How to Forecast Audience Growth for Your Branded Podcast

Our methods for setting (and surpassing) evidence-based goals.

A podcast is no small investment. We’re always crystal clear about that.

We also tell our readers time and again how important each and every audience member is when it comes to a branded podcast…

Because without them, there would be no point in making your show. 

Every potential audience member represents…

  • A purpose-driven ally

  • An invested supporter

  • An invaluable source of feedback

And of course, an imperative member of the robust community a successful, substantial podcast should grow.

Bearing all of this in mind, we’re never surprised when the companies we work with want to know how many audience members they can expect to attract.

And if you and your team are poised to debut your own branded show, you’re probably wondering exactly that.

Below, we share our process for setting evidence-based benchmarks and building an audience growth forecast.

We’re here to help you establish reasonable, effective goals — and to point you in the direction of the tips you need to absolutely smash them!

So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Consider your niche

When a brand first approaches us, there are several factors we consider to estimate their potential for audience growth.

One of the first points of analysis is the niche of their branded podcast.

The scale and saturation of your brand’s chosen “space” will generally have a significant bearing on the overall success of your show.

What’s more, a niche that is too broad or too fine can hinder your long-term growth…

Ultimately it’s important to find something that will speak to your ideal audience — and trying to attract everyone is an ineffective strategy, especially if you’re working in a competitive space.

Remember, the goal here is to attract quality, value-aligned audience members that will be longtime supporters of your brand; it’s not to create the world’s most downloaded show.

Once we’ve helped a brand finetune their overarching concept, we’re able to take a look at similar shows to get a rough idea of what kind of audience they might attract.

(Hint: Tools like Podchaser are really helpful at this stage of the process.)

That said, this is just a jump-off point, and there are several more steps we take to accurately forecast growth.


Analyze your audience

Once we’ve assessed other shows within your niche (or a niche adjacent to your own), we also take a look at your existing audience.

Whether you are building your own series, or working with a qualified production agency, you can and should leverage your current followers to optimize growth.

This means that the size of your audience — from the folks who follow you on Instagram to long-term readers of your weekly newsletter — absolutely matters.

By taking a look at these numbers, we are able to get an idea of…

  • How much interest there is in your existing content

  • How much we can rely on organic growth

  • And what our promotional strategy might look like

Drawing from this data and our professional experience, we’re able to paint a clearer picture when it comes to the scale and speed of growth for your show.

Learn how to measure the ROI of your podcast. 

Assess your budget

Once we’ve assessed your potential for organic growth, we also take a look at your marketing budget.

Sure — we love to lean into low-cost growth when working with clients, but targeted and thoughtful marketing is a must for companies that want to make the most of their show.

Your marketing budget will absolutely impact how quickly and effectively we can promote your podcast and grow your audience.

Paid promotion will not only help you grow faster — it will help you reach audience members that might otherwise miss out on your community, your brand, and your show.

So, in order to deliver an accurate forecast, we work with brands to nail down exactly how many of their marketing dollars can be allocated to podcast growth.

Look at the broad strokes

While we do take a deep-dive into the particulars, we also have to consider the broad strokes.

Factors like your current level of audience engagement and the cadence of your upcoming podcast will also impact your potential for growth.

We use this data and everything we’ve learned from our previous projects to help us fine-tune our estimate and make better recommendations for your branded show.

Surpass those estimates

All of this said, it’s never our goal to simply hit the benchmarks we set for our clients…

We aim to surpass them — and to raise the bar with every single show.

If you’re ready to debut your own branded podcast, and hope to optimize audience growth, there are a few resources you’ll want to check out.

First off, you should absolutely grab our Ultimate Guide to Podcast Audience Growth. It’s totally free and packed with useful tips designed to help you skyrocket your show.

You should also explore these blog posts…

We work hard to provide free materials that really do help, so we hope you enjoy.

Learn how to measure the ROI of your podcast.