The Overwhelmed Brain Podcast Journey – Post 10

Click here for the podcast!
Click here for the podcast!

Today is December 4th, 2013. 16 days after my podcast launched.

OK, something totally wonky is going on in iTunes right now. Every New and Noteworthy podcast is gone, from every category. The ones that have been there for weeks? Gone. I contacted a good friend and fellow podcaster, Melinda Yeaman from Outlier Magazine, to make sure I wasn’t going nuts. She confirmed: iTunes is going wonky right now.

I’ve been watching New and Noteworthy for a couple weeks now, and pretty much recognize all the podcasts in the Business, Health, and Education categories. So, check out what the typical N & N normally looks like:

20131121 iTunes New and Noteworthy

Take a look at what we I am seeing right now:

business wonky

There are some major differences here! Different size thumbnails, lots without graphics, and a bunch of unrated, low episode count shows! I’ve checked all the categories, and they are all that way. It’s almost as if their algorithm has brought the shows from the bottom, to the top. Well, lucky them! They have a chance of being discovered.

But, what happened to all the real New and Noteworthy shows?

Well, I couldn’t tell you. I can’t find them. I can locate them by search, but the New and Noteworthy section is sparse right now. As if all the shows disappeared. So, yeah, something strange going on in Apple Land.

Regardless, thought that was funny.

Next topic: Got my first critical feedback since launch! I love it! Here it is:

Great Content (five stars)

by JDbkeeper – Dec 3, 2013

1. Great content! I want to see you succeed!

2. It takes too long to get to content:

(a) Your intro music and voice over it, even in episode 5, too long. Your tone feels patronizing. Most of us hit +15 to skip through all the intros. (This American Life has keyed into this and eliminated the intro all together).

(b) In episode 5 you give a monologue introduction, then follow it up with another introduction. We don’t reach guest content till 3:45 (Adam Corolla’s got pacing and the art of guest introduction down to a science – copy it).

3. Revamp for a different audience:
(a) The 20 something under-employed barrista probably isn’t listening to your podcast. Not yet at least. Retool for a smarter and wealthier audience, then democratize as your audience grows.

Good luck!

I really do love this. It is humbling to know someone took the time to listen, analyze, and provide solid feedback that can actually improve my show. The fact that I still got 5 stars from him/her is cool too! Excellent points, some I will take action on, some I will think about and listen to the shows he mentioned for guidance. For fun, I may extend my intro even more to address these points Ha ha!!

Anyway, here are my download stats:

Let’s check out current iTunes rankings:

  • All of New and Noteworthy: #Unknown – iTunes is wonky
  • Health New and Noteworthy: #Unknown – iTunes is wonky
  • Business New and Noteworthy: #Unknown – iTunes is wonky
  • Education New and Noteworthy: #Unknown – iTunes is wonky

Here are the most recent download stats:

  • Nov 28: 270 downloads
  • Nov 29: 260 downloads
  • Nov 30: 297 downloads
  • Dec 1: 1167 downloads
  • Dec 2: 680 downloads
  • Dec 3: 424 downloads
  • Dec 4: 489 downloads

Total downloads to date: 6842

Downloads declining throughout the week. Good indication that most people download at the beginning of the week. But, need more data to confirm that.

Looking forward to analyzing my podcast using the critical feedback I got. Some things may change, some may not. Would love more critical feedback, or rebuttal feedback if anyone disagrees with the review.

Otherwise, I’ve had no time to promote the show today. However, I came up with an idea for a bonus show, and a holiday show that I will be sharing soon. I want to put together a bunch of bonus episodes, so I’ve got some interesting ideas. Aligning things now.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions below.


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  • Trevor Kimball

    It looks like iTunes has worked out their problem. In Business New & Noteworthy, I see that you’re at #28. That seems really good, especially for a weekly one. If you knew exactly when N&N got messed up, you might be able to get a good idea where you’d be without N&N or “after the cliff.”

    What great feedback from the reviewer. I listened to both of the podcasts that he/she mentioned and This American Life in particular gave me some good ideas.

    I’ve listened to a couple of your episodes and the music doesn’t seem too long to me but it might as I listen to more episodes. I listen to a lot of podcasts and the things that bug me the most are long opening music and repetitive commercials.

    One thing I like about Entrepreneurs on Fire is the short opening music and the commercials seem to change quite a bit. John now seems to be varying his interview questions a bit which I greatly appreciate. A strict format on a weekly show doesn’t bother me but it’s tough to take on a daily one.

    • You rock Trevor. I love your input. Great point about gauging my place in the rankings after falling off the cliff! I should have paid more attention!

      Weekly or daily, I can see someone who has 10 of my shows downloaded having to fast forward through the intro on every single one of them. So if they listen weekly, it’s probably fine. If they download them and listen to several at once, well…

      I still fast forward through intros myself, even John’s. If someone doesn’t have a long intro (like my first 4 episodes), they may still have a short intro plus advertising. And what is a podcaster to do then? He/she wants advertising!

      No matter what though, they’ll always be the podcast junkie who wants nothing but content. Then there’ll be the casual listener who wants the whole experience.

      Double intros are a no-no, but that’s easy to fix (I’m refining as I go). And as for #3, I get the point. I do use an example of a cashier at a coffee shop in one of my episodes, so I can see how that may not resonate with the CEO of Amazon, so I’ll learn to be a tad more generic with my examples in the future.

      Thanks again Trevor!

  • Kimberly

    Thanks Paul for this post. I too noticed and felt rather frustrated as it occured on day 3 of our launch – and as you well know – this is when we were fairly obsessed and hoping to see some progress as we noticed our numbers going up. Did you ever hear what caused this? And why even now there are episodes featured on the front page that just don’t make sense? (i.e.,, great mustaches in history hosted by a child with only 3 episodes)? It feels so frustrating to have attempted to follow the the advice provided by the Itunes execs (per John Dumas’s video tutorials) exactly as perscribed and have no understanding on how to do it better?

    Anyway – thanks for letting me vent. As a newbie I am probably overly sensitive to this – but time is ticking to be able to take advantage of N&N chart.

    If you have any words of wisdom – bring it on!

    Kimberly Falker

    • It seems that the ALL category of New and Noteworthy is the only thing that is messed up still (yes, I still refuse to believe that a show on men with mustaches has been number 1 for days).

      My experience thus far is this:
      New and Noteworthy is a false belief of how popular you will be, however it is the ideal time to gain subscribers. The more you gain at this time, the more likely you’ll have a following after you drop off. You will fluctuate wildly while in N & N, and the numbers will drop so abysmally low sometimes, you’ll think it’s over. If you can be happy with your lowest number ever, then anything beyond that is bonus.

      I heard Cliff Ravenscraft once say that having 200 downloads is like having the attention of 200 people in a room. That is powerful. I am learning that I need to keep talking to the 200 to 300 people that download my show (or whatever that number is) as if they were the most important people on earth. If you have 200 loyal followers, those 200 people each know other people, and you will start to get a following.

      I realize this is just pep talk, but I need to hear it myself too! The cliff is coming, and I need to know I am prepared for the lowest numbers in history when it happens. It’s just a fact. Even the great JLD hit the cliff… so focus on golden content, and stay consistent. (that’s my mantra at least ; )

      • Kimberly

        Thanks Paul,

        Very sage advice and we SO appreciate your review and rating – it really means a lot.

        I agree with all that you said and really think you will be just fine going forward – great show, great content and once you are forced to make it work I feel certain you will. (espcially with the creative idea of xmas blues coming up)

        Thanks again,

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