Is this proof that Apple's Podcast Charts are being manipulated?
May 16, 2018 · Updated September 30, 2018 · By James Cridland
Two days ago, Podnews published details about a company offering a paid service to get podcasts into the Apple Podcast Chart.
Above is a screenshot showing, highlighted, five podcasts in the Apple Podcasts Chart top ten in late March.
They're unusual, because:
- the artwork looks similar
- they are for a similar, very niche, topic
- they are in consecutive order
- the show descriptions are very similar
- four of the five are hosted by a man called Mike
- Sam Freni is a guest on three of them; and hosts the other one
- all of the podcast domains mentioned in the descriptions are registered by the same people
- none of the podcasts had any episodes within the top 200 at the time
- all podcasts started at a similar time and only had a few episodes
It's unclear whether they are being promoted by Podcast Influencer, or a similar company that has also worked out how to manipulate the charts; but it's pretty clear that all of these podcasts are from the same publisher.
This appears to be strong evidence that the placing of all of these podcasts are the result of gaming the charts. (It should be said, there's no evidence that the company behind the podcasts have done that themselves).
Try finding these charts now, though, and even though some of them still exist elsewhere, they've been removed from Apple Podcasts altogether.
This might show that Apple Podcasts is cracking down on companies that manipulate the charts: and that using gaming techniques to appear higher in the charts is an unwise practice.
Perhaps it also demonstrates, if anyone doubted it, that manipulation of the Apple Podcast Chart is a reality.
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