“A brand new dimension to our model”: How BBC Gardeners’ World Journal achieved 1M podcast downloads | What’s New in Publishing


BBC Gardeners’ World Journal achieved a significant milestone final month when its podcast was downloaded greater than 1 million occasions. In some methods, the feat is nothing exceptional – Joe Rogan’s 1169 episode with Elon Musk garnered 50M downloads alone – however for a specialist publishing model to launch a podcast and seventeen months later attain the 1M milestone is a formidable achievement.

Produced by the editorial crew behind BBC Gardeners’ World Journal and GardenersWorld.com, the ‘Rising Greener’ podcast was launched in November 2020 – right here’s the trailer – and options a mixture of Gardeners’ World Journal contributors and British horticultural specialists resembling Monty Don, Alan Titchmarsh, Adam Frost, and Mark Lane.

The podcast’s success is in no small measure linked to a renewed curiosity in gardening and horticulture spurred by the Covid pandemic lockdowns. This has been mirrored within the podcast’s hottest episodes, with well being and wellbeing, sustainability, wildlife gardening and homegrown meals topping the rankings.

The resurgence in curiosity in gardening has additionally been mirrored within the podcast’s viewers profile, which while pegged at a median age of 53 years has attracted an more and more youthful listenership of individuals of their twenties and thirties. Crucially, the podcast has additionally expanded the notice and recognition of the BBC’s Gardener’s World model with 40% of listeners originating from abroad. 

A profitable podcast formulation

Esther Kezia Thorpe, Co-Founding father of Media Voices and the Writer Podcast Awards, shouldn’t be shocked by the success of the podcast, citing the truth that the Gardeners’ World model is licensed to a pioneering UK writer – Fast Media – as a key component within the model’s success.

Having watched Fast Media’s podcast technique evolve and mature, I’m not shocked the crew has managed to succeed in this milestone in such a brief period of time. The writer has seen large success with different established podcasts resembling Historical past Further, and is now taking these learnings and making use of them to its different manufacturers, helped by a well-oiled centralized manufacturing crew.

Esther Kezia Thorpe, Co-Founding father of Media Voices and the Writer Podcast Awards

Kezia Thorpe makes a well-founded level – Historical past Further podcast, launched in 2007, has been a standout success for Fast Media producing over 4 million listens a month. It’s now a seven-figure model with income generated primarily by way of programmatic and direct promoting.

In case you have a profitable podcast, the demand is there from the promoting perspective. Throughout the Historical past Further podcast, we now have a really sturdy direct offered sponsorship line, complemented by some community gross sales of aggregated audio promoting that’s constructing this enterprise that’s on the trajectory to hit a run charge of over seven figures a 12 months.

Duncan Tickell, Chief Income Officer, Fast Media, talking to Media Voices

Duncan Tickell, Chief Income Officer for Fast Media, provides that Historical past Further, which has been in existence for fifteen years – an eternity in podcast phrases – has given Fast Media a rock-solid basis in the best way to efficiently develop a podcast. Talking to Media Voices, he states that content material consistency is vital, “We discovered that the quantity of content material that you simply put out makes a giant distinction. By way of testing and studying, we’ve arrived at what we expect is the optimum degree for Historical past Further, which is 4 episodes every week. Now, we go on that journey with our different manufacturers, which is to work out what codecs work, what kind of content material works.”

A centralized podcast useful resource

While Gardeners’ World podcast is nowhere close to Historical past Further by way of podcast frequency – it has thus far produced simply 40 episodes in complete spanning three collection – its success has been partly constructed off the again of the learnings from Historical past Further. Key to this can be a centralized podcast useful resource that each Fast Media model can faucet into.

Talking to WNIP, Lucy Corridor, BBC Gardeners’ World Journal Editor, says, ” All recordings are made by the journal content material crew, as themes typically hyperlink to present print content material, whereas the digital promotions are constructed by the online content material crew. (Nevertheless) we draw on the experience of the central Fast Media podcast division (a crew of three), to make sure manufacturing high quality is of excessive broadcast high quality, as befits a BBC licensed title.”

Choices on friends and themes are made collectively by the crew as a part of the general model content material technique, pushed by viewers analysis, search volumes and information analytics.

Lucy Corridor, BBC Gardeners’ World Journal Editor

Corridor additionally disclosed what platforms have been working finest for Gardeners’ World podcast, citing Apple because the clear winner with 71% of complete downloads, adopted by Spotify at 13% with Google Podcasts coming in at a mere 3%.

Podcasts are promoted through the podcast platforms – Acast and, notably, in Apple’s New & Noteworthy, which drove large consciousness final spring-summer because the podcast was launching. We additionally promote through our personal channels – by way of social media, electronic mail newsletters, in-magazine promotions and on the web site dwelling web page.

Lucy Corridor, BBC Gardeners’ World Journal Editor

Learnings for different publishers

Corridor feedback that if she might undergo the method once more, she’d make the leap faster and launch sooner, “We wasted a number of months making an attempt to develop a very difficult journal format. KISS rules apply – a less complicated format means a faster turnaround time, so simply put it out, check and be taught.”

Hold it easy – check viewers urge for food with a brief collection (10-12 episodes) utilizing content material and friends that mirror the model, as a result of your core viewers would be the first to pattern what you place out. A collection strategy doesn’t over-commit you at first, and provides you a chance to repromote every collection.

Lucy Corridor, BBC Gardeners’ World Journal Editor

As regards different recommendation, Halls provides that leveraging the Apple platform is significant, “Pour power into making an attempt to safe Apple promotion, of their New & Noteworthy, and make a punchy graphic that offers standout.”

Put the podcast content material by way of the identical decision-making as each different strand, to make sure consistency and high quality throughout all of your codecs. Make time to edit the content material – simply as you do different codecs – as a result of whilst you wish to maintain it pure, nobody desires to listen to self-indulgent presenting.

Lucy Corridor, BBC Gardeners’ World Journal Editor

Corridor additionally says that investing in good podcasting gear is vital, “Put money into good recording package and use it constantly – not simply your laptop computer or smartphone microphone – as podcast audiences are awash with choices so why would they hearken to low-quality audio, nevertheless good the content material.”

Lastly, Corridor provides that there’s “no regular anymore” and advises different publishers to check out what works for them finest, “Check out completely different timings – obtained knowledge was 20-minute episodes to go well with commuter timescales however our highest listen-throughs have been on episodes over 40 minutes.”

Our main podcast goal was engagement and attain – which we’ve achieved. Our associated promotions will pull in subscribers over time as a result of the extra our viewers spends time in our firm, on no matter format, the extra possible it’s they’ll subscribe – and stick with us.

Lucy Corridor, BBC Gardeners’ World Journal Editor


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