Downloads: Do Podcast Downloads Matter?

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Proverbial opinion is that downloads are the king of your podcast world. You’ll hear (and I believed this – too – until recently) that downloads are more important than subscriptions and ranking. Well, it’s time to blow minds because we’re about destroy that notion!

A lot of us in the podcast sphere (or trying to be) are obsessed with the thought, “How do I get more downloads?”

Rather, you should be constantly thinking, “How do I get the right people?”

You don’t want downloads – you want impact.

You Don't Want Podcast Downloads You Want Impact

What you want to do is build the show that meets the audience that has the impact. This is perfect if… who you are / what you talk about / your brand falls into a niche. Even if it’s something crazy tiny because what counts is relationship and community – not numbers. 

There’s no need to have the mindset of beating Tim Ferriss or This American Life or Serial. The straight numbers game is absolutely not what matters.

Listen, lifers, I don’t often tell you that you NEED to do something, but if you’re at all curious about getting into the podcast world – and everyone should be – then you MUST check out this Build Your Tribe episode, with podcast mastermind, Paul Colligan.

He’s got the numbers and the case studies to back up what matters most for your podcast success (hint below). He’s taken more podcasters – professional and amateur – to number one than anybody else!

I asked him for ninja tips and tricks that you’ll never find on Google. And he brought it! This blog today doesn’t even scratch the surface! If you’re looking to change your podcast game, do yourself a favor and listen to Podcast Hacks: How to Grow Your Podcast Show NOW!

See, the message you want to bring to your audience is that if they’re interested in what you’re saying, you can be there with them anytime, anyplace, anywhere. That’s the message of strength and empowerment and who doesn’t want that?

Podcast Downloads Don't Matter As Much As Subscribers

You’re still confused and wondering…

Wait, I don’t get it. Isn’t reach everything? I mean, it feels so empowering. And you can achieve greater things like using advertisers as sponsors on the show, right? Because aren’t they almost exclusively looking at the size of your audience?

Again, I hear you.

SHOCK ALERT: There’s so much fraud in downloads.

That’s a blog for another time, but consider this:

In order to keep up with content, I started doing a Friday episode on The Chalene Show where I would just record it from my car – assuming I’d have a lot lower downloads due to the quality of the sound. I’m recording straight to my iPhone without a speaker or microphone attached. The audio is very different from my standard show, but get this… downloads are even higher on Fridays because the content is available to them and it’s, basically, a heart to heart.

But, of course, you’ll get all these podcast pundits who stand up and say it’s morally and ethically wrong not to sound like you’re recording in a studio. UGH.

As Paul Colligan cleverly calls attention to:

There’s this guy that I heard of, you probably haven’t heard of him because he’s not famous. His name is Martin Luther King Jr. He did this episode called “I Have A Dream” and there was background noise, it wasn’t in stereo, it was like a 40-year-old mic, you could hear the crowd in the background. This guy could’ve done so much more if it was a better recording.

Yeah, point taken.

People want to spend time with you. They love you and, hey, want to go on a car ride with you. That personal connection is real.

Podcast Subscriptions Matter More Than Downloads

So, if it’s not downloads, what is THE most important thing to improve your podcast overall in how it ranks?

Subscribes. Subscriptions. Subs.

Now, people will most certainly get up in arms about this fact and debate you for eons. Again, for the full story, check out my game-changing interview with Mr. Colligan. You’re welcome.

And make sure you’re subscribed to Build Your Tribe for weekly tips and tricks to grow your social media — from podcasts to Instagram!


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