your guide to understanding podcast charts

What does it take to host a chart-topping podcast? Well first, you need to understand how podcast charts work. 

Each podcast player has its own chart, and the ranking is determined by its own algorithm. That means that even if your podcast is number three on the Spotify chart for health and wellness podcasts, it may not be in the same spot on the Apple or Google podcast charts.

With so many different podcast players and charts, how do you keep it all straight and actually rank? Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Podcast Charts by Player

Here’s how each podcast player breaks down:

  1. Apple Podcasts: releases weekly chart rankings for shows and individual episodes by category
  2. Spotify Podcasts: releases weekly charts by region, category, trending podcasts, and top episodes
  3. Google Podcasts: does not release charts, but you can check rankings by episode and use Chartable to see the rankings compiled in one place
  4. Stitcher Podcasts: releases weekly rankings for top shows, top movers, and top shared podcasts

Podcast players don’t reveal their algorithm, but they usually include a mixture of podcast downloads, follows, completion rate, and other stats. 

Choosing the Right Podcast Category

The first step to ranking on podcast charts is to choose the right category for your show. You need to get really clear on what your podcast is about, who it’s for, and what niche it falls under. Choosing categories for your podcast may feel limiting, but getting specific actually opens you up to your ideal listeners.

Categorizing yourself wrong will make finding the right audience more difficult, so it’s crucial that you spend time on this step. Check out all the podcast category options here.

It’s also important that your categories are consistent across all podcast players. Hosts select their own categories in each player, so make sure you pick the same one so you don’t confuse your listeners.

Helpful Podcast Chart Tools

Here are my two favorite podcast chart tools:

  1. Chartable: you can look at Apple and Spotify podcast charts on Chartable, and they also have their own global top 200 charts by category that integrates stats from a variety of podcast players
  2. Podcharts: organize podcast rankings by country, category, and date. With a free account, you can get notified when your podcast ranks on a chart.

How to Rank on Top Podcast Charts

So, what’s the secret to ranking on a podcast chart? Producing a great podcast! Since we don’t know the exact algorithms that each podcast player uses, your effort is best spent creating an amazing podcast and finding your audience. 

Don’t forget to ask your listeners for five-star reviews too. They may not affect the chart ranking algorithms, but they do help new listeners decide whether or not they want to tune into your podcast, which impacts the other stats that help you rank on the charts. 

Get More Podcast Industry Tips

Want more podcast tips and tricks in your inbox? Sign up for my newsletter today!