Captain's log, stardate d610.y40/AB
The Life on Mars podcast, an initiative we launched during 2020, has recently concluded its third year. Since its inception in 2020, the podcast has grown into a significant channel for the company, not just as a platform for sharing insights and experiences but also as a tool for global outreach and lead generation.
We launched two feeds, the English version and the Spanish version of the podcast, so we could service both of our audiences: the local ones in Barcelona and surroundings, and the friends we've got overseas - especially in the US - but also in countries where Spanish isn't spoken... and for the expats in Barcelona!
In 2023, the podcast saw a slightly reduced output compared to previous years. The Spanish feed released 17 episodes, averaging about 1.42 episodes per month, which is a bit lower than usual. Meanwhile, the English feed produced 13 episodes, at a rate of about 1.08 episodes per month. This deviation from the intended weekly schedule was due to the challenging nature of the year.
We will disclose more details in subsequent blog posts, but we've been extremely busy this year. We have managed to have an exceptionally good year for the company, but it could have also been a rather bad one, due to the drastic swings the markets took this year. As a result, a big chunk of our efforts, attention and mental bandwidth have been dedicated to sales and strategy, while leaving the marketing on a second level of priority.
During the summer, we intended to pause it for two weeks for my holidays and we ended up not publishing for almost three months. In hindsight, it was a good decision, as we were able to sell more projects and we only saw a decrease in the number of downloads of the English feed. The Spanish feed continued growing nonetheless, against all odds.
In spite of all that, we managed to grow to 20.000 downloads this year, far from where we want it to be but on track to have sustainable growth with no ads nor sponsors. Only organic.
However, the podcast's global reach was unmistakable. It was listened to in 77 countries, underlining its international appeal. The top countries tuning in were Spain, the USA, Germany, Australia, and Portugal. This diverse listenership demonstrates the podcast's ability to resonate across different cultures and geographies and that we've been a global company since day one.
The top episodes in Spanish were diverse in content, featuring discussions about bootstrapping, tech stack choices, entrepreneurship away from the limelight, values in business, and a company sale that went south and killed one of our favourite clients.
The most popular episodes of all time of our Spanish feed are:
The English episodes also covered a range of topics, such as the potential sale or investment in MarsBased, client acquisition strategies in San Francisco, the SVB situation, a recap of 2022 and predictions for 2023, and insights into remote and asynchronous work.
The top episodes in the English feed of Life on Mars were:
Notably, the podcast has also contributed to generating leads for MarsBased. In 2023, the podcast directly resulted in signing at least one contract, showcasing its effectiveness as a business tool.
The podcast also attracts talent. Multiple times during the interview processes, the candidates mention that they're active listeners of the podcast, so we can skip part of the process where we talk about who we are, what we do and how we do it. Active listeners of the podcast make better candidates, when we're hiring.
Moreover, the podcast has attracted a high-profile audience, with several influential individuals regularly tuning in and enjoying the content. This aspect not only adds to the prestige of the podcast but also potentially opens up avenues for networking and collaboration. I, for one, am very surprised when I'm meeting potential clients, reputed VCs, serial entrepreneurs, or managers of big companies and they mention our podcast. I am flattered beyond words.
In conclusion, the third year of the Life on Mars podcast highlighted MarsBased’s ability to maintain a global presence and engage with a diverse audience, despite the challenges faced. The podcast has not only served as a platform for sharing valuable insights but also as an effective tool for business development and networking and for connecting with our community further.
2024 has to be a make or break year for the podcast. With our recently renewed website and the possibility of adding a marketing person to the MarsBased team, we will gear up on content.
We have been experimenting for some weeks now with AI tools for the edition of the podcast (Auphonic, Capcut, Buzzsprout) but we will use more to generate content in multiple formats: transcripts, blog posts, audio/video snippets for social media, etc. We have also been testing the "question of the day" format for many episodes now.
Outside of that, there are other things we will have to explore in 2024:
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