Is an unlisted podcast right for your brand?

A public podcast is just that: public. You can find public podcasts in places like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, distributed using publicly available RSS feeds. There are millions of public podcasts.

A private podcast is not meant for broad public consumption. Some private podcasts use password-protected feeds. Others grant each authorized listener their own private feed URL. Sometimes, private podcasts require listeners to use a dedicated listening app like Storyboard or uStudio.

It’s an age-old tradeoff: convenience vs. security.

Is there a middle ground? I’m glad you asked.

Unlisted podcasts

An unlisted podcast is sort of like an unlisted telephone…

Learn how some of the world’s most popular shows do it

Last week, I was talking to a Pacific Content client about their podcast’s release cadence. “How often should we release new episodes?” they asked. “Which day of the week? What time of day?”

A podcast’s publishing schedule might seem like a small thing, but it’s worth considering deeply. Podcast listening is often built on habit and routine, so the smartest podcasters design their shows to fit into listeners’ lives in natural, convenient, and predictable ways.

There’s no one-size-fits-all podcast release cadence. But there is a best practice that applies to almost every podcaster out there: consistency over time. …

Did you choose the best category for your podcast?

It can be one of the trickiest questions in podcasting: “Which category should we list our show in?”

Apple Podcasts supports more than 100 distinct categories (e.g. True Crime, Swimming, Alternative Health), and Apple's category list is used by several other podcast apps and directories, too.

Sometimes, it’s easy for me to help our clients choose a category for their show:

But sometimes the choice isn’t obvious.

For example, Home. Made. is a show about…

Want your podcast to be more relevant to exactly the right audience? Try designing your show for a particular place, time, or activity.

This week, Apple launched Time to Walk, an “audio walking experience” available only to Fitness+ customers.

I tried it for the first time today. I walked around my neighbourhood and listened to NBA champion Draymond Green tell stories about failure and perseverance.

Though Apple doesn’t use the word “podcast” when talking about Time to Walk, my experience was very podcast-like. So too is Apple’s distribution strategy:

New episodes will appear in the Workout app on Apple Watch from a different guest each Monday through the end of April. …

Pacific Content has 3 essential rules for effective paid podcast promotion. And now we offer it as a service.

At Pacific Content, we make original podcasts with brands. But we don’t just make shows. We also help our clients market their shows.

One of the most effective ways to market a new podcast is through paid promotion on other podcasts. It’s a classic preach to the converted tactic: connect with listeners through the shows they already listen to and encourage them to sample your new podcast.

Why? It works.

According to the Canadian Podcast Listener study, 22% of monthly podcast listeners said they discovered a new podcast “on another podcast.” …

How searchable is your podcast? We built a tool to audit podcast search rankings in Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Podcast search matters.

According to the 2020 Canadian Podcast Listener study:

Between in-app and online search, more than 1-in-10 discovered their new
podcast because they were looking for one on that topic.

Moreover, “searching the internet” was the most frequently-cited method of podcast discovery according to Edison Research’s The Podcast Consumer, which focuses on US listeners.

In-app search plays an important role in podcast consumption, even when listeners already know exactly which show they’re looking for. Podcasts travel by word of mouth. …

A deep dive into more than 4 million podcast reviews

Despite what this stock photo might suggest, podcast reviews are not typically composed on typewriters

Last week, I wrote about Apple Podcasts star ratings, and what I learned by analyzing 20 million of them.

But star ratings are only part of the story. As Apple explains:

Listeners can rate your podcast on a scale of one to five stars and can also add a written review.

That’s what we’ll look at today — the written reviews that can accompany star ratings in Apple Podcasts.


Here at Pacific Content, our clients often ask about star ratings in Apple Podcasts. I get questions like:

  • “Our company’s podcast has 308 ratings. Is that good?”
  • “Our average rating is 4.8 stars. Is that good?”
  • “Our competitor’s podcast has more star ratings than us. Is that bad?”

I have a strong point of view on podcast ratings and reviews: they’re an important part of your show’s product packaging, and a form of social proof.

But I’ve never done any quantitative analysis of star ratings in Apple Podcasts.

Until now.

Earlier this month, I grabbed a dataset of 19,973,595 ratings…

Could your podcast marketing use a bit more humanity?

Early in my radio career, I worked with the late, great David Candow.

He had a saying: “Good radio is people talking to people about people.”

I think about this all the time.

At their best, podcasts use human voices to tell human-scale stories to an audience of human listeners. For brands, this is an enormous opportunity. A well-executed podcast is an amazing way to humanize a brand.

But here’s the thing: this focus on people applies to every part of your podcast, not just the audio. It also applies to your show’s product packaging and marketing.

Let me show…

How to turn every show in your category into a marketing opportunity for your podcast

Anybody want a free billboard?

I’ve written before about the importance of choosing the right category for your podcast, and the benefits of appearing on the Apple Podcasts charts.

Today, I want to share a story that illustrates both.

Pacific Content recently helped Ford Motor Company launch Bring Back Bronco: The Untold Story. It’s an 8-part serialized documentary podcast, all about the life, death, and rebirth of an iconic American vehicle.

For fairly obvious reasons, we chose Automotive as the show’s primary category.

When we chose this category, we knew the odds of appearing on the Apple Podcast charts was high.

Why? Unlike Society…

Dan Misener

Head of Audience Development, Pacific Content

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