What is the best day to release your podcast?

We release Data Skeptic on Fridays. Why? Because that\'s what we\'ve always done. The initial choice had two motivations. First, on a personal level, none of the podcasts that I listen to immediately come out reliably on Friday. If someone\'s tastes are identical to mine (a likely potential fan of the show) I wouldn\'t be competing with my other favorite podcasts. Second, in terms of my schedule, I found it would be more probably have the least trouble staying on track with releases.

I recently built a crawler that downloads all the podcast feeds in the world. Yes, I download all the podcasts. This dataset is ripe for answering certain interesting questions the the one posed in the title of this article.

There are two ways to look at this question: most popular day by episode or by podcast. I\'ll present the data in both ways since they tell slightly different sides to the story.

Best podcast episode release day of week

Picking the best day is a difficult question that is going to vary by podcasts. I find Data Skeptic (released on Friday) gets an unexpected bump on Monday. My hypothesis is that this is people who enjoy the show as part of their commute. I have confirmatory evidence for this as monday business holidays usually show a drop. That said, my appeals to a lot of working professionals.

Similarly, there\'s a surprisingly long tail of religious broadcasts when you explore the entirety of all available podcast feeds (not just what you see exploring iTunes or your own favorite discovery location). It seems reasonable that creators of these shows might want to release on Sunday. The graph below shows the percentage of episodes released in 2016 broken down by day of week.

%matplotlib inline
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

If your objective is to release on a less popular day, hoping for more available ears, you might select Saturday as your release day. Yet, be considerate. Perhaps other podcasters have already learned that Saturday is a less than ideal release date, and thus, largely moved away from it.

Remember that the figure above counts all podcast episodes. This includes many shows that release irregularly (no specific day of week) and perhaps a skew to podcasts that release multiple shows per day or never miss a week. We can also consider this same data by the podcasts that released ever on a day. Thus, if a show always releases on friday or monday, I count it once for each day. This is different than above where I counted each individual episode. Counting by distinct show day gives the result below in which saturday remains unpopular and sunday has fallen behind monday as our new leader.