Podcast transparency


From the high desert in far east west Texas I have gotten to talk to some of the smartest, interesting, talented and entertaining people in the sports media world. For me this is some serious “What a world!? How great is THAT!?” kind of stuff that puts joy in my heart.  So far it has been exactly the sort of fun I hoped it would be.

I’m four months and 25 episodes into the World’s Fastest-Growing Sports Media Podcast with @SportsTVRatings so it seemed like a good time for some podcast transparency.

My web publishing experience led me to never expect more than 1% of any group to do anything so my initial expectation for podcast downloads was 1% of my Twitter followers or around 300 people. Out of the gate it was more like 2%. Richard Deitsch’s first appearance (episode 7) was the first episode to go over 1,000 downloads.

Jim Miller just got me into the the 2K Download Club with episode 25, the latest episode. In a world of wacky Paw Patrol comparisons that sounds pretty abysmal, but I figure it like this: fewer (way, way fewer) than  5% of all Podcasts get 2,000 downloads. Maybe less than 1% of all podcasts. So while 2,000 downloads for an episode sounds abysmal, I figure it still very easily puts me into the 95th percentile.

I’ll take it! This isn’t an income project for me.

Still, I do worry about taking people’s time for a podcast without a whole lot of downloads even if surely is still somewhere in the 95th to 99th percentile. So even offline I try to be transparent about the numbers.

Jim brought up in the podcast episode the sensation he gets when people are making time for him to tape when they’re like in the middle of shooting a movie. I had pretty much the exact same sensation about having Jim (and everyone else, too) on my podcast.

I was transparent with Jim beforehand and shared some stats. Jim still did the podcast! I think that’s probably just because Jim is a good and practical guy. You could do a lot worse than at least 95th percentile!

But if Jim thought for even a second “I might never be the most-downloaded episode of Bill Simmons’ podcast, but this guy? I can definitely take the top spot here!”  who could hold it against him?

But who could hold it against anyone looking at those numbers and thinking “I don’t know if I want to spend my time doing that…”

Not me.

To the the listeners, guests and behind the scenes folks setting up some of this stuff: even though it has totally been my pleasure, thank you for letting me do this fun project!

I’m pretty curious to see where things stand after episode 50. 





Leave a Reply