How Can I Increase My Download Numbers?
Before I get into answering that question, I want to take a couple of episodes to lay a foundation upon which we can build in answering that question. The foundation is one which will help you to focus on ethical ways to increase your download numbers.
First, let me give you some background on recent changes that were made (and implemented across the podcasting industry) that affect how downloads are counted.
Due to the popularity and growth of podcasting, advertisers wanted in on the possible exposure a podcast audience could be given to their services. But, back in 2014, there was no industry standard and an advertiser simply had to rely on the data provided by the podcasters.
In an effort to bring some conformity, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) came up with some standards that would help in this area. Although they were not mandatory, they released what is known as the “Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines” (version 1.0 in 2016).
The IAB then release version 2.0 to redefine and update some methods of counting downloads in 2018.
Neither of these releases generated much support from podcasters.
Later in 2018, the IAB came out with a certification and compliance program. This was a way for podcast hosting companies to prove to advertisers their method of counting downloads translated into real people listening to podcasts. This system has since been adopted as the “industry standard” and has added credibility for podcasters in an effort to secure advertising revenue.
With the new AIB rules that have gone into effect, downloads are not tracked the same as they used to be. Before the new change a year or so ago, every time a download started, it counted as a download.
This caused a lot of people to come up with ways to increase their download numbers that was not very ethical. Although some of these techniques are still used today, the new AIB methods of counting a download is simple: A download must be played for a minimum of one minute to count.
There are a few others technical terms that apply as well. But for the most part, that is what you are trying to do now. Have your potential listener listen for at least the first 60-90 seconds. Anything less, it is not a download.
The software almost every podcast host company uses now incorporates the new AIB method of counting down loads. There are still a few unscrupulous folks out there that try to cheat the system. So you need to be aware of some tactics that may be pushed on you.
First and foremost – DO NOT waste your time or money on those “hire us to give thousands of downloads.” No matter what they claim or however many downloads you receive, they are all bogus. What matters the most is subscribers. If you have 50,000 downloads and only 10 actual people who subscribe to your podcast, it means nothing. It is all an ego boost.
If you are selling some type of product, who would you rather spend money trying to reach: 50,000 people who could care less about your product? Or 500 people who want and need your product? Where would your money be better spent in an effort to sell your product or service?
That being said, here are some things that are still being pushed as ways to increase your downloads, but that you SHOULD NOT USE!
In the next couple of episodes, I will cover a few of the unethical ways you might be tempted to increase your downloads. Why will I focus on this first?
Because they are so easy to implement, if you are not careful, you may fall for these traps. So, come back (or click) for the next episode and we will get started on the answer to this question!
If you have a podcasting question, send it along to me. You can leave your questions in the comments section below. But a better way of communicating with me and making sure I am able to see your questions rapidly is by using the contact form on my website. Go to https://podcast-training.com/contact and click on the contact tab. Fill out the form and be sure to send me your questions.
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If you would like to view the YouTube video I created on this topic, you can view it here: https://youtu.be/CiQkQ8AcojE
Until we talk again – Keep Talking, you’re AWESOME!by