AfterPod — Dormant vs Dead

Mar 30, 2018 · 3 min read

This is a follow-up to my last article about a different kind of analysis of the podcasting space, one focused more on what entities “serve” podcast media… delivering podcast audio and video files to their audience via the internet.

I am currently working with a database of about 332,000 podcasts (and around 15 million episodes). When shows are grouped by the domain where the last media file originated, most providers of podcast hosting services become visible.

Here are the Top 100:

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Pareto Principle

The top 100 entities represent about 82% of all podcasts. The remaining 18% account for about 58,000 entities.

Dormant vs Dead

I have arbitrarily categorized a podcast that has not released a new episode in the past twelve months as Dormant. The RSS feed and media files are still online.

Whether many episodes or few, this might be the case where the podcast has reached completion yet is still fully available to all (like S-Town, which ran seven episodes by plan). Many of these shows remain quite viable… the classic “long tail” folks talk about.

Yet some podcasts fade.

Podcasters lose interest, have changing family and career responsibilities, die. The show comes to an end, by choice or lack of momentum. When no new episode is released for quite a while… it becomes Dormant. Then, at some point, the plug is pulled on hosting the podcast’s RSS feed and media files… it becomes Dead.

Hosting Zombies

No matter how great their service, every business loses customers for various reasons, a certain amount of churn is “normal”. The goal is to establish a solid base of Active customers, knowing that some will become Dormant… passive customers… and eventually stop using the service… Dead.

Especially if it is a paid service.

Any podcast hosting business with an above average percentage of dormant podcasts should be looking for ways to find new customers. Just sayin’.

The podcast hosting business plays an important role in the community. I’d like for it to thrive.

I’ll reiterate: this is a live database, constantly changing, so the numbers from one period or category may not match up exactly with another. While this collection of data is not complete nor absolutely 100% accurate, I believe it reasonably true and a large enough sample to be representative.

EDIT: Here is a follow-up article looking at other countries.

Are you a tech looking for an interesting project?

I’m searching for a special partner or two. There’s a lot to the concept, so maybe a teaser first? There’s a long-term social goal with a business basis.

Then check out… in continual development.

You may also want to read the first article, which establishes much of the foundation for these views, or the second one that begins to forth our intent to purposefully (and positively) modify podcast consumption behavior.

More at

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