What Does New And Noteworthy In iTunes Really Mean? A Case Study

By Leslie Samuel | Podcasting

Sep 01

Click play if you'd prefer to listen to a dramatized reading of the blog post instead:

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New and Noteworthy – it’s the thing that so many podcasters are raving about.

09_01_New_Noteworthy_Pinterest

Evidently, when a podcast is featured in New and Noteworthy, that gives it the boost of having a ton of downloads, giving a new podcaster the push that he/she needs to start a successful podcast – or so they say.

So, I’ve decided to give it a go, and I need your help.

When I started Learning With Leslie (my podcast), I wasn’t featured in new and noteworthy. However, podcasting is something I cover here on the blog and also in the Become A Blogger University.

Podcasting is one of my favorite things I do in my blogging business. I’ve always had that “radio DJ fantasy”, ever since I was a little boy, and that has continued into my adulthood.

As I continue to teach bloggers how to podcast, I want to do more teaching on how to market a podcast successfully.

One of the things I’d like to cover in depth is this whole New and Noteworthy concept. Is it REALLY that helpful? Do you REALLY get a lot of downloads as a result? If so, how do you keep the momentum going beyond that short period?

Become A Blogger On The Go

Over the last two months or so, I’ve been releasing a “dramatized audio reading” of my written blog posts. I’ve received a bunch of great feedback about it and thought to myself – this is the perfect time to test out this New & Noteworthy thing for myself.

That lead to the birth of Become A Blogger On The Go – my new podcast which will include my dramatized readings of my Monday Blog posts.

So here’s what I would LOVE for you to do to help me with this case study:

What I “Know” About New & Noteworthy

From the research I’ve done so far, the above mentioned steps are major factors that go into the determination of what should be listed as New and Noteworthy.

Now, nobody (besides the guys over at iTunes) seems to be able to say beyond a shadow of a doubt what the formula is for being featured as New and Noteworthy. However, here are the factors I’ve heard people say weigh into the decision:

  • Having professional artwork (Dimensions: 1400 x 1400 pixels)
  • Having a professional intro
  • Having a high quality podcast
  • Getting a “decent” amount of subscriptions in a short period of time
  • Getting a “decent” amount of downloads in a short period of time
  • Getting a “decent” number of reviews in a short period of time

With all of that being said, I'm fairly certain that I’ve seen podcasts listed as New and Noteworthy that have violated one or more of those “guidelines” we’ve heard from many podcasting “gurus”.

Also, I’ve heard that in the good old days, being featured as New and Noteworthy would practically guarantee a ton of downloads, but that it’s not as beneficial these days.

I’ve helped a number of podcasters get ranked as new & noteworthy and will be including them when I do the full analysis. However, in order to be thorough, I feel the need to go through it myself and accurately track as many details as I can.

My Initial Opinion

Many podcasters seem to get started with the ultimate goal of being featured in New & Noteworthy. While that does sound kinda cool, I think it’s a bit shortsighted. In fact, I’ve heard of people going from having a ton of downloads during that time to basically none after the fact.

When I start a venture, I think I should be looking to build something for the long term. That’s ALWAYS my goal.

My focus is not on the first 8 weeks (which is how long many people claim New & Noteworthy has the potential to last). My focus is on building something that will last the test of time. If you really do that and provide value to your audience, New & Noteworthy won’t be necessary.

However, IF New & Noteworthy does indeed have the potential to give you an initial boost, and you focus on over-delivering to your audience giving them so much value that they fall in love with your content and want to share it with the world, I can see how New & Noteworthy can be a valuable part of an overall marketing strategy with a long term focus.

That’s all I’m going to say about that for now, but there’s a whole lot more coming 😉

So Once Again . . .

I won’t make this a very long post, because the long stuff will be coming in the future. I look forward to sharing my findings with you.

But for now, I’ll go ahead and reiterate the steps:

My Questions For You

Are you a podcaster? If so, have you been featured in New & Noteworthy? If so, what did it do for you?

  • Dana says:

    Yes, I was in new and noteworthy for my category for the first three months (or however long it lasts). It did get me a lot of visibility. As long as I was in it, I was also in the top five in my category (Kids and Family), which got my brand a lot of exposure. Through this, I got a great sponsorship and gained a new audience.

    It was also just fun to check my category’s rankings constantly to see if I was beating Dr. Laura and Cookie Monster and Focus on the Family.

    My personal theory is that it’s key to be in a category that has its own new and noteworthy and top ten list. I never made the overall itunes new and noteworthy list but being on the list for my category was incredibly helpful.

    • That’s great to hear Dana. Thanks for sharing. This shall be interesting indeed. Oh, and I will be reaching out to you soon for more info on this – since you’re like my star student 😉

      P.s. I look forward to seeing you again next year when you show me how you’re just killing it with Youtube 😉

    • Ash says:

      Hi Leslie,

      What was the outcome of this case study? Did you find that it’s worth getting onto new and noteworthy?

    • Good question Ash. I didn’t do a follow up on this. I did get into new and noteworthy, but not at the top because of competition. From my experience, it didn’t really make a difference.

  • Denlyn Blake says:

    I absolutely love little experiments. Since we are school buddies I give my most valuable resources…Leslie you must check out this Christopher Walker’s interview with Scott Britton http://thebloggingshow.com/ultimate-guide-growth-hacking-your-podcast-scott-britton/. Scott host of the Competitive Edge had a successful podcast launch and was in new and noteworthy. Those 8 weeks enabled Scott strategically released 3 episodes a week gained an additional 2500+ subscribers to his email list! There also a detailed report including his analytics.

    I will be launching my podcast really soon with careful attention to consistency and frequency, and itunes seo. Of course, getting traffic from outside of Itunes such as Stitcher and Soundcloud , YouTube helps to expand your reach but the don’t affect the itunes algorithm. I learned a lot at Podcast Movement Conference and I was so inspired I created a course. Thanks to you as well with our interview a few months back when shared with me how podcasting and conferences presented you with opportunities to speak.

    Your topic reminds of Nick Looper’s launch http://www.sidehustlenation.com/how-to-get-a-podcast-to-the-top-of-itunes-in-8-weeks-with-no-audience-or-celebrity-guests-case-study/. Keep me abreast of the outcome.

    • That’s pretty cool Denlyn. Thanks for sharing those links.

      So you went to Podcast Movement? That’s awesome. I was asked to speak there but I had been traveling so much that I needed a break (or more so, my wife needed a break from me being gone so often, lol).

  • I’m so excited about this new podcast. With a full time job, a husband building his own life coaching/counseling business, 2 little kids and one more on the way…I’m definitely a blogger on the go! I don’t often have time to read blog posts but listen to podcasts every day on my 40 minute one way commute. Can’t wait to download these first episodes and get started. I’ll be the one downloading and listening to each one as they come out. Thanks so much all you do to help bloggers like me!

  • Kerry-Ann says:

    This is a very helpful post Leslie!! I’ve been trying to understand the difference between an audio blog post and a regular podcast. You’ve helped me to figure it out.

    Very helpful tips as I try podcasting for myself. I’ve subscribed and downloaded the podcast.

    Thanks again!

  • HI Leslie ,
    This is a very good post. Am spending some time to see your blogs. Thank you for your very useful information. Am Enjoying your posts

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