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Podcast Categories

Lesson 3 from: Product Packaging for Podcasts

Dan Misener

Podcast Categories

Lesson 3 from: Product Packaging for Podcasts

Dan Misener

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Lesson Info

3. Podcast Categories

Next Lesson: Podcast Metadata

Lesson Info

Podcast Categories

This is an often overlooked piece of your packaging, but your show category is kinda like which aisle in the supermarket your show is listed in. A lot of thought should go into this. I'm gonna show you an example. This is a show that we do with Mozilla. They're the not-for-profit behind the Firefox web browser. We do a show with them called 'IRL: Online Life is Real Life'. This is what it looks like in Apple Podcast. IRL is a show about the health of the Internet. It's about how we could make the Internet a healthier place. It is aimed not at a technical audience or an overly technical audience, but very broadly at people who care about the Internet and want the Internet to be a healthier place. It's listed in the 'Tech News' category. The content of the show could just as easily be in the 'Society and Culture' category. Why did they choose one versus the other? It actually, at one point, did live in 'Society and Culture' and then we moved it over to 'Tech News'. Would your perception ...

of this show change if, instead of 'Tech News' as a category, it said 'Business'? Would it change if it was 'Comedy'? Would it change if it was 'Government Non-profit'? All of those, there are elements of IRL that could fit in any of those categories. But 'Tech News' is where we landed. It may change in the future. This is the nice thing about the categories. You can change them. You can move your show to another category if the old one doesn't necessarily apply. What I wanna really draw out here is 'Tech News' is huge on this screen. You may think about your category once when you do the initial submission or once when you set up your feed. This is a gigantic piece of text, larger than your description and larger than your author name. This is a piece of product packaging. A lot of people are going to see it in this context. How deeply have you thought about the category that your show is in? Is it the right category, not just when you launch, but is it the right category in an ongoing way? This is something that I would encourage that you should revisit every once in a while. In fact, I was talking to a podcaster the other day. He told me that depending on whatever the topmost episode, the most recently released episode is, depending on the content of that episode, he will change the category from 'Music' to 'Art' to 'Shopping' because the content of his show changes, depending on who he's talking to and what he's focusing on. Think about this because we tend to gloss over it. There are dozens and dozens of show categories that you can pick from. The default list is Apple's list, which was created many, many, many years ago. I think it's important to talk about different levels of categories. There are categories and there are sub-categories. There are top-level categories. There are a handful of those. Beneath those top-level categories, there are a bunch of sub-categories. For example, 'Personal Journals', which is where grown-ups read things they were as kids lives. 'Personal Journals' is a sub-category of 'Society and Culture'. I put it there because we do a show where people read their teenage diaries on stage. It very squarely fits into the 'Personal Journals' category. The category that you choose impacts where your show is going to appear in different podcast apps. You can also appear have more than one category. Podcast hosting systems, or if you're writing your own RSS feed, allow you to choose more than one category. Grown-ups who read things they were as kids, our primary category is 'Personal Journals', which is a sub-category of 'Society and Culture'. We are also listed in 'Kids and Family', for obvious reasons, and 'Comedy', because sometimes, people laugh at our show. We have these secondary categories. You wanna think about what is the first or primary category that I should live in? That's the main place that my show is going to live in most podcast apps. What are these additional categories that I could add to it? Apple tends not to use those additional categories for showing your show to their users. Newer platforms, like Google Podcasts, extensively use those secondary categories. Google Podcasts has chart-like lists where they will show you the top podcasts in a very deep sub-category, 'Business, Management, and Marketing'. Even if that's not your show's primary category, you could still show up there. If you don't have more than one category, think about adding more than one category and think very deeply about which categories and which sub-categories you wanna be in. I think it is A-okay to hop around if the content of your show changes or if they introduce new categories and you wanna move to one. Just don't set this once and leave it on auto-pilot. Revisit it regularly. Choose it very, very wisely. We talked a little bit about how Apple versus Google uses your category. Go look at the list and see if you're in the right place.

Ratings and Reviews

Abisoye Akinola
 

Dan highlighted the items that we overlook over time and it was awesome to note these things. I will totally recommend this course. Thank you, Dan!

Ginger Winters
 

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