Lessons from 20 Million Star Ratings on Apple Podcasts


PodMov Daily: Thursday, November 19

Episode 323: Your Thursday Podthoughts

Lessons from 20 Million Star Ratings on Apple Podcasts

“Earlier this month, I grabbed a dataset of 19,973,595 ratings across 1,307,258 shows in Apple Podcasts in the US,” writes Dan Misener of Pacific Content. “Then I crunched some numbers. I was surprised by what I found.” Questions like “Our company’s podcast has 308 ratings. Is that good?” have context at last.

The function and relevance of star ratings have been a recent topic of debate. “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,” Misener says. Thanks to him, the distribution of those 93,591,946 individual stars is much clearer.

Misener reveals a range of curious findings, but this small selection should lift some spirits. First, eliminate the shows with zero ratings (which is most of them). Within the pool of shows with at least one rating, say you have 4 or more. Congratulations! You have more ratings than 50% of all shows on Apple Podcasts.

SoundHER: Lauren Popish of The Wave Podcasting

For the monthly interview series SoundHER, Larell Scardelli speaks with Lauren Popish, founder of The Wave Podcasting. When Popish started her podcast Book (Wine) Club in 2018, “tech-heavy, masculine videos and help-guides” were all she could find. Now, she’s helping womxn start and grow podcasts.

“I think podcasting has a number of barriers to entry that impact marginalized demographics more than others,” Popish says. “Meaning, the things that make it hard: cost, technical expertise, and the confidence that they have something of importance to share.” The goal of The Wave is to change that pattern.

“The thing I wish to solve is just to make the information we get through podcasts as diverse as the people who listen to them,” Popish explains. During the conversation, she reveals why email lists beat social media, what the two-year mark says about your podcast, and what the “x” in “womxn” means to her.

Buzzsprout: The Next Generation of Podcast Transcription

At Buzzsprout, innovation means progress. High-quality transcription and distribution should be simple. The new Transcription Toolset does just that. Not only do transcripts make your show accessible for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, there’s no better way to amplify your reach.

Transcripts make your content easier to find and repurpose, from social media to video. Buzzsprout’s intuitive tools offer four ways to add them: Temi integration, Descript integration, uploading an .srt file, or writing your own. With Buzzsprout, your definitive transcript is also included in your RSS feed. 

Transcripts within the RSS feed makes it easy for podcast apps, directories, and aggregators to access them. Currently distributing over 46,000 transcripts through RSS, Buzzsprout has been collaborating with the Podcast Index to benefit the whole space — building smarter tools for a better future.

The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.

Here's what else is going on:

  • No surprises: YouTube is adding audio ads (now in beta) to desktop streaming, reports Damien Wilde of 9to5Google. Those “listen[ing] to podcasts and music on YouTube in the background while they go about their day may hear randomly placed audio-only ads tailored to them.”
  • Electric slide: This Saturday is Audio Recess from PRX and Google Podcasts creator program. The free, all-day event for podcasters and audio creators runs from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm ET. Participants will be able to launch their own spontaneous sessions in addition to planned activities.
  • Urgent mail: During South Africa’s hard lockdown, the Media Diaries podcast series was created to shed light on the country’s newsrooms. For Podnews, Aaisha Dadi Patel speaks with the creators. Using voice notes on WhatsApp, they’re capturing the tough reality of pandemic reporting.

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