We have been talking about some of the ways podcasters used to use to increase their download numbers. Unethical ways. Methods that have mostly been done away with in actual numbers counting. But you still may hear of these methods by some unscrupulous people that will try to manipulate and beat the system.
The IAB has implemented a series of changes that have become the industry standard in counting downloads. This is to bring almost every podcast hosting platform into compliance with industry accepted standards. This was to level the playing (and reporting) field to advertisers across the industry.
In our last episode, I covered the first two unethical ways that some podcasters have tried to beat the system. Stay away from those methods. Trying to change your URL feed and trying to spam your social media accounts may give you a few more downloads, but the loss of reputation will far exceed the few additional downloads you will receive.
In addition, remember, now every download indicates 60 seconds or more of listening time. So just because someone has received your file into their iTunes (or Apple Podcasts) account does not mean they listened to the file – and will not be counted as a download.
Today, I will give you two more methods to stay away from:
- Some podcasters will set their players to “auto-play” on download. YouTube videos are an example of this.
This is along the same lines as the “spamming” on social media. Every time someone clicks on the link, perhaps to read the show notes to see if they want to take the time to listen, the download begins. IF (and this is a BIG IF), the person allows it to play for over 60 seconds, it will count as a download. Congratulations…
But someone may be upset you are trying to “make them” download your episode. Some people will automatically delete your page (and never go back). You lose potential subscribers and possibly potential future customers in your effort to get “one more download.”
I’ve seen some podcasters put a player on every page of their website and have them all set to automatically begin downloading. Why? Trying to get “one more download.”
The new IAB rules will not count any of these effort unless the visitor to your website listens for at least 60 seconds. So all you are really doing is “spamming” a visitor who is trying to find out some additional information on you, your podcast or your website and services.
Instead of impressing a possible subscriber or client, you are running them off!
SO, DO NOT USE THIS METHOD!
- Increase the Number of Published Episodes!
Every episode published could increase your downloads exponentially according to the number of subscribers you have. For example, if you have 100 subscribers and publish 4 episodes per month, that is 400 downloads (assuming they all listen to every episodes for at least 60 seconds).
Now, if your increase your publication schedule to 5 days per week, that would mean 2000 downloads per month! WOW! That is awesome, right?
First, as I’ve covered before, your publication schedule should be dependent on the length of each episode. The shorter the episode, the more frequently you can publish and expect your listeners to listen (at least the first 60 seconds).
The longer each episode, listenership drops off drastically. I covered this before in a prior question, but here are some quick facts:
Less than 10 minutes in length – 90%+ will listen all the way through and some will binge listen.
15-20 minutes, that drops to about 75%
30 minutes, about 50% will listen to completion.
60 minutes, only about 25% will listen to completion.
So, if you have a 30 minute podcast and you are publishing 5 days per week, half the people who click on your link will actually listen to completion. That number goes down as they continue to see more and more episodes appear for them to listen to!
When you may have started with 100 people listening to your 15-20 minute episode each week, you may drop that number to 20 people by increasing your publication to 5 days per week.
That means all of the work you are putting into researching, preparing, recording, editing and publishing your 16 additional episodes results in (get this) THE SAME NUMBER OF DOWNLOADS!
Talk about wasted effort!
Now, you will get some additional downloads and some additional subscribers. But you may have gotten those without all of the additional work!
SO DO NOT USE THIS METHOD!
Being ethical in your podcasting reflects well on YOU. If you try to use unethical means to try and increase your download stats, it just shows your potential listener and potential future customers or clients that YOU are unethical. Who would intentionally want to do business or trust someone who uses underhanded tactics to try and simply increase their numbers?
Instead, use some sound and proven, ETHICAL methods, of increasing your download numbers. But more importantly, your subscriber numbers. Subscribers represent real people. People who have intentionally made the decision to follow you on your podcast. That is a person who has shown they trust you.
Download numbers do not reflect that.
In my next series of questions, I will answer “How Can I Increase My Download Numbers” by sharing some tried and true methods that some of the big podcasters employ. These are things you can do also, no matter what level of podcasting you are at.
But, stay away from worrying too much about your download numbers. It leads to unsavory tactics that will always come back to haunt you later. And usually at a time where you needed to establish credibility.
Next time, we will go into some ethical ways you can use to increase your downloads. Although it may take longer to do and you will see some slower results, it will be well worth it in the end.
Your reputation will be one of ethics. The numbers you will be able to claim and represent will be accepted. And you will not have to worry about being scammed by unethical people or companies that promise you “thousands of downloads for $10 or something.”
So, join me next time as we go over a few ways you can enjoy an increase in your download statistics.
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.
If you would like to watch the YouTube video I created for this topic, you can view it here: https://youtu.be/aPxO6Hgt9LU
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