I hear this excuse a lot in podcasting. Whether it's to defend or oppose, some podcasters seem to think that everything a successful podcaster does is directly contributing toward their success.
It usually sounds like this: “XYZ does / doesn't do thing and it hasn't hurt their show!”
While that might seem logical, it's based on several assumptions and it can't actually be tested.
Unless we have a parallel-universe split-testing machine, or we have a time machine, or we can interview every person everywhere with an honest and 100% response rate, or we are omniscient, we can't really know what is negatively affecting a successful podcast.
Maybe XYZ's audience would be bigger if they didn't do that thing. Maybe their sponsorship or licensing payments would have been bigger if they didn't do that thing.
If that thing actually is negatively affecting XYZ's show, you wouldn't know it unless you could test in parallel universe where that thing is the only difference, or you could go back in time to have XYZ not do that thing and then remeasure the present results, or you could interview every person everywhere to ask whether that thing is affecting their relationship with XYZ's podcast.
So instead of assuming successful podcasters are infallible, I suggest approaching each idea with critical thinking.
Plus, even if something does contribute to someone else's success doesn't mean it will do the same for yours.
There will always be outliers, too. Marc Maron's show contains excessive profanity. Dan Carlin's Hardcore History publishes inconsistently. No Agenda releases two 3-hour-or-longer episodes every week with multiple, long donation segments. The Charlie Kirk Show discusses politics. And on and on.
The key to successful podcasting is what works for you, your show, and your audience.