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Do Ratings and Reviews Matter?
It seems almost every podcast you listen to - the host asks you at the beginning - or end - or both - to rate and review the show. But do ratings and reviews actually matter?
Before COVID, my wife and I really got into cruising. Rather than pay extra for excursions through the cruise line, she'd find the local businesses on trip advisor and look at the reviews. Same is true for restaurants. Whether we were local or travelling, Yelp became a trusted source. Heck, even Amazon purchases - how many stars do the products have?
Well, I'm here to tell you that those same reviews do not matter when it comes to your podcast. First of all, the only major platform that lets you rate and review is Apple. Spotify and Google do not. But more importantly, your podcast is not a restaurant. People don't find you by reviews. The top 3 methods of podcast discovery are, in order, 1) Google Search, 2) Recommendations of Friends and Family, and 3) Social Media. If you want to drive listenership, downloads, and discovery of your show - ask people to share the show with someone they know. You can also ask them to follow your show. To subscribe can mean a cost. To follow is free. If someone is following your show, they'll get each new episode when you release it.
And further adding to the confusion - ratings of the Apple Podcasts APP itself in the app store have gone from 1.8 to 4.7 stars. Why? People are hearing "rate and review on Apple podcasts," and rating the app, not your show.
Now, what are ratings and reviews for your podcast good for? Well, there's the attaboy and the ego boost - the social proof that people like what you're putting out. And if someone discovers your podcast, they may look at the reviews, but please don't make that your primary ask.
Other Podcasting News This Week:
Other podcasting news this week - Medium dot com is getting into audio with the purchase of Knowable, an audio learning platform. https://techcrunch.com/2021/11/16/medium-acquires-knowable-to-bring-audio
If you've added or changed a show within Apple Podcasts, they've brought back the refresh feed button if you're not seeing updated content.
Spotify is allowing anyone to buy ads on their platform - that is, anyone who's got a budget of at least $500.
Facebook is really trying to make their audio space matter - website theinformation dot com reports they are giving influencers tens of thousands of dollars to host sessions there. https://www.theinformation.com/articles/facebook-hands-out-cash-to-creators-to-boost-clubhouse-rival
And finally, CNN has re-released Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown series as a podcast - not sure how I feel about that. And there's a new podcast called The Big Big East Show - it's just 30 years too late.
I leave you this week with the immortal words of Adam Sandler. Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!
To contact me for help launching or improving your podcast - email me. firstname.lastname@example.org.