Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Podcast download stats

Just for curiosity's sake. Those of you with more interest in podcasting ought to at least lurk on the boardgamepodcasters Yahoo group.

Measuring the number of folks listening to podcasts is an inexact science. The closest you can get is measuring downloads, but you never know how many people share a single download (such as with an audio CD), how many downloads are trashed without ever being heard, or how many individual listeners download the same show more than once. But I'm an engineer, not a scientist, so I've got no problem working with estimated figures to draw meaningful conclusions. (I guess lots of professions do this, too.)

So even with the inexact information I get from download data, I can still figure out that I've got an audience somewhere around 1000. It grew to that number over a six-month period, or maybe a little longer, and has now flattened out. Just about every show ultimately ends up with those sort of numbers. About three-quarters of those downloads occur in the first few days, split about evenly between automated downloads and folks who go get my show after seeing the small announcement in the BGG forum. The rest is the loooong tail that slowly fills in over months. And months. I still get a few downloads every day for some of my oldest shows, now stretching back more than a year.

Although the podcast's overall listener numbers are remarkably consistent, there are three shows that have had 50% more downloads than the rest. When I looked at which ones, the answers surprised me a little. I get the most positive feedback about the All About shows, but their listener numbers hover right around the 1000 mark, like the other episodes. Nope, the most popular downloaded shows are
  • The Essen show I did with Mike Siggins
  • The nostalgia/storytelling show about my days with Steve Jackson Games
  • And the very first show!
I figure there's just a lot of interest in Essen (or Siggins, or both), and the SJ Games show probably brought in other listeners that downloaded just that single show. But the first show, oof! I guess it makes sense, to want to go back to the very beginning. I used to have the shows going all the way back downloadable via iTunes. I'm not sure if that's still possible, or at least easy. But wow, now I really wish I could point listeners who want to start at "the beginning" to a different show that served as a more polished introduction to this podcast. I wonder how many listened to that first one and gave up due to my monotone voice and microphone hiss? :-)


They are the Essen show I did with Mike Siggins,


Blogger Mike said...

Well it must be Essen and not me, otherwise the Siggins intro and the Hybrid Games piece would be up there as well. So Essen, as it ever did, has the big draw factor.

Let's see if we can pull off the same deal with the next one planned, but come Essen (if I go) I am NOT walking round with a big radio pack and antenna.


3:20 AM  
Blogger MDM said...

Maybe you should take a page from the comic industry and relaunch your next podcast as "Issue #1."

Or, more seriously, you could aim shows to include more popular targets, such as Monopoly and RPGs.

For instance, have shows titled, "So you've played Monopoly for years, why not try these games?" and "Now that it's near impossible to find a good RPG group, why not join a boardgaming group?"

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have been using this to listen to your shows... USB flash drives are pretty cheap and easy to transfer files to. The sound quality is very
good as well. People that drive near me on my way to work may hear your podcast on 87.7 FM :)

VR3 MP3 FM Modulator Transmitter

Brian BGG:sdhockeyboy

1:32 PM  

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