August 2018

Hi there!

August is the 11th full month that I worked on Listen Notes full-time. It'll be a full year next month!

  • Website traffic hits all-time high!
  • Tons of important infrastructural improvements.
  • Recurring revenue from developer APIs increases.
  • Nothing :) Still having fun.
You can read past issues of this monthly update.

Product updates

1. Universal subscribe button, powered by podlove. On podcast pages and Listen Later pages, you can click the "Subscribe" button and choose a podcast app to subscribe. This makes it easy to bring things to mobile phone. As you can see, the podcast world is so fragmented, and there are so many podcast apps :)




2. A lot of performance improvements for web pages, e.g., caching tons of things, db tuning, removed unnecessary/useless info from pages, ajax-fy pages... It's blazingly fast to render most pages on now (~60ms on average). This was a big project on its own. It's easier said than done. I'm glad that this is in good shape now.

3. In the process of adding episode-specific images. A lot of podcasts have specific images for individual episodes, e.g., headshots of guests (Example). Such episode-specific images could help listeners decide whether to invest time to listen a particular episode.

4. A new page for classified ads. It's a centralized place that lists all podcasts looking for sponsors, co-hosts, guests, and cross-promotion opportunities.

5. Cleaned up some DevOps-related scripts (e.g., server provisioning) and did some "fire drills" (e.g., emulate a lot of failure scenarios). These things are in the spirit of "keep the lights on" and "don't die" :) 

6. Some improvements on developer APIs, e.g., performance improvement, added more data in the response...

Company updates

I've decided to focus on monetization in the following months, instead of fund raising. Make Listen Notes financially sustainable first.

Listen Notes brought in ~$900 in August, via ads & developer APIs. It's not big money, but it pays the server fees -- next step: be able to pay my rent, then health insurance :) 

I see some potentials in the developer APIs, which could play an important role in the podcast movement, e.g., empowering developers to build innovative podcast apps fast. I've already seen some interesting apps built on top of developer APIs. I decided to double down on the improvement of developer APIs in September. 

Some numbers

  • Database: 542k podcasts; 34.3 million episodes 
  • Website:
    • Page views: 284k
    • Unique visitors: 72.6k
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Thanks for reading! Drop me a line and tell me what you think about Listen Notes -- just reply this email or :) 


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