The Overwhelmed Brain Podcast Journey – Post 9

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

This is going to be a quick post. Today is December 1st, 13 days after the launch of my podcast, The Overwhelmed Brain.

This morning, my show hit the 5000 downloads mark (now at 5497 all time downloads)!

Since I have no one else’s download numbers to compare that too, I have no clue if that’s high or low. And, 5000 isn’t even a number I was aiming for or anything. It’s just cool that I’ve hit 5000 for some reason.

With the release of my 6th episode this morning, I was able to knock out the 5k mark. Now since I’ve been tracking these numbers daily, I may have found a way to figure out how many subscribers I have.

In my last post, I talked about waiting until I dropped from New and Noteworthy before I would be able to tell how many subscribers I have. However, I think I can now tell what that number is every week. At least approximately.

I chose to release my 6th episode with Rodbert Ridpath at 3:30 AM this morning. At around 10 AM, I looked at the stats, and had already gotten over 250 downloads on that one episode alone. Since most of my episodes are getting between 50 and 100 downloads a day, the fact that this brand new one got 250 at the beginning of the day tells me that subscribers had it downloaded to them automatically.

So if we take the number of downloads the new episode received and minus the average number of downloads I typically receive a day per episode (we’ll say 75), I get a total of about 175 subscribers.*

What will substantiate this number is if when I release #7 next weekend, if that number is around the same or has risen. As long as the number keeps rising, and the math works out, it could be the closest indicator to a subscriber count in iTunes. Pretty cool huh? We’ll see if that theory works out every week.

Let’s check out current iTunes rankings:

  • All of New and Noteworthy: #32 (highest so far: 31)
  • Health New and Noteworthy: #2
  • Business New and Noteworthy: #2
  • Education New and Noteworthy: #2

Here are the most recent download stats:

  • Nov 26: 469 downloads
  • Nov 27: 463 downloads
  • Nov 28: 270 downloads
  • Nov 29: 260 downloads
  • Nov 30: 297 downloads
  • Dec 1: 1167 (???!) downloads

It seems that with the release of episode #6, along with a higher download count than the past few days, my download count has risen dramatically. If this trend continues, I could possibly reach over 20,000 unique downloads at the end of 8 weeks.

Is that good? I’m more concerned about sustainability. Once I drop off the podcast cliff, the real test begins.

Short article today. But I wanted to give an update due to the record breaking day.

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

*Update: The total number of downloads at the end of the day for episode #6 has reached 545 – leading to the possibility that total number of subscribers is double what I originally thought. There are other factors to consider too, like the possibility that “stress” (the show’s subject matter) is a high ranking keyword in iTunes. Hard to say, but will keep tracking. 


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  • Trevor Kimball

    Figuring out your subscribers is so tough. There just doesn’t seem to be a good way to do it. I use feedburner and my subscriber counts are all over the map on any particular day or at any particular time — not unlike your New and Noteworthy stats.

    I like your logic in trying to figure out the subscriber number except that I don’t think Sunday is a typical day for downloads. I think it’s my podcast’s lowest day of the week. I have my podcast catching software running all the time but I think many people don’t.

    I think what your experiment does show is that you have roughly 250 subscribers that have some sort of automatic download setup. That would mean that your actual subscribers are higher — maybe much higher. 🙂

    Congratulations on the 12/1 surge and thanks for sharing your journey!

    • Hey thanks for the comment Trevor. Subscriber count is definitely a mystery number for all of us. If it’s higher, I’d say Wow, then No way!

      At the end of this month, I plan on running an experiment with (possibly) a podcast every day for 5 days. I can watch the download numbers daily for a week. That should give me some very interesting results. Especially if, say, I get 500 downloads per episode per day. That might indicate a number close to the number of subscribers.

      But it really is all speculation isn’t it? I post these numbers so people who are just starting out can kind of gauge how their doing by comparing their numbers to mine. It’s something I wish I had when I started.

      So, whether I’m accurate or not about the subscribers I guess isn’t all that important. But, I’m having a blast speculating.

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