Earlier this year, I wrote about the relentless pace of new podcast launches, and the challenge of trying to keep up:
Too many podcasts. Not enough time.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless flood of brand new shows coming out on a regular basis. Personally, I have a hard time keeping up with all the new shows I want to check out, let alone the growing backlog of old favorites in my listening queue.
As someone who works in podcasting, I feel a responsibility to at least try to keep up with new releases. This industry moves fast, and it’s important to stay abreast of new shows, new voices, new formats, and new marketing techniques.
But it’s hard.
So I built something to help myself.
Nothing But Podcast Trailers
Podcast trailers are great because they’re often designed as an introduction to a new show. Done right, listening to a podcast trailer is the audio equivalent of reading the back cover of a book: it’ll give you the gist.
(If you follow this blog, you probably know that every podcast needs a trailer, and that successful podcasts are more likely to include trailers.)
All podcast trailers, all the time
Creating my podcast feed was simple. I wrote a short Python script to do the work for me. Once an hour my script:
- Checks Apple Podcasts for the Top 200 shows in the US
- Crawls each show’s RSS feed, looking for episodes marked with an
- Lists the trailers in reverse chronological order, and publishes the results as an RSS feed
I subscribe to the feed in Overcast, and set it to “Keep All Unplayed Episodes.”
Voila: if a podcast is hot/buzzy/popular enough to make it into Apple’s US charts, and it has a properly tagged trailer, my phone will automatically download it.
Low-effort show discovery
I’ve been using my Nothing But Podcast Trailers podcast feed for a few weeks now, and I’ve been surprised at how useful it is.
How is it useful?
Podcast trailers tend to be short. That means they’re easy to fit into parts of my life where a full 30, 60, or 90+ minute episode simply wouldn’t. Trailers are the perfect snack-sized listening experience.
Because I enabled Overcast’s “Notifications for New Episodes” setting, I get a helpful heads-up when a new trailer makes the list. For instance, I learned about Season 2 of The Ron Burgundy Podcast because of a podcast trailer notification earlier this month.
Trailers are also a great way to watch other shows’ marketing efforts in action. For instance, my phone downloaded no fewer than three different trailers for the new Wondery show Room 20 (one each from the American Scandal, Dirty John, and Man In The Window feeds). In-network cross-promo at its finest.
Because they’re downloaded automatically to my phone, I get trailers for lots of different genres, including corners of the Apple Podcasts ecosystem I don’t usually spend much time in (for instance, True Crime).
Finally, listening to lots of other podcasts’ trailers can help inform your own trailers. You can study the various writing, production, and storytelling approaches, and apply what you’ve learned to your own work.
Try it out
I built Nothing But Podcast Trailers for myself. But after using it for a while, I think it’s worth sharing more broadly. Just copy/paste this RSS feed into your favorite podcast app:
… and let me know what you think.
And if you have techniques that you use to manage the glut of new shows, I’m all ears.