Why I Do NOT Focus on Podcast Downloads [ep. 33]

Looking Beyond Downloads

The podcasting world often revolves around the chase for downloads, a target that many creators see as the ultimate mark of success. However, I challenge this notion and argue that while tracking podcast downloads is important, it should not be the primary focus. More than just numbers, what matters is the personal message and the success metrics tailored to an individual podcast’s goals and context.

Understanding Downloads

It’s important to understand what a download really signifies—a saved audio file on a device. While a high number of downloads can indicate a reach in listeners, they aren’t the best measure of a podcast’s true impact or value.

Content is King

Delivering quality content and a strong, clear message should be your priority. This approach may not immediately skyrocket download stats, but it fosters a dedicated and engaged audience. It’s about cultivating a community of ‘superfans’—loyal listeners who resonate deeply with your content and, potentially, drive conversions.

The Reality of Vanity Metrics

I want to point out that downloads can be deceptive vanity metrics. They might stroke the ego but don’t always translate to active engagement or profitability. I encourage podcasters to aim for actual listens, which represent genuine interest, over mere downloads that might not reflect real interaction.

The Long Game

I LOVE the evergreen nature of podcasts. Quality content remains accessible and relevant, drawing listeners even years down the line. It’s not instant gratification but a gradual build-up, a library of valuable insights that keeps on giving.

The takeaway from this episode is to empower podcasters—it shifts the focus from a race for downloads to the heart of podcasting: the message, the storytelling, and the connection with the audience. Fostering this connection is far more rewarding and sustainable in building a podcast – the downloads will come.



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