The Listener Pyramid: A Proven Key to Podcast Growth


PodMov Daily: Friday, June 4

Episode 444: Week Download Complete

The Listener Pyramid: A Proven Key to Podcast Growth

Over the last eight years, 447 episodes, and nearly 15 million downloads at The Side Hustle Show, Nick Loper has learned that engagement always flows upward. This Flashback Friday, Loper explains how his Listener Pyramid framework turns strangers into fans — the kind that follow your podcast’s every step.

Every podcast fan was once a stranger to the show, even the one who listens to every episode and pre-orders your merch. As Loper points out, “Podcast fans aren’t born — they’re made.” How are you incentivizing each listener? With specific examples, he demonstrates strategies to reframe both content and communication.

“One thing is certain: If you don’t tell listeners how to subscribe and what’s in it for them, no one will,” Loper says. This piece of advice applies to both your show and your all-important email list. Don’t underestimate a well-placed call to action. “Remember, you never know where your next fan is going to come from.”

A Realistic, Organic Strategy Behind 100k Downloads

Over its 14-month run, Arielle Nissenblatt’s “pandemic distraction-cast” was downloaded nearly 100,000 times. She and her co-host weren’t backed by a network, didn't pay for ads, and published seasonally. How did they pull it off? The EarBuds Podcast Collective founder is glad to drop some knowledge.

On Counter Programming with Shira and Arielle, the two friends talked about literal ‘counters’ to the news. (Think countertops, Count Chocula, and county fairs.) Nissenblatt’s case study breaks down five actionable tips, including how they presented the show and took advantage of free opportunities like in-app promos.

A 60-second listen or scroll through social media shows consistent effort, thought, and creativity. Its listing on Apple Podcasts’ New and Noteworthy is no surprise. “The extra fun part here is that 100k is a lot to some, a little to others,” Nissenblatt says. We’d say this “distraction-cast” did remarkably well.

Disctopia: Truly Creator-First Podcast Hosting 

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Subscriptions are simple and streamlined on Disctopia. Simply choose what to make available for streaming and what to make exclusive. Merch is completely integrated, allowing you to offer fan gear alongside your content. Your secure (HTTPS) site engages listeners with an embeddable web player and more.

Above all, Disctopia supports podcasters on their own terms. You’ll have unlimited storage, uploads, and downloads. Be everywhere with universal RSS distribution, and stay informed with detailed analytics and unique listener reports. Ready to see what’s possible? Upgrade with code “Podmov” for 3 months free.

Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is most important.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Thoughts wanted: Today is the last cash prize drawing for Matriarch Digital Media’s online survey. Founder Twila Dang is collecting data about BIPOC women across the podcast industry. It takes about 10 minutes to complete and closes on Sunday. Find out more and pass it along.
  • Sweet tea: Next week is Podcast Movement’s meetup tour in the southeastern US. All are invited to get together for chats and drinks in the great outdoors. Find us in Atlanta, GA on Monday, Birmingham, AL on Tuesday, Memphis, TN on Wednesday, and Nashville, TN on Thursday.
  • Mission control: The Tribeca Festival (June 9-20) has announced six expert jurors for this year’s all-new podcast categories. Non-fiction will be judged by N’Jeri Eaton, Rachel Ghiazza, and Latif Nasser. Fiction will be judged by Neil Drumming, Lauren Shippen, and Mimi O’Donnell. 
  • Flow state: The audio that flooded our ears during the pandemic won’t lose its power, writes New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo. “Once, I thought of my headphones as a conduit for music, and then they were for music and podcasts, but now they are something else entirely.”

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