466- Signs when it is time to sunset your podcast show

In this episode of The Podcast Reporter, we discuss a recent post from titled “How to Know when to pull the plug on your podcast” by Steven Goldstein.

In this post, Steven discusses several main reasons for sunsetting a podcast show: “Tastes change, story arcs get old, and new shows come along that are more appealing…most shows are not meant to last forever and don’t.”

And Steven mentions the fact that careful monitoring of your show is a key factor to know when the success will be turning into a possible failure in the near future. 

So that means that you, yourself, will have to monitor the success and growth of your show to indicate possible downward trends that will cease making your show a success. In fact, when you look at the numbers and the odds of your own show being one of the top podcasts in the podosphere, it can be a bit intimidating:  “According to Edison Research, people in the U.S. listen to six podcasts each week. Yikes. 1.4 million podcasts with 35 million episodes… and they choose six! The tyranny of choice is brutal.”

So how can you tell that it may be time to begin thinking about withdrawing your show and “sunsetting” it? Well, Steven delivers these six signs, with accompanying paragraphs of detail:

  • We’ll just “wing it” — no real plan;
  • “More B than A”;
  • Creative bankruptcy or “story fatigue”;
  • Freshness dating;
  • No marketing;
  • Soft time spent listening.

One key example is the outdated podcast show theme of interviewing entrepreneurs (which was popular from 2007 to 2017). Not only did I, myself, have a top-rated show since 2007 called “The Struggling Entrepreneur” (which has since podfaded, due to an end of interest and a change in topics of interest), but also the old show called “Entrepreneur on fire” also had a run of financial success with lots of copy-cats trying to imitate the fiscal success of the show by using the cookie-cutter approach that the original show had (not very creative).

So tastes do change, as well as the show titles and the audiences.

For this podcaster, I have seen many changes over the past 15 years that I have spent as a podcaster, content creator, screencaster, video consumer and listener of podcasts. And for me, the one that seems to be the most common is that of “story fatigue.” It is obvious that a short run of what is popular at the time with a quick run to the top of the charts also can signify the vulnerability of a quick drop of popularity and then a quick demise. A case in point of this type of popularity is that of the social media platform “blab” that was very popular half a decade ago, but lost its influence when the platform was terminated and left a lot of podcasters high and dry (because they had assumed that this would still be around and some of them actually counted on this platform for building their business and podcast shows for success — little did they know that this platform would be crashing down big-time).

Also, I have seen success in re-creating podfaded shows with a new name and a slightly different spin of themes (which can support any new changes in the direction or attractions by listeners). Not only have I, myself, done this, but the conferences for podcasting are full of examples of these resurrections that re-appear like a phoenix from the ashes of weariness and tiredness of listeners seeking new and exciting themes.

For you, as a podcaster, monitoring your downloads, your subscriptions and your feedback is vital. Also, seeing the reactions and the results of your presentations and promotions at podcasting conferences and virtual events will be critical in getting good feedback. In fact, one area you may try to get some good data is to receive feedback about your show from International Podcast Day presentations (every 30th of September) — and you can then see how your show will be received and can grow worldwide.

So, I wish you the best in constantly examining, monitoring and fine-tuning your show for success — and that way, perhaps you can avoid the six reasons for your to “sunset” your podcast show.

Thank you for your attention.

Copyright (c) 2020, Matrix Solutions Corporation and Steven Goldstein. All rights reserved.