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What app buttons should you have on your podcast website?

February 25, 2020 · By · 2.1 minutes to read

Podnews’s podcast pages, which are really only there to allow us to give a simple link to any podcast, are responsible for 40% of our website’s page impressions - and, judging by our analytics, are used by many people who never use us for anything else. Normal podcast listeners, in other words.

Our pages - here’s an example for The Daily - contain links to “listen elsewhere”, as well as three additional big obvious and official links to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

The “listen elsewhere” icons are appropriate for your device - so if you try looking on an Android phone, we’ll not give you Apple Podcasts, for example. We also link to some web players, where it makes sense to do so.

We were curious. Where are people clicking? Where are they going?

Above is the answer.

Google Podcasts is easily the most-clicked button. This may be because Podnews has contained Google Podcasts buttons for some time, and many people use our pages to test their appearance in Google; but it may be because most podcast websites never link to Google Podcasts.

Apple Podcasts is next, with a total of 20.2%. During this test, we showed Apple iTunes for all desktop users.

In a surprise, the RSS feed is next: with 15.1% of clicks. This is a high figure: We’ve always considered RSS feeds to be too geeky for podcast listeners.

Spotify is the last big destination, with 9% of clicks.

What can we learn from this data?

We’ve suggested for a while that you should clearly link to just Apple and Google from your website - with a possible allowance for Spotify, given its strength in some countries. We’d highly advise you use the real, official badges, too: since users understand what they are and what they do. (If you want the official badges for your podcast, by the way, search for yours and choose the “link to your podcast” page.)

However, it looks as though an RSS feed link is valued and used by a surprising amount of people. (And, if it helps, a clear, crawlable link to an RSS feed can’t harm your Google SEO either).

This data also shows that links to anywhere else (Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, etc) aren’t used very much. This may be because they have comparatively few users; may be because users of these apps need to know how the search works; or may be because users of these apps are more technically literate anyway, given they had to deliberately seek out these apps and install them.

One more thing

The data also tells us a much more important thing: use an embedded player.

People hit “play” on our embedded player as many times as they hit all the podcast app buttons combined.

—James is the Editor of Podnews, and was first involved in podcasting in January 2005.

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