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How The Apple Podcast Charts work

One of the big questions podcasters ask is how the Apple Podcasts chart are calculated (and indeed before then how the iTunes podcast charts worked).

Apple have always been fairy quiet when asked as they were keen that people didn’t try and ‘game’ it. Not that it didn’t really stop people trying.

Well, this year they released some Podcasts of the Year which prompted Podnews Editor James Cridland to ask how the charts were created, which garnered what we believe is the first on-the-record answer.

Apple say the charts are calculated from:

“A mix of new subscriptions, play-back activity and completion rate.”

New subscriptions was the bit that most people felt was how they did it. What that means is there’s an algorithm looking at how many people have clicked subscribe in the past hours and days. This demonstrates which shows have momentum, and stops the charts being clogged up entirely with big podcasts of the past.

The new information is that play-back activity and completion rate are part of the calculation too. This is a good way to measure quality. For example, if people listen to a whole episode, after clicking subscribe, then that would suggest the show must be pretty good.

It also stops nefarious services having a hundred Apple accounts and just clicking subscribe on a show.

Also revealed was that:

“Ratings and reviews aren’t factored into these charts”

So perhaps you really don’t need to say ‘rate and review us’ on your podcast any more.

James talked about this on his new podcast – Podland – a great discussion about the podcast sector.

AND if you want to easily promote your podcast, do check out our free service – podfollow.com. It creates a free link to your show that opens up your podcast in Apple Podcasts, Spotify/Google Podcasts, your website – depending on what device people click on. There’s also lots of free stats too.