The best day to release podcast episodes is not necessarily when each one is ready. You might record, edit, and polish off podcast episodes on different days. You can’t just upload them at random if you want them to have maximum impact. When you publish each episode to make it available to your audience matters. Before you release anything, you should have a proper strategy for choosing the best day to release podcast episodes.
In this article, we will talk about the different considerations you need to keep in mind when determining the timing of your episode releases. We will not only discuss the best day to release podcast episodes. We’ll show you the best times of day and the best frequency. This blog will also discuss the other variables needed and the things to avoid when you want to find the right schedule.
What is the best day to release podcast episodes?
Deciding on what exact day of the week you should release your podcast episodes is tricky. For most podcast producers, it is a trial-and-error process. There are also famous podcasts that remain hits regardless of what day new episodes become available.
However, for most hosts, the best day to release podcast episodes is during weekdays or workdays. This is because people commute to work during these days. Megaphone pinpoints that the day that garners the most downloads is Tuesday. Wednesday is the second most popular publishing time slot alongside Thursday.
This data also holds true in terms of The Podcast Host’s experience. They set the publish day for the full run of a particular show to be Monday. Yet, the highest download spike is on Wednesdays, followed by Tuesdays on the list.
What time of day is perfect for releasing new episodes?
Now that we already know the peak days of the week with most downloads, let us determine the time slot. Also according to Megaphone, an episode released hours before work starts in the morning (around 5 AM) is ideal. Releasing during the afternoon commute (around 4-5 PM) is also ideal.
Downloads are at their highest when people are getting ready for the day. The same goes for when they are preparing something to listen to during the trip to school or work. Your publish hours should therefore be between 2 AM and 5 AM. The 5 AM time slot gains the maximum chunk of downloads. You will do well if you can maintain this time slot.
Resonate believes that releasing your episode early in the morning will improve your chances of appearing on the top of the directory subscriber’s feed.
If we are to use Megaphone-hosted episodes (between April 2018 to March 2019) as a benchmark, the highest downloads per average episode were at 5 AM on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
How frequently should you publish fresh content?
The decision on the frequency of podcast publishing all depends on you. But we must also consider the demand of your listeners. Along with it, there are several strategies on how often you should release an episode.
Here are the different strategies in terms of frequency that you should apply when releasing your podcast episodes:
Are you curious about how to build your podcast audience through your podcast schedule? Consistency is the key to podcast publishing. You may diligently follow the best day to release podcast episodes. If you don’t release a new episode on that same day and time every week, however, your ratings will go down. This is because people depend on schedules. They might expect you to release an episode on schedule, but then you don’t. Chances are, they will hold that against you.
Set a recurring schedule for launching your episodes. It will grow trust, excitement, and anticipation for your listeners. Take note that this strategy is also crucial in trying to build a podcast audience.
There is a great likelihood that you can meet your fans’ expectations when you are faithful to the schedule. Keeping them waiting for too long can cause agitation and dissatisfaction among your audience members.
Choose the most convenient and strategic time for you to release new episodes. By doing so, it will be easier for you to sustain this regular activity. Your upload frequency can be anything you can commit to:
- Two, three, or four times a week
- Every weekday
- Every two weeks
- Every two months
The choice is yours, really. However, we do not recommend that you publish too infrequently. For instance, uploading new content only once every 3 or 4 months is not enough. Waiting too long can make your audience and search engines think that you’re inactive and lazy.
How to maintain consistency?
Create a concrete plan and a schedule for the best day to release podcast episodes. You might face unexpected events, postponed meetings, and rescheduling. Yet the plan will help you develop contingencies. This way, you can also become more productive and resourceful. When unexpected scenarios pop up, you will know what to do to make sure you don’t miss publishing your new episode.
Know your capabilities and capacity.
Yes, podcasting demands consistency. But never go for a schedule you cannot sustain. Know how many episodes you can handle. Only commit to what you can sustain. You should go for quality over quantity all the time.
Be ahead of the launching dates
Before actually launching your first episode, make sure you already have three to five episodes ready on the deck. If you are new to podcasting, consistency will help you build your presence in the industry. If you are a veteran podcaster, you can crunch for a couple of months to build that buffer. Having a few episodes ready to publish always makes life easier.
Full Season Drop
You may find that the consistent episode release plan is not for you. If so, consider the strategy of dropping a full show or season in one go. This strategy is most effective with stories or narrative-type podcasts and evergreen content. Evergreen content refers to subjects that are not seasonal. This plan still emphasizes the relevance of your content regardless of the publishing times.
You can also consider releasing them by batch, like chapters. However, remember that this needs a lot of content planning and promotion. Also, remember that each episode should have a connection and coherence with the other episodes. This coherence is essential to batched content.
Other Things You Should Consider When Setting the Right Schedule
There are other significant factors to consider aside from the best day to release podcast episodes, the best times, and the best upload frequency. Releasing podcast content goes way beyond things such as strategic days and hours. In today’s digital age, it is vital to incorporate various podcast marketing strategies to stay competitive.
To delve deeper into this topic, here are some other elements you should consider when scheduling new content releases:
Some newbies in podcasting might fall into the trap of considering only their own time zone when making a schedule for episode release. Never narrow your perspective down with time. Always take your target listener’s time zone into consideration.
If you are in California, for example, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity for east coast listeners. This is why you need to consider uploading at 2 AM. 2 AM on the west coast is 5 AM on the east coast, which is the best time for listeners. People near you on the west coast will still get to listen in a couple of hours after the initial upload. If, however, you upload at 5 AM Pacific Time, you will miss the morning east coast crowd. 5 AM in California is already 8 AM in New York. Many of your potential east coast listeners will not have any time to catch your content. Most likely, their workday would have already begun.
According to Resonate Recordings, you should study the various time zones of where your listeners are from. This strategy will help you to further optimize when you release new episodes.
Sometimes you do not know when podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify will actually recognize your show. By conducting frequent “refreshes” and pulling content from the feeds, podcast directories can take content from an RSS feed. This means lag time between your actual release schedule and your show’s availability in a certain directory. Think of buffer time as the travel time of your podcast episodes from you to these directories.
Rachel Corbett, a podcaster producer, actually has shows that take a day to two weeks to become visible to her listeners. Because of this, she gives herself a two-week buffer between uploading a trailer or submitting a show and going live with the premiere episode.
A lot of podcast producers take this for granted. You should not. It contributes a lot to your podcast’s visibility and ratings.
Your content and its timeliness
Before actually deciding to release an episode, always consider the status of your viewers in their locales. What festivities are they currently celebrating? Did a calamity or tragic event recently strike their city?
Always be knowledgeable of the latest happenings within your listeners’ communities. This helps you to avoid misalignment. Remember that your primary goal is to relate with your audience. Your content should not make them uncomfortable, trigger bad feelings, or make them feel worse after tragedy has struck.
For instance, imagine that they are having fun with their relatives on vacation during a local holiday. Then you publish a podcast about biological warfare or animal cruelty. That will probably ruin their mood and lead to them unsubscribing or even never listening to your podcast again.
How can a show topic also be a consideration when deciding which is the best day to release podcast episodes?
One of the most important things to consider when deciding on your publishing schedule is the show topic. For instance, you might choose to podcast about a television show. Therefore, you must release each episode not too long after they release the show episodes. Audience insights and reactions and, of course, the hype, are still at their peak shortly after the episode’s original airing.
Another example would be a life coach podcast. When you belong in this category, have your content ready in the mornings. This type of show has the goal of starting the day right. It follows, therefore, that your content should be available very early in the day. However, listeners usually consume horror, mystery, and thriller-themed podcasts during the night. Plan your releases accordingly.
The discoverability of your show will rely partly on the topic and its timeliness. However, we recommend you produce evergreen content. This is so that at least some of your episodes will stay relevant. Plus, evergreen content will grow your number of downloads. This then marks you as a leader in your space.
Growing your audience
The moment you grow into a stable viewership, your release day and time will not be as big of a problem anymore. A well-established listenership alongside a bunch of evergreen content will give stability to your show. Also, reaching a broader scope of the market will provide your podcast with a consistent number of downloads.
Therefore, focus your attention on growing your podcast audience. Start with being diligent about the best day to release podcast episodes. Then use social media, email, and word-of-mouth to promote your content. Remember that consistency is key. Study and stick to your publish schedule. This will help you build up to a solid number of committed listeners that look forward to every episode.
Grow your audience until you reach the point where they become so eager to wait for the next episode, regardless of which day or time you release it.
Keeping your focus on analytics
Analytics is vital, especially when you are starting in the podcast industry. It will provide you a glimpse of your audience’s behavior. Analytics also gives you an idea about their reviews and level of engagement with each episode.
Riverside states that measuring your analytics will help you decide on the best day to release podcast episodes. It will also guide changes to the schedule if the episodes are not performing well.
Tracking your analytics can give you knowledge about the best time of the day to garner ongoing traction for new audiences while retaining the current audience.
Choosing the best day to release podcast episodes will not be a problem if you already know your listeners with the help of analytics.
How to know what your target audience wants?
Try to do keyword research regarding your target audience. What are the topics that they mostly talk about? The moment you find them, list them down.
Consider including those keywords in the subject lines of your promotional materials and the titles of succeeding episodes. This will help you become more visible to them. Just make sure that you remain relevant. Don’t just use them as clickbait. That will end up disappointing them and making them less likely to listen to or recommend your show. They may even actually bash your show. If you’re new, that could even kill the show.
Have an Editorial Calendar
After listing down potential topics of each episode, create an editorial calendar. Remember that having this calendar will better help you in deciding your publish dates. This will give you an idea of your actual curation time — how long it will take to produce an episode from start to finish.
You can use management tools for better streamlining of tasks. Some of these are Trello, Asana, Notion, and ClickUp. They let you set deadlines, assign tasks to the team, and design a tailor-made workflow according to your needs.
After making this calendar, you will know your team’s capacity. For example, you can see how long episode production takes. Tasks may include:
- Researching the episode topic
- Prospecting guests
- Sealing a recording date
- Recording an interview
- Editing the episode
- Publishing and sharing the episode
- Doing summaries and show notes
- Podcast promotion on different platforms
There will always be lazy days or days when you become so distracted. You might get burned out with work at some point. Thus, Income School recommends that you work at least three weeks ahead of your publishing schedule.
Connect with other podcasters and producers
There will always be people that are more knowledgeable than you about podcasting. And that is totally fine. Instead of treating them as a competition, learn from them and leverage their skills.
Podcasting in the actual sense is a community-driven medium. We recommend you join a podcasting community to learn more about podcasting, especially setting up publish schedules. You can find many on Facebook.
These communities can also serve as a platform for you to promote your newly released episodes. Plus, they serve as a great pool of guests too! You can also be their guest. This will be a great opportunity for you to introduce your show to their listeners.
Things to Avoid During Planning Publishing Schedules
There are a lot of pitfalls that a podcast producer should avoid falling into when choosing the best day to release podcast episodes. We made a list for you to know what these are and how to avoid them.
Mimicking others’ release schedules
Of course, leveraging established podcasts in the industry is good. In fact, most of the competitors in different industries duplicate each other’s strategies. However, mimicking other podcasts’ release schedules might not be effective for you.
Even though there is research and data that claims the best time slot to publish your podcast, scheduling is still subjective. It varies from one podcast to another.
Remember that you and another podcast show may be in a different category or genre. You may also have a completely different target market. Their audience behavior patterns might not be the same as yours. Therefore, the chance of succeeding by copying their release schedule is very slim.
Having no release schedules
Some podcast producers opt to release their podcasts spontaneously. However, this strategy will be more of a hindrance if your goal is to scale. You will most likely experience podfade if you have no schedule. You don’t want to lose momentum in releasing new episodes.
A schedule takes away the hassle of creating quality content in a fast-paced environment. Remember that a little pressure can be, most of the time, beneficial for the growth of any business. If your schedule is too hectic and unpredictable, time management might help. Try to be consistent by squeezing in the release of your podcast at scheduled times.
Beware of the “midnight drought” in podcasting. Avoid publishing your shows too early. According to Megaphone, shows that are posted late in the evening have fewer downloads. Why does this happen? Publishing your shows during these hours makes them vulnerable to being trampled down by other podcasts that are launched between 2 AM and 5 AM.
Working as a machine
Always remember that you are a human. Do not expect too much, especially when you are just starting out. Yes, you desire perfection and productivity. But do not beat yourself up when things get messy.
Missing an episode is not the end of everything. Sure, you might have a justifiable reason. You can inform your audience and explain to them. Your honesty and sincerity will improve your relationship with them. But don’t do it all the time. People are fickle most of the time. They will not understand if you miss a lot of scheduled releases.
What to remember?
One size does not fit all in finding the best day to release podcast episodes. A schedule that may be effective for one show might not be for another. There are a lot of variables to consider when you want to land on the most workable release schedule.
Therefore, you must remember:
- Know your audience, their time zones, and their behavior
- There is no hard and fast rule in deciding on a publishing schedule
- Work around the dates that work for you and your audience
- Always be sensitive to the topics and their timeliness
- Evergreen episodes are the best!
- Always observe buffer time
- Avoid podfade
- Incorporate podcast marketing strategies
- Work around the caveats to finding the right schedule
You don’t have to start from scratch. Stop playing guessing games when it comes to bulls eyeing the perfect day to release your podcast. If you need help, you can always get yourself a podcast consultant to help you find and set up the most effective publishing schedule.