The Bugle of

Christmas PodcastsA few weeks ago we publish our first rankings. Now is the time to disclose our efforts to establish ratings for Christmas podcasts. Ratings are a much more complex thing than mere rankings, which more are less are a competitive measurement of podcast activity.

Early in September 2020 we formed a focus group to analyze Christmas podcasts.

Our goal is to provide a structure rating of Christmas podcasts based on the following criteria:

  • Podcast Availability – is the podcast available on key platforms? How many and which ones? Can the podcast be downloaded and archived? Does the podcast have a website that includes show notes, contact information and links to other places where content from the podcaster can be reviewed?
  • Technical Sophistication – file formats, tagging, audio quality and a host of other technical criteria are reviewed.
  • Content Quality & Relevance – Research into topic discussions, historical documentaries, content creators such as song writers, authors and Christmas experts, networking within the Christmas community for exposure to influencers and producers, are all considered as elements of content quality.
  • Longevity and Seasonality – how long a podcast has been around as well as their year-round production of Christmas content is considered
  • Frequency and Duration – the frequency of publication (especially during off seasons) and the length of each episode are evaluated.
  • Audience Response – Beyond download counts, each podcast is tracked against IAB Podcast Technical Measurement Guidelines that measures how long listeners tune in to each episode, whether the listen to an episode in one sitting or over time, if it is streamed or downloaded, etc. These are industry standards used to rank top podcasts overall. By adopting these standards the ratings we provide at will become more relevant.
  • Listener Reviews – A review of the reviews left by listeners on various platforms.
  • Community Engagement – How engaged is the podcast creator with the Christmas community (not just social media or with other podcasters).

Like nearly everything, podcasting for Christmas comes at a different standard.

Just as Christmas movies, music, books and websites are unique compared to their non-holiday counterparts, we believe Christmas podcasts are similarly set apart.

Our goal with this endeavor is to provide a solid reference point for the Christmas community seeking entertainment in Christmas podcasts. We do not believe these ratings are needed to identify “the best” of Christmas podcasts but rather to inform about how they differ. We want to provide a resource that separates Christmas podcasts for their varying qualities so that listeners can make informed choices.

This is needed because Christmas podcasts are exploding in number and popularity.

By focusing on the criteria above (and more) and sharing that information we believe we can better steer the Christmas consumer to the Christmas content they want.

Who is the focus group?

They are Christmas experts who run websites and social media channels. Some are an authority in podcasting overall. A few are Christmas manufacturers, educators, or authors. Some are even Christmas industry journalists, and significantly engaged Christmas enthusiasts.

More than 60 individuals have been recruited to this effort.

We will NOT be disclosing the names of those involved or their individual responses to the polling. We are determined to gather their feedback without fear of influence.

Their job is to go and experience your podcast as a listener. They will download your episodes, read your notes, watch your social media chatter and keep up with your content.

Then they will record their experience and share it with us, using the criteria above. Our collective goal is to come up with a simple, solid rating of your podcast.

This is not work for just anyone. This is work for someone who is closely connected to Christmas online or in a business pursuit who just happens to NOT be a Christmas podcaster themselves.

If you are such an individual or know of one whose feedback to this effort would be of value, please contact us. Please do not submit names of any Christmas podcaster, they cannot, of course, be considered or involved in this effort.

While this will be an ongoing effort the initial evaluation period goes through January 2021. We will not post gathered ratings until after than time. Ratings will be upgraded on a quarterly basis thereafter and as new podcasts are released.

What Can a Podcast Do Now?

Naturally all podcasts will want to rate well in this survey. What can a podcast do now to ensure that?

  1. Put out your own, unique stuff.  What makes your podcast great is YOU.
  2. Look to where you can easily improve now and actually do it as this season progresses. If you are an established podcast, it would be wise to consider all the above and show movement.
  3. Ask questions. Join the podcaster community here on Christmas podcasts and become involved in these efforts.
  4. Ask your listeners for reviews on your website, here on CP, and wherever they listen to your podcasts. Get reviews. The voice of the fan carries more weight than anything else.
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