How to Find Out How Many Subscribers a Podcast Has

When you want to connect your brand with a podcast, you'll want to look at all the analytics before reaching out to the host.

Metrics like the number of downloads or subscriber demographics can influence your PR strategy and whether or not you decide to make a pitch.

So, it's no surprise that people often ask "how do I find out how many subscribers a podcast has?"

Why you might look for a podcast's subscriber count

Podcasts are perfect for marketers and PR agents who want to get ahead of the game. And there are many ways to align yourself with the right podcast to benefit you or your clients.

For example:

Guest appearances

Scoring an interview can be a great way to alert listeners to your brand, product or service. When the audience hears you talking with a trusted host, they're often inclined to look you up after the show.

Sponsorship deals

Sponsoring a show gets your brand name and message on a specific number of episodes. So, if the number of podcast subscribers is high, plenty of listeners can hear your message every time they tune in and that can lead to more purchases on your website.

Influencer marketing

Perhaps you've decided to align your brand with an influencer in your niche? Influencer marketing can be highly effective if you choose a podcast with an audience ready to hear your message.

Cross-promotion

It may even be that you've recently started podcasting, and you're trying to grow your subscriber numbers. Cross-promoting with suitable podcasts can bring more listeners flocking to your show.

In all these cases, whether you're marketing for yourself or reaching out on behalf of a client, it's vital to find the podcasts where you'll get the most bang for your buck.

Why is it so tricky to discover accurate subscriber numbers?

It all comes down to the way we listen to podcasts.

One of the reasons they're so popular is the decentralized nature of podcast distribution. In other words, there are many different places you can listen and subscribe to podcast episodes.

This is how podcasts become available:

  • Record and edit an episode
  • Upload the episode to a podcast host server (e.g., Buzzsprout, Simplecast, Podbean)
  • The server produces an RSS feed
  • You submit that feed to all the podcast platforms

And therein lies the problem when it comes to finding out podcast subscriber numbers.

There are piles of platforms out there. Spotify, Apple podcasts, and iHeartRadio are three of the largest, but there are many smaller players too.

Buzzsprout lists at least 39 different podcast apps in its Definitive Podcast Directory List for 2021.

All that makes it almost impossible to see how many subscribers a podcast has. Sometimes, even the podcast hosts and producers don't know their actual listening stats.

Fortunately, Rephonic can help with this problem by showing you the numbers of Listeners per Episode instead of subscribers. These numbers are our best guess based on hundreds of publicly available data points that we gathered for each podcast in our database.

How to benchmark podcasts

Subscriber numbers aren't the only way to tell how popular a podcast is with its audience.

Those numbers don't tell you how many people listen avidly every week versus the numbers who subscribe but don't get around to listening all that often.

That's why it's also good to look at some other benchmarks.

Social followers

When you're researching a podcast to see if they'd be a good match for your brand, check out where they are active on social media and how many followers they have.

Not only do you want to know if people are engaging with the podcast's posts. You're also looking where they have the most fans to see if that aligns with the places where your brand is active too. For example, if most of your audience engages with you on LinkedIn, you may not gel with a podcast whose listeners are TikTok fans.

To find all their social profiles, you could trawl through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and possibly even LinkedIn.

You might prefer to search on Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or another favorite search engine.

Or, your mantra this year might be "let it be easy," in which case you'd head to Rephonic, where you'll find our tally of each podcast's social media success and links to their pages.

Rephonic calculates those by calculating the average engagement rate percentage over the podcast's ten most recent posts, tweets, or uploads. Then, we normalize that percentage and adjust it to account for the fact that accounts with a considerable following typically get lower engagement. The result is a social engagement score between 0 and 100.

Audience engagement

Another metric is how often the audience rates and reviews the show. You'll often hear podcasters give a "rate and review us" call-to-action in each episode. Reviews help other listeners find the podcast and are proof of an engaged audience.

Again, Rephonic takes the hassle out of that in the "Audience" section of their podcast profiles.

To get the engagement data, we measure the growth in new listener reviews and ratings across multiple apps over the past 30 days and rate it between 0-100. As you can see, The Tim Ferriss Show ranks highly for engagement with around 1.4 million listeners per episode and an excellent engagement score of 80.

Ratings and reviews

If you're keen to see words rather than numbers, you'll want to check out reviews and ratings in Apple Podcasts and other podcast platforms. Once more, Rephonic makes it easy by giving you the links to the places where that podcast has ratings and reviews.

You can read the reviews on each platform or click on the All Reviews button and read the comments in the order they were made.

Conclusion

Finding the podcasts that resonate with your brand and marketing objectives can be tricky. Then, even when you've found a likely contender, you might still spend hours hunting down their social media profiles and ratings on different platforms.

You might still be left wondering how many listeners they have and how engaged their audience is. Not to mention how to contact a host if you decide to reach out.

Rephonic is here to take the hassle out of podcast outreach by making it easy to find all the information you'll need in one place. We have the numbers and the contact links to match your brand with your ideal podcast.

Photos by Ignat Kushanrev and Daniel Hay on Unsplash

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Lyn McNamee

Lyn McNamee

Contributor