What happens when someone decides to put out a podcast show with a similar name as yours? This stuff does happen, and platforms like Apple allow it to happen because whoever it is that’s copying your name isn’t necessarily breaking any copyright laws. Having a duplicate podcast show name can be frustrating, but is it really as bad as it sounds? What can we do about it? Should we even do anything about it? In this solo episode of Feed Your Brand, Tracy Hazzard gives us a very sensible answer to these questions. And that answer may surprise you! Tune in and find out what it is.
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How Does Having A Duplicate Podcast Show Name Affect Your Success And Audience Reach?
I am going to talk about how having a duplicate podcast show name affects your success and your audience reach. You can’t usually have a duplicate name anywhere but Apple, when they set up podcasts in their system in the very beginning, they allowed duplicates. There are slight differences to it because they assign it at a different number in their system, even if you have a duplicate name but they allowed it.
They weren’t screening and checking so it happens. You can have a very similar name. Typically, they will push back on you and make you add the word podcast to it or show to it. It’s not a complete duplicate. There’s usually a little bit of an addition to the name but it happens all the time. It is also sometimes a digital marketing strategy.
Usually, it isn’t someone serious about their podcast. It was their company name before. It’s usually someone who’s saying, “I am going to troll on someone else’s good name and success and make sure that we show up in their search.” When someone’s searching for a famous show, then they will also have your show up and that’s their goal. They are trying to trade on your hard work for building your show name. That happens.
We did this early on. It was a strategy. When we had our very first show WTFFF?!, which stands for Fused Filament Fabrication, which is the geeky term for 3D printing, WTF with Marc Maron was pretty famous at that time as a podcast. It had gotten a lot of general public exposure because he had President Obama on his show at that time. What happened was that we are searching WTF through the search directory.
We did it more for fun because we knew his show was always going to show up when you type in WTF. We weren’t stealing his authority because we weren’t coming in on top of him and in front of him. We were going to come in after because you would have to type in FFF. That didn’t mean when you type in WTF and his show shows up and it’s served up in the search directory, ours would show up as other shows or show up after that.
We were doing a play on that and some people might be a little bit techy. Marc Maron was in the tech industry. He came out of that. He usually covered a lot of tech people on his show. There was a tie-in if you want to think of it like that. What might happen is they might see our show and go, “What’s that? That would be cool.”
It’s not going to steal his ability for someone who was looking for a show but it might allow them to come in, go forward from there and check out ours as well. We did it as a tie-in strategy but we were also making sure we weren’t coming in on top of it. There also have been some others out there that have done things. Better Call Daddy is a great show and Better Call Daddy was a play on a show called Call Me Daddy, which had gotten a lot of publicity and had great listeners.
Better Call Daddy and Call Me Daddy have some of the similar words in them but they are not the same. If someone comes in and types in the Better Call Daddy Podcast, we are coming in on top of that person. We are trying to play on and steal that person’s authority. That can happen in the podcasting ecosystem. The question becomes, did that person do something unethical? Maybe they did something. That was a digital marketing hack but it is not against any rules or guidelines.
They didn’t violate any copyrights or any of the rules of how podcasting works. They can do that in the system. Does it harm you? Yes and no. Yes, it is them, as I put it trolling on your authority, trolling on all the hard work you have done to build up your show name to get people to type it into the search engine and come and find you but what doesn’t happen here is that it’s not going to take away your audience.
They are going to recognize your cover art. They were looking for your show. They are going to come to that but might they consider that other show also? That could happen but the reality is that it’s not your show and your show might have hundreds of episodes. Wouldn’t that be great? You have a lot of episodes based on your show and that show is brand-new. A serious podcast listener isn’t going to come in and go check out a show that looks like a play on your name when it only has three episodes or just starts. They haven’t built their authority up and the podcast listener is smarter than that.
That’s what I want you to understand. Yes, you are going to show up in search and they are going to show up in search. If you haven’t done your proper job of listing optimization and making sure that your show shows up properly and you have done everything right and how you do it, then you will not have the first place. That’s one of the things you want to confirm.
If you are concerned about that, when you type in your show name and it is not showing up first in the list, somebody else is, it’s time for a review of your show. We do podcast power appraisals all the time. It’s a great time for us to review what’s going on with your title. Come to Podetize.com and check us out. Go and type that in. You can go to our website and find anywhere at which you can get an appraisal.
You can make any phone call with our team and they will be happy to review that for you if you are having an issue here. You should always show up for your show name. It shouldn’t be a problem. The podcasting ecosystem doesn’t have a rich search engine. It’s the author’s name, show name, description and copyright line. Very few things work in terms of searchability.
When we have that show name, it should be right but you may have done some things wrong which that shrewd digital marketer may have recognized. You may have named your show Better Call Daddy Show and that means that if they come in with Better Call Daddy, they have circumvented you and gotten in front of you.
The shorter it is, the better. If all they type into the search engine is Better Call, their show will show up before yours. Better Call Dad or Better Call Father. Those are different ways to get around it and come in front of you because Better Call Dad is shorter than Better Call Daddy. They may circumvent you by doing that. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things that you can do to make sure that your authority in that search directory isn’t staying in front of mine.
It’s not going to affect your success and audience reach. It’s not taking away your subscribers. It is not doing anything to affect that unless a subscriber decides to choose them over you. If they have created duplicate cover art as yours, that’s something you need to do something about because that’s your image. You have essentially copyrighted it. Hopefully, you have by putting a copyright line on your show.
You have also done that by hopefully putting it on your website and you have a copyright hopefully at the bottom of your website as well. These are things you need to make a general practice and confirm. By doing so, that cover art image is covered under copyright. It’s not a documented filed copyright with the copyright and trademark system but that’s okay. You can do that after the fact. Publishing it and putting your copyright line there is enough to protect you.
You may want to ask for a petition with Apple and ask them to stop this show from using your cover art. You certainly could send a cease-and-desist letter and make them change it. If they are using an image that is almost a duplicate of yours with that slightly different name, that is a violation. You want to shut that down because they are creating show confusion. Make sure you ask for that to be taken down and for them to stop doing that but you can’t shut down a show that is using a similar name. It won’t work. There’s no process in the system, unfortunately. It just isn’t there.
Your success, audience reach and subscribers aren’t going to go to another show. They are already subscribed to you. They are not searching. They are not going to go somewhere else. You are not going to lose them. It is someone new searching and coming in. It’s the number one reason why you need to make sure that your show is showing up at all times as you should always double-check the directory.
I type The Binge Factor all the time and Feed Your Brand. I check it to make sure periodically. I do it maybe once a quarter. Check to see what new shows are coming on. We did have this happen to us. What Feed Your Brand had been in play for a while and another podcasting company decided to come in with the word feed in their show name. It wasn’t what their show name was originally. They switched their show and decided to draft off of our brand. I could have gotten upset about it but I didn’t because what I know is that we already had 100 episodes in on our feed. We already had more episodes than they did. There’s always going to be greater authority with more power.
Keep doing what you are doing. Do it week after week. Continually, consistently and constantly post episodes. That is going to win you more readers. It is not going to change. Your existing subscribers are going to stay and smart podcast readers, which are the ones you want, are going to choose a show that has more power and longevity than they are going to choose an upstart that is drafting off your name. In the end, I don’t think that having a duplicate podcast show name is going to change anything from where you are and what you have already built and done.Having a duplicate podcast show name is not going to change anything from where you are and what you've already built and done. Click To Tweet
However, there might be a benefit because someone else has to market that new name. They are doing a marketing job. When someone else types in Better Call Dad and you have got Better Call Daddy and they see your show and their show side by side where they see Better Call Dad and Better Call Daddy side by side in the search engine when they pop that in and they see your show has over 100 episodes, you might be drafting off them. You might be making them do more of the marketing work and you are getting the benefit because you have already put in your dues in the podcasting ecosystem.
Shutting them down isn’t your benefit. They are more likely to quit. A digital marketer is more likely to quit and podfade faster than you will because you have already been doing this for a while. Serious podcasters know that all they have to do is stay committed to their subscribers and audience and keep moving forward on what they are doing. Let all those other people drive more traffic to you. It’s more likely that when they drive more traffic to you, they are going to realize they made a huge mistake and they are going to quit their show and it’s never going to affect you moving forward.
It’s frustrating. I know you want to get mad. You want to yell at your phone and Apple. I’m sure you might call up your hosting company and yell at them but they have nothing to do with it. We at Podetize can’t do anything about the fact that someone came in with the same name as you because Apple controls that. They allow the syndication of that. I wish it was different but here’s what I want to say to you.
Don’t get frustrated. Don’t get mad. Do what you do best. Nurture your audience, create a great show, come to us and let us appraise your show. Let us take a look at that. Podetize.com/Appraisal. You will be able to easily check out and we will be able to help you figure out if you are doing something technically wrong. That is the reason why someone controls you and shows up first. We will do everything we can to help mitigate any problems that are happening from this and make sure you are still showing up and winning in the podcasting space.You can't shut down a show that is using a similar name as yours. It just won't work. But your success, your audience reach, and your subscribers aren't going to go to another show. Click To Tweet
Thanks, everyone for reading this episode. I’m sure Tom will feel better next episode, which is why he’s missing this episode. He will be back next time with me to cover a great podcasting tip, topic or area. If you have any suggestions, we want you to reach out to us. Go to Podetize.com. Submit a question to us. Go anywhere on social media. We will cover it in a future coaching call. Thanks, everyone for being here. For those of you clients, stay tuned because we are going to answer your questions. Thanks, everyone.