What day of the week should you publish your podcast episodes?

I looked at data from 60,473 podcast episodes. Here's what I found.

Posted by Michael Grover on Oct 25, 2022

I looked at data from 60,473 podcast episodes. Here's what I found.

[Edit: My friend, the podcaster Christopher Kenneally -- whose fabulous podcast Velocity of Content covers the publishing industry -- points out that there can be a difference between the "upload" date and the "publish" date. The data I used was the publish date.]

What Day Is the Best Day?

The day of the week that you post your podcast episodes depends entirely on you: how many episodes you publish, your strategy, and what you think about what other people do. And what is it that other people do?

I looked at 60,473 episodes gathered in creating Podcast Guide. The first three days of the week saw nearly two-thirds (63%) of the publishing activity: 20% each on Mondays and Tuesday. Wednesday’s child might be full of woe but still publishes podcast just shy of 19% of podcast episodes on Wednesdays. Thursdays (18%) and Fridays (13%) rounded out the workweek with 31% of episodes published on those days. Except for Friday, publishing was pretty constant across the entire work week

That left the weekend pretty much stiffed with only 10% of podcast episodes posted on the weekend, 4.58% on Saturdays and 5.34% on Sundays.

Based on a sample of 60,473 episodes

But what about downloads?

As said the ancient Greeks, a podcast episode post does not a download make. For that matter, a download doesn’t equate to a listen either.

This listener data is easily trackable by podcast apps but is not readily reported. I think it would be interesting to know if there is a relationship between when podcasters post their episodes and when they get downloaded and listened.

Megaphone, Spotify’s for-pay podcast hosting service, has published some interesting data:

In a May 2019 blog post, they looked at podcasts receiving between 1,000 and 100,000 downloads per episode and found that episodes were released mainly on Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

What’s more, using the data they published in that blog post, which focusses only on weekdays, this is what we see:

Weekday Podcast Downloads at Spotify, 2019

Most podcast downloads (44%) occur at the end of the week, pretty much precisely when episode posting is at its lowest. It’s not clear how big a deal this is. After all, a download can’t occur until after an episode has been posted.

Along those lines, it’s important to remember that podcasts are an asynchronous medium so actual time slots matter much less. As an example, a narrative podcast that I published between May and July 2022 is still receiving downloads three months after the final episode.

Megaphone also offered the somewhat cryptic report that 60% of podcast listeners listen to a podcast “with one day.” However, they don’t specify whether that’s within one day of downloading or one day of an episode being published.

So, what day of the week should you post your podcast episodes?

It depends more on your podcast and your production schedule. Obviously this id not a question for a daily podcast. But podcasters with weekly or less-often podcasts, it’s worth noting weekend publishing might be a good time for discovery as new episodes of podcasts have less competition rising to the surface.

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