The coveted 5 star review, we all want it, we all ask for it but is it becoming overrated? You can’t listen to a podcast without hearing the host or hosts ask for a 5 star review on iTunes, and with that comes a stroke to your ego by getting announced on an episode that you did. Should we as podcasters be asking for a 5 star review just to be reviewed or should we ask for honesty in our reviews? How are we to bring quality to our podcast if we can’t get honest reviews from our listeners?
Is That Review Honest?
When you look at iTunes and you see all those reviews for a podcast that is in the New & Noteworthy category do you find yourself wondering if they are honest reviews? I would say that 95% of those reviews are not honest reviews. No, I don’t have any numbers to back that up, but how many times have you downloaded a podcast because of the 5 star review only to find that you couldn’t stand to listen to five minutes of the episode much less an hour of it. Because of the short life span that a new podcast has in the New & Noteworthy category and all the intense competition coming through that rating and review becomes 100 times more important than it did when podcasting first started almost a decade ago now.
The 5 star review is needed to help increase the placement and the downloads of a podcast. Without these reviews moving up the list and being noticed is hard because their is so many new podcasts coming online each day. Competition for these spots are tough because you need an audience already available that will start rating and reviewing as soon as you come live on iTunes. Communities geared to doing exactly that are springing up all over Social Media in order to do just that. A community of pears who have joined together that give support to each of their members. One of those communities is John Lee Dumas’s, host of EntrepreneurOnFire, Podcaster’s Paradise. Podcaster’s Paradise is a community of podcasters that learn to build and monetize their podcast and support each other to achieve success.
To Ask or Not To Ask
Knowing the importance of having a 5 star review during those coveted eight weeks of New & Noteworthy, and knowing that not having an honest review can lead to a podcast that does not have a quality base, should podcasters ask for a 5 star review. In my opinion asking for a 5 star review is like a hotel with bad service asking for a high scoring review by giving a discount for the stay. The next person booking a room at that hotel won’t get the truth about the stay and will get the same stinking service as you got. So, if the listener is not honest about what they think about your format or about how the show is, then how will you know what you need to change to make it more appealing to the audience?
If podcasters barter for these 5 star reviews how can they make their podcast a quality podcast that will have longevity in the growing and expanding world of podcasting? One way is sites like this that give quality feedback about the podcast. As you look around our site you will find that I have praised most of the podcasts reviewed, but you will find one that I did not give a good review but I did give some quality feedback. This feedback for Entrepreneur Showdown helped them to understand that some tweaks where needed to improve their podcast. I didn’t stop listening to this podcast and it did get better, because of the changes and the improvements I gave an updated review of the podcast. This shows that a quality review can make for a quality podcast.
While I have written this post bashing the begging of reviews and the manipulation of the system, I will not try to tell you that it should stop. This is the new format for marketing a podcast and without it there is a lot of good podcasts that would not be here today. Eventually those podcasts that have no listeners or dwindling numbers will go away on their own. A lot of good ideas come from podcasting but the lack of quality feedback and listeners eventually they will move on and give up trying to make their podcast a success. This type of cleaning will mean that iTunes will have a self cleaning. So, in my opinion while podcast reviews are not an honest way of achieving they are a must to get your podcast in a position to be noticed.
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