Categories
Podcasting

March 2022 Podcast Report

As expected, March was another good month.

Total downloads were 539,260.

I’m still getting a drizzle of residual downloads from Libsyn even though I moved my RSS feed on January 1. I had 1,187 downloads from Libsyn which I find really surprising. There isn’t one single player which is responsible for the downloads. They are all over the place.

My theory is that, for whatever reason, some people subscribed before January 1, and then the feed didn’t get refreshed. Maybe they just stopped listening, so the feed had no reason to refresh.

Regardless of the reason, the April downloads from Libsyn are looking to drop by at least half.

There is a very interesting story behind what happened with all the growth I’ve experienced so far in 2022. However, I don’t think I’m in a position where I can share that yet.

There are no villains and there is nothing shady, but I have something going that I don’t want to jinx at the moment, so I’m going to hold off on the story for a few months.

It involves a bit of good luck, which turned out to be bad luck, but then was solved by more good luck.

I realize that sounds cryptic and mysterious, but I will reveal all eventually when this plays out.

I spent very little on promotion last month other than an ad that ran on Overcast. It performed well, but it wasn’t the best performing ad I’ve run on that platform.

I’m going to be doing some larger ad buys soon. I’ve been building up a war chest as some of the places I want to advertise that give the best ROI require a larger ad spend.

My goal for 2022 was to do 1,000,000 downloads in a month, and I’m currently 1/2 to that goal just 3 months in.

My April downloads will be less than March, but that’s all good for the mysterious reasons I’ll explain later. It is more an issue with statistics than actual downloads and people listening.

Categories
Podcasting

February 2022 Podcast Report

Wow. What a month!

This month saw my biggest increase in traffic since I launched the podcast.

When you launch a new show, there is a hope you have that it will eventually “take off”.

I think this was the month that things “took off”.

Total downloads for the month were 446,335, which is an average of 15,940 per day.

Oddly enough, almost 1,300 of those downloads are from Libsyn, and I moved my hosting from Libsyn on January 1. All of the downloads, I assume, are coming from people who haven’t refreshed their podcast feed in their players.

The number of downloads for individual episodes is now crossing 13-14k. I have no idea what the 30-day numbers are yet because the growth was so fast in February that I don’t have 30 days to look back at yet.

The numbers at the end of the month were such that even if the growth plateaus in March, I should see around 550,000 downloads for the month.

I just joined my network in January so I still don’t have much to report as far as advertising income, but I should have my January results next month. I don’t expect anything special as they just started to sell my show in January and the first host read ads I had ran in February.

Categories
Blogging

January 2022 Podcast Report

January was a very good month. Arguably the best month the podcast has ever had.

Overview

  • I moved my podcast host from Libsyn to Megaphone.FM. I did this as close to midnight on New Year’s Eve just to make the data as clean as possible. (More on this below).
  • The reason why I moved podcast hosts had to do with joining a podcast network. I signed with AirwaveMedia. My business plan basically involved signing as soon as possible with a network that checked certain boxes. This was so I can begin bring in in revenue ASAP so I can begin revinesting that revenue in marketing to grow faster.
  • I had a massive spike in downloads which began around the middle of the month. The spike can almost 100% be attributed to Castbox.

Traffic

A very good month. Because of the change in hosts, I had to combine the numbers from both hosts for the monthly total.

Megaphone = 259,595

Libsyn = 6,788

Total = 266,383 downloads

What is odd is that even though I turned on the redirect in Libsyn on January 1, I’m still getting a trickle of downloads on my Libsyn account.

The downloads are spread across different user agents. The only way I can think of how people are still downloading shows on Libsyn is that they haven’t refreshed their RSS feed in their player. Even today, February 1, I still got 32 downloads on Libsyn.

This isn’t that big of a deal in the big scheme of things, but it is odd and it says something about podcast consumption.

What it says about podcast consumption I’m not sure.

Castbox

The biggest change in downloads came from people using the Castbox app.

At the beginning of January, I had about 220 subscribers on Castbox. At the end of January, I had 21,000.

I have checked every day, but I haven’t been featured as far as I can tell. Almost all of the downloads are coming from outside of the United States.

Why would everyone be listening on this single podcast player? How did I get a spike in downloads on a single player without being featured on that player?

I don’t know the answers to these questions yet, but I’d like to get to the bottom of it.

Here are my daily downloads from Castbox over the last month:

One nice thing is that I can now purchase advertising on Castbox, which requires 1,000 subscribers on the app to be eligible.

Dynamic Ad Insertion

With my move to Megaphone and signing with a network, I am now running dynamically inserted ads into my back catalog.

I only have everything set up through last October. I have over 500 episodes so getting it set up for every old episode is very time-consuming. Especially considering I have to go and remove most of the ads I previously ran which were just affiliate ads.

I don’t have any data regarding how well it is monetizing yet.

I’m either going to have to find time to convert all my old shows, or I’ll need to hire someone.

Promotion

I ran ads on Overcast and PodcastAddict this month. There are still a few more days to go on the Overcast app, but the acquisition cost per subscriber so far has been $2.11.

I basically watch Overcast ad prices every day and just wait until prices drop far enough to make it worthwhile.

The PodcastAddict ad converted at $3.30 per subscriber. The ad ran under the Education category, which usually doesn’t perform as well as history for me.

Next Month

Assuming the traffic increase I had in January continues (and so far it has just kept increasing) I should hit 300,000 downloads in February.

Where I’ll invest next to market the show is up in the air. It might be Castbox or Player.FM, neither of which I’ve advertised on, or I might invest in a feed drop on a large podcast again.

Categories
Blogging

April 2021: Podcast Traffic and Income Report

There was a lot of news in podcasting in the last month with announcements from Apple, Spotify, and Facebook.

I’m not going to get into the big picture of the ramifications of the announcements, but rather how it will affect me and my plans for the podcast.

Subscriptions

Part of my business plan was to one day eventually offer some content as part of a subscription. The original idea (before these announcements) was that I would offer it via Patreon.

Either I would make 2 episodes per week available to subscribers, or I would provide 2 extra episodes a week to subscribers. I wasn’t planning on doing that until I had enough revenue coming in to hire writers.

I don’t think that the announcements from Apple and Spotify will really change anything other than making it more accessible. It will probably mean having to do more work, but it also might mean more subscribers.

I’m hoping that my host, Libsyn, will provide backend tools to make it easy to managed everything from one backend.

I’m estimating that I probably won’t pull the trigger on sponsored shows for at least six months, if not later.

Also, until more information comes out, it will be difficult to really know what to do.

Facebook

This hasn’t gotten as much attention, but I think this will be a bigger deal for me, at least in the short run. It opens up a huge marketing channel for podcast promotion that didn’t exist before.

One issue with podcasts is that they can’t really go viral. There is no share button on podcasts. However, if embed players are integrated into major social media platforms, that will change the game for podcasts.

I especially think it will be good for shorter-length shows such as mine. Listening to an hour-long show on a Facebook page might be a stretch, but 7 minutes is very doable.

Traffic

April was a really good month.

I had 99,533 downloads for the month, just a hair below 100k.

This was a 35% increase in downloads over March 2021, and slightly more on a daily basis when you factor in April having one less day.

It is hard to attribute where the new downloads came from. I had one video on TikTok go viral which might have had something to do with it.

I’ve also continued running ads on several podcast apps which I think is probably responsible for most of the success.

Revenue

I don’t have much to report this month because almost everything was either front-ended in March, or back-ended in May.

I will say that I’ve gotten a small bump in sales from my Travel Photography Course, which I made several years ago. I’ve been running ads for it on days when I didn’t have any inventory sold.

My big goal for May is to sell out my inventory every day of the week. Because I’m still not at a level where I can join a large podcast network, I’ll have to cobble this together by hand. However, all that revenue can be plowed in to growing the show even faster.

Categories
Blogging

March 2021: Podcast Traffic and Income Report

I’ve been using Clubhouse quite a bit over the last month. Any predictions about Clubhouse rendering podcasts obsolete are absurd. Yes, they are both audio-based, but that is the end of the comparison.

It would be like saying Twitter would replace novels because they are both text based.

The level of discussion on podcasting on Clubhouse is very very basic. In fact, most “experts” on podcasting never really seem to get beyond preaching to people who want to start a podcast.

To be sure that is a large market, and it is probably one of the reasons why so many shows are abandoned before they even get to the 4th episode.

Almost all the podcasting advice you find online is orientated towards the segment of newbie podcasters.

There is little to nothing out there, beyond warmed-over platitudes, for established podcasters who want to grow their audience.

Most of the podcasting gurus haven’t really grown a very large, successful podcast themselves. If they had, they would be too busy with their podcast and would have time for training new podcasters.

I bring this up because the path to success in podcasting or anything else is pretty simple.

  1. Try something
  2. Gather data
  3. Evaluate data and determine what works
  4. Repeat what works and try to improve performance. Eliminate whatever does work, or change how you implemented it to get it to work.

That’s it.

I’ve grown a successful blog and six-figure followings on several different social platforms by using this method.

Everyone wants answers handed to them, and it isn’t that simple.

I have traffic goals each month, and each month I’m not really sure how I’m going to achieve them. That’s the point, however. You have to get your hands dirty to figure stuff out, and if you aren’t doing that, you probably won’t find success.

It is only by setting goals just out of your reach that you will figure out how to reach them.


Traffic

March was a solid month. There was no great spike in traffic, but traffic steadily grew.

Total downloads in March 2021 was 73,742 which was a 21.4% increase over February 2021 which had 60,733 downloads.

There are three more days in March than February, so they aren’t really good months to compare on a monthly basis.

February had 2,169 downloads per day and March had 2,379 downloads per day. On this basis, the growth was 10%.

So far my April growth is on pace for around 85,000 downloads, which is about 15% growth over March.


FINANCES

Revenue

I calculate everything on a cash basis, which means I register it when the payment comes in. That means there is some ad that ran in March that I won’t get paid for until April, and there were some payments I received in March for ads that will run in April and May.

Advertising: $3,198. I had one package of total episode sponsorships and some

Patreon: $138. This is my net after Patreon takes its cut and after the cost of shipping merchandise.

Expenses

Podcast Hosting: $22. Monthly Libsyn hosting fee.

Headliner Monthly Fee: $19.99

Advertising: $429


Summary