Should you launch your podcast with multiple episodes?


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Should you launch your podcast with multiple episodes?

Do multiple episodes guarantee success?

I get a lot of questions from people confused about whether they should launch their podcast with multiple episodes.

As I always say, the best option for your podcast is the one that makes the most sense for your audience and your content.  And if that’s dropping multiple episodes, go for it.

But if you’re doing it because you’ve read 50 articles telling you it’s what you should do, I’m going to tell you why I don’t think it’s a smart move.

Launching with multiple episodes doesn’t get your podcast into New & Noteworthy

I think the whole multiple-episode obsession came from old advice where people suggested dropping more than one episode would ‘trick’ the New & Noteworthy algorithm into featuring your show.

I’m not sure whether there was an algorithm back in the early days when Apple wasn’t paying much attention to podcasts but these days New & Noteworthy is curated by a real human person (can you believe it?).

So if you’re doing this purely to get your show featured, it’s not going to work.

How to get your podcast featured in New & Noteworthy


Launching with multiple episodes doesn’t guarantee a spot in the podcast charts

I’ve heard people suggest launching multiple episodes helps get your show into the charts because you’ve got the opportunity to get multiple downloads from every listener.

The exact science behind Apple’s charts is a tightly held secret but most experts agree the biggest influencing factor is new subscribers in the past seven days NOT downloads.

And since people subscribe to a show, not individual episodes, having more episodes doesn’t necessarily mean more subscribers.

Some people say you’re likely to get more subscribers because people have more opportunities (more episodes) to find your show via search.

But, depending on what search terms you’re trying to rank for, it’s pretty rare your podcast would be at the top of the search results right at launch so I’m not sure if I buy that one either.

Even if you’ve SEO’d everything like a pro and people are finding you that way, it’s not going to be the difference between one and one million subscribers.

A beginner’s guide to podcast SEO


Launching with multiple episodes uses up valuable content

Since the best (and most boring) way to grow an audience is to deliver quality content consistently over time, the choice between dropping three episodes in one go or being three or four weeks ahead of yourself is a no-brainer for me.

Having multiple episodes up your sleeve will help reduce the chance your podcast will fade out because you’re overwhelmed.

And if you can get ahead of your release schedule you’re going to have a much greater chance of maintaining consistency, which will have a bigger impact on your success than flooding your feed with content at launch.

Why you need a trailer for your podcast


Launching with multiple episodes can reduce your chances of getting in the charts later

I’ve overseen the launch of almost 60 podcasts and I’ve tried everything from dropping all episodes at once to releasing one episode per week to dropping content in batches.

The method that I’ve seen work the best is consistently dropping individual episodes on a regular schedule, ideally weekly.

When you drop all your episodes at once you might jump into the charts but it might be very hard to get back there again.

When you’re dropping episodes consistently and promoting them over time, this gives you a much greater chance of building an audience and getting into the charts more than just once.

Ideally, you want your podcast to get new subscribers constantly so success is about more than just that first week.

And in my experience delivering episodes, one at a time (unless that doesn’t make sense for your content) leads to better long-term results.

What makes a great podcast?


So, is launching with multiple episodes a bad idea?

Nothing is a bad idea if it works for you and your show, but I want to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.

Podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint and you’re much better off looking for options that will help you with longevity and consistency if you want your show to be a success.

Unfortunately, dumping a whole heap of episodes in your feed at once does neither of those things.

Ultimately, you need to make the decision that’s right for your show but don’t release multiple episodes just because you think you should.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help? Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

1 Comment
  1. Jason says:

    Thank you for the helpful post, Rachel!
    I’m on the verge of launching my own podcast, and recording multiple episodes for launch seemed daunting. So I’m glad to see an argument against this!

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Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!