BBC Sounds, Kenny Everett carts, and breakfast radio vs podcasts

Above: Dave Jones, from the Podcast Index, demonstrating the new podcast namespace at Podcast Movement in Dallas

Matt Deegan’s newsletter missed an issue at the end of July. He claimed that he was busy getting married.

After a month’s absence of this newsletter, it seems an excuse that I can also use.

This is the first newsletter I’ve sent from an aeroplane. Hello from QF501, currently somewhere over northern NSW. I’m on my way to Radiodays Asia.

While I’m thinking about decent conferences and events, could I possibly mention that Podcast Day 24 is coming? There are in-person events in Sydney, London and New York; and I’m curating the Sydney event. I’d love you to come: it’s on Oct 4 (wherever you live).

In August there was a new record weekly users figure for BBC Sounds; the Beeb claims that it’s new podcasts that’s done it, but the figures don’t break out podcasts, so…

In the release, we learn there were 177m “plays to on-demand radio and podcast content” in Q2 on the app, and a further 264m “global podcast downloads” on third-party platforms. Assuming 50% of plays went to on-demand radio (which is probably a understatement), that suggests 117m podcast downloads a month overall, making the world’s largest broadcaster smaller than the New York Times - which has significantly fewer shows. (And even if plays aren’t downloads, we know how many automated downloads aren’t listened-to, and that doesn’t change much).

I posed the question in Podnews whether the BBC is significantly underperforming in podcasting. It does look that way.

Still, BBC Sounds keeps adding new things: latest off the block is a new local section - “local to me” in England, while the Nations also get bespoke content. That’s a good move.

Want to supercharge your radio show? Here’s a £1 week-long trial of Show Prep - from a world class radio consultant and the best show-prep writer in the UK. Great for UK stations, or for English-language stations everywhere, too. (ad)


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