How Often Should

You Release New

Podcast Episodes?

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Pikkal founder Graham Brown shares how often you should release new podcast episode.

Podcast Maps by Graham Brown is your map to navigate through the increasingly competitive world of podcasting. According to latest data, there are 1 billion million people listening to Podcasts every week. The competition is getting fierce. Doing what you did last year won't work anymore. You need a guide.

These are the topics I cover in Podcast Maps
1) Podcast Analytics
2) Podcast Market Data & Penetration
3) Podcast SEO
4) Podcast Rankings
5) Podcast Audience Numbers
6) Podcast Audience Growth Strategies
7) Social Audio
8) Audio 2.0
9) The impact of Artificial Intelligence on Audio
10) Podcast Guesting and Thought Leadership

Graham Brown 00:05
Podcast maps - season two, episode three - How often should you publish a podcast? My name is Graham Brown. Today we're looking at cadence. Cadence meaning the rate, which you podcast every month. We measure it by how many episodes you publish every month and it has a significant impact on your success. And if your success is measured by how much organic traffic you get to your podcast, then one of the most important things you should be focusing on podcast SEO is your publishing cadence. Now there are two aspects to cadence to take into account, and I'll share the data on these in a minute. One is raw cadence, i.e. the number you publish every month and secondly is the consistency of that cadence. And we sometimes measure this as Delta i.e. the change in your consistency because consistency builds quality, if you're publishing every week and then every month and then every three months, and then every day, and then every two weeks and it varies, that disrupts your audience, you have to train your audience to expect episodes and therefore miss episodes when they're not there.

Graham Brown 01:21

Not only is cadence really important for your audience. It's important for you. If you can get into a rhythm, then it makes publishing a lot easier. That's why also, we work with clients to ensure that they publish on a rhythm rather than let them do it themselves. Because once things break down, once you lose consistency in a podcast, it's very hard to get it back or to get back on the horse as they say.

Graham Brown 01:51

Let's focus on raw cadence now. And this is an interesting area because there are a lot of pub experts out there that will tell you that you need to publish every month. And often these pub experts, aren't, consumers are podcast themselves, or their understanding and paradigms from which they're viewing podcast, consuming them are based on what was reality five years ago, a lot has changed. We've obviously been through COVID, we've obviously experienced disruption on all levels in communication, but not just that, but looking at Spotify and Apple, what they're doing now in terms of investing more in discovery. Think about it from their perspective is that they want content that brings people back.

Graham Brown 02:46

One of the most effective ways of bringing people back is, see you next time. Well, if I have to wait 30 days for next time, a couple of things are gonna happen. Firstly, I'm gonna go and check out your competition in the category because you haven't published for 30 days. And secondly, Spotify and Apple are gonna send you less organic traffic.

Graham Brown 03:14

They want you to publish as much as possible because if you're publishing every day, for example, is 30X in terms of average usage and that is as effective as getting 30 times the users. If you're measuring a subscription model like Apple or an advertising based model, like Spotify, they want people to come back.

Graham Brown 03:37

That's the reality. Doing every day is tough. Neil Patel publishes 30 episodes a month for his SEO podcast. And that may be beyond what most people can do, especially if you're a corporate or business. But what you can do is move your current cadence towards normal distribution. So, what is normal distribution, meaning what is the average for your category?

Graham Brown 04:08

And this is where you should edge towards. You should make steps to improve your cadence because improving the cadence will also improve your organic traffic. One of the things I've noticed, if you were to look at ranking data, that there is a natural window, it seems to be about two weeks. For a business podcast after which it declines. The higher you are in the ranking, the shorter that window.

Graham Brown 04:40

But you can assume if you are between, if you are between 20 and a hundred in the category rankings, or even not in the top 100, every two weeks is the sweet spot to aim towards as a step forward from every month. If you're publishing every week, that's even better. So we analyzed 900,000 podcast episodes and from these deduced, what the average cadence, and also standard deviation of that cadence, that's the Delta in terms of publishing podcast in business. And this is what we found that the average number of podcasts published every month in business was 6.3. Think about that. That is more than one episode a week.

Graham Brown 05:32

You can assume that's an episode a week. One a week is the new normal in publishing for podcasts. And that varies also by ranking, the higher the ranking, the more they publish, the lower the ranking, the less they publish, that may be both cause and effect, but they have an influence on each other. You can be assured that if you publish more, you will increase your ranking. If you increase your ranking, you will get more organic traffic. That's how it works. So 6.3 is the number to aim towards in business. That may be hard for people, but you have to edge from your current position, which may be one a month to where you are now. One a month just doesn't cut it, one a month is not enough anymore. It's absolutely old score. And those podcasts are getting overlooked by Spotify and apple. Because why would I send to this guy when that guy is publishing four times as much every week, he's bringing me four times as much traffic effectively and maybe more because publishing every week, going from once a month to every week might not be 4X of your traffic. It might be a multi, another multiple of that, because that consistency will keep people coming back and subscribing. 

Graham Brown 07:12

Let's talk about the consistency. Podcasts and ranking as well. There's a high correlation, between consistency and ranking. Our data shows. I mean, if you're a statistician, this will make sense that the P value of the trend line is less than 0.0001, meaning it's, it's very significant. If you were to plot out the top podcasts on Apple and plot them against their consistency. Now, what that means is that the higher, the ranking of the podcast, the more consistent is. And as you go down, down the rankings, they become less consistent. In fact, the bottom 50.

Graham Brown 08:00

So from 50 to a hundred have twice the deviation of the top 50, what that means is let's say the, you publish every seven days, like clockwork, then your deviation is zero, but if you publish every seven days and then one day you miss and it's three, 10, etc. Now your deviation is increasing at the bottom 50. It is double that, meaning them lot more inconsistent. And in fact, over time, podcasts are becoming more consistent. We measured the standard deviation of podcasts from 2010 to 2020, and we found it decreased from 12 to 7 and it was a very significant trend line as well with the same P value. What that means is that podcasts are becoming more and more consistent. They're publishing more, they're becoming more consistent and if you go back to the last episode of podcast maps, they're becoming slightly shorter, only slightly shorter, 10% shorter, but actually that may be a little bit of a distraction because there were two speeds. 

Graham Brown 09:18

If you remember, then I analyzed podcast length, there were two speeds. There were not only the aggregate score, which was going down, but there was a strong differentiation between long term successful podcasts and new entrances. Long term successful podcasts were 80% longer than new entrance. So what has happened is maybe a lot of new entrances simply diluted down the average length of a podcast. And yet the real figures to be working towards is 40 minutes. So as a podcast host, what does this mean? It means focusing on three factors so far, one is the length of your podcast aiming towards that magic sweet spot of 40 minutes, at least as a minimum 34 minutes, which is the average for the category business. When it comes to publishing consistency and cadence, cadence, you need to be publishing more than one a month. If you're not publishing more than one a month, you will never grow the podcast. You'll always be stuck in second year and that will rely on, what a lot of people rely on falsely in podcasting today that is guest sharing.

Graham Brown 10:43

Relying on your guests to get the podcast out that doesn't work like it used to, the key now is on store SEO, organic traffic. So for you, that means moving from publishing once every month to publishing as much as you can, at least twice a month. And ideally once a week. Neil Patel publishes 30 episodes a month. Gary V publishes 30 episodes a month. These guys are doing millions of downloads as an example. And when it comes to consistency, getting that number down to 0 or as near as possible, that may be hard and that may require a team to work with you to make that happen. You need experts, people with experience to do all the heavy lifting effectively, rather than doing all that yourself. You're not a full time podcaster probably. You probably have a day job. So you wanna simply, one and done, do your podcast that makes you consistent. 

Graham Brown 11:53

Consistency builds quality and quality builds audiences. So you had been listening to Podcast maps. Season two, episode three, we were talking about how often you should publish your podcast, how often you should release new episodes. And really the answer to that is what does Spotify and Apple want. Hopefully I've answered that question today. My name's Graham Brown, next episode we will discuss ranking -  how to rank your podcast, because this is becoming one of the most decisive factors in podcast success. So see me on episode four, season two of podcast maps for how to rank podcasts.


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