Podcast Stats and Why Pressing on Matters
I recently reviewed my podcast stats, and discouragement rushed over me. Three years into podcasting consistently, it’s not exactly where I pictured it when I was dreaming up my show.
Is all the effort worth it? Are we even making a true impact if we aren’t consistently on the charts or going viral? Am I even making a difference?
These are all questions that we face as content creators. We see those who are seemingly overnight successes, have a massive audience or regularly go viral. While numbers are certainly a good gauge of how we’re doing, should that be the ultimate focus?
According to a blog post from Podcast Page, “There are over 2 million podcasts today. Out of those two million podcasts, 44% have less than three episodes, and only about 7% of those 2 million podcasts release a weekly episode.”
If you are releasing a weekly podcast, you are already in the top 7% of podcasters regarding consistency and productivity.
In another post from the Podcast Host,
“If your new episode gets, within seven days of its release:
- more than 26 downloads, you’re in the top 50% of podcasts.
- More than 72 downloads, you’re in the top 25% of podcasts.
- More than 231 downloads, you’re in the top 10% of podcasts.
- More than 539 downloads, you’re in the top 5% of podcasts.
- more than 3062 downloads, you’re in the top 1% of podcasts.”
These stats show the massive gap from the top 1% to the top 10% of podcasters. These numbers should encourage you and remind you that you are doing better than you think you are. But also, download numbers are not the only place we should be focusing.
Here are a few other ways to measure the success of your podcast.
- Compare your stats to yourself. Are you growing?
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. If you are growing and improving in skill and content, that matters. If you look at your numbers, don’t beat yourself up but gather data on what your audience wants. Read your reviews and make episodes based on that feedback, and check in every so often to see how your show is growing.
2. Focus on impacting the one.
When you look at the life of Jesus, He wasn’t focused on impacting the masses. He was a man on a mission who sat down one-on-one almost as often as He spoke to crowds. He broke away often for quiet, and He didn’t obsess over numbers. He focused on the one woman at the well, the one man at the water, etc., and His impact was the greatest of all time. If we get so hyperfocused on increasing numbers, are we losing sight of our true mission? What if God called us to this to impact the one who is already listening? Don’t take even the few listeners you have lightly. They are investing time out of their weeks to listen to you.
3. Keep an album on your phone.
A while back, I started taking screenshots every time a positive comment, direct message, text message or email came in. I made an album on my phone titled “Make an Impact,” and I saved those screenshots to that album. Reading positive feedback through those challenging moments hushes discouragement from the enemy and propels me to keep moving.
4. Remember, God’s plan and God’s time are better than ours.
Remember that while we are called to create, we also might still have learning to do or refining that needs to take place. Maybe our hearts wouldn’t be ready to take on the reality of a massive audience, or perhaps the big numbers would cause us to lose focus on our true calling. Maybe God is simply asking us to trust. But this truth remains: In every stage, we have an opportunity to learn something and impact others regardless of audience size.
Remember at the beginning of this post I said that my show wasn’t where it was when I dreamed it up? That’s true. I wanted to be a massively well-known podcaster with a vast audience, but what I have today is better. I have a healthy show with a loyal audience who share deep pieces of their lives with us on how we are helping to make an impact through the show. It’s better than what I could have dreamed of — only because of God.
We serve a mighty and almighty God. This is true in our everyday life and in the work we produce. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lᴏʀᴅ with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV).
We can trust God with our lives, children, finances and podcasts. He knows what He is doing. Don’t let the numbers discourage you if you feel a call to podcast. Stay consistent, remain faithful and trust that God will help you reach exactly who He wants you to, exactly when He wants you to.
Spend some time with God, surrendering your work to Him. Have you asked Him to help you reach who He wants you to reach?
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