Passer Vulpes Productions Stats: July 2019

Hello Everyone, It’s Lee here! Part of our ethos as podcast makers is maintaining openness and transparency around our productions. As such, Each month I’ll be providing detailed breakdowns of the download and listen statistics of each of our podcasts. I’ll discuss some of the trends that I see, what interesting items have happened that might explain those trends, and give some general information on what I’ve seen from our podcast stats.

Love and Luck

This month, Love and Luck managed 27561 downloads, a significant increase from last month’s figure of 23784 (a 14.71% increase). This is quite a difference from last month, and we can identify the reason pretty easily - at the end of June, our podcast was featured on BBC’s Podcast Radio Hour, thanks to the wonderful Ella Watts! This increased our profile in the UK, which until this month we didn’t typically get a great deal of traction.

This chart shows the division of our downloads between Debut (defined as the most recent episode at the time’s first week downloads), Archive (any other downloads for an episode) and Announcements (any downloads of non-story items on our feed). The totals for each of these categories are:

Debut: 7037 (25.53% of total)
Archive: 19220 (69.74% of total)
Announcement: 1304 (4.73% of total)

Our standard observation is that, because Love and Luck is a narrative show that needs people to listen from the start, we always a lot more Archive downloads than debut. But what’s interesting about this month is that typically, our Archive downloads are at between a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio. Right now, that ratio has dropped a bit - this month it’s around 2.73:1. This could be indicating a slow down in people discovering the podcast, later on we’ll check to see how that holds through some other measures of that.

This chart gives us a neat little way of measuring the velocity of our downloads, how quickly Love and Luck downloads rise, and gives us the ability to see how this velocity has changed over time. The first big features that this chart shows is that that velocity has increased - For some time now, a new episode gets to 1500 downloads in roughly a week, a change from not only our first season (where it would take around 6 months to reach that milestone), but even from the first half of our second season (where it was taking around 2 months to reach that milestone). And it’s getting faster - the 2000 download milestone continues to drop each episode as well.

This chart is one that I’ve always loved to do because it encapsulates so much about how the separate episodes accrue downloads. I used to build this with every month having a different colour, but we’ve now been running for so long that it’s just a mess, so I’ve just let 2017 and 2018’s data stay together. But that itself really shows - A lot of our newer episodes are receiving, in their first month, at least as much as episodes first got in 2018!

Another interesting bit that this chart shows is that Episode 49 (the first episode of our second season) continues to grow just that little bit faster than all our other episodes - I suspect that some listeners may be choosing to start at Season 2. The fact that the next few episodes in sequence are also a bit more elevated in downloads I think adds some evidence to that theory.

This chart is a pretty simple one - this is our highest daily ranking on the Apple Podcasts charts in our chosen category. An important thing to note is that the end of July was when Apple Podcasts moved to their new podcast category system, which impacted us directly, because of the new Fiction category! This is why this chart stops at July 24th - That was the point where we flipped the switch and moved to the Fiction: Drama category on Apple Podcasts. However, my source for our charting information (Chartable) is still working on getting the new categories captured, so there’s going to be a significant gap in our data on this until their systems stabilise. But, as of next month, we will be on a new category altogether, and from the look of it, it’s going to be a little less crowded, so we may well see our ranking on those charts increase!

These charts show our downloads per country, both for this month, and for the life of the podcast. The biggest note from this, is that Australia, normally our #2 country by a significant margin, has been bested! The United Kingdom now has more downloads than Australia (although the United States continues to be #1 by a country mile), almost certainly 100% due to being highlighted on the BBC in June.

Nym’s Nebulous Notions

Nym’s Nebulous Notions is a very different set of data to LNL. Nym was released in one fell swoop, so unlike the standard heartbeat of Love and Luck, Nym’s patterns won’t reflect new items on the feed - every item is someone discovery and trying the show. This means, among other things, that making a distinction between “debut” and “archive” downloads doesn’t really make sense for Nym. We’ll still follow day to day, as there’s enough data to make that usable:

This chart starts from Nym’s Launch day to the end of July (since this is the first month we’re seeing the data!). The month-to-month figures for Nym are:

June: 3883 download/listens
July: 1581 download/listens

We can see the quite successful first day or so, with a few extra spikes (from things like being on AV Club’s Podmass and such), but otherwise with no general pattern. I don’t think I can even say that the show’s downloads are really going down over time outside of these spikes - the pace of downloads seems to be pretty stable, honestly, though we’ll see how that goes once next month’s numbers come through.

This chart breaks out the download divisions by episode and month. Because this is just the start of this data series, there’s not a lot to see yet. One interesting curiosity is that weird uptick on Episode 12, which I have a theory about. Many podcatchers, will automatically download the most recent episode of a show when you subscribe to it. For most shows, the most recent episode changes, so this effect isn’t as pronounced (it only gets pronounced if the show is on hiatus for while), but I expect to see Episode 12 be weirdly high as we progress from here. One thing I do note is that it seems that if people hit Episode 5, they’re far more likely to finish the show - there’s almost no drop in downloads episode-to-episode from that point.

Since Nym’s only been around for about 2 months, I’ve just included the grand total here, rather than the monthly breakdowns. Fun thing to notice here is that the United States, is once again number one on our downloads list, at 64.18% of our total downloads, with Australia a distant second at 12.65% of the total. I think this indicates, above all else, that the US Fiction podcast market is just absolutely dominant, thanks to much of the fiction podcast critique and promotional apparatus being based in the US. I’d be curious to talk with other Australian fiction podcasters to see if this pattern holds for them as well.

This last chart for Nym is Nym’s journey through the Apple Podcasts Performing Arts charts. Navigating through, we see that Nym started off extremely well - dropping 12 episodes at once is generally pretty conducive to getting a big initial boost. After that, we see that that charts pretty well track downloads, not surprising considering the country details above. Because Nym won’t get any more release boosts, Nym will probably tend to stay pretty low in the charts unless more exposure boosts the show. As with Love and Luck, Nym has moved to the Fiction: Science Fiction category, so there may well be an apparent bump in chart ranking as we move to the new (rather smaller) category.

Floodlight Viscera

Floodlight Viscera is a very small podcast - one that we don’t normally keep much track of. It gets very little promotion from us, and is designed to be a no-stress creative outlet for Erin, so we tend to keep it that way. That means that until this month, I hadn’t really taken a good look at the stats for FLV, despite the podcast version of FLV being around for nearly 9 months. Let’s take a closer look!

So, Floodlight Viscera differs again from Nym and LNL. It’s on a monthly release schedule, and as mentioned, we do no marketing for it, which means that it’s numbers are super low. In fact, FLV has had in total 342 downloads/plays across it’s lifetime of 9 months, which means daily breakdowns aren’t useful for looking at how it runs, so we’ll aggregate things to monthly. Because it’s ongoing, looking at Debut vs Archive can still give us some interesting data, so let’s keep that split in our first chart:

Unlike LNL, Floodlight Viscera gets very few archive downloads, and not a lot of people go through the backlog. This isn’t surprising, considering FLV doesn’t need to be listened to from start to finish (although it’s good stuff, so feel free to do so!). If FLV gains more organic traction, we might see these figures change, but of course we’re not focusing energy on new listeners for FLV, so that’s not terribly likely to happen. There look to be a couple of spikes of backlog interest, but of course the figures are so low for FLV, these typically represent 1 or 2 people running through the back catalog, rather than any discernible pattern.

The Country stats for FLV are somewhat incomplete - we didn’t have country data when we started the feed, and Pinecast only lets you go back 6 months, so that’s what we’ve got. What’s interesting is that the US-bias is still present here - the vast majority of downloads come from the US. Considering the main group of people we talk about FLV to are our patrons, who also tend towards USians, perhaps this explains it. We’ll see how the new website affects these figures!

I’m going to leave the FLV figures there - with so little data, the rest of the figures don’t really elaborate on anything.

And that’s it for all our shows! If you have any questions, you’re more than welcome to hit me up on twitter, I’m @passerkirbius, I’m always happy to chat stats!