schemes.”

Paul Colligan, who wrote the book How To Podcast, said, “There is no easy way to get your podcast into this broken system and even less reason to care. ‘New & Noteworthy’ is broken and has been for years.”

Mike Caruthers from Perfect Your Podcast tells PBJ “It is certainly worth trying to get on the Apple Podcast feature page, whether it is in ‘New & Noteworthy’ or some other category. That is valuable real estate and gets your podcast seen by a lot of people. We definitely saw a bump in downloads when Something You Should Know was featured. Being selected to be in ‘New & Noteworthy’ seems to be a subjective decision made by Apple with no sure path to get in. Having good artwork seems to help, as does having something particularly unique in the content.”

PodcastGuests.com founder Andrew Allemann told PBJ, “There are a lot of theories about how to get a podcast in ‘New & Noteworthy.’ One thing I believe is true is that you must have good cover art if you want to be selected. Apple is a design company and ‘New & Noteworthy’ is selected by humans. They don’t want ugly cover art to tarnish their app.”

The moral of the story is…focus on your content first and always. If you have strong content success will follow.

Ed Ryan is the Editorial Director of The Podcast Business Journal and can be reached by e-mail at edryantheeditor@gmail.com