Panoply explores the value of iTunes podcast ratings

Panoply Media’s lead data analyst, David Martin, has penned a blog post exploring the value of podcast ratings. Martin defines a rating is the number of 1-5 stars a listener gives a show, while a review is their written assessment. The podcast company’s statistics showed that about 80% of shows in the U.S. iTunes store have no ratings listed. That means a large majority of shows have less than five total ratings.

For those shows that do acquire many ratings, the overall ratings are more likely to be positive. Panoply’s assessment is that popularity is a sign of success. However, podcasts connected to highly visible news brands were more likely to break from that trend. The other group of podcasts with lots of ratings but a lower overall score are shows hosted by very visible and controversial personalities.

“Our advice to podcasters based on this analysis is to pay extra close attention to the first few hundred ratings and reviews you get,” Martin wrote. “These may be from listeners who aren’t just jumping on a bandwagon, but who deserve your attention as you work to build an audience.”

Anna Washenko