I created Australia’s number 1 podcast. After hours. In my spare time. On. My. Couch.

It still blows my mind.

CHILDERS – The Full Story launched just over a month ago. Since then, my little passion project has clocked up more than 260-thousand downloads.

It’s charted in more than 30 countries world-wide.

Yesterday it jumped 125 places in Hong Kong. Last night it was a new entry on the charts in Germany and France.

CHILDERS was never about the numbers and analytics. It was developed to pay tribute to the 15 victims of the June 2000 fire, the 69 survivors and the incredible men and women who offered up a collective community hug 20 years ago.

There were stories to be told that didn’t centre on the disturbed individual who caused such destruction that night and over the past two decades.

Success was a bonus.

It is being given to the Bundaberg Regional Council who run the memorial to the victims as a legacy piece to document the events of that horrific night and beyond.

Even better than that though, as one of the survivors noted to me earlier this week in a thank you letter – “it’s archived in such a way that it is something I can share with my boys one day when they are old enough.”

That means a lot.

But after the final episode of the initial series dropped on Friday, it is timely to reflect on its metrics.

For a period of time, it was the most popular podcast in the country.

Among a jungle of commercial radio giants, niche podcast platforms and providers and heavily advertised programming, it trumped them all.

Don’t get me wrong, I tried to get it noticed.

I contacted some of Australia’s leading industry publications. I made them aware of its climb.

For me, the story was there. This homemade operation, out-ranking competitors promoted on mainstream radio, being quoted in news articles, sitting prominently in website ad banners and dripping in commercial spend. The journo in me saw the yarn.

CHILDERS was the little boat that could. Tugging along among the cruise liners and sailing straight past. It was the club golfer who won a major. The bush nag that won the Melbourne Cup. Now that’s a yarn that would be told.

You didn’t read about that though. Editorial, despite its significance, has its price in the competitive podcast space.

Still, people listened. In big numbers. Day after day, the numbers kept accumulating.

CHILDERS has restored my faith somewhat. Good content works. People don’t need to be told by the press what’s right for them. Offer up quality and people will take notice – and – they’ll happily vouch for it among their own personal network.

A good story is a good story. Tell it well and it will resonate. Through a long career in television, newspapers, magazines, corporate communications and now podcasting, I’ve always believed in that.

I’d like to think CHILDERS – The Full Story is proof. Long live free, independent journalism.

NOTE – I had some amazing help from an extremely talented audio editor/ sound designer who poured his heart into creating original composition for this series. I highly suggest getting in touch with Zoltan Fecso to work with you on your next podcast project! Here’s a link to his website HERE

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