The Danger of Limited Listener Feedback


PodMov Daily: Wednesday, July 6

Episode 675: Your Midweek Update

The Danger of Limited Listener Feedback

This is what happens if podcasters rely only on current listeners for feedback: “You are making fewer and fewer people happier and happier.” Reprising a favorite blog post, Tom Webster of Sounds Profitable underscores the importance of knowing the tastes of people who aren’t listening to your show.

“The message here is simple – pay attention to what your current audience is saying – but continue to find ways to solicit feedback from people who could be your audience, especially if your downloads have stopped growing or (heaven forbid) are declining.” This will keep you out of the ‘optimization trap.’

Webster uses a diner as an analogy. A pizza place opens across the street, and the diner’s varied menu continues to narrow in line with customers’ reported preferences. Things don’t end well for the diner. Read or listen all the way through, and you’ll see how echo chambers punish good intentions.

Visualize Your Audience By the Numbers

What would you do if 50 people were coming to see you speak live in a room? Most podcasters would ramble less than they typically do, says Amplifi Media CEO Steven Goldstein. Visualizing your audience, whether it’s 50 people or 5,000, makes the stakes clear – waste time, and some will walk out.

“When you see how big your following is and think about them right in front of you, it changes how you prep and present,” Goldstein says. “It forces you to be more relevant, more interesting, and more engaged.” He shows 250 people (a college lecture hall), 100,000 people (a university football stadium) and goes larger. 

This isn’t to scare podcasters. Well, maybe a little. Visualizing an audience is about adrenaline and awareness. “It sets you up to be better and earn what matters most.” When Goldstein leads a panel at Podcast Movement, the thoughtful dialogue and lively pace are designed with you in mind. Give it a try.

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We do not need to find something we are best at; what is important is simply that we do our best.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Snack bar: The latest round of Podcast Movement 2022 speakers is out, featuring experts like Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras (NPR) and Rob Walch (Libsyn). More in this week’s update, including details on the industry’s largest expo and where to snag free food and drink from our sponsors in Dallas.
  • Learning curve: The Podcasting, Seriously Awards Fund has expanded reimbursements to include education and training opportunities. BIPOC and LGBTQ+ independent creators seeking to advance their careers in audio production can apply for grants and be awarded up to $500 per person per year.
  • On schedule: “The Art of Guest Booking” from Radio Boot Camp is this Saturday, July 9. Award-winning podcaster Kristen Meinzer will cover finding ideal guests for each story, surefire ways to track them down, and methods she’s used to book international revolutionaries and pop stars. $100 registration.
  • Block party: Tickets for the first Black Effect Podcast Festival are now available. Hosted by comedian Lil Duval, the in-person event will take place on Sunday, August 28 in Brooklyn, NY. Some of the Network’s top creators will bring live conversations and podcasting education sessions to the stage.

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