How To Write a Podcast Review on Apple, Audible, & Other Apps


Why should you write podcast reviews? Don’t those crazy podcasters know you’re busy? It’s hard to write reviews for any podcast, even the ones you like, while driving, weightlifting, or up to your elbows in sudsy dishwater. And, when you don’t know how, writing a podcast review is even more daunting. But, reviews are more important than listeners realize. Writing podcast reviews is like gaining access to a special club. When you write a podcast review, you can: 

Help shape future episodes and seasons

Support your favorite podcaster and give them the emotional fuel to keep going

Help other people to choose the show (or, warn them away from it) 

Writing a meaningful podcast review is tough if you’re writing for The New Yorker. However, writing reviews on your favorite podcast platform is easy, provided you use a reliable format and keep it simple. In this article, I’ll show you how to write podcast reviews and provide information about how to do this on different directories. 

But, let’s start with the nuts and bolts stuff: Where exactly can you review podcasts, and how do you publish them?

Part 1: How to Write a Podcast Review on Your Favorite Platform or App

Every podcast directory with a review component wants your review (Full disclosure: they want everyone else’s reviews, too.), so they’ll make it as easy for you as possible. That being said, podcast apps don’t always have the most obvious user interface for reviews. Some apps require users to follow and listen to at least one episode before posting a review to prevent trolls from having a field day. Let’s look at different podcast-listening apps and check out how they help you review a podcast.

How to Rate and Review a Podcast on Apple Podcasts

The process is the same whether you’re using the desktop or mobile version of Apple Podcasts. On the show’s page, scroll down past the most recent episodes. Tap on the stars to rate, or click “Write a Review.”

Apple set the standard for podcast reviews: in the next few sections, you’ll see how other podcast listening apps follow or deviate from this example.

How to Rate a Podcast on Spotify

Unlike Apple Podcasts, Spotify:

will help you rate, but not review, a podcast

only lets you do so in the mobile app

doesn’t have support documents about how to rate or review a podcast

requires users to follow, and listen to at least some of the podcast, before rating it.

Other than that, the process is simple. Navigate to the podcast’s page. Beneath the name and artwork, you’ll see options to follow, get notified, settings, and a vertical line of three dots.

Click on the three dots, which opens a sub-menu. This gives you options to follow, rate, or share the show. “Rate Show” has a star next to it.

If you don’t already follow the show or haven’t listened, the interface cheerfully encourages you to listen to a few episodes before rating it.

How to Review a Podcast on Podchaser

Podchaser is my favorite place for podcast reviews because it’s focused on helping people find their next great listen. This website doesn’t have a mobile app, but its mobile version is excellent. Podchaser not only helps people write reviews of shows but also individual episodes. You can make themed lists of any kind. “Top Five Podcasts about Beer and Ducks?” Make it happen, Captain.

Once you’ve made a Podchaser login, navigate to the show’s page. If you want to review a particular episode, you can select that, too.

Click the “rate” button, or those nifty stars. This opens up the review interface.

Type your review in the text box.

Podchaser says they “factor ratings and reviews in our ranking charts. That means your Podchaser reviews support your favorite creators in growing their shows.” Voilá! You’re an influencer now, if you weren’t already.

How to Rate a Podcast on Podcast Addict

Podcast Addict displays reviews posted in their own app, as well as reviews from iTunes. In the app, navigate to the show you want to review.

Click on the icon that looks like a notepad and pencil that says “reviews,” to read reviews or post your own. Then, click on the notepad & pencil icon in the upper right corner. In the Review interface, you can rate and write your own review, up to 500 characters.

How to Review a Podcast on Podbean

Rather than reviews or ratings, Podbean has comments. Once you navigate to the show page, you can:

Click on the horizontal line of three dots in the upper right-hand corner. A sub-menu pops up with options, including “Comments.”

You can also rate a particular episode. Click the three dots next to the podcast title to open a new menu. This includes “ Like” as an option.

Never underestimate the power of The Line of Three Dots. Coincidentally, that’s the title of a Sherlock Holmes murder mystery audio drama that Matthew and I are working on. Coming soon, wherever you get your podcasts.

How to Review a Podcast on Castbox

Like Podbean, Castbox allows users to comment on a show or episode rather than rate or review it. Again, you need to look for the mysterious three dots. In this case, they’re in a rectangular voice balloon on the preview or Now Playing page.

Castbox’s comments can include a timestamp, which is useful to draw attention to a particular aspect of the show.

How to Review a Podcast on Audible

Audible’s podcast review process is similar to Apple’s in terms of user interface. And, like Spotify, you have to listen to at least some of the podcast to rate or review it.

I bet you can guess what you’ll click on.

Yes, once again, it’s The All-Powerful Three Dots. But wait: Audible also used The Rectangular Voice Balloon icon. It’s a confluence of user interfaces!

Audible includes prompts that help users focus their rating and review, while also respecting their intelligence.

As a final piece of advice to bring the curtain down on this section, if you’re a podcaster, you might be thinking that there are quite a lot of places you’ll need to check to find out what listeners are saying about you. Well, Rephonic lets you see them all in one place (freely and with no login required). Just search your podcast there, and you’ll see what I mean.

Part 2: How to Write Effective, Helpful, & Authentic Podcast Reviews

Now that you know how to write podcast reviews in terms of “there’s the text box and the publish button,” let’s think about how you actually write them. And for that, I mean THINK.

THINK About How to Write Your Podcast Reviews

I’m not using all-caps because I’m shouting; it’s an acronym. THINK is a trustworthy acronym for any kind of digital activity, including writing podcast reviews. The THINK acronym is meant to remind you, before posting or hitting send, to ask yourself if what you’re about to post is: 

True?

Helpful?

Inspiring?

Necessary?

Kind? 

This may seem overly simplistic and unnecessary for anyone over age five. But Twitter/X didn’t turn into a dumpster fire all by itself, so it can’t hurt to keep it in mind. If what you’re about to post doesn’t meet the THINK criteria, maybe you should put it in your Notes app and let it sit for a while. 

Once you’re ready to go and write that first podcast review, what are some other things to keep in mind?

Don’t Let Autocorrect Write Your Podcast Review

In part one, we saw how podcast directories and listening apps all have different user interfaces. Don’t let mistakes erase your carefully written review, or change it from “This podcast was awfully great” to “The forecast calls for grapes.”  Write your review with paper and pencil, or type it into a note. Take some time to think about it. Then, type it into the directory’s review option or copy and paste it from your note. 

Your post will be clearer and more thoughtful, make you look good, and be more intriguing to the people who make the podcast. 

What to Include in Your Podcast Review

Sometimes, podcast hosts ask questions to prompt reviews. For example, they might ask, “What’s your favorite episode?” or for opinions about an interview with a special guest. These prompts are great. If the podcast you want to review has these kinds of questions, answering them makes it much easier to write a podcast review. 

But, what if the podcaster doesn’t? 

Personally, I’m a big fan of Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process. This is a proven strategy for giving constructive feedback on anything, as she says, “from dance to dessert.” But I’ve condensed it to make it easier to write short podcast reviews quickly. Write down:

how you found, or why you went looking for that particular podcast or episode,

what’s most memorable about the podcast, or stands out the most

what was confusing, or any questions you have

any aspect of the podcast that makes you have a strong opinion, if necessary 

The first point is hugely helpful to podcasters because it tells them what part of their promotion strategy works. 

The second point is what will make or break the show for other people. If you can’t stop thinking about the show’s theme music, mouth noises or unique puns, this could possibly bring in or drive away other people. In a short review, this is what most needs the podcast producer’s attention. 

The third point gives the podcasters room for improvement. “I couldn’t understand what they meant when they discussed hydrochlorofluorocarbons and dolphins” or “Why doesn’t the co-host talk much?” are valid questions. The podcasters need to know what to polish or clarify. 

The fourth point is good for when you have something to get off your chest, as long as the THINK concept applies to what you want to say. A negative sweeping value judgment will simply make the podcaster roll their eyes and ignore it. But, when you want to express an opinion, saving it for last strengthens your overall review. Strong opinions gather attention, but at the start of the review, they appear to be a gut reaction instead of reasoned feedback.

What To Exclude From Your Podcast Review

The worst you can do is offer an opinion without explaining what it’s based on or why you feel that way. Even “It was good” without anything else is unhelpful. When that opinion is negative, you lose credibility. When you write a podcast review, you don’t have to be nice or even complimentary. But if you’re going to say something negative, be able to justify it. 

Here’s an example:

“Difficult second season: S1 great S2 lost it somewhat” with a five-star rating is confusing for anyone reading the review. Most podcast listeners know that S1 and S2 mean “season one” and “season two” respectively. But, the people who need these reviews most are new to podcasts, and jargon adds a point of friction. 

“Great” and “lost it somewhat” don’t help anyone. What about the podcast do you feel is great? Why? In the case of the second season, what is “it,” and how did the podcast “lose it somewhat?” Coupled with a five-star rating, this review’s conflicting parts and lack of evidence make it too confusing to take seriously. 

You can use the aforementioned template to write a negative review. Be able to back up your claims with evidence, though. For example;

“I found this podcast in my local paper’s list of Scottish podcasts, and since they said it was funny and scary, I thought I’d try it. The first season was hilarious, and the paranormal investigations in remote Scottish locations gave me the shivers. The next season had a lot of scatological humor and profanity that distracted me from the main plot. I’m giving it five stars because I believe this show can regain the magic of the first season.” 

Nobody has to write positive reviews, as long as the THINK concept applies and you can back up your claims. For example: 

“I found out about this podcast from a list of gardening podcasts in Architectural Digest magazine and thought I’d try it. The hosts’ voices sound flat. I get that they want to promote gardening as a relaxing pursuit, but they sound like they’re bored. Also, one of them (I can’t remember which) is too close to his microphone, so all the pops and mouth clicks made me feel coated in spit. At one point, they talked about peonies and fertilizer, but it wasn’t clear what kind of fertilizer they recommended. To be honest, I think this podcast would have been better as an email, because then I could understand the information without disturbing the hosts’ nap.” 

Is it negative? Yes. Is it helpful? Yes. The hosts now know to clarify their points, bring some enthusiasm to their delivery, and back off the mic. They also know that their show was mentioned on a list in Architectural Digest magazine, so they may be able to follow up with an editor there for future cross-promotion opportunities. It might not make the podcasters feel great, but reading between the lines of this review offers actionable tips for improvement.

Negative reviews can also help in cases of plagiarism or fraud. If you hear a podcast episode that appears to be a rip-off, write a review of what you heard and why it’s not kosher. 

Conclusion: How to Write Podcast Reviews

I thought the significance of the three dots was a magic symbol, like the Holy Trinity, or The Moirai, the Norns, or the Morrigan. Turns out, developers use the ellipsis to mean “More.” That’s what you get, and provide, when you write a thoughtful podcast review. You’re giving the podcaster the feedback they need to improve, the response they need for motivation, and you help others find the right podcasts for them. When you write a podcast review, be mindful of the person on the other end of this relationship. You’re working together to make better podcasts for everyone.

Next up: Are you a podcaster looking to get more podcast reviews? Then check out our handy guide for some tips and tactics. Oh, and be sure to link to this page through your own podcast or website, too. That way, your listeners will know exactly what to do, and where to do it!


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