It seems easier for indie podcasts to rank in the top charts on Goodpods when compared to Apple Podcasts or Chartable. Listener Heather asks, “How come?”

Goodpods likely has a low active user count, a low level of engagement, and skews podcast-addict-types (many of which are likely podcasters as well)

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Episode Transcript

This transcript is automated and, as such, will contain numerous errors. If you are citing this episode based on the transcript, please reach out to me directly to clarify meaning, tone, and intent. Thanks.

Good morning. Good morning. Good morning. And welcome to episode 86 of podcasting sucks today. I’ll be answering a question from a listener about good pods. That’s up next Today’s question comes via Instagram and is from Heather host of the, get the balance right podcast. Heather asks, do you understand how good pods rates podcasts in their various categories? My show get the balance right, has been rating higher in various business categories than I would ever imagine. It was even number one in three categories in one day. I’m not saying this to brag. I’m completely puzzled as to why. For example, Gary Vaynerchuks podcast is behind mine. Do you know if it has to do with engagement shares ratings? Because I have no idea. This is a great question. And I’m glad that you asked it Heather, because it’s something that I have been spending some time trying to figure out myself. My podcast is constantly in the top 100 on good pods of all podcasts listened to whether they’re indie or not. And it is the number one in many categories within the news primary category. In fact, I think it holds number one in three different categories and is currently number four on the top 100 and has been as high as number two on that list. Now outside of good pods, my podcast ranks at like between 200 and 300 in its category, which means it probably ranks in the top thousand or so podcasts because, and I don’t know that this is right, but I think that when you are on, for example, apple podcasts, if you’re in the top 100 of a category, rather a sub category, all sub categories, top tens, or however many would equal 100 become the top hundred of the primary parent category. And then maybe the top 10 of each parent category is what ranks as being the top hundred across all podcasts on apple podcasts. I don’t know if that’s exactly right, but it would be sensible if that’s the way it worked. So don’t quote me as saying that is the way apple podcast works, but I think it’s something kind of similar. And this podcast right now ranks at 1 57 in great Britain under the news commentary category, number 21 in Spain, under news commentary, number 1 56 in Russia, under news commentary and number 64 in New Zealand under news commentary, it doesn’t even rank in the U S at least not in the top 200. It doesn’t rank of its category or in any parent category. So how come my podcast ranked so highly on good pods? How can that be? And how can yours, because maybe yours is the same. It ranks nowhere else. And you’re saying, oh, but it ranks ahead of Gary Vaynerchuks podcast, which seems fucking impossible. So I reached out to good pods to ask them some very specific questions, some of which they gave the answer to, and one of which I will leave till the end and all kinds of guests on because they weren’t willing to make that information public for plenty of good reasons. They’re just not ready to answer that particular question publicly. And that’s fine. And when we get to it, you’ll probably understand why that’s fine. And I wouldn’t encourage anyone to think poorly about good pods, just because they didn’t answer this question. I’m a huge fan of good pods and not because I’m trending on the platform. So I’m going to go ahead and quote the exchange directly that we had via Twitter DM. When I asked these questions on behalf of Heather Good pods answers for ranking podcasts in the categories, we’ve built an algorithm that looks at a combination of listens reviews slash ratings, shares, comments, and likes on good pods. And I went on to ask. Perfect. And how about for feature? I would imagine that that is manually curated. And how about the top 100? They responded the top 100 is also an algorithm that looks at a combination of listens reviews and ratings, shares, comments and likes on good pods. And the featured shows are manually curated. My next question was the one they wouldn’t answer how many active users are on good pods. It does not surprise me that they would not want to answer this. That kind of information is the kind of information that goes into like a seed deck. If good pods was ever going to go for funding, they would provide that kind of information to someone who was looking to invest in the platform to help them grow. It is not uncommon that they would not make this information public. I was pushing them to give it to me because I didn’t want to have to guess because the guests is going to lead me in a direction that might be incorrect and might value good pods as a platform. And I didn’t want to do that, and I don’t want to do that. However, I have to answer this question to the best of my ability because a listener has asked it and all I can do is give my best educated guests. And here’s that guests, my suspicion is that the reason podcasts like mine and yours, Heather are able to rank so highly is because first and foremost, there are not that many users on good pods. And there are not that many podcasters on good pods who have taken ownership of their podcasts and have begun to really use the platform as a way of growing awareness about their podcast as a marketing channel. If I had to guess, I would guess there was between 1,005 thousand users on good pods because here’s the thing. My podcast is ranking in the top five of all podcasts on good pods. And like I said before, I’m in the top one position in multiple categories, but good pod says that they calculate this through likes and comments and follows and such well, I don’t have that many comments on my posts, maybe one or two per post. And I don’t have that many followers, maybe just north of 200. And I do have a fair amount of reviews over a hundred. And I probably have a fair amount of listens, but I can tell you that if good pods is reporting to my analytics platform to timber, which is where I host this podcast, it’s not a lot because when I started using good pods, my listenership did increase, but not by too much, not by an astounding amount. In fact, as of right now, according to timber, I have somewhere just a little south of 300 unique listeners. And that manifests is somewhere between 70 and a hundred downloads per episode in the first 24 hours. That’s not a lot of listeners, even if they were all from good pods, that’s not a lot of listeners. So if 200 listens and a handful of likes and comments could rocket me to a top one position or a top five position across the entire platform. I think the logical conclusion we would come to is either that, or maybe a combination of these two things. There’s not a lot of engagement on the platform and or there aren’t a lot of users on the platform. And so it is easy. Once you take ownership of your podcast and begin actually participating on the platform and taking it seriously, it is currently very easy to get what I would refer to and have referred to in the past as a organic reach, advantage an unfair one, essentially, I don’t think there’s any competition on the platform. I also would know that people who are going to use good pods are not going to be the kind of people who would use apple podcasts or Spotify. In fact, I would guess that the kinds of people who download good pods and use it as a podcast player, that that is a very unique breed of podcast listener. These people are probably either podcasters themselves. I would say in a lot of cases, maybe not half, but in a fair amount, I would guess, or they’re exploratory listeners. They are looking for new podcasts all the time. They want to give every podcast. They can find a try. They want to positively engage. They are essentially, I would classify most active listeners on this platform is probably being podcast addicts, not your typical podcast listener. So like, For example, if I look at the most recent episodes that I’ve released over the last, let’s say week, if I look at the total number of listens, each of those episodes have on the Goodpods platform, I don’t see a lot of numbers. Here we go: “Does length matter?” yesterday’s episode, eight listeners. “Linking podcast to build podcast authority” eight listeners. “Why I believe podcasting needs closed systems” 12 listeners. “The missing link” the most recent hashtag #FANTF episode, nine listeners. My interview with Jason Stershic, nine listeners. “An Instagram update you might find useful” 21 listeners. Those are not a lot of listeners. And when I open up any one of those episodes, for example, let’s take the most popular one, the one that had 21 listeners, let me click on that. This episode, the episode itself, not the podcast, has about 10 reviews in the comment section; star reviews. And in total, like I said, 21 listeners. Now, I’m not saying that’s not a good amount of listeners. I’m glad 21 people listened, I’m glad 10 or so people review that episode to five stars each. All of that’s great, but it’s not a lot. And if that small amount of engagement and reviewing and listening can result in being number one, number two, number three, number four, number five. Well then, there can’t be a lot of competition. Right? That makes sense. That tracks as good pods gets more popular and grows. I think we will see that this is harder and what we will wind up seeing, unfortunately, but maybe not. And I’ll get to that in a second is maybe a splitting of what we consider to be indie podcasts into indie and very Indy where in very indie creators would have a hard time competing with indie creators. As far as visibility was concerned on the platform because of the platform will get busier. It will get noisier. It won’t be as easy to rank with 21 listeners, right? However, and this is why I like good pods. This is why despite this, I would suggest you use this platform, not just to listen to your podcasts, but to engage with your audience. I do engage with some of you here. It’s a little limited because not all of you use the app, but some of you do leave comments there. And I try to engage when I can. And I have a group there for fans of the show and they can ask questions in the feed of that group and I can help. And that’s what I’m here to do. So I like good pods. And I would encourage you to use it because of this, this thing I’m about to say good pods is doing something to solve discovery, which kind of flips discovery on its head rather than using an algorithm and various tracking mechanisms to study your behavior and make suggestions based on that behavior, rather than doing that. They’re looking at the people you follow and simply showing you the things that those people are listening to. Now, that’s not exactly discovery as I define it, but I do think that it’s a creative way to solving the discovery problem, which I’ve talked about at length in previous episodes. And I won’t go into now. So if you follow a bunch of people on good pods, as they listen, you’ll see in real time that your friends are listening to this, your friends are listening to that. Your friends are listening to that other show, this other show, et cetera, et cetera. And that helps you to discover things that you would not ordinarily discover on your own. And even when the platform gets busy, I think that that is still going to be a huge benefit to pod-casters being able to more easily find their people now, whether or not good pods will ever build a discovery engine. Like what I mean, when I say discovery engine, I have no idea. I don’t have that kind of information about their plans or what they’re doing behind the scenes. I’ve only spoken with the team once. Sometimes we exchange ideas in DMS, but I don’t consult with them. I’m not an advisor to them. I’m just a user of the platform. So I’m limited in what I know. And I need everything that I’ve just said to be taken with a grain of salt, because while I’m not those things, I don’t know everything about good pods. I’m forced to make some assumptions here based on my knowledge previous experience and what I suspect might be true. So to bring it back to your question, Heather, you’re ranking on good pods because there’s nowhere near as much competition on good pods. The kinds of users who use good pods are super users intentionally there to find new podcasts. They are seeking out that experience. A lot of the users on good pods are podcasts themselves. And that lens to creating an environment where people are going to be kinder about reviewing each other and leaving positive commentary and things like that. It’s going to create an environment where people understand how important engagement is. And so they will more easily engage because they get it. And because there’s not that much interaction on the platform as a result of there not being that many users, again, grain of salt, Heather, but that’s my take. And I hope it’s helpful. That is all I’ve got for you today. If I have been helpful, please consider buying me a beer by going to buy me a coffee.com forward slash Tanner helps. If you have a question for this podcast, you can submit it using the sticker. And one of my recent stories on Instagram, you can follow me at Tanner helps, or you can leave a voicemail on my pod inbox, a link to which you can find in the description of this episode. Thank you so much for being with me this morning. I hope you have an excellent Wednesday and until next time take care.