Unlock the secrets to elevate your podcast's visibility in 2024! Don't let your content get lost—discover proven strategies to boost your podcast's presence on popular platforms and connect with a wider audience.
After working with countless branded podcasts, one of the most common questions we get asked is: “How do we grow our podcast organically?”
Put another way: “How do we let our target audience know our show exists?”
One of the best ways to get in front of your target audience is going to where they already hang out – their favorite podcast listening app.
By optimizing your presence on major players in audio – think Spotify or Apple Podcasts – you can increase podcast discoverability and get in front of the right eyes (and ears).
In this article, we teach you how to do just that. We’ll be going over the main charts you should aim to rank on, why ranking on listening apps can be a game changer for your show, and the 6 top ways to increase your visibility on listening apps in 2024.
Let’s get into it.
Top-ranked podcasts enjoy a prime spot in the charts, making them easily visible to potential listeners – and all marketers know that making their product easily accessible to audiences is key.
This heightened visibility not only helps in scaling the show but also acts as a trust signal for listeners exploring new podcasts.
Nowadays anyone with a microphone and internet access can create a podcast, so standing out is crucial. Increasing visibility on listening apps sets your podcast apart from the 5 million options available, offering a competitive edge that is valuable for retaining and attracting listeners. Being among the top-ranked podcasts communicates a level of quality and popularity that makes your show a standout choice for discerning audiences.
High-ranking podcasts not only enjoy increased visibility but also benefit from boosted credibility. The passive endorsement of being in the top charts enhances the perceived value for potential listeners.
Because podcasts can captivate listeners for upwards of 40 minutes, this credibility boost is a powerful motivator for individuals deciding which podcasts to invest their time in. It establishes your podcast as a reputable and influential source in your niche, building trust among your audience.
Podcast rankings serve as a form of organic marketing, complementing your own promotional efforts. While active podcast marketing remains crucial, placing highly on the charts generates reach. This organic reach adds a layer of social proof to your podcast's growth, as listeners are drawn in by its popularity and quality.
While not a prerequisite for securing monetization and advertising deals, top-ranking podcasts are naturally positioned to attract more interest from sponsors and partners. The popularity rating, coupled with a larger audience and widened reach afforded by being in the top charts, makes your podcast an attractive proposition for potential sponsors. This increased attention opens doors to lucrative monetization opportunities, like sponsorships, advertisements, and collaborations.
Apple Podcasts Charts provide a dynamic snapshot of what's resonating with audiences across the platform.
Here's a closer look at the key parts of Apple Podcasts' ranking system:
These charts are the heartbeat of Apple Podcasts' rankings. They serve as a real-time reflection of what listeners are tuning into. Updated throughout the day, they encompass a range of genres, offering a comprehensive view of the podcasting universe.
Whether you're interested in a specific category or want to explore diverse content, these charts provide an accessible roadmap to discovering captivating shows and individual episodes.
It’s no secret that creators are always exploring different monetization strategies – that’s where the Top Subscriber Shows chart comes into play. It highlights podcasts that offer subscribers exclusive perks and content.
This ranking not only celebrates content creators who go the extra mile to engage their audience but also sheds light on the growing trend of subscription-based podcasting.
Podcast networks have grown in prominence, hosting multiple shows under their umbrella. Apple's Top Subscriber Channels chart highlights these top networks that offer subscribers access to a collection of shows.
Apple's New and Noteworthy is a curated list prominently featured on the Apple Podcasts (formally iTunes) homepage. The listening app strategically places podcasts in the New and Noteworthy category to showcase content they classify as "compelling, new, or unusual."
This front-and-center position is on display to millions of potential listeners, making it a sought-after spot for podcasters seeking substantial exposure.
Like Apple Podcasts, Spotify has a few different podcast charts that are all updated daily.
Here are your need-to-knows:
This compilation offers a snapshot of the 200 most influential podcasts within a designated country. It serves as a valuable resource, providing insights into the dominant players in the local podcast landscape.
This chart is built for both listeners and creators. It helps listeners find top-notch content in their preferred language and region, and creators aiming to establish a foothold in specific global markets.
When on the lookout for individual episodes generating significant traction, the Top Episodes chart serves as a reliable guide. Listing the 200 most popular episodes at any given moment, it offers a window into the current trends and conversations shaping the podcasting sphere.
Staying ahead of the curve in the podcasting realm is made easier with the Trending Podcasts chart. This chart reveals the latest listening trends and showcases podcasts that are rapidly gaining popularity. It's a great place to discover new and exciting content.
Sometimes, you might be interested in a specific niche or genre. Spotify's Top Podcasts by Category chart narrows down the top 50 podcasts within a particular category, making it easier for enthusiasts to find content that aligns with their interests and for creators to see how they’re stacking up against other shows in their genre.
Owned by Spotify, Chartable offers its Top 200 charts and Trending charts, dubbed “the podcast industry’s first global, weekly rankings.”
What sets Chartable apart is its use of data from various listening platforms to create these charts, providing a more comprehensive view of the podcasting landscape. They also divide their charts based on genre and region.
Quill Tip: If you’re interested in understanding the options on the market, we put together a list of the top 10 Chartable alternatives for 2024.
Now that you understand a bit more about the kinds of podcast charts out there, let’s dive into how you can increase your visibility on the major podcast listening apps in 2024.
While it may sound like a no-brainer, the essence of a good ranking hinges on the fact that your content is genuinely worth listening to. In this year’s saturated podcast landscape, the quality of your podcast boils down to two critical factors:
In other words, no one is going to listen to the Blair Witch of podcasting. You’ll want you and your guests to sound clear, have sound effects and music at suitable levels, and divide segments logically and clearly.
When it comes to captivating your audience, you’ll want to produce content that provides value – whether this be knowledge, entertainment, or just making them feel good. To feel confident in the direction of your show, we suggest defining your listener persona, setting your podcast goals, conducting competitor research, and narrowing down your niche early on.
By getting these aspects right, you lay a solid foundation for your podcast's growth and success.
Quill tip: To help you make a podcast to be proud of, we outlined our favorite audio equipment for all budgets and how to create a great podcast listening experience that keeps your target audience coming back.
Correctly tagging your podcast with the appropriate category is essential for targeted visibility. Many charts and rankings are category-specific, and accurate tagging ensures that your podcast appears under the most relevant heading.
This doesn’t only align your podcast with similar shows but also positions it to compete effectively within its niche or genre. Choosing the right category enhances the likelihood of your podcast climbing the charts and gaining increased exposure to the right audience.
According to CoHost’s State of Branded Podcasts Report, Business is the most popular branded podcast category with almost 50% of shows using it.
Humans are naturally visual creatures, so it’s no surprise that when we’re presented with a variety of options (like on a podcast listening app page) we’re attracted to the images that stand out – both in terms of aesthetics and our interests.
As a general rule, cover art should:
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few examples of cover art that meets all the above criteria:
Quill Tip: If you’re looking for more tips and tricks to create a podcast cover art that demands attention, we put together an article that goes over how you can use color theory to enhance your show’s visual brand.
Your podcast's profile on listening apps acts as an in-app landing page, providing essential details about your show – all in one place.
Think of your show page as the equivalent of your website – which you’d of course want to optimize for SEO – so why should you treat your show page any differently?
As you can see from our Countermeasures example, on your show page you’ll find details including:
Here are some important elements of your show page to optimize for maximum visibility:
Picking a name for your podcast and podcast episodes is no easy feat. To help you refine your list, here are some best practices:
Like show and episode titles, descriptions also need to be to the point and purpose-driven. Beyond that, here are some other things to consider when crafting your podcast and episode descriptions:
You can see these points in action in this description for Emergent Biosolutions, Countermeasures:
Quill Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about the difference between increasing your visibility on listening apps vs. optimizing your podcast SEO, check out our full guide.
While it doesn’t appear that reviews and ratings directly impact your podcast’s visibility on listening apps, they certainly add credibility and a kind of “social proof” to your show.
In this way, encouraging listeners to leave reviews and rate your show can attract new audiences and build trust. If you find your end-of-episode CTAs aren’t enough to generate reviews, consider incentivizing reviews with shout-outs, exclusive content, or giveaways to motivate your audience to actively engage with and promote your podcast.
Plus, research has found that the majority of podcasts don’t have many reviews at all, so if a limited number of reviews is getting you down, we suggest coming back to these stats:
If you have:
As much as we’d love to offer you a quick, turnkey solution to ranking on the top charts and improving your visibility on listening apps, the truth of the matter is that consistency is key.
This is a particular challenge for podcasters with 1 in 5 podcasts expected to experience podfade – when a new podcast produces a few episodes and then gradually starts releasing fewer and fewer until they stop entirely. Essentially, the podcast stops existing because the podcaster is unable to keep up with producing shows and it fades into podcasting oblivion.
A regular release schedule not only builds a loyal following but also contributes to sustained growth momentum. Podcasters who consistently deliver content are more likely to capture the attention of listeners seeking reliable and frequent updates.
If consistency is proving to be a challenge for your show, we suggest setting clear expectations of a release schedule that is realistic and achievable for you and your team and if you do need to take a break, let your audience know where to reach you in the meantime – whether that be social media, your newsletter, your podcast’s website, or your online community.
To help lighten the load, working with a full-service podcast agency can work alongside your team throughout the entire process – from ideation and scripting to promotion and distribution. This not only saves your team valuable time but also ensures you’re following best practices and you’re creating a show to be proud of.
Remember, podcasting success is a marathon, not a sprint.
Quill Tip: If you’re looking to optimize your show between seasons (or while you’re taking a break), we put together a complete guide to help you keep your audience engaged and podcast relevant even when you’re not actively releasing new episodes.
There you have it – 6 ways to increase your podcast’s discoverability on listening apps in 2024. From optimizing show and episode descriptions to leveraging platform-specific features and maintaining a consistent publishing schedule, these practices help you stand above the noise.
Remember, the podcasting landscape is ever-evolving, and adaptability is the key to success. By maintaining consistency, embracing creativity, and strategically engaging with your audience, you're not just navigating the charts but creating a narrative that resonates with your target listeners.
If you’re interested in learning more about podcast discoverability and podcast marketing, reach out to Quill’s podcast growth experts.
Free for 2 hours of content per month
$12 for 3 hours per month
$18+ for 6 hours and up
$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb
Unlimited audio package: $9/month
Monthly Storage: Unlimited
Chat with our experts about your podcastchat with ouR team