There are many ways to listen to a podcast. That is the beauty of audio-only content, there are tons of different options for streaming it. From apps to directories to website players, it is optimal for your success to share your podcast with listeners in several different ways.
It is important to note that none of these ways are better than the others. In fact, they are all great for different reasons. However, some of them will attract SUBSCRIBERS, while others will attract VISITORS. Subscribers are listeners that stream more than one episode either at a time or over time. Visitors, are listeners that drop in for a single episode here and there, and then move on without an immediate plan to come back for more of your content.
The way you market your podcast, coupled with the nature of your audience’s habits, together will determine whether a listener becomes a subscriber or a visitor. As you hone your marketing strategy it is important to know how and why each of the ways of accessing your podcast can benefit your audience.
So let’s break it down. Here are the top 5 places that listeners can hear your podcast, and the benefits of each.
- iOS/Android app
- Audio Directories ( iTunes/Google Play/Stitcher Radio/Spotify/etc.)
- mp3 link
- embedded website player
- Hosting site archive URL
Whether on an iOS or Android device, listeners can download your dedicated podcast app to their personal smartphone or tablet for access to all of your episodes. They can then download episodes to their queue for easy listening when they are commuting in the car or even underground on the subway, or they can stream episodes at any time that they are connected to wifi. The app also provides push notifications to alert subscribers each time a new episode is released and has room for posting bonus content and episode descriptions.
Having your listeners download your app is a sure fire way of building a subscriber base. With up to date to access to your entire podcast library, they can listen to any and all of your episodes at their convenience. Getting listeners to download your app can be done either by sharing the iOS and Android app links OR by giving them the instructions to search for and download it through the Mac app store or Google Play store on their device.
Audio Directories ( iTunes/Google Play/Stitcher Radio/Spotify/etc.)
Audio directories are also an important method for building subscribers. Players like iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, and Spotify, offer audio of all sorts INCLUDING podcasts. People can consume your podcast audio in the same place they are already consuming their music. Each of these directories gives listeners an option to subscribe to your show, and thus, listen to multiple episodes on a recurring basis.
Your podcast within each directory can be accessed via a specific link. The best part is that these links never change! New episodes are simply added to your library and can be accessed via the same original links. The key is making sure to share them and encourage listeners to subscribe to the directories for easier future listening.
The mp3 link provides listeners a direct click to the audio for one specific episode. Each episode has their own mp3 link URL. Since it does not directly connect to the rest of your podcast library, this method would be considered a VISITOR attractor. Sometimes, however, you need to create visitors before you can convert them to subscribers! Providing just the latest episode, which is easy to access in one click makes it quick and opportune for new listeners to be introduced to your show.
Embedded Website Player
An embedded website player is a very nice addition to your personal website because it puts a visually pleasing library of your podcast episodes right on your page. Once the code for this player is added to the backend of your website, the player can be accessed through the landing page URL! When listeners click on it, they have the option to listen to one or more episodes right there on their internet browser. The player gives them the option to share or download each episode as well.
Hosting site archive URL
The hosting site archive URL is created by the podcast hosting provider (i.e. Libsyn, Blubrry) and is a dedicated web page just for your show. You can share the link specific to each episode, and still provide access to the rest of your episodes. From here, listeners also have the ability to share or download each episode.
At the end of the day, none of these platforms can be described as better or worse. They are all important to growing your listener base. It is important to continuously switch up your marketing links and share different ways to access your show to broaden your audience to its fullest potential.
Here is an example! Check out our very own WorkforcePods Podcast on the iTunes directory via this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/workforcepods/id1439750418?mt=2