This time of year clients often ask us if they should release new podcast episodes during the holidays. Our answer: It depends. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, because every show and audience is different.
Let’s start with the facts: Data shows both the quantity of episodes released and also listened to do dip in December. That can be a plus and a minus. On one hand, there's less podcasting traffic—fewer shows vying for your audience's ears. On the flip side, your episode plays might dip a bit. But don’t panic. Thanks to automatic downloads, your episodes will be patiently waiting when your listeners press play. Plus, with upcoming plane and car trips, new listeners have time to tune in. So, amid those lower play-counts, you may gain some new fans.
You might see this as rationale to take a short break from your podcast. Or you might also see this as a way to stand out during a quieter time of the year. There’s no “right” answer. You need to ask yourself what’s right for your podcast.
As we’ve written previously, a consistent publication calendar is one of the critical steps in maintaining a loyal audience—a close runner-up to podcast quality. To maintain consistency (and take a vacation yourself), here are some ideas:
Record regular episodes in advance and schedule their release while you and your team are taking a break.
Create a “best of” episode recapping highlights from the year and release it during the holidays.
Include a short message in your podcast feed thanking your listeners and telling them you’ll be back in January. (Pro tip: Delete this episode in January so it doesn't sound dated.)
So what’s the answer? Do what’s right for you and your podcast.