Make it funny
If you want to have a really successful podcast in the UK it seems you need to stick to a number of key rules – at least if the top 25 chart on iTunes is anything to go by.
Lets take a look at the current top 25 Podcast Chart on iTunes UK and work out what it takes to reach the pinnacle of the portable broadcasting medium.
Of the top 25 shows 11 of them are from the BBC Podcast library, two come from Channel 4, one from HBO and two from the Telegraph.
That’s 16 of the top 25 shows published by a big media company and eleven on national radio stations. So that basically tells us that to be a success you have to be broadcast on a national radio station, national television network or have the backing of a national newspaper.
But that isn’t 100% correct as there are still 9 shows not counted for in that previous 16 and these aren’t made available through big broadcasters.
What do each of these, to varying degrees, have in common? They’re all well known comedians or media personalities (Andrew Collins) already.
So we have a new rule – you either need to be broadcast on a national radio station or have the backing of a national newpaper OR you need to be a well established media personality.
So that leaves us with The Best of You Tube by Plankton Productions, The Ann Summers Guide by Ann Summers, Pets by Adult Comedy, Happy Tree Friends by Mondo Media and iTunes: Meet the Author by Apple.
Lets take them in turn starting with Meet the Author and Ann Summers. These shows have a common theme and that is – they’re all produced by a major brand.
Meet the Author is made by Apple about Audiobooks which gives it a double credibility and interest and Ann Summers is made by a major high street brand, is very funny and has a sort of ‘sex’ element – even if that sex element has a real Benny Hill/Carry On undertone.
So you can add to the existing rule that as well as being on a National Radio station and being an existing media personality you can also make the top 25 by being owned and named after a major brand.
So that leaves us with Pets, Happy Tree Friends and Best of You Tube. Pets and Best of You Tube are both hosted by Adam Curry‘s Podshow (sorry Mevio) which gives them a promo factor AND Best of You Tube also has the whole Appeal the Aunty thing going on (you know – look aunty flo you can see me on this podcast).
As for Happy Tree Friends that seems to be the odd one out in the crowd – the indie podcast that breaks the rules. But it doesn’t really as it’s become a pretty big brand in its own right.
However – the last three do have one key thing in common and this is also in common with all the other podcast of the top 25 – they’re REALLY good.
So our final rule is 1) you need to be on a national radio station or 2) you need to be an existing media personality or 3) you need to be named after a big brand or the new one 4) you need to produce exceptional content.
But there is one more rule and this is the one that ALL of the top 25 share – they’re all funny – every single one is either presented by a comedian, is about a sitcom or is just funny in its own right.
So our final set of rules came to a nice rounded five.
1) Be on a national radio station, tv network or in a national newspaper
2) Be an existing media personality and have a strong fanbase
3) Be aligned to or owned by a big brand
4) Produce really good content
5) Be funny
There you have it – five simple rules for cracking the top 25 on iTunes – who fancies joining me for a weekly Skype chat about god knows what in an attempt to hit the top 25?
I think we could manage rules 4 and 5 AND if I can get a couple of big name bloggers to join in possibly even 2 AND if we can get sponsorship OR talk in part about a big brand even 3.
One is the hardest to crack unless the Guardian fancies sponsoring us? Although they don’t seem to have managed to get any of their podcasts in the top 25.
Which surprises me as Media Talk is a top notch listen.