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Downloads got you down?

podcast downloads podcast listening Nov 19, 2022

Downloads got you down?

by Jodi Howe


Before I started podcasting, the only definition of download I knew of was downloading a file on your computer, phone, or tablet.


But once you start the process of podcasting, that word's "meaning" takes on a life of its own! Like:

  • How many albums have you sold in the music industry?


  • How many books have you sold in publishing?


On paper, downloads are critical to your success for a few reasons:


  1. It's how advertisers consider advertising with you. It's how you can monetize.
  2. It builds a listenership through metrics showing your show's success.
  3. It helps build your platform in podcasting or in other areas like speaking and/or book publishing.


And sometimes it just simply makes you feel cool! 

"Wow, she has over 100,000 downloads? I want to listen to that podcast. She is clearly succeeding?"


It's a golden word in podcasting. But it's also our worst enemy when trying to accomplish our God-given purpose. For some, it becomes an obsession. Checking daily! For others, like myself, I avoid it, like calorie counting or folding laundry.  


To put it bluntly, I don't seek my downloads out! However, my "podcast host" reminds me, or, should I say, taunts me every month through email.


The truth is downloads are necessary. But not critical. And not a guarantee that people are even listening. And that itself can be disheartening. When people subscribe to a podcast, automatically, the podcast will download onto their devices—giving the world the infamous download numbers! It's not a fake-out per se; however, it does not guarantee 100% listenership.


I believe the truth really lies in the personal communications.


The best way to know if people are listening is to interact with your audience! Through social media, email, through correspondence. 


Ask your people how they are enjoying your content. What would they want to hear more of? Are they willing to give you a review?


I'm not suggesting that you are going to know every listener of your podcast, but the more you personalize who you are as a disciple of Jesus, you will start to feel the purpose of your mission, which is to share the Good News.


So trust in the process as you intentionally share your God-given messages. And keep the technicalities of downloads from overpowering your mission or appointment. 


Because the good news is we serve a God who gave us good news to share. Whether it's through Podcasting, speaking, videos, or writing. The opportunities are endless.


The perspective in Christian ministry needs to always be why! Why do we do this? The blunt answer is we do it to glorify our Lord and Savior. And let him handle the rest.


I am reminded of Mark 16:15 - 

And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.


Did he really mean every single soul on this earth? Well, possibly, but if that's his will, he will make that happen.  


Or does he give us the ability to reach everyone we are called to reach in line with his exact purpose for our lives?


I lean toward the latter! Because in God's economy, I genuinely don't believe it is about numbers; it's about love, truth, and relationship.


I share the good news with anyone who wants to hear it on social media, having coffee with a few friends, or on my podcast!  


I strive daily to stay obedient to him and share with anyone what the Holy Spirit has downloaded into me.  


And I may not be reaching the masses, but I know my efforts are meaningful because they are answering a calling!  


So keep the downloads from getting you down.  


Trust that your purpose is giving him praise!  


And nothing we ever do, under the lens of God, is undervalued or ever about the numbers!  

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