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Downloads & Co - What really counts

Updated: Jan 29, 2023

Are numbers important when it comes to podcasting? Downloads, listeners, followers on IG - what really counts? Or does any of this count at all? We asked our community of podcasters and they answered.

Numbers are important to us because we can not have direct feedback from our community as podcasters like other content creators do. Unfortunately, podcast platforms do not allow you to engage with listeners (at least yet). In the meantime, these are a few numbers we look at: number of streams per month and per episode published, streams per country and the repartition of listeners per canal (how people find our podcast basically). Of course, it does not replace feedback from listeners, that’s why having a social media presence is essential!

Of course it is nice and strengthens your self-esteem if you have a steady increase in followers or many likes and comments on posts and stories. BUT this should not become the most important thing to you, to the point that you search up other profiles and frantically like and comment, only in the hope to also get likes. Same goes for buying followers and likes just to keep up a certain appearance which does not even reflect reality. If you want to convey content, such "lifeless" profiles are of no use. The number of followers itself might look nice, but once you check who is following, you can spot a lot of fake profiles quite quickly. Same goes for ‘follow for follow’, you follow me I follow you, no matter if the other profile is even of interest or not. In the end, all of this can actually make you sick if you build your goals and feeling appreciated on something like that and get lost in the hunt for clicks and likes. We had to learn that too and therefore, paused things for a a bit to sort out our thoughts.

I particularly pay attention to streaming and download numbers, as well as retention rates, as they give me a benchmark for the growth of my podcast. They allow me to do a regular check-up to make sure that the reality matches my wishful thinking. However, numbers are not only important for strategy, but can also be a motivating factor. Ultimately though, podcasting is about much more than numbers, such as community building and conveying a heartfelt message.

We're always happy to get new followers on social media, because it shows us that people like our topics and the way we present them. We are even happier when we receive personal messages from listeners. And of course, it's exciting to see which topics are well perceived and which ones take some time to generate numbers, because from that we can tell what the audience's interests are.

We really loved hearing the different perspectives and important insights our community members shared with us and hope they give others healthy guidelines on how to view their own numbers.

But whether you count your followers and downloads or not and whether you have many or few, PodFest Berlin is a community for everyone. Our selection process does not involve ranking the number of listeners, downloads or other industry metrics. To us success means publishing the podcast you want to. At the same time, we celebrate experienced podcasters, skills and the achievement of reaching a large audience.

If you want to get involved, we have many ways you can do so: as a podcaster, volunteer or partner.

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