How do I Find My Show’s Podcast Subscriber Numbers on iTunes?

By | How Podcasting Works | No Comments

iTunes doesn’t provide podcast subscriber numbers. Let’s talk about how we can get an idea for how many podcast subscribers a show has.

Subscriber Counts

How many subscribers do I have on iTunes?

iTunes doesn’t provide analytics to podcasters. We can get an idea for how many subscribers by measuring the spikes in downloads.

What is a Podcast Subscriber?

A podcast subscriber is someone who sets their phone to automatically download the show when it becomes available. Because the subscribers automatically download the shows, we can assume that the spikes in podcast traffic are related to the number of subscribers.

In order to get an estimated number of subscribers, we can subtract the normal day to day traffic from the the spikes we see when we publish a new episode.

podcast subscriber numbers

How to Estimate Podcast Subscriber Numbers

The best way to get an estimate of your podcast subscriber numbers is like this.

First find the number of downloads you have on a day where you don’t publish a podcast. These may be downloads from people who are researching new shows, or it could be the average number of downloads you get from people streaming or doing other day-to-day podcast listening activity. Let’s call this number your regular download rate.

Second, look to the days where you publish an episode. This will probably be the highest number of downloads on a single day. Let’s call this number the peak download rate.

Let’s subtract the regular download rate from the peak download rate. That will give you the best idea for your subscriber count.

Considerations

If your show has an audience that listens via a web browser or an android device it’s likely that you’ll get a lot of downloads that should not be added into your subscriber count estimation.

You can filter your downloads by device and operating system to get a better idea for iOS specific download counts.

At the end of the day, a rough estimate is great for your decision making. It’s probably better to focus on creating excellent podcasts than to spend time working on a more nuanced estimate of subscriber numbers.

Podcast Statistics – How Podcast Statistics are Counted

By | How Podcasting Works | One Comment

Ok let’s talk for a moment about podcast statistics.

Libsyn and SoundCloud are both great podcast hosting companies. The reason we set up both is because we like to have redundancy in our system. If one of the hosting companies stop working, the other is still there to provide the podcast to the audience.

We like the SoundCloud media player for blog content because it is a mobile friendly media player. That just means that people can listen to your podcast via your blog post by clicking the play button.

Libsyn is great because they have a lot of podcast specific tools that aren’t the core focus of SoundCloud.

How Podcast Statistics are Counted

Here are some case examples of different downloads:

  • First, we start with a new show so there are no download statistics:

iTunes = 0 | Libsyn = 0 | SoundCloud = 0

  • Someone plays your podcast on an embedded Libsyn media player. The download statistics are as follows:

iTunes = 0 | Libsyn = 1 | SoundCloud = 0

  • Next, someone plays your podcast on an embedded SoundCloud media player

iTunes = 0 | Libsyn = 1 | SoundCloud = 1

  • Now, someone plays your podcast in iTunes:

iTunes = 1 | Libsyn = 2 | SoundCloud = 1

Why does this matter?

We find that the podcasts which get the most downloads on the iTunes platform have a tendency to rank higher than the podcasts that don’t. For that reason, it makes sense to ask your audience specifically to download your show from the iTunes platform. If your existing audience regularly visits your website to download your show, iTunes won’t be aware of the downloads that your podcast serves. If you can run that stream of downloads through the iTunes platform, you might get into the What’s Hot category or Top Podcasts list. This sort of attention can help expand your message to a greater audience.

How SoundCloud Podcast Statistics Look

How SoundCloud Podcast Statistics Work

How Libsyn Statistics Look

How Libsyn Podcast Statistics Work

Stitcher Podcast Statistics

Stitcher actually has it’s own suite of statistics that aren’t related to the above information. As a platform, Stitcher might actually have the best statistics. The user can get data on when people stop listening to your show and your completion rates. The problem is that we don’t see the majority of downloads in Stitcher. Most people listen via iTunes so we focus most of our attention there.

Thoughts?

Do you have insights into this? Please share your findings with the community below. If you link to outside information, that would be really helpful for the next podcaster seeking answers via this post.

I Love Podcasts – Engineering Podcast Success

By | How Podcasting Works, Podcasting World | No Comments

What is I Love Podcasts?

Lot’s of people want a popular podcast. How do you make one? The best way we know is to be a famous person before you start the podcast…

But what if you’re not already famous?

Well, engineering success is our sport at Freedom Podcasting. It would be invaluable to our clients if we could wield a tremendous audience and promote their shows with it. So that’s what we plan to invest in. Here’s the plan:

Building the World’s Biggest Community of Podcast Lovers

*LIKE* Our Facebook Page

Please click the link above and like the page.

This Facebook page is where we will showcase the world’s top podcasts. We will share podcasts from our clients as well as the other top podcasts in the world. Of course, it’s Facebook so if you see some click bait, “share this” type stuff, it’s likely a growth effort. We will use Facebook Ads to get the first 10,000 likes.

I’m using Post Planner, a tool which empowers us to automate the sharing of our clients shows. We will fill the feed with viral content when not promoting client shows. This tool is amazing. It is like setting up an asset that pays forever.

Goals:

  • Own the Facebook.com/ILovePodcasts June 14th, 2016
  • 100 Likes June 15th, 2016
  • 1,000 Likes July 19th, 2016
  • 2,000 Likes September 13th, 2016
  • 5,000 Likes
  • 8,000 Likes
  • 10,000 Likes
  • 20,000 Likes
  • 30,000 Likes
  • 50,000 Likes
  • 100,000 Likes
  • 200,000 Likes
  • 500,000 Likes
  • 1,000,000 Likes

Growth of Page Updates:

Periodic updates on the growth of the page:
  • June 14th, 2016 – We earned our first 100 likes and we were able to secure the Facebook.com/ILovePodcasts URL. It’s now officially a Freedom Podcasting asset.
  • June 27th, 2016 – We’ve got 431 likes for $33.41. Here are the growth charts:

I Love Podcasts - First Two Weeks Audience Growth - Total Page LikesI Love Podcasts - First Two Weeks Audience Growth - Net Page Likes

We’re currently running at $0.129 per like which isn’t great or awful. At this rate it will cost us $1,290.00 to get to 10,000 likes. That price includes the cost of testing ads that didn’t work great. For example, we know mobile news feed ads are the cheapest. So we’re focusing on that.

Through testing, we’ve found ads that get targeted likes for $0.0503. That’s not bad. If we keep costs at or below $.0503 per like, we’re looking at a cost of $500 to get the 10,000 likes. That makes it a no-brainer.

  • July 20th, 2016 – We hit 1,000 likes today:

1000 likes on Facebook for our Podcasting Page
podcasting-facebook-like-campaigns-not-enough-organic-growth

Despite another milestone, I’m not so happy with these results. Notice how tiny the Organic Likes are. This tells me that if we haven’t found engaging content for the audience. We need to find engaging content so the page grows organically.

The problem is that podcasting isn’t visual and visual content is engaging on Facebook. It’s hard to develop content that shares well on Facebook. We need some ideas…

  • September 13th, 2016 – The 2,000th person clicked like today! Huzzah!

Growing a podcast audiencePodcast Audience Growth
Sure, a milestone is a happy thing to hit, but we’re still acting the same way as we did when we hit 1,000 likes. Paid like cost is high at $0.07. We’re getting more unlikes than organic likes. That’s a really bad sign. We’ve got to turn around the content part of the page, or else this is going to a sisyphean task.

  • Next Date – Stay tuned for more….

What We’ve Learned From Our Client: The Productivity Show

By | Case Studies, Ongoing Case Studies, Podcast Editor | One Comment

The Productivity ShowOne of the wonderful things about editing podcast episodes all week is that you are always learning. I knew close to nothing about the Managed Futures industry before I started editing Top Traders Unplugged every week. Likewise, the productivity community was a mystery to me until I started working with our client Asian Efficiency on their podcast, aptly titled The Productivity Show.

The good folks at Asian Efficiency recently spent more than six thousand words in a blog post detailing how they launched their podcast, created a workflow to produce it each week, and then outsourced the whole thing to us. They said a number of very kind things about us in the article, so you should go read it. We are so lucky to work with amazing clients like them!

I thought I would return the favor by detailing just a few of the things I have learned from The Productivity Show since I started editing it on a weekly basis about a year ago. Listening to this show has helped me set and track goals in my personal life, develop healthy rituals and habits, and become more productive and efficient in my professional work. Here’s a list, in no particular order of importance, of things I’ve picked up from editing The Productivity Show:

Habits:

  • Journaling

I’m in a process of figuring out what works for me with many of the productivity concepts I’ve picked up from this podcast, especially when it comes to journaling.  Many guests on The Productivity Show recommend the writing practice detailed in The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. This practice involves writing three pages of hand-written, free-form content, ideally before you do anything else in the morning. I tried this practice for a while – it turned into a combination of a journal detailing what I did the previous day and a brain dump of all the ideas swimming in my head. I really enjoyed this practice but haven’t been able to keep it up consistently.

For a more technology-driven practice, a few guests of the podcast suggested the Day One app. The app makes it easy to journal on the go, especially if you take pictures with your phone and want to add some words to remember the moment. It also has a handy feature that reminds you to journal every day.

  • Meditation

Almost all of the guests on The Productivity Show have previously tried or currently have some sort of meditation/prayer practice. Frequently recommended apps to help with meditation include Headspace and Calm. The Asian Efficiency team blogs about the benefits of having a morning and evening ritual/routine, which might include meditation, writing, goal setting, etc. I’ve done a few 5-minute meditation sessions with the Calm app, and I also frequently do a 5-minute Qigong exercise called “Holding and Pooling” that was taught to me by a friend. The one that has really stuck is a simple gratitude practice: I do a Child’s Pose on my floor and think about people and things I’m grateful for. I do this before bed almost every night (Annie can attest).

An easy way to get started with this kind of practice is to spend time every night thinking about 3 Good Things that you experienced that day. Write them down in a journal, and review the journal every once in a while.

  • Goal Setting/Task Management

Everyone has their favorite To-Do list app or system, so I’m not going to list them all here. Needless to say the guests on The Productivity Show have dozens of different ways of tracking their goals, projects, and daily tasks. Before I started editing this show, I kept a To-Do list for my weekly and daily tasks, but I didn’t really have a way of thinking about or writing down my larger goals.

This changed once I edited Episode 65 (Create Your Manifesto) and Episode 58, an interview with David Allen. David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done) method is legendary in the productivity community, and I now use a personalized form of it in the way I organize my tasks and set goals.

Apps:

There have been hundreds of apps recommended by guests of The Productivity Show over the 90+ episodes that have been released. Here’s a few I heard about while editing the show that have really helped my productivity:

TextExpander has literally changed my professional life. In the podcast editing business, I used to spend a lot of time copying and pasting, especially when it came to blog posts and meta data. Now, I’ve created special text snippets for all of my clients and can easily add blog post templates, meta data, amazon affiliate URL tags, and more with a few shortcuts. I’ve even created snippets for emails that I tend to send over and over again.

Freedom.to is a great website-blocking app. For someone like me who has a propensity for going to YouTube to watch one video and coming to my senses an hour later, this app is one of the many apps out there that helps you focus by blocking your access to websites that waste your time. The thing I really like about Freedom.to is that you can schedule sessions, and that it works across devices. This means if I set it to block me from accessing Twitter, it won’t let me browse Twitter on my laptop and the Twitter app on my phone won’t refresh. Currently I run a scheduled session every weekday that blocks me from websites like YouTube and Facebook from 8am to 12pm.

I used Sunrise for the longest time, but after finding out they would be shutting down this year I moved over to Fantastical since it was recommended by many Productivity Show guests. It’s a calendar app for Mac desktop and iOS. The two things I like best about it are its ability to show scheduled reminders from the Mac OS Reminders app, as well as interpret your text when you are creating a new event. For instance, you can type “Meet Dave for coffee at 8am on Friday” and it will create an event called Meet Dave for Coffee on the right day and time.

Assistant.to is a really simple app that I use to schedule phone and Skype calls with prospective podcast clients, and it works inside of Gmail. To use it, you pick a few time slots when you have availability, and send the email. The recipient then clicks on a time slot and the app puts a calendar event in your Google Calendar for you. It cuts out a lot of back-and-forth emails.

I found out about LastPass when I started working with the Asian Efficiency team. This app remembers username and password data for you, and suggests strong passwords when you are creating them. You access everything through one master password so you don’t have to remember or copy-and-paste passwords that you’ve saved in LastPass. This is super helpful for someone like me who works with many clients (in a typical week I login to Libsyn.com under seven different usernames). You can also share login data with other LastPass users, without showing them what the password actually is.

Conclusion:

If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this article, good job! I hope you’ve picked up something you can use in your professional or personal life that will make you more productive, or at least happier. The Productivity Show has helped me tremendously, and I think you should subscribe to it if you haven’t already.

A Discussion on Podcast Editing and Podcast Production Services

By | Discussing Podcasting, How Podcasting Works, Podcasting Questions | No Comments

Podcast Production Services

The first time I edited a podcast was in 2011. I had no idea at the time what amazing things would happen as a result of developing that skill.

For the past five years, Freedom Podcasting Company LLC has grown from a laptop experiment to a multi-national company. It’s been an amazing ride. We’ve never slowed down in offering world-class podcast production services to the people who trust us enough to turn their recordings into valuable web properties.

I was invited to speak to a group of young entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In the discussion, I tell the story of the founding of the company for the first few minutes. Then I speak about podcasting strategy and how to clarify the vision for the show before starting. We even discuss some of the technical specifics of getting your recordings onto iTunes.

The goal was to offer as much value to young entrepreneurs exploring the idea of using a podcast to grow their businesses.

Travel Topics:

  • The story behind creating the Freedom Podcasting Company LLC [0:00]
  • How to promote and grow podcasts [4:30]
  • An overview of podcasting platforms [7:44]
  • How podcasting works the way we do it [9:20]
  • Ian’s thinking on transcription services [11:40]
  • How to approach someone you want to be a guest of the show [13:25]
  • Strategies for identifying if you should have transcriptions with your podcast [16:44]
  • About Libsyn as a media hosting and RSS podcast tool [17:30]
  • Using webinars to create podcasts and if YouTube is important [19:55]
  • What we do at Freedom Podcasting Company [23:25]
  • On the most creative formats in podcasting and the absolute beginners production process [24:30]
  • Using podcasting to enhance the story your business tells [29:20]
  • On the publishing frequency of podcasting [29:59]
  • Tips on growing your podcast’s audience [30:40]
  • On video podcasting, blab and periscope [32:15]
  • The demographics of podcast listeners [36:25]

Podcast Production Services and Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Podcast Production Service Questions?

Please let me know if you have any questions or follow up information in the comments below.

 

iTunes New and Noteworthy Podcast Category – A RETORT

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Most of the silly things written on the internet are best left ignored. This one had to be addressed… let me explain:

Business owners call me to talk about risks and rewards of podcasting as a way to grow their businesses. This often leads to conversations regarding the importance of a powerful launch. I always say something like, “we want to drive traffic to iTunes in order to rank on the New and Noteworthy (N&N) podcast section early.”

So when a leading podcast blogger writes:

“Anyone who tells you about being #1 in iTunes “New and Noteworthy” is wrong. There’s no such thing as #1 because “New and Noteworthy” is not a ranking system.” – Daniel J. Lewis

Semantically, this statement might be accurate. The N&N doesn’t have the numerical rankings that the ‘Top Podcasts’ list has.

However, if you’re trying to grow a podcast audience, this statement is misleading. Let me explain how it works:

How the New and Noteworthy Podcast List Works in Relation to Getting on the Front Page of iTunes:

This is how New and Noteworthy Section of iTunes works

 

Perhaps there is no specific ranking, but the first show is listed above the second. The second show is listed above the third. This pattern continues until you get to the end of the list.

The shows that aren’t on this list, aren’t on the list. That matters.

How The Front Page of iTunes Works

If we can get shows listed in one of the top 32 positions in the New and Noteworthy list then we’re on the front page of the iTunes store.

If we can get a show in one of the top 16 positions, we are ‘above the fold’ on the iTunes store. ‘Above the fold’ means that our show art will be the first to display for everyone in the country.

I’m confident that that is a big deal.

Semantics and Strategy in Podcasting

Perhaps the first sentence of this blog post should read: “Anyone who tells you about being #1 in iTunes “New and Noteworthy” is wrong. There’s no such thing as #1 because “New and Noteworthy” is not a ranking system. The marketeers shouldn’t say ‘ranks #1.

They should say, “topping the iTunes New and Noteworthy list.”

Topping the list vs. ranking #1. It’s a matter of semantics.

Getting to the top matters.

Will Google Play Podcast Player Kill the Radio?

By | Discussing Podcasting, Podcasting World | No Comments

Future of the Google Play Podcast Player

Quality is not the chain restraining podcasts from killing radio.

Podcast listeners know the experience of listening to podcasts are better than listening to radio. Let me provide some examples:

  • Want to hear the mentality of the world’s top computer generated trading companies? Top Traders Unplugged is way better than listening to traditional financial radio.
  • Want to hear detailed habits of the world’s top performers? The Tim Ferriss Show doesn’t even have a radio equivalent.
  • Are you a woman seeking to grow a million dollar business? Ali Brown is the best.
  • Are you seeking spiritual guidance? Mas Sajady helps millions with conversations and free meditations.
  • Want to learn about emotional intelligence? Mark Shapiro is your man.

We can listen whenever we want and the advertisements are vetted by the producer or non-existent.

It’s just so much better.

Google Play Podcast Player Success

So why isn’t podcasting the #1 audio format in the world?

The reason is that it’s challenging to listen to podcasts.

It’s not super challenging, but compared to radio, it’s challenging.

Radio is winning because:

  1. There is no need to curate – Radio stations curate what we hear so we don’t have to think about it.
  2. Simple interface – Radios are simple. Click the button on and select between 88.7 – 105.9
  3. It is an established medium – Radio is older than you. It is really important because of that.

The biggest thing holding back podcasts right now is that they are hard to listen to.

iTunes isn’t great

iTunes is the #1 place to download podcasts.

iTunes is a pain.

Let me explain.

Problems with iTunes:

  • To do anything, you have to login to the iTunes store – This has stopped me from setting people up to listen to podcasts over and over again.
  • iTunes password recovery is hard
  • The podcast app is confusing (have I downloaded this show or not? Why do I have 50 episodes of this show and I don’t have the show I want?)
  • The curation is up to you – They don’t help you find the right shows for what you want now

These problems aren’t insurmountable. They are simply a mild annoyance for tech people.

I find it hard to help my 50+ year old friends listen to podcasts. They don’t have their iTunes passwords so to download a podcast, we have to set up iTunes. We can’t just say, listen to this show. We have to say, download this app, verify email, search for the show, download the show and play the show.

If podcasting is to grow to market dominance, ease of consumption is the next big breakthrough.

google podcast player

Will Google Play Podcast Player Solve the Problem?

The short answer is no. They have been slow to launch, their plans seem real and podcasters are leaking information.

It’s easy to submit your podcast feed to Google play. I don’t know why we do this when we can’t listen to podcasts with their app.

As of now, the jury is out.

How Google Play Can Win

If Google can create a radio like listening experience, they will win.

If Google can suggest shows that people really want to listen to, they will win.

If Google can help podcasters gain more listeners, they will win.

But for now, iTunes is still the big guy in town.