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Whether live-streaming or only offering a download, your timing is important! Learn some tips on picking the best time for you and your audience.

Core differences between live and download

When we talk about live-streaming, it may be video or audio. When we talk about download, it would be someone subscribed to your podcast via RSS reader, podcatcher, email, social network, or manual visits.

Live

  • No subscriptions, but can be reminded.
  • Must be present at the right time to watch or listen.
  • Requires a computer or device that supports the live-streaming player.
  • Similar to live TV.

Download

  • Subscribe to automatically receive content, or manually find it on-demand.
  • Watch or listen whenever (time-shifted).
  • Watch or listen anywhere on almost any portable digital-media device.
  • Similar to DVR (like TiVo) in convenience.

Know your audience

  • Kids in school?
  • Parents who have to put kids in bed?
  • Businesspeople with commutes?
  • Self-employed professionals?
  • Stay-at-home moms?
  • Workers with limited or no Internet access?
  • Movie or TV-show viewers?

Pick a day—weekdays versus weekends

Depending on your audience, a particular day of the week may be better than others. Here are some general tips.

  • Weekends are usually for personal projects, social events, or religious activities.
  • Monday is usually the day to catch up with stuff from the weekend.
  • Friday is often filled with rushing projects to completion.
  • Big organizations tend to prefer Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays for product launches and major announcements. They’ve done their research!
  • Movies are usually released on disc on Tuesdays and enter theaters on Fridays.

Pick a time and be friendly to most timezones

If your podcast is specific to a location (for example, “The Cincinnati Family Podcast”), then you may not have to worry as much about timezones. However, podcasting opens you up to an international audience.

  • Always give times with timezones.
  • Consider what time it is in your listeners’ timezones.
  • Daytime allows someone to listen during work or download for their commute home.
  • Nighttime may be harder for multitasking.
  • Early mornings may be missed as people start their days, or it may be part of their morning routines.

Give yourself time for prep. and setup

Whatever time you choose that works for your audience, make sure it works for you, too! If you don’t prepare your shownotes until the day of recording, then live-streaming at 8:00 a.m. requires you to start pulling things together during breakfast.

Allow time for any regular setup, teardown, and especially testing.

Timing matters for downloads, too!

If you couldn’t already tell, a lot of this applies to when you publish your podcasts. Here are some interesting observations on social-network sharing.

  • Website updates are generally best in the morning.
  • Facebook updates are best around noon or on the weekends.
  • Tweets are best in the afternoon to evening.

For more about timing, look at The Science of Social Timing Part 1 and Part 2.

You want your downloadable content to be waiting for people when they check their stuff. So you could post early in the morning or late in the evening.

Don’t ignore anybody

Whether you focus on live or on download, don’t ignore the other spaces in which you participate.

  • Cross-promote your other presences: live, subscribe, and website.
  • Never be only a live-streaming show.
  • Keep the context for downloading listeners.
  • Use absolute times and dates.

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Ask your questions or share your feedback

  • Comment on the shownotes
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  • Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome)

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Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.

3 comments on How to Pick the Best Time to Live-Stream or Publish a Podcast – TAP051

  1. Just a quick and funny observation Daniel – toward the end when you were making the point about referring to days or dates in absolute terms due to the time-shifting nature of podcasting – you made the mistake intentionally as a joke, and then went on to do it seriously and made the same mistake! You said something like “Friday, Sept. 10th” (referring to the deadline for the Podcast awards submissions) but didn’t give a YEAR! I laughed and laughed while driving to work…

    1. Ha ha! It’s too easy to realize people will be consuming our content years after we release it!

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