Once you’ve finished creating your podcast, there’s only one thing left to do, and that is to release podcast episodes.
There are millions of podcasts available to listen to daily, which makes the day you choose to publish your episodes an important decision.
This choice can be the difference between reaching higher streaming numbers or falling to the bottom with many others.
The day of the week isn’t the only thing you need to think about. You should also consider the time of day you choose to upload a new episode too.
There’s no point releasing your episode at midday if your main listeners are tuning in at 5 pm after work.
It can be hard figuring out when this optimum day and time is, but our guide can help. You’ll find everything you need to know about choosing a podcast publishing schedule and podcast release date below.
If you’re ready for your podcast to start reaching more listeners, keep reading!
What Is Your Podcast About?
One of the most important things you should take into account when deciding on a publishing day is the topic of your very own podcast.
This might not seem like a big deal, but it can help potential listeners discover your new episodes (also see, ‘Podcast Segment Ideas‘).
For instance, if you are creating a recap podcast about a particular TV program on Apple Podcasts, it’s better to publish each episode soon after the show has been broadcast, so it’s still fresh in your audience’s mind.
Your listeners will have their own opinions about the most recent episode of the television show.
In this case, their interest in your viewpoint, along with sharing their thoughts, will be the greatest no more than a few days after the program has aired.
For example, if the television program is broadcasting on Monday evening, you shouldn’t publish your podcast episode any later than the Wednesday morning after it has aired.
Any later than this will struggle to generate interest as the window of opportunity has passed.
Think About The Working Week
If you regularly produce podcasts, it’s also useful to think about the typical Monday-Friday work week when deciding on when to publish your podcast.
Earlier releases in the week will be favored by listeners looking for podcasts to listen to on their commute to work after the weekend.
The journey to work in the morning is a good time to release episodes about motivation and self-care, as searches for these subjects tend to be higher.
In this case, your content may be a must-hear podcast that inspires people to overcome their Monday blues.
The mid-week slump on Wednesday can be a good time to release comedy episodes, giving your target audience a boost and making them feel happier about the week ahead.
Friday finishes off the working week, so your listeners might want to engage with lighter content that livens them up for the weekend.
This means that Friday is another good day to publish comedy episodes.
Podcasts that cover particular entertainment subjects, like culture, art, or music in your location also work well on Friday.
Lots of people tend to look for things to do on a weekend through podcasts.
Your episodes might inspire them to visit a new attraction, and may also convince venues to offer discounts to your audience, depending on how popular your podcast is.
Friday is also an ideal time to publish episodes about DIY jobs, as many people choose to do these on the weekend when they have more time to themselves.
Gardening podcasts are a good example, as listeners will have Saturday and Sunday to take on your advice (also see, ‘How To Choose A Podcast Category‘).
If your listeners know that you publish a new episode on Fridays, this can help you tailor your advice to your audience.
For instance, you could include specific weather forecasts for the weekend ahead, as well as any price deductions at plant or DIY stores in your area.
An interesting point to take into consideration is that people downloaded podcast episodes the least during the weekend, according to Megaphone.
Sunday, Saturday, and Monday saw much less interaction compared to days in the middle of the week.
It’s important to know what day you’re going to release your podcast beforehand, as this can help you create better content that’s tailored to your audience.
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Think About The Time
Statistics show that 2 am is the most common time when episodes go live, with 5 am and 11 pm following afterward.
Megaphone claims that these overnight times reflect that most individuals download podcasts before they listen to them in the morning.
Downloading them at night before bed means the episode is ready to be listened to while having breakfast, commuting to school or work, or before doing the housework.
This suggests that the optimum download timeslot is 5 am on a Tuesday. Episodes uploaded at this time tend to generate an average of around 10,000 downloads for each episode.
However, the most popular uploading time is 2 am on a Wednesday, with 809 episodes issued within the study’s timeline. Episodes released earlier in the morning tended to perform better.
Looking at Megaphone, episodes uploaded in the East Coast time zone between April 2018 and March 2019, 5 am on a Tuesday saw more downloads for each average episode.
Friday at 5 am was next, followed by Thursday at 5 am.
In this case, podcasts did better here as they had more chances of appearing on top of a list in a user’s podcast app such as Google Podcasts in the morning during their commute.
This is the time that listeners are looking for podcasts to engage with.
This hypothesis is also backed up as the most popular download timeslot for afternoon podcast episodes is 4 pm, an hour before the commute home.
Podcast apps usually list their newer episodes higher on a person’s feed list.
This is different on other apps, as the algorithm varies depending on particular elements, like if you have or haven’t listened to the podcast in a while.
If this is the case, a new podcast episode may not be shown to people who have taken a listening break from a particular podcast.
For the most part, podcast apps mainly list newer episodes higher on a list.
From this presumption, it’s clear why people tend to download podcast episodes earlier in the morning compared to later throughout the day.
What Times Should You Avoid Uploading Podcasts?
Publishing times are important but bear in mind that popular uploading times aren’t equivalent to a larger number of downloads.
This rings true of the 11 pm to 1 am timeslot. Even though it is popular, the period has much lower downloads compared to hours between 2-6 am.
This could be because, by the time a person wakes and looks at their podcast app, any episodes uploaded at night or in the early morning can be listed further down compared to any episodes uploaded at 5 am.
Remember that there aren’t many people that are awake and searching for new shows in podcast directories from 11 pm to 1 am, particularly if they have work in the morning.
Social Marketing And Analytics
No matter how much research you do, you’ll have to trial and error a lot before you find your optimum podcast publishing day.
This is why it’s important to monitor your analytics at the beginning.
There is no hard and fast rule, but best to identify the day and time in which your podcast is streamed or downloaded the most. Once you’ve done this, think about making this the day when you upload every episode.
This creates a consistent release schedule, which also makes it easier for you to set a definite day for podcast recording for your next episode (also see, ‘Podcast Workflow‘).
It’s best to release these a little earlier than the peak streaming or download point, as your listeners can have it available and ready beforehand.
Remember your audience is a great guide. You need to consider your target audience’s specific behavior, as they will show you when they want to listen to your upcoming episodes.
Social media and relevant hashtags are a great way to promote your show and deliver it to more podcast audience.
For instance, podcasts about self-motivation and career goals may do well with the hashtag #MondayMotivation.
Television recap podcasts can use the hashtag for the actual show, like #GameOfThrones.
Hashtagging your podcast post with your advertisers can also increase your audience, provided that you get permission to do so.
The Bottom Line
The data found by Megaphone is interesting, but remember to take the findings with a piece of salt.
The figures were found to show the relationship between downloads and publishing times/podcast schedule, but this is just one study. More research is needed to prove that the two factors are related.
Nevertheless, when you consider facts about the days of the week and commuting times, the findings do make logical sense.
If you want to increase the number of downloads and haven’t identified an optimum uploading time and day of the week, you can try out Megaphone’s results for yourself.
If you don’t see a difference, look at your analytical data. Identify the day and time that your podcast is being streamed the most, and upload your episodes to match.
You will have to experiment a bit until you find the best uploading schedule for your content, but in the meantime, Megaphone’s findings are a great starting point.