The Science and Art of Podcast Audience Reach

Size, quality, and relevance of a podcast audience.

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The Science of Podcast Audience Reach


The allure of celebrity podcasts is undeniable. Millions of downloads, big-name guests, and the potential to reach a massive audience – what’s not to love? But before you look to sit across from Joe Rogan or Oprah, there’s a harsh reality to consider: the Law of Symmetry.

This law, in the context of podcast guest selection, states a simple truth: shows with gigantic audiences only want guests with gigantic audiences.

So you dream of joining the ranks of podcast guests interviewed by your idols, your voice booming out to millions through headphones nestled around the world. The thrill of sharing your expertise, the validation of rubbing shoulders (virtually, at least) with celebs – it’s intoxicating. But here’s the rub: landing on those “gigantic audience” podcasts feels like trying to crack Fort Knox with a spork. Why? Buckle up, friend, because it’s all about the Law of Symmetry.

This harsh reality boils down to one simple truth: big podcasts want big guests. Think about it. If your show pulls in a million downloads a month, would you invite someone with a mere 10,000 Instagram followers? Nope, you’d want the same explosive download numbers, the same star power to keep your audience buzzing. It’s a closed loop, a frustratingly symmetrical system that makes you feel like a gnat buzzing around a Jupiter-sized ego.

But fear not, aspiring podcast guest! The Law of Symmetry might be a beast, but it’s not untamable. Here’s how you, the brilliant-but-not-yet-famous individual, can snag that coveted invitation:

  • Own your niche. Forget generic topics. Find a hyper-specific topic that your ideal audience cares about. 
  • Offer a value buffet. What unique dish can you bring to the table that other guests can’t?
  • Demonstrate a history of content. Get out front and stay there. Podcasts want guests who enthusiastically share podcast content to their audience. Leverage your connections to get on the radar of the right people.
  • Build your own mini-empire. A strong, engaged personal audience is music to any podcast host’s ears. Focus on creating high-quality content that makes your own listeners sing your praises. Remember, small but passionate can be just as powerful as big and generic.

The Law of Symmetry is real, but it’s not an unbreakable code. By being resourceful, offering unique value, and building your own platform, you can still land that dream podcast guest interview. So keep honing your craft, and remember, even the smallest voice can echo far and wide when it finds the right podcasting megaphone. 


It can be incredibly challenging to pin down the exact size of a podcast’s audience. There is no reliable third party data on the number of listeners for any particular podcast. This challenge is even true for podcast hosts and creators. If podcasts were only published on YouTube, it would be easy. We would be able to see all the subscribers and views each video gets. But podcasts are published and distributed differently.

Here is how the world of podcasting works. Podcasts are distributed through RSS feeds, an open-sourced syndication platform that anyone can access and redistribute. This is why you see so many different podcast players. e.g., Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Castbox, Overcast, and more. There are 20+ iOS and Android podcast players. Figuring out how many subscribers and plays each podcast player generates is near impossible. 



Podcasts hosting platforms give podcast producers a pretty good idea of audience engagement. Most hosting platforms will give a breakdown of audience KPIs, including:

  1. Episode downloads
  2. Episode streams and sources
  3. Audience geolocation

And depending on the podcast hosting platform’s features and upgrades, you might also see:

  3. Audience demographics

These numbers, however, even for podcast producers, are highly variable and frustratingly hard to verify. These numbers are also unpublished to the general public. So, if it’s hard for the podcast creators to measure their listener count, how can we gauge a podcast’s listenership – from the outside looking in? 



Podcast listeners have no way to see the size of any podcast’s audience. We have a couple of KPIs that will give us a ballpark on the audience size, quality, and relevance.

A common way for podcast apps to demonstrate podcast audience engagement is by offering a place for people to rate and review the podcasts published on each platform. The amount and velocity of podcast ratings and reviews play into the platform’s recommendation algorithm.

Podcast platforms promote shows that get a lot of ratings/reviews quickly and consistently. Podcast hosts know this and sometimes incentivize their audiences to review their show. Therefore we assume that higher numbers of reviews = higher audience count.

Just how high? We will explore that a little later.

Because podcast platform algorithms assume that an engaged podcast audience is a good indication of podcast quality, podcast chart rankings are reflective of these numbers.

Subscribers, downloads, and streams also contribute to a podcast’s chart rankings. All of these data points are ranked by the podcast category. Here are a couple of tools you can measure podcast rankings. 

  1. Apple Podcasts Top 100
  2. Podcast Chart Ranking
  3. Podcast Global Rank %

Each podcast publishing platform has variable novelty in their podcast keyword search capability, but they all follow Apple Podcast’s lead regarding Categories and Podcast Subcategories. Here are Apple Podcast’s Categories


The podcast’s social media following is an additional public-facing data point that indicates a podcast’s size. Most podcasts have branded social media profiles. For example, it’s common to see branded profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Linkedin. Additionally, the podcast show host may also have personal social media profiles. 

Many larger podcasts have also done a great job building massive email lists to connect with their loyal listeners. Unfortunately, though the number of their email subscribers is typically not disclosed unless they are interested in advertising dollars. 

The Art of Podcast Audience Reach

At Kitcaster, it’s our business to understand the size, quality, and relevance of a podcast’s audience. As we have outlined above, there are literally dozens of data points to consider.

For a podcast audience to be relevant for a particular guest, the show has to be professional in quality and engaging interview and have reached.

We knew that it would be near impossible to get an exact podcast audience number, so we created a process to determine the perfect podcast interview fit for our clients.


After booking thousands of podcast interviews, we begin the campaign with the following podcast prospecting protocol.

1. Search for relevant podcasts which align your ideal outcomes.

2. Research the Global Rank % (we only schedule for the top 10% or better).

3. Listen to the prospective podcast to guarantee it is well qualified.

Only if a podcast fits these criteria will we pursue an engagement. 

When it comes to podcast data and analytics, Kitcaster is at the tip of the spear. Our simple formula has been a great tool to help our clients secure hundreds of worthy podcast placements. As the fidelity of podcast relevance comes into better focus, we will update our protocol accordingly. 

Beyond the Echo Chamber


You’ve built a thriving social media empire. Your followers hang on your every word, your engagement metrics gleam, and the algorithm smiles upon you. But amidst the likes and retweets, is your message truly reaching the right ears? That’s where niche podcasts come in, offering a potent secret weapon for turning your online buzz into real business growth.

Think of social media as a bustling town square, everyone’s voice competing for attention. Niche podcasts, on the other hand, are intimate speakeasies, frequented by highly interested audiences already primed to listen to your specific expertise. These aren’t casual scrollers; they’re engaged enthusiasts, the cream of the crop when it comes to potential clients.

Speaking Technically, Reaching Peers

Forget watered-down content for the masses. Niche podcasts offer the golden opportunity to delve deep into the technicalities of your field. Discuss nuanced concepts, share advanced strategies, and engage in peer-to-peer conversations that wouldn’t resonate on broader platforms. You’ll establish yourself as a thought leader, attracting clients who appreciate your depth of knowledge and seek your specific skills.

Spearheading the Conversation

Forget chasing trends – be the trendsetter. Niche podcasts allow you to explore the leading edge of your field, engaging in cutting-edge discussions and sharing insights before they hit the mainstream. This positions you as an innovator, someone who shapes the conversation, not just follows it. Clients seeking cutting-edge solutions will instinctively gravitate towards your forward-thinking perspective.

Beyond the Likes, Building Relationships

Social media interactions are often fleeting, a quick like or passing comment. Niche podcasts foster deeper connections. Engaging with podcast hosts and listeners creates genuine relationships, built on shared passion and mutual respect. These connections transcend the digital and spill into the real world, leading to long-term client relationships and lasting business partnerships.

So, while your social media following may stretch far and wide, remember, it’s the focused conversations in niche podcasts that truly convert followers into clients. By stepping outside the echo chamber and into the intimate speakeasies of the podcast world, you’ll find not just engaged listeners, but a community of ideal clients waiting to be discovered. Take the leap, embrace the power of niche podcasts, and watch your business reach new heights of success.


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