On podcast ratings and reviews

I listen to quite a few podcasts using Overcast on my phone. It’s developed by Marco Arment, who I also follow; he’s an opinionated developer, to a certain extent. He makes design decisions, and doesn’t add things just because people ask for them.

Anyways, on to the main idea – Overcast doesn’t support rating a podcast or leaving a comment for the podcast creator. Several of the podcasts I listen to (especially smaller ones) like to ask for a rating or review on iTunes or “wherever you listen to podcasts.” Well, I listen on Overcast, so I can’t.

Marco’s perspective is summed up with this tweet:

And, after thinking about it a bit, I agree. The ratings/reviews just act as a form of SEO for podcasts, rather than a ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ growth that would occur with word of mouth and other typical marketing approaches. I get my new podcasts through other sources – certainly not by browsing ratings/reviews for podcasts!

(It is interesting, though, that Marco sells ads within Overcast which recommend other podcasts for you; there’s a little conflict of interest there… I don’t think that’s the main reason why he doesn’t add ratings/reviews though.)