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The Business of Content

Mar 19, 2018

If you want to subscribe and listen to podcasts, there are dozens of apps to choose from, including podcast-specific apps like Stitcher and even music streaming apps like Spotify.

But anyone who works in the industry knows that Apple is the king of podcasts; its podcast app, which it spun off from iTunes a few years ago, accounts for more than 50 percent of all podcast use.

This is why Apple’s podcast rankings can be so important for driving discovery and downloads. There’s one master list of the top 200 most popular podcasts at any given moment, and then there are also dozens of content categories, each with its own top 200 list. Making it to the top of one of these lists can drive thousands of fresh downloads and put a podcast on the map.

But how does Apple rank its podcasts? And what’s the best way to make it onto one of its lists? To answer this question, I interviewed Dan Misener, the head of audience development at a company called Pacific Content, which specializes in helping brands develop their own podcasts.

For over a year, Misener ran an experiment in which he took snapshots of the Apple podcast charts and kept track of which content categories showed up most consistently. I interviewed Misener about his findings and what strategies his company uses to get a client podcast ranked.