By Rob Peterson, Director, Audience Acquisition at Audioboom
It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since the Audioboom Originals Network officially launched. Over that time, we’ve experienced explosive growth, major revenue increases and, just like everyone else, some hard-earned wisdom.
The network officially launched on February 26, 2017 with the first episode of the The 45th, a podcast from Rabia Chaudry and Susan Simpson of Undisclosed. Rabia and Susan wanted to produce a political podcast that discussed President Trump’s time in office and The 45th was born. The logic was that people who listened to Undisclosed would more than likely give this new show a chance. Our instincts were right and The 45th was off and running, proving that advertising your podcast on other podcasts is a no-brainer.
Now the network is home to over a dozen shows ranging from reality start Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s It’s Happening with Snooki and Joey to Dead Man Talking, an investigation into the taped confessions of a serial killer. Almost immediately, we found that the promotional strategies that worked for the first show wouldn’t necessarily do the trick with each new show. We learned that every show has its own unique challenges, that a brilliant concept can still have trouble finding an audience, and that the playbook has to be rewritten… each and every time.
We haven’t always adjusted quickly enough or pivoted at the right time but our missteps helped us learn and grow. We tested different methods when marketing a show, leveraging relationships with distribution partners and podcasters, analyzing what worked and didn’t work and it to duplicate successes and avoid making the same mistakes twice.
Two years in the Audioboom Originals Network has accrued over 35 million listens. That number is expected to increase with the launch of new shows and the addition of And That’s Why We Drink to the network. We’ve been highlighted in countless publications, been featured on all the major podcast listening destinations and even ventured into the world of TV advertising when launching Dead Man Talking.
We are well positioned in the marketplace and well equipped to launch shows at scale, with quick return on investment. That being said, we’re not immune to changes in tastes or seasonality. What we’ve learned over the last two years is that if you want a show to be successful you need to be committed to it 100% of the time. We’ve also learned that not every show is destined for massive success and you need to set definitive KPIs well before launch.
The bottom line — and most important lesson — is there’s no silver bullet for success and a lot of trial and error required to find the best way’s to grow your audience. Setting your own metrics for success, based on your resources and goals, will move you further along than comparing your show to Serial or any of the other hit shows on the carousel.