As podcasters, we're always looking to get more people to subscribe to our show. But that drive runs counter to the new wave of podcast listeners, who want to be nothing more than that -- a casual listener.
In this short episode, I'll share with you three real-world stories that lead me to this conclusion.
- One was a young woman who professes a love for listening to podcasts all the time, but doesn't subscribe to any. Instead, she just searches for something that sounds interesting. When that's over, she searches for something else.
- Another was a more mature woman -- a podcaster, even -- who listens to lots of podcasts (like this one) but doesn't subscribe. She catches lots of shows "live" on social media platforms, or follows links she sees in her Twitter feed.
- And then there was that much-lambasted study by the University of Florida and Futuri Media that claimed that YouTube was where the vast majority of listeners discover and listen to podcasts. That didn't sit well with many. Maybe not even me.
But those signs, plus the fact that Google Podcasts is transcribing content podcasting content to feed to their algorithm, and even Apple is coming out with cross-platform webpages for podcasts that are indexable by search engines... it points to a growing trend that subscribing is now more optional than ever.
What are we going to do about that? Well, I have a few ideas that are in the episode. Spoiler: They little to do with trying to convince these non-subscribers of the benefits of subscribing.