10 Million Humblebrags

I’ve said it in a million places, it seems, but it’s still true: Lore was a happy accident. An ‘accident’ in the sense that I didn’t even intended for it to be a podcast, and ‘happy’ because I never imagined it would be enjoyed by so many people. How many people, you might wonder? Well, just two days ago, Lore passed the 10 million listens mark. 10,000,000. That’s eight digits. And that’s happened in just a little over 10 months.

Let’s put that into perspective, shall we? Bill Simmons is a legendary sports commentator. Between his work at ESPN, The B.S. Report., and Grantland, he’s worked hard to build a massive audience. And this past October, he launched his own podcast after leaving ESPN for HBO.

In a tweet from earlier this week, Simmons announced his show had been download 27 million times over the first four months. That’s huge! But it’s also a number that spans 61 episodes, making the per-episode average something around 443,000. And let me say how amazing that is. In a world where most podcasts don’t get 1,000 downloads a month, Simmons is crushing it.

In comparison, Lore reached 10 million with only 26 episodes. That’s a per-episode average of around 385,000. And that’s not too shabby for a guy (me!) who never had screen time on ESPN, or the backing of a cable network like HBO. I don’t have a team of employees or an expensive studio. For better or for worse, Lore is just...me.

Now, numbers aren’t super important on most levels. I prefer to look at reviews, honestly; Lore currently has over 2,500 reviews and ratings on iTunes, and over 2,300 of those are 5-star, with another 100+ giving it 4 stars. That’s a huge measuring stick. Not only do a lot of people listen to the show, but they LIKE it.

Lore has been written about in big places, too. Places like The Guardian, the Huffington PostEntertainment WeeklyUSA Today, and the Nerdist.com. And in December, iTunes declared the show one of their Best of 2015.

And then there's Patreon, which is yet another way to measure success for a lot of creators. People love a lot of things in their lives, but they don’t love most of those enough to put their money where their hearts are. So when I see that Lore has over 1,200 backers on Patreon, it’s humbling and encouraging and down-right mind-blowing.

My point is this: Lore has some of the best listeners out there, hands-down, and I’m grateful to all of you for being a part of that community. You talk about the show with your coworkers and friends and relatives. You proudly wear your Lore t-shirts to the gym and the office. You talk to each other about episodes and have listening parties.

Lore is growing. The podcast, the audience, the opportunities — all of it. There are some amazing new things coming in the next few months, and I can’t wait to share them with you. In the mean time, twist your mouth into a huge smile, straighten your shoulders, and hold your head high.

You helped make Lore what it is today, and you should be proud of that.