This article is about how to see how many listeners a podcast has. We provide 7 methods, and explain why it’s difficult to find how many listeners a podcast has.
If your public relations or advertising company is looking to start a podcast campaign, it’s paramount to know how many listeners a podcast has. Whether you’re doing market research, booking a client as a guest, or looking for new potential podcasts to advertise on – you can only move forward when you know the show’s popularity.
Finding a podcast’s listenership data is not easy, and requires some special techniques so we have laid out 7 tactics to find how many listeners a podcast has.
Why is it so difficult to find how many listeners a podcast has? After all, podcast hosting providers openly share download statistics with every podcaster and podcasting network. The information is out there, but it’s still hard to access. This is because there are so many hosting providers that the information is decentralized, and hard to aggregate. The listenership data is hidden behind a thousand doors.
In addition, podcasters are reluctant to share their own download numbers. In the highly competitive world of podcasts, podcasters always want to present their show as more popular than it actually is, and are understandably reluctant to reveal their success or lack thereof.
This doesn’t directly answer the question of, “how to see how many listeners a podcast has”, but for some purposes, you only need an estimate. Here are a few readily available tools to gauge a podcast’s popularity.
Podchaser, as well as Apple Podcasts, allows fans to rate podcasts on a five-star scale and write a long-form review of the show. While reading reviews and monitoring the average rating is definitely valuable, they don’t help estimate the podcast’s popularity.
To estimate popularity, simply compare the number of ratings and reviews between various podcasts. The rating and review counts correlate to the show’s overall popularity. In general, the more reviews a podcast has the bigger its audience.
Podcatchers also feature rankings where you can see the top trending podcasts overall, as well as in each category.
The main limitation to chart rankings is that they don’t directly represent which podcasts have the most downloads. Instead, they take velocity into account, meaning that a relatively small show can still chart if it gains listeners quickly.
Secondly, charts only show a small handful of the podcasts that are available. Apple Podcasts, for example, shows the top 200 podcasts in each category.
While this may seem like plenty, there are over 2 million podcasts, so 200 is really just a drop in the bucket. If you are looking for mid-range or smaller podcasts to meet your business needs, you won’t be able to find them using rankings.
Google Trends is a public tool that allows you to see how many people are googling a certain phrase. You can narrow your search to a certain timeframe, and Google Trends creates a graph showing the rise and fall of the search’s popularity over time.
To estimate a podcast’s popularity, simply type the name of the show into the search bar. You can even add a second show to your search and directly compare their popularity within the same graph.
Google Trends works well for a rudimentary comparison of one podcast’s popularity to another but isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. You want to know how to see how many listeners a podcast has.
Social Media is another great tool for estimation. It stands to reason that more followers indicates more listeners. But when checking a podcast’s social media pages, you should also look for their engagement rate.
The podcaster may have 10 million followers, but only receive 50 responses to each of their posts. This would be an indication that most of their followers are bots or fake accounts. To calculate engagement rate, simply use Phlanx. All you need to do is select the social media platform, type in the podcasters social media handle, and Phlanx will calculate the engagement rate. It’s worth your time to calculate a podcast’s engagement rate on each of the social media platforms, as their audience may be more active on one versus another.
Instead of individually searching each social media platform for a podcast’s accounts, use Podchaser. On every Podchaser podcast page, we’ve already compiled the social media links for you.
The main reason why podcasters would reveal their download statistics is to attract advertisers. So if you are an advertiser, you can ask the podcast for their numbers directly. Podcasts will be happy to share their numbers if it leads to the possibility of a business partnership.
It can be tricky to find podcast contact information, so we’ve written a whole article to help you out. Long story short, use Podchaser Pro, which has already gathered verified contact information for thousands of shows in one easy-to-find place.
Keep in mind that if you are looking to be booked as a guest on a podcast, it is considered bad form to ask about their audience size. If that is your goal, we recommend using some of the other methods we’ve highlighted.
If you’ve asked directly and haven’t received a response, you can check to see if they have an “Advertise With Us” page on their website, where they’ll likely boast their current download numbers. Here’s an example: The Junior Hockey Podcast’s “Advertise With Us” page
This tactic is a bit of a gamble, as not all podcasts have this page. More popular podcasts want to keep their information quiet, while smaller shows might not get frequent enough advertisers to make this page useful. But sometimes you get lucky, so it’s worth a shot to seek out their “Advertise With Us” page.
Another direct and simple method for finding a podcast’s listenership is to use Podchaser Pro. Podchaser Pro, a paid upgrade to our free site, provides reach data on every podcast as you browse the site, so you can quickly vet and compare podcasts before reaching out– saving you hours of work.
All you need to do is search Podchaser’s comprehensive database for what podcast you’re interested in, go to the show’s page, and click the “insights” tab.
Podchaser Pro also provides several other tools for Public Relations and Advertising professionals, including listener demographics, a power score of a podcast’s influence, social media analytics, and more.
If you’re on a budget, you can use context clues to get a general feel for a podcast’s popularity. However, if you want numbers quickly and easily as you build a campaign or outreach list, you’re gonna want to go with Podchaser Pro
Podchaser Pro is the only tool that provides more accurate estimates while also solving other common podcast campaign problems, like finding contact information, listener demographics, chart rankings, and more.