Being a digital media analyst, I’m always hungry for numbers, so when I talk to someone about their business I almost always ask the question: so how many listeners do you have?
And what I’ve discovered is that many times people will actually tell you.
And that’s certainly been the case with my Podcast Project. While I don’t have all the numbers for all the shows I talked to people about, I figured I’d share a few that I do have.
It should be noted that the numbers below are a collection of both apples and oranges. Some podcast folks told me what they get for a given podcast, while a few told me what they get across the network or on average, so it’s really hard to compare one podcast to another.
With that disclaimer, here are a few numbers I’ve gathered.
This American Life. I talked to Ira Glass just after they’d finished a very popular series on a high school in Chicago, which ended up being (at the time of our conversation) their most popular (in terms of dowloads) ever. According to Ira, the Harper High School episode received 1 million downloads, which is about 200 thousand higher than their typical episode, which Ira said was around 800 thousand.
Freakonomics Radio. According to host Stephen Dubner, the Freakonomics Radio podcast gets about 3 million downloads a month. He guessed that he could have anywhere between 300 and 400 thousand subscribers who typically get every podcast, and the remainder of the 750 thousand or so listeners per episode are picking them up a la carte.
TWiT - While Leo didn’t give specific downloads per episode or for the network during our conversation, he did say that podcast listeners hit a limit of 250 thousand or so. It wasn’t clear in our conversation if that was per episode, but assuming it was, then that would mean a typical popular episode from TWiT hits about 250 thousand downloads.
Earwolf - According to Jeff Ullrich, the CEO of Earwolf, the comedy podcast network gets about 5 million downloads per month, of which 3 million are from their archives. The huge archive download number was interesting to me in that it illustrated how evergreen certain content can be in the world of podcasts.
Summary: Anyone who listens to comedy podcasts knows about Earwolf, the hugely successful comedy podcast network responsible for shows like Comedy Bang Bang, Sklarbro Country and many more. Earwolf was founded by Scott Aukerman and Jeff Ullrich in 2010, and in this conversation I talk to Jeff about Earwolf’s evolution, the podcast advertising market, the creation of his new advertising platform, the Midroll, why landing blue-chip big brands isn’t always desirable and where he sees this market going.
This is one of the conversations I have made available for the Podcast Project. If you’d like to learn more about this project, go to nextmarket.co/pages/the-podcast-project for more details.
Summary: I’ve been tracking the progress of YouTube’s channel initiative since almost the beginning, and when Google and their video channel’s original content effort entered its second “season” last fall, one of the highest profile new channels was the comedy channel, JASH. JASH, which features content from Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Reggie Watts and more, is a product of long-time producer’s Daniel Kellison’s new company, HaChaCha, was announced at this springs South by Southwest.
In this podcast I talk to one of JASH’s managing partners, Mickey Meyer, about the origins of JASH, how the YouTube channel effort differs from other more traditional and web-channel productions, the plans for JASH going forward and more. For those of you who are interested in YouTube’s channel efforts, this is one you want to listen to.
I’ve been a fan of Pomplamoose for a few years, both because the duo makes great music but also because they’ve been fairly innovative in the way in which they connect with their audience through the use of YouTube.
So when I read yesterday that one half of the duo, Jack Conte, had launched a new funding platform in Patreon, I was curious to learn more. Patreon is a patron-based funding platform where anyone creating digital works can ask their followers or fans to give to them on a recurring basis. I talk to Jack about how Patreon differs from other funding platforms like Kickstarter, how he came up with the idea and where he sees it going in the future.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
To check out Patreon, go to www.patreon.com/
Adam Carolla launched his podcast in 2009, just days after his terrestrial radio program was cancelled. Since then, he’s gone on to create one of the largest podcast networks around, featuring a number of podcasts, all centered around the flagship Adam Carolla Show.
In this podcast, Adam talks about his views on podcasting, how he runs his business, why nothing is “free” if you’re running a podcast business, how and why he pulled the plug on his father’s podcast, why selling Mangria is easier than running a podcast business, and where he sees Carolla Digital going in the future.
Leo Laporte is one of the giants of podcasting, and perhaps one of the first to make a successful standalone media company built around podcasting. Part of the larger podcast project, this conversation features Leo’s thoughts about the word podcast itself, the growth of TWiT, how TWiT has performed on emerging platforms such as Roku, Leo’s thoughts on podcasting advertising and more.
This conversation is part of series I did called the Podcast Project. If you’d like to learn more about this project, go to the Podcast Project page for more details.
I was asked to present on the Future of the Connected Living Room by the US Telecom Association, the biggest and oldest trade industry association for the telecommunications industry in the US.
I figured I would share my slides. Below is a slightly modified version of what I presented last week. Enjoy.
Mari Silbey wrote over at Zatz Not Funny that she wanted an Android TV box because the ability to get any Android app on her TV is something she’d really like (as would many of us who use Android).
All I can say is just wait, as I think that’s likely the future of Google’s efforts for TV and you’ll like see many more devices (both boxes and smart TVs) in the future based on Android.
Everything I’m hearing out of those in the TV space is that Google is going to essentially de-emphasize Google TV in favor of Android over time, particularly around the rollout of version 4 of Google TV (at which time it becomes more of a library offering for Android rather than the main stack).
Why? In part because Google had too many offerings and its partners were frustrated, and also because I think it’s own management saw too much duplication of effort. While Andy Rubin has moved on from running Android, my understanding was last year he got frustrated with all the disjointed Google efforts around TV, feeling there were too many variants, and started to push for some streamlining.
So what will you see in the future? Probably less of Google trying to force a certain UI and remote control requirements, while offering more of a straightforward Android offering (but also offering Google TV UI’s as an option). There will be spotlight sections for TV optimized apps, but again, I think over time you’ll see Google TV start to fade and the main push by Google in TV will be Android.
My take is this is a good direction. For those that have written off Google in the TV space, I think they’ll be surprised by how much traction they get in time.
Like Apple, Microsoft has been one of the most supportive big tech companies behind podcasting. Rob Greenlee has been there for the entire ride, helping to get podcasts launched first on Zune and more recently being the go-to guy for podcasts on Xbox and Windows Phone. I talk to Rob about the history of the podcast at Microsoft, how he’s seen podcasting evolve, where he thinks it’s going and, oh yeah, Joan Rivers (she has a new podcast, after all).
This conversation is one of the many I am making available over the next week or two from the Podcast Project. If you’d like to learn more about this project, go to the Podcast Project page for more details.