Distribution Isn’t Enough to Grow Your Podcast

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

There’s a classic scene in Season 4 of Seinfeld that relates perfectly to how many podcast creators approach their shows.

Jerry and George are in a meeting with Russell Dalrymple, President of NBC pitching him a pilot for a TV show Jerry and George are writing.

When asked what they’ve come up with, George replies, “I think I can sum up the show for you with one word… ‘Nothing.'”

Facing questioning and pushback from both Jerry and the NBC execs, an increasingly irritated George digs in, “No! Nothing happens”, to which Dalrymple responds, “Well then why am I watching it?”

George’s incredulous reply?

“Because it’s on TV!”

Too many creators approach their podcasts the same way, thinking that simply because their shows are available, listeners will both find, and enjoy them.

This is far from the case.

In fact, having a show available on podcast platforms has almost nothing to do with growing an audience.

I know many podcasters who have grown significant email lists and audiences before their podcasts launched based simply on its concept, the big idea behind it.

I know many more who have hundreds of episodes available on every imaginable podcast platform but next to no audience.

Simply being available, does not make you compelling.

The same concept applies to dating.

We’ve all swiped left on available singles.

We’ve all turned off shows that are on TV.

We’ve all scrolled past millions of pieces of content that are readily available whenever and wherever we want them.

There’s more to landing a date, securing a pilot with NBC and building a podcast audience than simply being available for consumption.

Yes, distribution matters.

But without a compelling concept, even absolute omnipresence won’t lead to listeners.

The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can move on to actually crafting a podcast worth listening to. And then doing the legwork of getting it in front of the people it’s designed to serve.

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