Today is December 26th, 2013, 38 days after the launch of my podcast.
Sometimes what appears to be something bad can turn out to be a blessing in disguise. For example, creating a 5-Day Holiday Blues Special to air December 25th through December 29th that never makes it into the listing in iTunes. Over 80% of podcast listeners go to iTunes to listen to shows, but this giant holiday show I’ve been working on didn’t get listed.
iTunes warned me though! Here’s what they wrote:
Dear podcast provider,
Submit a Podcast will be temporarily unavailable from Saturday, December 21, to Friday, December 27, 2013. During that time, Submit a Podcast will not be accessible and you will not be able to submit new podcasts. Processing of metadata changes to existing podcasts will be delayed.
If you have any additional questions, contact us.
The iTunes Podcast team
Now let’s break down the sentence: “Processing of metadata changes to existing podcasts will be delayed”
Processing how? Is that human-based processing? Can’t computers do this stuff on their own?
Metadata…do you mean my RSS feed?
Delayed… by a day? A week?
So that abstract wording led to many interpretations online. The one I found, and believed to be true, was this one: New “episodes” will not be affected, only new “podcasts”
I assumed that my uploaded episodes might be delayed a few hours, but no more. That wasn’t true. Well, not entirely true. Which leads us to the blessing in disguise.
Trevor Kimball has been following and commenting on most of these posts (thank you Trevor, you are a pioneer!). He commented that he received both the Day 1 and Day 2 episodes of the holiday special! He said that they got downloaded because he is a subscriber. Wait, what? So, if you’re a subscriber to The Overwhelmed Brain, you actually got to hear the shows that took me weeks to put together? That’s amazing!
That is amazing, for two reasons:
1. I was watching my download numbers rising and rising in libsyn, but I couldn’t figure out from where the holiday shows were being downloaded! Now I know.
2. Trevor pointed out something very cool: I can now judge by the download numbers how many subscribers I have!
If I minus the numbers from all other podcatchers like Stitcher, blubrry, Zune, and others, then what’s left over will be the best approximation yet of the number of subscribers the show has. Assuming everyone who is a subscriber actually connected to iTunes and downloaded the latest episodes.
So a virtual high-five goes out to Trevor for this very insightful data. Way to be a second set of eyes my friend!
Let’s take a look at the numbers, and see if we can figure out how many subscribers I have. This will be the closest estimate yet.
Day 1 of the Holiday Blues Special released on December 25th:
- Plays from iTunes: 940
- Plays from all other podcatchers: Less than 10
Day 2 of the Holiday Blues Special released on December 26th:
- Plays from iTunes: 768
- Plays from all other podcatchers: Less than 10
As you can tell, iTunes is where the majority of listeners tune in to the show. But according to these numbers, it’s likely that I have at least 930 subscribers. If that’s the low number, then I feel pretty good about that! Though, I think I’d still feel pretty good about 10 loyal subscribers too.
We’ll see if iTunes decides to post my shows tomorrow. And if so, if the numbers go up because of it.
Now for something really cool. I have a feeling a lot of people are playing podcasts on their new electronic devices, because I’m hitting the biggest download numbers I’ve seen yet.
Check out the latest download numbers from libsyn:
- Dec 20: 585 downloads (5 days after new release)
- Dec 21: 667 downloads (6 days after new release)
- Dec 22: 1381 downloads (New release today)
- Dec 23: 1156 downloads (1 day after new release)
- Dec 24: 1137 downloads (2 days after new release)
- Dec 25: 1334 downloads (New release today)
- Dec 26: 1759 downloads (New release today)
Total downloads to date: 25,264 (was 23,088 yesterday)
Wow, 1759 today alone! The holiday releases definitely brought my numbers up. In fact, between Day 1 and 2 of the holiday show, they totaled 911 of that 1759, leaving 848 for the rest. Nothing is more clear than this: More shows per week equals more downloads. Period.
The current iTunes New and Noteworthy rankings:
- All of New and Noteworthy: #50 (#45 yesterday)
- Health New and Noteworthy: #6 (#3 yesterday)
- Business New and Noteworthy: #15 (#7 yesterday)
- Education New and Noteworthy: #10 (#4 yesterday)
Lost some footing in the rankings. Which is odd, I’ve had more downloads, but perhaps those shows did too – even moreso. That’s OK, I’ve given up trying to figure out the rankings in iTunes New and Noteworthy.
I did find out some good news though. After the show drops off of New and Noteworthy, there’s a chance to end up in What’s Hot. I know of three podcasts that went from New and Noteworthy to What’s Hot in a matter of days. And one of them was receiving very low download numbers. In fact, there are probably so many podcasts with low download numbers amongst the hundreds of thousands of podcasts in iTunes, that having any downloads at all probably makes you “hot”!
Maybe the number of subscribers will carry The Overwhelmed Brain into What’s Hot! But until then, experimentation will continue. And with another 5-day show coming in January, looks like the download numbers will hit some more record numbers.
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