Try as you might to create a perfect podcast and encourage 2-way communication with your listeners, putting podcast content out there can sometimes leave you wondering…”Is this good? Are people enjoying my episodes? Are they lighting their headphones on fire after the first two minutes?” After looking at your stats, you might even wonder “why am I losing podcast listeners?”
Knowing what listeners like and don’t like would help us further hone in on creating consistently enjoyable episodes.
So, when we came across this juicy reddit thread discussing reasons for abandoning podcasts, we were eager to check out the responses.
Users mentioned everything from disagreeing with the hosts, annoying laughter, excessive use of the word “like”, and flat out bore-fest episodes.
Some reasons took a clear lead, and below we’ll outline these top reasons why people stop listening to podcasts, so you can be sure not to make them in your episodes!
Boring, Long, Irrelevant Chat
Whether it’s advertising, hosts talking about personal lives, drawn-out guest introductions, or any other content that listeners may not find interesting, this is a commonly-made mistake.
Now more than ever, attention spans are short. If listeners have given you the courtesy of tuning in, you must respect their time and deliver consistently great content. Not doing so is a surefire way to lose podcast listeners.
Ten minutes of housekeeping at the start of an episode is uber-boring, and listeners will skip it (if you’re lucky) or turn your podcast off altogether.
Listen back to your finished episodes and put yourself in a listener’s shoes. Did some parts become slow and stagnant? How long into the episode did the content really begin? Was there any information that was not relevant to the audience?
Cut the clutter, get to the good stuff, and listeners will thank you by coming back over and over! Considering how many people shared this sentiment, it seems that getting your podcast tuned up in this way will put you ahead of many other podcasts out there.
Consider working with a coach or have a professional podcast assessment done if you’d like an outsider’s opinion.
Gross Mouth Noises
Long a pain in the rear of those working in the voiceover industry, mouth sounds, alternatively known as “dry mouth” or “clicky mouth” are now a problem for an entirely new segment of the population: podcasters and podcast listeners.
All humans have some sort of mouth noise while talking, it’s generally caused by the movement of the mouth, tongue, and teeth and saliva creating bubbles within (grossed out yet?)
These aren’t generally noticeable during normal social interactions, but become a whole new problem when recording.
Due to proximity and how microphones pick up our voices, mouth clicks can become a lot more prevalent in recorded material. Audio processing can also compound the effect. The problem is then exaggerated in cases where listeners are hearing the material closely, such as through headphones.
Consider that a speaker may talk as close as a couple of inches from a microphone. If you listen with headphones, it’s as if they’re speaking right into your ear!
As well, since everybody’s different, some people can have very few mouth clicks while others have a lot.
In any case, there are some known ways to help reduce this problem:
- Ensure the mouth is properly hydrated. Keep water on hand and provide some for guests as well, but begin ensuring proper hydration a couple of hours before recording.
- Proper microphone placement can have an effect. If a person’s voice seems to be extra-clicky when recorded, try to angle the microphone slightly off-axis from the mouth and also speak from a little further back. You might even try a different microphone, like a dynamic mic instead of a condenser.
There are tools available in the editing stage to reduce or eliminate mouth clicks and noises. However, your mileage may vary.
Recorded in Front of a Live Audience
This opinion was shared by many commenters, but few gave their reasoning. Regardless, this sits comfortably high on the list of reasons why people stop listening to podcasts. Some users even pointed out that these type of live episodes are “instant deletes”.
Could it be because the hosts aren’t as natural in front of a live crowd? Is the audio of poorer quality or with heavy background noise? Are there audience comments that can’t be heard? Is there a certain level of fun only shared by the live audience that doesn’t translate to the recording? It’s just not what listeners expected?
We’re not sure why, but if you ever do live events as podcasts, you may wish to reconsider. It would also be an interesting experiment to check the download stats and see if you notice a dip in download numbers on live episodes.
Inconsistent Volume Levels
Whether it’s low podcast audio and super loud advertisements, or one voice being way louder than another, listeners reported that these types of jarring problems were not welcome. Some even pointed out that they enjoy falling asleep to podcasts and blaring, startling ads meant an instant unsubscribe!
Be sure to get a quality recording and work with a professional editor to ensure levels are properly balanced and listeners are happy. Balanced levels are a super basic, yet often overlooked detail which can make or break your podcast’s success. Advertising is already of lower-value to listeners, so the last thing we want to do is annoy them further.
Conclusion: Why You Could Be Losing Podcast Listeners
There you have it, 4 reasons you may be losing podcast listeners. If your podcast has none of these problems, congratulations! If it does, you have some work to do. Find out how East Coast Studio can help you improve your podcast by scheduling a no-pressure call.