Buzzcast

YouTube Podcast Case Study + How to Measure Success

August 09, 2019 Buzzsprout Episode 6
Buzzcast
YouTube Podcast Case Study + How to Measure Success
Chapters
00:00:10
New Categories in Apple Podcasts
00:06:15
Impressions of FlynnCon1
00:18:05
YouTube Podcast Case Study
00:27:23
How should you measure success?
Buzzcast
YouTube Podcast Case Study + How to Measure Success
Aug 09, 2019 Episode 6
Buzzsprout

This week we talk about Apple's new podcast categories (which ones disappeared and which ones they've added, our takeaways from Pat Flynn's new conference "FlynnCon," some behind-the-scenes numbers from our "podcast on YouTube" experiment, and how to measure success for your podcast.

Articles we talk about in this episode:


Watch our 5 Minute Mondays podcast on YouTube to model what we've done to grow our audience by 40% the last 2 1/2 months.

Beginner YouTube Gear:

Current YouTube Gear:

For both sets of gear, we utilized a traditional XLR microphone recording setup to capture audio:


Have an idea for something we should talk about? Post it in the Buzzsprout Podcast Community on Facebook and tag one of us to let us know!

Have a question? Shoot us an email at support@buzzsprout.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This week we talk about Apple's new podcast categories (which ones disappeared and which ones they've added, our takeaways from Pat Flynn's new conference "FlynnCon," some behind-the-scenes numbers from our "podcast on YouTube" experiment, and how to measure success for your podcast.

Articles we talk about in this episode:


Watch our 5 Minute Mondays podcast on YouTube to model what we've done to grow our audience by 40% the last 2 1/2 months.

Beginner YouTube Gear:

Current YouTube Gear:

For both sets of gear, we utilized a traditional XLR microphone recording setup to capture audio:


Have an idea for something we should talk about? Post it in the Buzzsprout Podcast Community on Facebook and tag one of us to let us know!

Have a question? Shoot us an email at support@buzzsprout.com

Travis:

So if you're interested, I would encourage you, Beluga add marker. All right, jump. Cut. So apple just rolled out their new podcast categories. We've known that this has been coming for a while, but it finally happens, uh, Alban, you wrote up a nice blog kind of detailing the changes, how it affects certain podcasters and kind of what to do. So, uh, want to pass this off to you to kind of get everybody up to speed.

Alban:

Yeah. So we've been using the same apple podcast category since like the early days of iTunes. And you know, I don't know what the genesis of the first version was, but there's some, like there's some quirks. You have the religion, subcategory, religion, the religion, religion category. You have, um, he had sports. We're all like split up by, Hey, these are college sports, these are high school sports, these are k through 12 sports. Like you guys, he got some goofy things in there. And then there's some big omissions. So he had like true crime didn't have its own spot. And true crime is like some of the most popular podcasts, like the podcast category. Yeah, there was no, so this is what I thought was hilarious. So there's two top or three top level categories. They are fiction, history, true crime and like some of the very most like the most famous podcasts go in those categories.

Alban:

Somebody's history. You've got hardcore history with Dan Carlin, true crime. I mean serial basically like invented podcasting in 2014 like that's where it kicked everything kicks off. Um, yeah, I mean there's, there's some categories that are missing. So when they decided to go apple podcasts on the computer and they're dropping iTunes, they went ahead and they put out some new categories. So we, we wrote up a post about it. Um, we kind of go through, here's some ones that are going away. Here's some new categories that are being added and we try to give some recommendations on, you know, hey, if you're old category a is disappearing, here's some other ones that may make sense. One category that was near and dear to our heart. Do you know what it is, Travis that got dropped? You mean podcasting? Yeah. So the, there's a, they used to be a category for podcasting podcasts about podcasting. And it was just a mess. I mean, if you went and looked at it, it wasn't really, it was a technology subcategory, podcasting. And if you looked at it, it was just a bunch of people who are like, well, this is a podcast. And so they put it in and so it was just, it was full of a bunch of junk. I mean, not junk, but it was just like a lot of miss categorization. So they dropped it. So what, where did you end up moving buzz cast?

Travis:

So buzz cast is now in tech news if I'm, if I'm not mistake mistaken, and then how to start a podcast now in education. How to, yeah. Um, which makes sense, right? Because it's how to start a podcast. Yeah, exactly. I believe we're ranking in that category, like number 30, which is pretty sweet. Cool. Yeah. Thank you everybody that subscribes over an apple podcast. Yeah. So if somebody is listening to this and they're like, I need to check my podcast categories, I need to make sure that I either wasn't effected or there's not a category out there that I should be in that I'm not, uh, what should they do? What should they read, where should they go? And then how, how can they figure out or like what's the best practice for apple podcasts? Cause we also uncovered something that wasn't intuitive for not many people knew about with this.

Alban:

Some date. Yeah. I say, let's drop this a blog post in the show notes, but it's on the bus route, blog, apple podcast categories. We go through what are the changes, what's the definitive list, what's actually the correct list. Um, and then we talk about what changes to make if you want a deeper dive. Um, James crippling of pod news has done a lot of writing about this and I think it's all been very good. Uh, but one of the things that we pulled out is I pulled up apple podcast connect and I was looking at something, maybe the RSS Spec and they mentioned, although you can specify more than one category, this is a quote, although you can specify more than one category and subcategory in your RSS feed. Apple podcast only recognizes the first category and subcategory. So at some point they decided to add three and to the podcast and it's gotta be years ago now. And I could have sworn back then that all three had some importance because our, I remember us being in multiple subcategories ranking, but now I don't know if maybe it was a spam issue or what they're trying to do or trying to get people to just be in one category or the other. But um, now the only really the first one matters. So really make sure you pick one. That's where I want to be. And that's, you're the first one that you put in.

Kevin:

Well, my understanding of that was the way that used to work is that you can be listed in three categories, but if somebody searched for your podcasts or your podcasts, if it showed up in the search, results would only be listed under the first category that you chose. So that was kind of like your main default category that they would use for search results. Now if you were browsing some of the other categories that you were and you had listed yourself in, and again up to three, then it's possible. But like if you were in the top 200 of another category, then you would show there as well. But that's uh, that's what we were not sure about right now. Like now they're saying, well, we only use one category. So I think that's the question mark still. So we've got to do a little bit of investigating and testing and seeing exactly what they mean when they say that. Well, we're using one now.

Travis:

Yeah. So we'll keep you guys in the loop. As always, Kevin, appreciate your, your technical expertise calling in on the phone for the first time. So we're really putting the road caster pro through its paces.

Kevin:

Oh yeah. Thanks for having me on a show guy.

Travis:

so we recently, I say we, buzz sprout specifically was invited to go out to Flint con one, which was Pat Flynn's first big conference. We were invited to go and kind of represent podcasting as a whole. Uh, Kevin and Alban, you had the pleasure of flying out San Diego to be a part of that. What were, uh, or some big takeaways from, from that conference or things that, uh, things that were noteworthy.

Kevin:

So Flynn con was unlike any other conference that we've been to in the podcasting space. Um, the biggest difference was it was one main stage. It wasn't multiple tracks, it was, it was kind of in between, you know, a small conference and a mega conference. There was about 500 attendees and there wasn't a huge, um, exhibitor area. So normally at a conference that size, you'd probably have at least a dozen, maybe even up to a hundred or a hundred or so vendors displaying other goods and, um, one to do a different type of conference. And I think he [inaudible] team did a great job of pulling that off. So they only invited four outside vendors. And those were products that Pat Flynn uses and recommends to his audience. And we were invited out not to sell our services but to help people who use our services. So like I said, all these people already know that pat uses these products and likes them.

Kevin:

And so he, like our, our space was actually, you know, set up in what he called the smart bar space. And so people would come up if they had any questions about how to use Buzzsprout or how they could be using our tools to better serve their audience or to do a better job of podcasting or whether they had technical questions about, hey, I've got this piece of equipment, how do I use it? So it was a totally different type of conference for us to attend as, as a vendor. It was, it was, um, it was, I mean, I felt like it was really refreshing during the sales thing, like explaining it what makes us different than other podcasts providers over and over again is it's fun and exciting, but at the same time, it's that same conversation that you're having over and over and over again. Um, just with different people. What was really fun about this conference is that every person that walked up to you, they have their own unique set of questions, their own unique set of struggles, their own opportunities to improve or to make the workflow more efficient. And so that was a really fun challenge. Um, being able to have longer conversations, more, more in depth conversations, and I felt like maybe an opportunity to have more of an impact that the people that we were interacting with as opposed to a traditional conference. What'd you think?

Alban:

Yeah. I, it was the first conference. I didn't lose my voice. Like every conference we go to, it's like back to back to back, you know, 45 second conversations and they almost all kick off with like, why is Buzzsprout better than Libson Blueberry pod bean, you know, whatever they're on or what other one they just talked to. They're like, compare and contrast. Go and you gave your talk, but you kind of feel, I don't know, like I want to push podcasting. I'm like, I think podcasting is a great thing for you to do regardless of who you're with. And sometimes when people are on a competitor's platform, they say, you know, prove you're better. And I'll say, hey, if it's working great for you, let's talk about podcasting instead. You know, you, maybe the best move for you right now isn't to switch platforms. Maybe it's to double down on the one yard you're doing well with.

Alban:

So it's always been a little bit awkward for me at some of the conferences where I feel like, I don't know, I don't really wanna like, I dunno, it's not a hard sell. Like I can't do a hard sell. So, um, yeah, this was a lot nicer because basically you have people coming up for 15 minutes at a time and they're asking specific questions about a podcast. That's actually, I mean, most people had a podcast or had a business that was working and they're like, how do I incorporate a podcast into this business? So I don't know. I got to have a lot of cool conversations. I talked to one woman about, she was running a bunch of hair salons and she was going to start a podcast about how you can grow your career and like hairstyling and then somebody else was, uh, she teaches people how to run laundry mats and she was turning that into a podcast and you just get to have lots of cool conversations with totally unique ideas and they're explicit questions and very few of the questions are proved to me. You're better than your competitor right now. Right. So I enjoyed it. So you got to be a helpful human being instead of a used car salesman. Yeah, exactly.

Kevin:

Yeah, for sure. I think my favorite interaction that I had at the Flynn con conference was there was a guy who we brought the mobile recording studio and the spots to do your mobile recording filled up really quick. I think they put out an email like a month before the conference and said, if anybody wants to record an episode of their podcast and while you're at Flynn con, you know, we have twenty-something spots, you can sign up. And they said like within 24 hours all this spots were gone. And so there was a guy who skipped the session and came out and he was talking to me. And so during the sessions there wasn't anybody in the recording studio. And about 15 minutes I discovered that he'd been thinking about doing a podcast for about two years, but was just very unsure of himself and like, you know, how do I record myself?

Kevin:

I don't have a cohost, I'm doing this on my own. And um, and so he got to a point where he asked the question, he's like, well, how long would it take me? Like, let's say I have my audio recording, how long would it then take me to launch my podcast? And I said, well, I mean you could launch it in 10 minutes or you could launch it in 10 days. It just depends on how, how far you want to go with it. And he's like not believing me that you could launch it in 10 minutes. And I was like, do you want to do it right now? Like if we can launch a podcast in the next 10 minutes, would you do it? And things like, okay, I like not believe me and all that this is possible. And I'm like, let's do it.

Kevin:

Let's go buy. Call him into the mobile recording studio. I sit down, we put the headphones on square to the mix, get our levels straight and I pepper them with questions for about seven minutes. About why do you think podcasting is good for your business? What are you passionate about? What topics would you cover? And we have this great little seven minute conversation. We hit the stop button on the recording, we take the SD card, throw it in the laptop, create a Buzzsprout account form, upload the episode and we get published and it's like, he's right. It wasn't 10 minutes, it was like 12 minutes later he has a podcast live on the internet and he was just like smiling ear to ear and doing backflips. He can't believe that after two years of contemplating this idea of a podcast, he now has a podcast launched and live and he's like, this is amazing. This is worth the price of the whole conference. I'm launched, I'm a podcaster. I can't believe it.

Alban:

That's awesome. Well, the whole, the whole tagline of the conference was press start and it kicked off with lots of stories of creators saying like, I'm just going to start something new. And it was pretty inspirational. I'm sitting there going, well, what do I got to kick off? What am I going to start? You know, I'm, I'm a vendor, but I'm like listening in like I'm making the commitment today. It was, it was a, I dunno, it was like a great environment of people who were looking to start something new, something creative. And there's definitely an energy, you know, everyone kind of supporting each other and yeah, take the risk. It's okay. You may not love your voice or you may not, um, love your first email blast you send out or whatever the thing you're starting. But as soon as you start, you are working towards some level of expertise and competency later on.

Kevin:

Yeah, it was this really cool mix of like 50% Tony Robbins motivational, getting people fired up and then another 50% very practical. Here's the first step, here's the second step, here's the third step. Where are you in your journey? Identifying where you're at and then what's the next best step for you to take really great conference. And the one track, one stage I think brought along on this journey as opposed to bigger conferences where everyone's kind of split and you know, what did you see this morning? And what'd you see and how was your session? Oh, mine was great. Mine wasn't so great. And then there's their grant. Oh, I should've skipped that session. I wish I was in here session. So I mean, and that's totally fine. It's just a different experience. But what happened, that flame con was pretty, pretty unique and pretty, pretty special. Like I would recommend that conference to people, especially if you're on the beginning end of your podcasting journey. But even people who have been doing it for a couple of years, I still think a lot, a lot out of it.

Travis:

Yeah. So who'd you guys say that Flynn con is for? Because they're going to do it again. Pat's already said that starting October 1st you're gonna be able to get tickets to Flynn con to whenever that's going to happen. Um, so who, who would you encourage to consider going to the next Flint con?

Alban:

I mean, people are fans of Pat Flynn. You want to start an online business, you want to start a podcast, you kind of buy in with that online entrepreneurial, uh, vibe. And you're going to connect with a lot of people who are doing it. So even if you're not 100% sure what the thing you're going to start is the value as you go and you're around me. Imagine next year will be a lot bigger but at least 500 people who are constantly saying, here's what I'm starting, here's what I'm doing and you're going to be bouncing a lot of questions around in your head and probably come out with something pretty cool.

Kevin:

Yeah, I totally agree with what you're saying. I think there was also, um, there was a lot of practical stuff where he had pat plan. We just keep saying there's, there is one track and one session, but pat wasn't the only speaker so he did the majority of the sessions, but he also brought in some close friends of his who are experts in specific things. So they were experts on how to grow your influence, how to serve your influence. The whole like ConvertKit team was there. Um, so that was another smart bar opportunity. So if you're thinking about how can I use know email to grow my influence or to reach more people, you could have done a 15 or 20 minute session with the convert kit team where they would walk me through your account, right? Who were some of the other vendors there?

Kevin:

Right. Message and teachable. Yeah. So if you're thinking about doing an online course, there was great opportunities to sit down with the people who create that online course software and learn directly from them. And then there was also big, you know, main stage talks about how you use online courses and just using them to reach more people, like offering opportunities for free training or using them as a monetization opportunity. So here's how you can teach somebody how to do whatever it is that you're interested in or, or podcasting about and here's how you can make money doing that. So I think it's skewed a little bit more towards the beginner side, like people who are looking to get into online marketing or online entrepreneurship. However, uh, there were plenty of people who been doing it for years and just looking to take it to the next level. Yeah.

Travis:

Perfect. Well, I'm glad you guys had a good experience. Glad it was worth the trip.

Kevin:

Yeah, for sure. And you can't be, it was out in San Diego, California. And so you can't ever miss an opportunity to get up to San Diego for a week.

Travis:

A couple of months ago we decided to expand our youtube channel video offerings. A lot of people have been asking us, you know, should I put my podcast on Youtube? What's the best way to do that's a, is it even effective for growing your audience? So we've over the last two and a half months published 11, five minute Monday podcast episodes both to youtube and through traditional podcast channels. And so I just wanted to give you guys a behind the scenes look at what our numbers are looking like, to give you an idea of like an actual case study of, you know, US investing in trying to use youtube to grow our podcast audience. Okay. Um, and just to kind of give you an idea of what we're doing before I dive into the numbers. So we're not just putting up like a picture of me smiling with audio in the background.

Travis:

We're not just putting it great, Trevor. I'm sure youtube would encourage people to watch that. Um, we're not just throwing up our podcast artwork with an audio wave form that performs much better using that in a social media environment than it does on Youtube. So what we're actually doing is setting up a camera, looking at my face and recording the speaking to a microphone. So like not fancy at all. Like we have this little bumper that we throw at the beginning, but as just me talking into a microphone, not even looking at the camera. All right. So it's almost like you're just in the room watching me record this podcast. Um, and so, so there's a couple reasons we did that that were intentional. One we didn't want to make, we didn't want to make the podcast into this huge video production. Um, cause even if we have the resources to do that, it's not actually sustainable for most people to try and attempt that.

Travis:

So we wanted to see what was doable using, you know, what youtube prefers, which is video. Um, but doing it in a way that's sustainable, that wasn't gonna, you know, 10 x the amount of work it takes for me to edit an episode. Um, so that's how we're doing it. We're just recording someone talking into a microphone and then posting that as a video. And so in the last two and a half months, like I said, we've published 11 videos that, uh, that are recordings of the five minute Monday podcast episodes and the total number of listens that we've gotten on those five minute Monday podcast episodes of the podcast listens on apple podcasts, stitcher, Google podcasts is right around 2,700 2,700 listens. Okay. Uh, on Youtube, the same number of episodes, we've gotten an additional 2000 views. Nice. So, so that breakdown ends up being about 58 to 60% of our audience is through traditional podcast channels and about 40% as coming from youtube.

Alban:

That's pretty awesome. I mean, we don't have any youtube following, or at least we didn't before this. Now we might have some people on there.

Travis:

Yeah. So this was our channel starting at like less than a hundred subscribers when we started this experiment. Subscribers like work here too. So, uh, so it's definitely helped us increase our subscriber counts. Uh, we just passed 400 subscribers yesterday. Um, and I think we're, we're crashing towards 500 here in the next week. Um, which is super exciting to see that it's helping us grow our youtube channel. Um, but, uh, but yeah, I was, I was surprised to see that just by recording me speaking into a microphone and posting that as a video to youtube, um, while doing all the other things like creating thumbnails, uh, you know, creating description that's specific for youtube versus podcasting, um, and you know, titling things appropriately just by doing that increased our audience by a considerable number. Um, so yeah. So, so that's just kind of like our behind the scenes numbers that we're seeing. Uh, and so if you've been thinking about putting your podcasts on Youtube, you know, we're gonna continue this experiment. We're going to continue trying different things and, and testing different things to see how they work. But for us, so far it's been a, it's been a big success.

Kevin:

I met a youtube expert at Flynn con, so she came over to our booth and had some questions about podcasting and, um, tell me about what she's been doing on youtube. We looked at your youtube channel and so on the heels of that, I used the opportunity to get her to give me a few pointers about what we could be doing better on youtube. And she pointed out the fact that we haven't even, um, like hit in that Youtube Algorithm yet, her, her take has been that you really need six months of consistent quality or consistent content and then a growing subscriber base. And then as soon as your subscribers hit about a thousand, that's when the algorithm starts to take notice of you. And so I felt like that was encouraging that we seem to be on the right track to be able to get to the point where youtube might start recommending some of our content to people who aren't specifically searching it out.

Alban:

Yeah. Travis, can you give us a little bit of insight into how much more work it is for you to put together that video? Cause I know one nice thing about podcasting is you record it, you stumble over a word, you just recorded that sentence again. You spliced together. No problem. Video, you might do a whole take again. So give us an idea of how long does a five minute Monday episode take to put together and how long does it take when you add in that youtube component?

Travis:

So that's a great question. I'm glad you asked it cause I wanted to talk about it and it just totally, I just totally forgot. Um, so before it would take me about 30 minutes to complete an entire five minute Monday episode when it was just the podcast episodes that's uh, coming up with the ideas for the episodes, writing the outline recording it. Typically in one take because you can do those jump cuts and, and nobody really notices. And then, you know, sending it through Auphonic uploading it, scheduling, it took about 30 minutes, the Youtube version of the podcast, it takes about an hour and a half to two hours per episode in addition to the no total. Yeah. So an hour and a half to two hours per episode, um, for the youtube five minute Monday episodes. And the way that I edit them is dual purpose.

Travis:

So as I edit to the Youtube version of the podcast, I'm doing it with the forethought that I'm just going to take the audio from that. And that's the podcast episode. Um, so that's how I've organized it in my mind to eliminate duplicate work and Aileen heavy into jump cuts. Surprisingly enough. So, uh, typically in a five minute Monday episode, I'm more concerned about getting it under five minutes. You know, in hindsight, I probably should have called it 10 minute Mondays, seven minute one, but it's like, it's called five minute Mondays, so you've got gotta stick with it. Right. Um, and so, so most of the editing is really chopping down the recording to be under five minutes front to back. Um, so I'll average somewhere between three and five cuts where if you're watching a video, it's obvious I cut something out. But that's become so much of like what a youtube video looks like, that it's, it doesn't look unprofessional. Yeah. It doesn't look out of the ordinary because if you watch vloggers or you know, really anyone that's kind of an independent youtube creator, Jim cuts are the norm

Kevin:

that actually makes you look more professional on your tube now because now you're watching something and if it's just going on and on without a cut and you're like, oh, this is just unedited, it feels unprofessional. It feels not like all the other youtube context that I'm used to watching, which is nice and tight there. Cut out everything that's not super relevant. Super important.

Travis:

Yeah. Ironically that by, by chopping it up and not worrying about transitions between cuts, it's, it looks better. It looks better produced. Uh, but if you're listening to this and you've thought about incorporating some kind of youtube strategy into your podcast, I would encourage you to go and check out our five minute Monday podcast episodes so you can really visualize what we've been talking about. I'll leave a link to our youtube channel in the, in the show notes for this episode. Um, and then I'll also leave links to all of the gear that I'm using, the camera, I'm using software, I'm using those kinds of things, uh, to get you started if that's something that you want to invest in a for growing your audience.

Kevin:

Yeah. And leave, um, try was in some links to the cameras that we started with cause we started with a Webcam that was like under $100. Right. And then after we decided we wanted to get more serious about it, we upgraded the camera. But you certainly don't have to start there.

Travis:

Exactly. Yeah. You could just use your, the phone on the back of your, or the camera on the back of your cell phone if you wanted to. Um, and that'll, that'll, that'll be great for just starting, especially if you're trying to experiment and you're not sure if you want to commit 100% to it yet. Um, so yeah, so I'll, I'll do that. I'll leave links to multiple different, I guess, tiers of gear layouts for you guys.

Travis:

So I wanted to wrap up this episode of Buzz cast by talking about KPIs, key performance indicators for podcasters because, uh, we often get asked by podcasters, you know, what is, what does success look like? How do you measure success as a podcast? How do I know if my podcast is B is successful? Um, and it's a hard question to answer because really the answer you give, you want to tailor it to the person who that asking the question. Um, there are certainly some things that we say don't measure it by, uh, such as how many downloads you have or how many downloads per episode you have. Like, it's actually a poor thing to measure in order to make adjustments, to help your podcast continue to grow and be successful. Um, but I was curious what you guys think are some useful indications or useful metrics for, for people to be paying attention to be able to correlate? Is My podcast helping me to get where I want to go?

Alban:

I mean it's going to be incredibly specific to the podcast. Uh, one of the reasons why I really would not use download numbers that because of you're shooting for download numbers, where you end up doing is creating this really broad, anybody will like this podcast and it's kind of boring. You're basically, you're making the podcast equivalent of two and a half men trying to do something that everyone, like the most amount of people will like, it's the number one comedy for a long time. But it didn't work for me because it was just shot to anyone should like it, but then no one loved it. And so your podcast should be like, some people are die hard fans. So I think, you know, some things that tell me that I'm on the right are going in the right direction. People actually reach out when I say, hey, you know, she was an email.

Alban:

If you have comments, maybe someone send something to you on Twitter, you actually have a connection to someone that you did not know before about the podcast. Um, and then if it's, you know, whatever the goal is, if your goal is to be known as, um, a leader in an industry or to drive leads for your business, um, if you see those things are starting to happen now, those can take awhile. You know, similar to like what we heard earlier with youtube. It may take six months of consistent work before you start seeing those results. Um, but sir, are you seeing some of those things kind of kicking off? Um, that's how I would be able to tell whether or not it was being successful. What do you think, Kat?

Kevin:

It's certainly specific for every podcast. I mean, the reason we, we talk a lot about identifying your why before you even start the podcast. And so that has to be whatever your why is, has to be your key performance indicator. Why did I start the podcast and how am I moving closer to that goal? Am I staying stagnant or am I moving further away from that goal? The most tangible thing that we can track with podcast is how many people are listening. So whether you call them plays or downloads or listens, it's how many people did I reach with this message? Those numbers are a little fuzzy, meaning that there, there's a bit of apart in the calculation of a download, um, there are, there are ways to make those numbers a little bit more accurate like logging into apple podcast connect and seeing how many people actually played your episodes as opposed to relying on server-side stats like both sprout or any other podcasts that was provide.

Kevin:

So you can get a pretty good measure of how many people you're actually reaching. But unless your job or unless your goal, your why is I have this message and I need to get it out to as many people as possible, they just need to hear this message. Like that's the burning desire of my heart. If that's your goal, then downloads matters. But if your goal is, hey, I want to grow my, like I'm a realtor and I want to grow my influence in this small market in terms of experts at being an expert in the real estate industry in my small town, then maybe 40 questions. Um, is it so important? What matters is that I'm getting more phone calls to my office or I'm having more showings for my properties, or I'm getting an opportunity to speak at a local real estate convention.

Kevin:

And so, um, and, and here's the other thing. I'm jumping around a little bit, but here's the other thing is that the numbers that we hear from podcasters, um, when you're, when you have big numbers, you have a tendency to share those numbers. When you have smaller numbers, you don't have a tendency to show those numbers. So I feel like as podcasters, all the numbers that we here are big numbers. You know, people will go on their social media and they'll say, hey, my podcast just hit a thousand downloads in the first 30 days. Or, you know, Joe Rogan does 20 million downloads every 60 days or something like that. Like those are just massive, huge numbers. But it's kind of like, you know, you walk into a gym and people are like, I'm bench pressing 300 pounds, but they've been doing it for awhile or their build is different, their body type is different.

Kevin:

Like that might be great for them, but I'm here just for fitness and just to, just to feel good and be more healthy. And so bench pressing 300 pounds is not, is not my goal. It's not super important. But at the same time, there aren't a lot of people walking around the gym and saying, Hey, I've bench pressed 45 pounds today and I feel great. And so, um, keeping perspective on that I think is super healthy because the problem is, is it can be demotivating and it can steal your desire. Um, it can start to pull us off track of why did we get into this in the first place and what's really important? Am I enjoying it? Am I moving closer to my personal goals? And here's the other thing, let's, let's talk about numbers for a second. Like I think the last time I checked the media number for downloads per episode of a Buzzsprout customer, this is across thousands and thousands of customers, was around 120 to 130 downloads per episode.

Kevin:

So that means that means like half of the podcasts that buzz sprout hosts are doing more than that and half are doing less. And so we had people at Flynn con and come up to our booth and say, Hey, I'm only getting 70 to 80 downloads per episode and I've been doing this for a year. That doesn't feel good. Well that's not too far off the norm. So again, like let's not, let's not talk about the numbers, let's talk about why you're doing this and we're moving closer to your goal. Other people would come up and they say, I'm doing 250 downloads per episode, but that just doesn't feel like a whole lot. And I'd be like, well that's actually a lot better than the median. Like you're doing better. You're in the top 50%. And so is that the numbers that we hear, I think the take away is that the numbers that we hear and the numbers that get posted to social media are the top, top, top numbers and you can be very successful and you should feel really good about your show again by looking at your goals, not necessarily just the numbers that are presented by your hosts or by apple podcasts or by Spotify.

Alban:

Uh, I think, uh, Chris [inaudible] guy founded, um, pod fest said this and I, this like really stuck with me when I think about podcasting numbers. He was doing a lot of conferences and he did like business conferences and stuff and he said he did this like big push and he did a big conference for 300 people and he put a ton of work into it. And then he's pretty proud when he had 300 people show up. And then he talked to someone who was like, man, you know, I love everything you're doing, but everything I do fails, I've got this podcast, I'm shutting it down. He goes, aw man, that stinks. Yeah. Tell me about podcasts. He's like, oh, I only get like 500 plays per episode. He was, wait, you get 500 plays an episode? He's like, yeah, you know, I'm shutting it down. Chris was like, I just spent weeks to get 300 people in a room to hear me speak.

Alban:

You go and you do 45 minutes of work and then 30 minutes of editing. Like all of a sudden you've got 500 people sitting down to listen to you. He was like, that's an incredible opportunity. I would never turn that down. And I mean, I think right now if a local group invited me to come speak and I knew only 30 people would be there, I'd probably go, um, in an a podcast setting, getting two, three x pretty quickly is not super surprising. So start, it helps to think of these as people. Like there's someone really listening to it, they're really driving in their car, listening to it, and it reassures you that this is something that's valuable.

Travis:

Yeah. One thing that I've noticed about podcasting statistics and Kevin kind of jog my memory on this is when you see those big announcements, like we hit 100,000 downloads or we hit a million downloads, it's actually pretty misleading when you don't know. Well, how did you get those downloads? Have you been podcasting for 15 years? Well then yeah, I would hope that at this point you've gotten 100,000 downloads if you have 1200 episodes. But if you have five episodes and you hit a 100,000 downloads, like that's a totally different scenario. Um, and so even just talking about download numbers can be misleading when you don't know all the back end numbers of, of how they got to that. Yeah.

Alban:

And the growth is never linear. Like it's not like first episode 10 play Second Episode 23rd episode 30 it's going to be really slow in the beginning and over time it actually gets faster and faster. And so you'll start getting a lot more new plays per episode as you progress and you get better and your audience grows and recommends your show.

Travis:

Yeah. And when I think about this, uh, I, I definitely mirror a lot of what Kevin and Alvin have been speaking to, which is really just focusing on why you started podcasting in the first place. Um, cause I know for many people they don't start thinking, my goal is to, you know, have thousands of people listen to every episode. It's my goal is to grow my business. It's to sell more online courses. It's to, you know, get more leads for my, you know, for, for my coaching. Um, you know, and so just remembering like what your, what is your big goal? And then making sure that your podcast is serving that big goal instead of, uh, losing sight of, you know, why, why you started and why you thought this is a good thing to invest in. And also just remember that you don't need tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people listening to your podcast to, to have an amazing influence.

Travis:

Like there's this really popular, a white paper by Kevin Kelly called a thousand true fans. And when it came out, it was, it was mind blowing for a lot of people because it really pulled back the curtain on what does it actually take to create an online community that can support you financially. Right. And he ran the numbers instead of a thousand people believe in you enough and see enough value in the relationship with you that they're willing to give you $10 a month. That's $120,000 a year. That's more than most people make at their job, just by a thousand people out of a cut out of a planet of over 7 billion saying, I care enough about your work to support what you're doing. Um, and so for me, when I first read that, it was very demystifying. It was like, oh, like this is totally doable.

Travis:

I don't have to have this mega smash hit competing with NPR and New York Times and gimlet media in order to, to have a lasting impact and even be able to do this full time if I want. Um, so I know that was super encouraging for me to see what that looked like. And just to remind myself that my goal should not be in any podcast that I do, in any podcasts that anyone does. The goal should not be, uh, you know, how can I be the number one podcast? How can I win podcasting? Um, but it should be what is really important to you and making sure that your pod tests can help you get there. So I will leave links to the, uh, everything that we talked about in this episode, in the show notes so you can go and check that out. Um, and if you aren't a part of our Facebook group yet, highly encourage you to do that. It's the Buzzsprout podcast community. We share a news as it's coming out, updates in the bus route, dashboard.

Kevin:

There are, there are some, there are some all stars that are breaking out in the Facebook community though. Like by the time I get to some of these questions, you know, usually check once or twice a day, I hop in there and see who's asking what. And Gosh, there's just such great comments now. Like I'm not even having to answer questions anymore. I'm just like, yeah, so and so got it. Right. Or that's right. Or you know, I might offer a slight clarification, but our community is just really encouraging each other and helping each other out. And they have great advice. They know the product really well. So yeah, our support team is amazing, but so is that community.

Travis:

Yeah. So make sure you're in there if you're not yet.

Kevin:

We should also mention that, uh, podcast movement is next week in Orlando. Huge podcasts and conference post brought. We'll be there with various team members from day to day. So if you are a postdoc customer or just interested in learning more about Buzzsprout, meet some of us face to face, stop by the booth. I don't know who will be there when, but somebody will be there and we'd love to.