A beautiful day in the (podcast) neighbourhood

Some neighbourhoods are small. Others are huge.

. 3 min read

Some neighbourhoods are small. Others are huge.

If you’re a podcaster, or work in audience development, or buy and sell ads on podcasts, it’s incredibly important to know your show’s neighbours. Why? Your podcast neighbours are a great starting place for promo swaps, guesting, and paid promo.

For example, imagine this circle represents a show:

To find our show’s neighbours, we’ll check Apple’s Listeners Also Subscribed To section. This will help us find other shows with common audiences.

Now we have a cluster of 19 shows. Our show in the middle seems less lonely:

Let’s go one step further.

For each of the 18 neighbouring shows we just added, we can find their neighbours too.

Now we have 181 shows, with 342 connections between them.

What’s more, by analyzing the patterns of connection, we can identify distinct podcast neighbourhoods. For example, the orange shows in the chart above are all about cybersecurity. The green shows are about software development.

And the coolest part? We can keep going. Finding neighbours, then neighbours of neighbours, then neighbours of neighbours of neighbours, and so on, slowly branching out across the entire network of shows:

… until we reach the obvious conclusion.

What if we take every single show in Apple Podcasts, and analyze the connections between them?

2,476,167 connections between 256,690 shows. This is ~25% of all podcasts, because not all shows have connections to other shows. But still. Zoom in.


Sometimes, podcasting can feel solitary. And our industry can feel fractured and fragmented.

But it’s worth remembering just how deeply connected and networked podcasting really is.

What’s the thing that ties these shows together?

What are those multicoloured swirls made of?

The audiences we serve.

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