Buzzcast

Alban's Secret News + Why We Can't Measure Podcast Subscribers

September 27, 2019 Buzzsprout Episode 9
Buzzcast
Alban's Secret News + Why We Can't Measure Podcast Subscribers
Chapters
00:00:00
Intro
00:00:25
Alban's secret news
00:07:19
The problem with measuring podcast subscribers
00:17:46
How do you keep from getting discouraged?
00:40:15
A quick update for the Buzzsprout YouTube channel
Buzzcast
Alban's Secret News + Why We Can't Measure Podcast Subscribers
Sep 27, 2019 Episode 9
Buzzsprout

This week Alban shares secret news, we discuss why it's impossible to measure "podcast subscribers," and reveal how many downloads you need to be in the Top 1% of all podcasts.

Check out the 2018 Discover Pods Awards.

Make sure to subscribe to the 5 Minute Mondays podcast to hear our upcoming miniseries on podcast monetization strategies.

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 Alban shares secret news, we discuss why it's impossible to measure "podcast subscribers," and reveal how many downloads you need to be in the Top 1% of all podcasts.

Check out the 2018 Discover Pods Awards.

Make sure to subscribe to the 5 Minute Mondays podcast to hear our upcoming miniseries on podcast monetization strategies.

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

Alban:

Yeah. Imagine if there was a huge discrepancy between the people who RSVP aid for your birthday party and the people who actually came and people were like, wow, how was the party? It was awesome. 200 RSVPs. Cool. What'd you guys do? Oh, the four of us hung out and watched the TV.

Travis:

No, no. Yeah, there are 200 people there. No, it sounds like only four people were there. Welcome back to buzz cast guys. We've got the usual suspects here and today we're doing something a little bit different. Something we haven't done before. Albin has some secret stuff that he hasn't let Kevin or I know about and is insisted that we be completely in the dark before we start this episode. So Alvin, why don't you tell us your secret news? You really pumped those up. No. So I've got two announcements.

Alban:

One, so a couple of days ago, last week, um, D script came out with overdub, which descript is this really cool editing app where they actually transcribe your episodes, they show you your audio with like all the words are laid out, and then you edit the words, like you edit the transcript and they're editing the audio in real time and it sounds really good. And I played with it podcast movement, but one of the things they had a podcast movement was a thing called overdub. It wasn't out yet. And they say sometimes like I know I do this, I'll say something dumb and I'll go, Oh, why should I say it the other way? But there's no recording of me saying that. And you wish you could put a word or two in there while they call that overdub. It's in beta and we got access to it this morning. So I have to record me reading off this long like, Hey, I consent to having my voice altered, but now we can do all sorts of cool stuff and we can edit this episode and hopefully make me sound even

Travis:

smarter in that episode. But I think it will be a cool thing to play with. I mean it's dead. When I saw it, it was definitely like some mission impossible level stuff. Yeah. Like I don't know if you've watched mission impossible three where they have Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character and Tom cruise is like making them read off a card. Right. So I can ask his voice. Yeah. It's like that essentially. Right? So you read several lines and then their computer machine learning or whatever kind of Terminator program they have running this thing analyzes your voice and then can recreate words that you type, even if you've never said that word before. Yeah.

Alban:

Sounds really good though. They need like 80 hours of recordings to be perfect. Whereas I think in mission impossible they needed like seven words. So it's not exactly the same level of tech yet. Um, so that's cool. And then the other one is, the other announcement is we are going to be the presenting sponsor of the 2019 discover pot awards. So December pods is, is really cool website and they just put up lots of lists of out here. Some cool, funny podcasts here, some podcasts that are really interesting, the Joe Rogan episodes or um, the do all sorts of blog content. And so they do these awards every few years. I think they've done them now, two or three now. 83 years in a row. Yeah. I've been doing this. Okay. And now they're doing it again and we're going to be the presenting sponsor. So I'm pretty psyched about it.

Alban:

So, so that'll be what the 2020 discovered pot awards presented by Buzzsprout. Uh, the 2019 so kicks off next month. Yeah. So that, uh, that is final and we're good to go. Alright, that's exciting. And so how does it work to, you nominate your own show or you know, how many other people show or how does this process like? Um, so they'll be promoting it obviously on their side. And we'll let all the bus route gangsters, no one we, you know, once everything starts, but you nominate shows, you nominate shows there you can nominate yourself, but I guess you should nominate other people shows you really like. Then they will select a group that were nominated often and are good quality. Then there's a voting period and then they actually give out awards. So do you guys want to know who won last year? Yeah, I want to know what kind of awards you can get and I want to know what I'd like to categories if it's like best podcasts that integrates funny cat videos or if it's, you know, more traditional Travis, try to find a category that fits perfectly to one of his shows.

Alban:

Exactly right. I'm like, there's literally no other podcast that has talked about this. So if I could make my own category. All right, so there's deep Brophy, so best overall podcast in 2018 the winner was my favorite murder and runner up was ear hustle. Two great shows are both very good shows. Yep. Our best new podcast of 2018 dr death and armchair expert with Dax Shepard. I thought dr death left a little to be desired. Interested in production that Shepard would have been number one for, you know, I talked about Dax, not a, he's not your cup of tea. Got um, the most innovative podcast. The weirdest thing I learned at this week. People's choice. True crime, sports, news, history, interview style, comedy. I mean there's tons of different categories. Kevin. Yeah. Who is the runner up for the best business podcast? This is a guest for you because I know you love this show.

Alban:

How I built this thing to me, my favorite, very good isn't this podcast, who was the one who's number one? Freakonomics. Yeah. That's good too. I love man Freakonomics. One of their episodes is why I have this job. I'm 100% convinced. Interesting because there was an episode I listened before. Is this after law school before working at a law firm about quitting and why it was so important to quit things that you really disliked and start new and were listening to it being like, of course I would do that. I'm not some guy who just do something he hated forever. And then a year and a half later, just for an extra year and a half, and then a year and a half later I'm working at a law firm going, this is not what I want to do with my life. And I'm like, I told myself I was never the person who had just do something I didn't like, but I kind of am right now. Maybe I do need to leave and start working in tech. So, uh, yeah, I probably need to shoot an email to the Freakonomics group and thank them for that.

Travis:

Any other news for us? Alvin? Any other super exciting pieces of news?

Alban:

No, I think this is my two.

Travis:

Are you wearing a new shirt today? I haven't seen that. [inaudible]

Alban:

third announcement. I got a new shirt at the Nike store. Um, Oh, we have a, I mean, this is, I don't know why I'm doing, just do it. Get an announcement section. We've got a whole meetup here tonight. It's gonna be like 50 podcasters coming into the office. And I think I'm doing a little presentation. Tom's gonna talk. Um, maybe Priscilla or Kevin's going to do a little segment. Kevin's nodding his head no, but yeah, it's going to be exciting. We're going to have tons of podcasters and it's always nice to meet people who actually use Buzzsprout because it's good to hear from them, sometimes very positive and other times like, Hey, I don't understand why this worked this way. And we'd go, Oh yeah, Oh, we could improve that. That's cool. So I always love it.

Travis:

Yeah, that'll be a fun time. We'll probably give a run down afterwards on the next episode of buzz cast that you know how that went. So next I wanted to speak into something that I've seen come up pretty repeatedly in our Buzzsprout podcast community on Facebook and just another podcast groups in general, um, with people that are new to podcasting, uh, specifically around the idea of podcast subscribers, right? That people coming from YouTube are very familiar with seeing how popular a channel is based on how many people have subscribed to get updates of new videos that come from those channels. So I wanted to open up the floor though to talk about why giving someone a number of subscribers like number that's combines all the different apps is actually not possible. Do either you guys want to speak into that or why it's extremely difficult.

Alban:

Let me ask you another, let me answer your question with a question. Oh, how many people have favorited your blog in their browser? Is there any wavered it or actually bookmarked it? They done a favorite and they bookmarked it.

Travis:

My, my non-existent blog. Are you talking about the Buzzsprout blog?

Alban:

The, the blogging thing? The answer I was hoping for. Maybe I just need to reiterate, just make your point. How many people have bookmarked our block? We can't measure it. We can't know that because we don't know if somebody comes to the a blog every day, if they type it in or if they actually, their mom prints it out and hands it to them or if they find on their phone or if they actually book market and they click it. And there's a similar thing with subscribers because the person who's listening to show in an app isn't act. We don't know if they're just saying, Hey, check to see if there's a new episode or if they're actually subscribed and the app is checking and grabbing an episode for them. Or if they're streaming, you don't, there's so many different ways they can come to us that we don't know whether or not they're subscribed or not. I don't know if I did a great job explaining that, but it's, we can't know how they are if they are a subscriber.

Kevin:

Oh, I don't know where to begin. It's a complicated subject matter for sure. Um, I feel like the term subscriber is a bit of a leftover from the early blog days when people used feed burner to generate RSS feeds for their blog content and feed burner provided a stat called subscribers. And even then, it wasn't a great metric because, um, feed burner still had to use an algorithm and the little bit of intelligence that may or may not be super intelligent depending on how you are consuming that content. So they were, it still wasn't a super accurate number, it was just they were the only game in town. So they were the only ones providing a number. So then that became the gospel for how many subscribers does your blog have. So as we start using a similar technology RSS to not just serve blog content, but to serve podcasts content, of course, early craters wanted to know, well, how many subscribers do I have?

Kevin:

it's again, feed burner had their algorithm. They didn't share that with everybody. So podcast host had to start coming up with their own way of measuring subscribers. And as, as more and more people got into the game, all the hosts started to realize it's not a number that we can really track very accurately. It's just to guess and so and, and it's, it's really not even a great guess. So let's stop guessing and let's start giving numbers that we can actually present. And so those numbers became download numbers on a per episode basis. And then you can look at how many downloads you're getting consistently across multiple episodes and then you can kind of infer how many people are subscribed to my show.

Kevin:

there's not a true subscriber number in the podcast world that hosts have agreed upon as this is how we're going to measure subscribers.

Alban:

Yeah, and if we were to try to come up with a name for what we really want to measure, it's not subscribers anyway. I mean that's not what we want to know. We, I, there's tons of podcasts, dives, subscribe to that. I don't listen to every episode. And then there's other podcasts that I listened to, some of the episodes, but only when I go and I go, Oh, that's an interesting guest and I download it. Right? So what we really want to know is like what's it the reach my podcast has, you know, when I published an episode, how often, how many people are gonna hear it, they're gonna listen to it. Who's gonna hear what I'm saying? And share it with friends and it will impact

Kevin:

their life, the subscriber numbers, kind of that number. If we could get that, which we really can't and, but it's not, you know, it's not fully what we're looking for. So yeah, it doesn't really make a ton of sense to include that. Right. And I think what you're leading into is how we came up with this listener metric within Buzzsprout. So maybe, so in Buzzsprout, there isn't a metric that we provided in your stats called listeners that is not subscribers, but it is more what Alvin is talking about. Um, so that looks at your, the number of plays that every episode gets. The pro applies an algorithm whether you're you're reaching hymns to be growing or reaching him to be shrinking. Um, and I, I don't remember all the complexity that went into it but it's, it's a pretty good uh, algorithm that we came up with and it starts really working best after you have, you know, five to 10 episodes and it gets better over time.

Kevin:

And basically the machine learning there is just, Hey, we just put out a new podcast episode. How many people listened to it? Great. Now you put another one. How many people listen to that and how many people listen? The next one, the next one, the next one. And we take a window, I think it's like within the first 90 days of those podcasts and we look at how many plays they get and we filled drought bots and we filter out duplicate plays and all that kind of stuff. And then we tried to present you with a number called the listener number. That is our best guess at next time you publish an episode, this is how many plays that we think that episode is going to get in the first 90 days. It's live on the internet,

Travis:

so it's like a, it's like a happy medium. Here's kind of the information that you're looking for to gauge your audience size, knowing that the way that we do is can be different than

Kevin:

the way the other people are going to do it. Well, most other people don't do it. So if you look at other podcasts I hosts, most people don't try to answer that question. What we've done with the listener numbers, we've tried to answer that question knowing it's not a perfect answer, but it's a, it's a really good answer. Um, and we're never going to hit it like exactly like if we say you have 394 listeners, chances of you publishing the next episode in a day 90 you had exactly 394 listeners is probably close to zero, but it should be, you know, plus or minus 10%. Especially if you've published consistently and you're 20 plus episodes into your podcast, it should be pretty close. Um, cause again, it gets more and more accurate with every episode that you publish. Now, I don't want to take over the host role from on this, Travis, but I feel like that's a perfect segue into what I know is our next topic.

Travis:

Yeah. Well, and I just wanted to, to add one kind of a flavor to this cause different. So there are different places you can get statistics, whether that's charitable or pod track or your bus sprouts statistics or the Apple podcast analytics. And even Spotify now has their own dashboard that you can go in and look at Spotify specific statistics. And, um, and I think ultimately when you look at how many people are consuming your podcasts, the debt, the number of downloads your episodes are getting is really the best measurements, tangible metric that you can look at to see how many people are really listening to my podcast. Um, and so actually what I did while Kevin and album, we're talking as I pulled up a podcast that, that I have on Spotify just to look at their followers number, cause they generate a followers number based on people that, uh, click on your podcast in a catalog and say, I want to get new episodes from this podcast.

Travis:

So, so there's a podcast that I have on Spotify that has 1,324 followers, but over the last five episodes, that podcast in total from Spotify got 270 downloads. So you're looking at like 52 downloads per episode from Spotify out of 1300 followers. Yeah. So even if we had some kind of subscriber metric that measured the number of people that quote unquote follow your podcast or subscribe to your podcast, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're listening to your content, engaging with your content. Um, and so while it might feel like, yeah, it'd be great to have a podcast subscribers number. Um, ultimately it's, it's not a really good metric of how well you're connecting with your audience or who's even listening.

Alban:

Yeah. Imagine if there was a huge discrepancy between the people who RSVP aid for your birthday party and the people who actually came and people were like, wow, how was the party? It was awesome. 200 RSVPs. Cool. What'd you guys do? Oh, the four of us hung out and watched a TV show. [inaudible] no, no. Yeah, there are 200 people there. No, it sounds like only four people were there. Yeah. And uh, yeah, I've only, if only 50 people are downloading, that's still really cool. But it's 50 people. It's not 1,400

Travis:

right. So it's just, we see a lot in the YouTube world, right? You see channels all the time that have tens of thousands of subscribers to the channel. And then if you click into the videos, you see hundreds of plays per video. [inaudible] and so, yeah. So it's, it's a metric we don't really have a subscribers metric in the same way that you do with YouTube and you same way that you did with feed burner with blogs. But like as a podcast or I, I'm not missing it. Like, yeah, there are plenty of other things that I can look at like download numbers over time to see how my podcast is growing. Yeah. I think what you're saying is it's not a super healthy term to use and we should probably start avoiding that and in the podcasting space and in our vocabulary, the word subscribers isn't something that we should be concerned with. Um, again, just to reiterate, it's not a good number. Like we don't have a good way to answer that question and even if we did it probably wouldn't provide much value. Yeah, you wouldn't be able to take that number and then make educated decisions about how to make your podcast better. Yeah, it just, it's not helpful, but as Albin alluded, that is a good transition into the next thing we want to talk about.

Travis:

I reached out to some people in the Facebook group, in our Buzzsprout podcast on Facebook and said, what are some stuff you would like for us to talk about on bus cast? And a few guys chimed in and I want to specifically highlight a comment from Neil because this is something that I saw a couple of times, which is how not to get discouraged when you're podcasting. And, uh, and I felt like that was just a really good kind of open ended conversation starter because this is like a side of podcasting that isn't trumpeted from the rooftops. And Hey, look how amazing my podcast is. I'm also super discouraged that it's not more amazing. Um, so yeah, no, I just want to kind of get your thoughts on, on, uh, what you've observed in the podcasting space. Uh, the different things that can maybe lend to someone getting discouraged and, uh, and yet, and, and I've got some, some stats here in a bit that I want to go over, but, uh, yeah, just wanna kind of get your initial take.

Alban:

Yeah. I, I want to share a story. This is one of my favorite stories from podcasting and was what kind of sunk into my mind why podcasting was different. So one of our good friends is Chris [inaudible] and he's the founder of pod Fest. It's the a podcasting conference in Orlando. And what Chris did before this was he actually would set up all sorts of conferences and he would manage them. And so he told me the story of, he was doing his some conference for like business leaders in Tampa and he said it took him three weeks. He did all this prep and I think like 80 people came and he was really pumped and he goes, this was a great event. And then he was talking to someone after it and they were looking at a bombed out and he was like, what's going on?

Alban:

He goes, man, I don't know. You know, I've been doing this whole podcasting thing. I think I'm shutting it down. I'm tired of it cause it's like, Oh man, that's a bummer. He goes, yeah, it takes me, I'm doing it every week, sticking me out a couple hours a week. He goes, well, is anyone listening? He goes, yeah, I mean it's terrible. I get like, I don't know, 300 listens and episode. Chris was like, what? You got 300 people to listen to your episode? He goes, yeah, that's, I don't think that's very good. He goes, well, I just spent three weeks to get 80 people to listen to me for a couple hours. You're putting in two hours to get 300 people to listen to you. One of us should be bombed. The other one should it like you read this backwards. Um, and that's what I thought it was such a cool segue because what you just said, we were talking about, listen, think of these listeners.

Alban:

How many people are gonna listen to this show within 90 days? And are you, if you could get that many who will to come and sit in an auditorium to listen to you speak, would you do it? Would you be excited to share this message or this thing you wrote with a group of 80 people? We'll have your excited to talk to 80 people in person. Why aren't you willing? You know, you should be pretty excited to talk for two hours in a podcasting room or in your closet at your house and put it out there for the world and know that 80 people are listening

Kevin:

going, Oh, this is good stuff. I'm really enjoying it. What about you Kevin? What are your thoughts in this whole, this whole space? I mean it certainly reminds me too, um, anytime you're talking with someone who is in that place of they're feeling like they're putting in a lot of work and they're not getting a lot of return, you want to of course bring them back to their why. Like why did you get started and there are there red flags in that question for sure. Like if they got started because they wanted to get rich or if they wanted to get famous or they wanted to build this massive influencer following, it's not that those things can't happen. It's that they're super hard. It requires a massive amount of work, energy, time, effort and luck and like no one really talks about the luck because the people who make, you know, some people do.

Kevin:

It's one of the things that guy Razo was asked at the end of how I built this. Like how much was looking, how much is hardworking. Most of the people who have actually made it really big attribute a lot of their success to luck. And so we can't discount that, that we're all not going, you know, we're not going to, um, have that, you know, lightening in a bottle moment where for some reason in our podcast or what we're talking about or something kind of hockey sticks and it goes huge. That might happen regardless of how good or how bad your show is. But very little of it has to do with the amount of work, energy, effort, talent you have. Some of it is just luck. Um, so if you're starting a podcast and you have aspirations of making it to the top 1% of all podcasters or having that level of success like that may or may not happen, regardless of how talented you are, regardless of how much work and energy and effort and promotion and money you put into it, it still may or may not happen.

Kevin:

Um, so it's a bit like buying, you know, scratch off lottery tickets. So if someone says, those are my goals or those are my aspirations, that's why I'm starting a podcast. I'm like, yeah, I mean like, yeah, let's go down to the seven 11 and grab some scratch offs because we might be just as lucky there, right? I'm not saying it can't happen, but odds are stacked against you. Um, if your why is because you enjoy it and you're passionate about it and you want to get your message out and you have fun, fun chatting with your friends, or you want to build yourself up as a specific area of expertise within a niche or something like that, like all the things that we've talked about before, then those are problems that we can solve, right? So if you're not achieving those goals for one reason or another, we can start digging into why are we not achieving those goals?

Kevin:

Or why are we feeling, um, discouraged when we're only reaching a hundred people? Is a hundred people enough? It doesn't have to be 200 people. Is it the right hundred people? Um, yada, yada, yada. On and on and on. But I, I do think it's, it's absolutely a real thing. I've seen great podcasters all the time who are putting out great content and their listener numbers are low and they're feeling discouraged. So, I mean, I, it's hard to give broad stroke advice in this category because I think what people need, and you know, here's a great, I'm going to give a add bump to a friend of ours, but, um, Pat Flynn has a podcasting course called power up podcasting. Um, and it is, I haven't, I haven't attended the whole course, but I've talked with them about it. I've read all the marketing material about it and a lot of it is, um, broad stroke strategies that you can kind of pick and choose from so that you can implement for your specific, uh, podcast category or niche or goal that you're trying to achieve. And so it's, it's hard for me to sit here and say, well, here's the, here's the three things you need to do if you feel discouraged, cause I don't think there are three things, but what Pat Flynn like does in his courses, he says, here's 20 strategies and you might be able to find one or two or three that you can apply to your podcast to help you go back and look the other original goal and start moving closer to that goal. Yeah.

Alban:

I think about all of the podcasts that we host that are nonprofits or they're a business trying to drive some leads or there's somebody, you know, like Travis's podcast where they're trying to talk about it on this passionate, they're passionate about. And if you're passionate about something, I mean, you go to any bar and the person next to you will start talking to you passionately about the thing they love. And there's an audience of one, maybe even not, maybe you're not even fully listening, right? But they're still talking. If there's an audience of 50 people out there who love the thing that you're passionate about. Remember that's the goal. I'm trying to share something I'm passionate about. I'm trying to build a little community of people who care about what I care about. Um, if you're nonprofit, I'm talking about something I think is incredibly important and I want to get that out to the world.

Alban:

If you don't think it's important, if you're just doing interviews with CEOs because you think that'll get you a lot of prestige and knots, people will follow you and think you're some business guru, well then the only way for you to be successful is to be in that very, very lucky point. Oh 1%. And so you've set yourself up for like Kevin saying the scratch off lotta. You've just got to get lucky for that to happen. But if your goal is to build a community of people who care about what you care about, and it only has to be 50 to a thousand people, there's actually a good chance of you succeeding. So it really depends what, why are you starting this podcast? Um, can I give another red flag? Yeah. [inaudible] one of the red flags we get is people will write in and say, Hey, I heard true crimes really big but that already full.

Alban:

Like should I do a true crime or should I do interviews or what's the most popular up and coming type of podcast? And that tells me what you want to do is you want to be a popular host of a podcast and you don't care if it's, you know, one type of show or another. You just want the popularity. It's like the radio guys who throw on the country station and they love it. And then the next week they're on unlike the rock station and they're like all rock guys. You're like, I thought you're super into country. Like they just are doing it cause they're the host and the personality. That's what they want to be. They want to be the personality. But that doesn't work super well in podcasting because

Travis:

you might have to put in years. Yeah, I mean it's, I mean, I wish I could just say, of course, like all of your podcasting dreams will come true. You can live a 1% podcast full time life all the time. Um, what does that mean at 1% podcast, fulltime life? Well, like I think about, uh, you know, growing up, you know, kids have like dreams and ambitions about what they want to do when they grew up. So like for me it was I want to be an astronaut. Um, like that was my, my big thing. But it's like, yeah, but they only accept like 12 every other year out of tens of thousands of applicants. Um, and, and yeah, I actually, uh, I pulled some stats, some numbers. I'm an engineer, so I liked that kind of stuff. And, uh, I wanted to quiz you guys on what it takes to be like 50% podcasts, like in the top half of all podcasts, top 20%, top 10%, how many downloads per episode you think that would be? Um, because it's not what I thought. Intuitively it's much different. Okay, where are we starting? Top 50%. If you're gonna be in the top 50% of all podcasts, how many downloads does your EPIs do? Your episodes need to get.

Alban:

Travis, do you know that you posted this in our, uh, in our base camp? Did you read it as you go? So I didn't read it. I read everything. I'm always interested.

Travis:

So Alvin, you might have a leg up on this. So what was that? What was that number? Well, I'm gonna go first because he knows the answer. Yeah, I'm going to say around 140. All right, Alvin? I think it was 148 to be an app, like a median podcast, you've gotta be between one 41 50 downloads per episode. So the number does change depending on when you measure this. But as of most recently, the number was 136.

Alban:

Ooh, somebody close.

Travis:

But if we're planning the prices right, you both lost $1 Bob one download. Bob C? Yeah. So if you have 136 downloads or more, you are already more popular than half of podcasts. You're in the top half with a 136 per episode. Now what would you say it would take to be in the top 20% you are an 80% podcast. How many downloads per episode? Oh, I think it's gonna jump pretty good. I'm going to go three 5,350 350 downloads per episode. Okay.

Alban:

I really shouldn't have said that. I read this because now I'm actually a performer, worse than Kevin and admit to having a leg up.

Travis:

Um,

Alban:

I'm going three is, it's really prices, right? Numbers three 50 wine. Travis.

Travis:

Uh, well you guys are both actually pretty off. So to be in the top 80%, so like the top 20% of podcasts, you need to average 1000, 100 downloads per episode. That's a ton. But out of all the hundreds of thousands of podcasts that well in the world, it's not even that many. I mean thousands, $750,000 or podcasts in their directory, but I think there's only what, a hundred or 200,000 that are really active, like publishing every week. Right? Um, those are pretty good numbers. Okay. So that means if I sit down with five random podcasters and they've all had shows for awhile, the middle guy is doing like 138, you said 130 636 downloads per episode. Two people are doing lower than that. And if you're first, if you just started out, you're probably, you have to start much lower than that, but then only one of them is doing over a thousand.

Travis:

Correct. Okay. So let's just, uh, let's keep expanding it. So what, what's our next 10,000 or 10% rather 10,000 [inaudible] 10010% to be in the top 10% of all podcasts. How many downloads per episode do you think you need to get? Um, top 10%? I think you'd be, you've gotta be over 5,000. Uh, I'd say over 510 I'll go 7,500 and am going 3050. So the number that I'm looking at right now is 3,200. Whoa. We're both over again. 3,200, 150 lower. So, Oh I thought you said 3,500 350 so yeah, so 32 so 3,200 downloads per episodes in the first 30 days you were in the top 10% of podcasts. Yeah, that means do we have that for every one of you there are nine people that aren't doing as well as you. And again, this is not to like, this is just to reframe like this is the current landscape of the popularity of podcasts and how to kind of measure how well you're doing in a general in broad strokes, very broad strokes.

Travis:

Right. And we're still not even at the download numbers yet that like a CPM ad model would work for. Correct. So even if you're a top 10 podcasts or you are still not advertising with CPM ads, that is correct. Okay. All right. What about 5% top 5% of all podcasts? I don't know. I feel like I'm so wrong. I should just stuck with my first answer and left top 5% so we went from, I'm trying to now draw this graph in my mind cause it looks like it's like a power law distribution. Yes. So we went one to three top 5% [inaudible] I'm going 12,000 all right Kevin, I'm going to say this. That's actually one guy. Yeah. One to three. It was a three X or three X on threes. I'll say 9,000 that's murder 7,700 downloads per episode, which if you podcast for like two to three years and build a steady following, that's an extremely achievable number.

Travis:

Did then be in the top 5% of all podcasts and then top 1% going, hang on, let me do some math here. So at $20 CPM and I'm releasing once a week. Yes. And I do one ad per episode. Yup. $560 if I do two ads per episode, I'm at $1,120 per month multiplied by 12 $13,000 a year, folks. $13,000 a year. But you have to be in the top 5% of all podcasts for years. Yes. But that's CPM. Like you could do a lot better at affiliate marketing and patriarchy and stuff like that. We need to have a whole episode. It seems like as soon as junk on CPM models, as soon as you crack into the top 5% this is a really great side gig. A little side hustle for sure. Like you're not quitting your day job yet probably. Right. Great ancillary income.

Travis:

I would think so. Once you're in the top 5% yes. So and, and to get into the top 5% you have to, you have to put in the work that 95% of other other podcasters aren't willing to do. That's true. Right? Like if you're going to be one of the [inaudible], don't do this to get rich. Don't do it to get right. But then look, you need a lot of luck too. But there is a work ethic here. It's not like, Hey, I've been podcasting for three months and I'm not world famous yet. So what's wrong? Like you have to be willing to do to to put yourself out there, to market yourself, to go on other podcasts, to do all the things you need to do. Yeah, to be, to position yourself as a top 5% podcast or a top 2% or 1% so guys, we actually have a show that's in the top 10 but not top 5% how do I start a podcast? Yes, the course, Travis and I did last year and averages, I mean each of these episodes get between 8,000 to a low of 5,000 place, so a couple of months and we'll be in that. We'll be solidly in that 5% can we get some of the some like podcast awards for this?

Travis:

We get a podcast award every month called a paycheck. That is right. That is right. All right. Let's round this out. Top 1% to be in the top 1% of podcasts. How many downloads and just give me the answer. 36,000 and there are, there are ad networks and sponsors that won't even touch you at that number. There'll be like, it's not worth their time till you hit 50 K. yeah, I talked to the last time I talked to the mid roll guys, they said they weren't doing any shows under 50,000 players per episode. That was a lot. Yeah. And so, and the reason I think that exercise is helpful is one just gives you an idea of like what, what is a reasonable expectation and like how to gauge yourself in the broader market of like all the podcasts, but then also to see that like it does take work to get into that top 1% to get in that top 5% where you can start to make some meaningful income. Um, because most of the disappointment that I've seen is from people that have numbers that are lower than they maybe hoped could be. They could be, um, and aren't making money from their podcast. Like those are the two biggest things. But if you want to get to the point where your numbers are in the top 10 or top five or top 1% of all podcasts to be able to generate a meaningful income, like you

Kevin:

have to be in the top 1% of podcasters. And so, so I think it's just a helpful, but you know, reality check, like I don't, I don't want that to be a takeaway message. Like we're working with Glenn. What's Glenn's last name? I can't remember. Horse radio network one. Glenn, the geek. He goes [inaudible] I don't know, but I pointed him out in conferences. These, I'm like, Oh, the guy like wearing the cowboy hat. He has the whole horse radio network. Yep. If you go to any podcast conference, you've got walking around a big cowboy hat that's probably Glenn, the geek and Glenn runs, I don't know, eight shows I think. And he runs this horse radio network where he has a bunch of other shows that uh, he helps them grow their show and produced a show and all that kind of stuff. He is, as far as I know, he's a full time podcaster and part-time, you know, horse enthusiasts, hobbyists and makes a great living off of podcasting.

Kevin:

Um, he told me he's never once communicated his download numbers to any sponsors. He sells based on value. So he has these products that he loves. He contacts them and says, Hey, I love your product. I want to talk about my show, negotiates a a fee for that show and you know, sells them two or three ads. And then he calls him back and he says, Hey, are you getting people coming in saying, I heard about you on horse radio network. Yeah, you are. Okay. You want to buy another ad and they want to buy another ad. And if they don't, they don't buy another ad. But he said, I think he said 80%. 80% how many years? 10 years. Longer than bus. Bart's being around, been around. He, his first podcast was launched in 2008 and bus route was launched in 2009. Yeah. And he has sponsors, a 80% of his sponsors that he signed up in 2009 are still advertising with them without, he said he's never given his download numbers to anybody because he said, trust me for 200 bucks and if I can drive more than $200 in sales, it's good for both of us and I'm going to do my best to do it.

Kevin:

And people keep coming in to buy because what he's doing is he's not just selling a commercial, he's not doing a Geico ad on his, on his show. He's saying, I have an expertise in horses. Here's the show, here's the story I go to, here's what I buy when you're listening to this thing about feed, here's the feed I buy. And then people go in and they buy that feed and they'd go, man, this guy Glen is really driving some sales. Yup. We need to get Glen on the show. A commercial and an endorsement and endorsements are so much more valuable. Yeah. So even at the top of the rung when you're selling a really high price, high value CPM ad maybe at tops out at, I mean 20s kind of average thirties really high forties insane. But endorsements can go for hundreds and hundreds of dollars per episode.

Kevin:

Yeah. Because it's somebody who's really passionate about your product and they're S then they're speaking about it to people who are passionate about them. So like there's a trust relationship. And here's something I really love, I've used and I think you should try it out. And it's so much more valuable. The most valuable websites, web pages on the web are these pages that are like, here are the best insurance companies and these are the best credit cards. So like in the SEO world, beat best credit cards. It's like what are the hardest terms out there? And imagine if you, every time you went to one of these pages, this is about the

Alban:

best credit cards. A ad popped up and it was like Nike shoes. They're so cool. Why don't you check them out? And people are like distracted. And they went and clicked on the Nike shoes and they left. Well, they would never do that. Those pages never have those ads because they know what they're really selling is credit cards. And so all they do is they talk to you about credit cards. They help you with credit cards. So you stay there and pick one that they've recommended. And it's good to think of your podcast in a similar vein. You're not being scammy like those pages, but you're talking about for us, we're talking about podcasting. So we will recommend podcasting gear to you. We wouldn't throw in a random Geico ad or talking about Nike shoes. Um, so talk about things that you read that aligned with what your listeners are looking for. Although we might recommend some honesty. Oh man. Kevin, I Drake. So much honesty stocked our office fridge with honesty and I drank like way too many of them everyday. Now though, I went to Kevin's house and his wife was like, Hey, come look at the fridge. And she opened it up and he's got a whole stash in there too. Kevin is like 50%, 50% lemonade, 50% unsweet tea. Now.

Travis:

Uh, let's see. Funny. Uh, yeah. And, and I think this is a really, uh, a good conversation to have. And if you subscribe to the five minute Mondays podcast as well, um, in a couple of weeks I'm gonna be starting a series on the different monetization strategies that are out there that are popular and podcasting and how to execute them, which ones you should consider based on your, what your goals are and your audience size and those kinds of things. So make sure if you haven't yet subscribed to the five minute Mondays podcast as well. So before we jump off, uh, for this week's episode, I wanted to give you guys an update on our YouTube channel because a couple episodes back we talked about how we started putting our in five minute Mondays podcast episodes on YouTube and kind of how that had been doing for us and just wanting to give you an idea of where our YouTube channel is now.

Travis:

So in the last 28 days, our YouTube channel has doubled. Whoa. Two over four subscribers to 1300 subscribers, which a lot of that is you guys subscribing. So thank you so much and hopefully this video has been helpful for you. And, and so a few, you're very artistic and you're thinking, okay, I have this podcast, it's going, but I wonder if jumping into YouTube is another way to grow my audience. Some things that we have seen be helpful for us, uh, is one, just putting our recordings of our podcast episodes up on YouTube. So video camera looking at my face while I read through my outline and record the podcast. Somebody's comment last week was, why don't you look at the camera? Yes, yes. Did you respond to that? I did. I did. Well, I didn't respond as myself. I responded as Buzzsprout. I said, ah, that's because this, we were merely recording a podcast episode.

Travis:

Uh, which is why I wasn't looking at the camera because it's not supposed to be a YouTube video. It's supposed to be a podcast. That's you. It's getting an inside LA fly on the wall. Look at what it, what it looks like to record a podcast. Exactly. Exactly. And so since the last time they gave you the update, I think the, the split that we were seeing was about 60% of our downloads or plays on our five minute Monday episodes were coming from podcast players and 40% was YouTube. Now it's closer to 50, 50. Okay. Now it's closer to 50% from YouTube. Do you feel like the YouTube putting on YouTube is helping drive the number of listeners in the, for the podcast itself? So I think based on looking at the analytics that most of our growth is due to one video that's not a podcast episode.

Travis:

We did this video on best podcast at us for beginners fee. We had a movie star come in and be the onscreen talent. Uh, his name is Alvin Brook. You'll be seeing him in a, you know, on your silver screen soon. Future videos. Yeah. But, but essentially like we made a video about best podcast that it's for beginners where we talked about what gear you should buy if you're just getting started. And then just all of a sudden one weekend YouTube decided it was a good video and picked it up and started showing it to like over a thousand people a day. We're watching this video and it really just exploded and I think over a quarter of all of our sub channel subscribers came directly from that video. People, people discovering us through that video. But then because of that, every single time we post a new five minute Mondays episode on YouTube, we get more play.

Travis:

We get more plays on that than we did the week before. And so there is definitely a trickle effect to, uh, people discovering our quote unquote YouTube videos and then sticking around for all of our podcast episodes as well. Right. I want to put, um, we need to get a trackable link that we can put in the YouTube descriptions so we can figure out if people subscribe to our podcast from clicking on a link in a YouTube description. Yes, we could do that through like a Bitly or Google shortener URL shortener. Right. I guess I could say what that is related to all of our podcasts pages from the YouTube descriptions, right. Most of the time at least for five minute Mondays. Right. And so we should just make that trackable so we can actually report back and see how posting videos on YouTube if it's actually driving podcast subscribers or not.

Travis:

Right. Yeah, no, we can definitely do that moving forward and a, and then just continue to keep you updated and uh, but I just wanted to give a, anyone listening, some practical tips if you're thinking about doing YouTube content, um, you know, one thing that has worked really well for us is these how to videos, like common questions that people in your niche are interested about that you can make a very quick video even with just your phone to post on YouTube and use that as a gateway for people to discover who you are. That YouTube just has a much more mature search engine capability than podcasting does. The findability on YouTube is a lot easier. It's a lot. It's a lot easier to get picked up and kind of promote it to people that have never heard of you before. Well, I think the chance that it could happen is there in podcasting it's really not, but we did also

Alban:

like, we don't want to discount that. We've invested in a lot of time, energy and money into developing this YouTube channel and it's really only, I mean it's like six months of really nothing. The algorithm saying, no, your content is not worth me promoting to just in the last month or so, it's starting to say, okay, maybe you guys have something valuable here. Yeah. I remember Willie went to Flynn con, you talk to somebody there and we were like, yeah, we try to do this YouTube thing. She was like, Oh, it's good. I'm like, yeah, I dunno. It's expensive. We're paying a lot of money. We're doing all this stuff. We'll see if we don't shut it down. She's like, don't shut it down. You're starting to get to the point where you're starting to start getting some traction almost there. Yeah, and I was about a month ago. Right? I rolled my eyes, maybe not actually, but I was definitely thinking like, ah, we, everyone says this, like we just need to go back to what we're good at. And Kevin was like, all right, then we're going to definitely stick it out for another, I don't know, however long I believe everything people say, tell them and very trusting person. Well, it turned out so yeah, we've got a couple videos. We've got a few videos. They're doing pretty well now.

Travis:

[inaudible] so you two have been doing well and we're just going to keep keeping you updated. And if you haven't subscribed yet, that'd mean a lot to us. Maybe you can help get us over 1500 it'd be a fun benchmark to hit in the next week or two. Well, thank you guys for tuning in for another episode of buzz cast. If there's something you want us to talk about on a future episode, the best way to let us know is jump in the Buzzsprout podcast community, which is our Facebook group that you can join and just leave a post in there to let us know what you want to,

Speaker 5:

no.

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