Great Writers Going for Gold

When UK album sales reach 100,000 they are awarded a gold disc by the BPI. Using that as a benchmark, the Great Writers Inspire series of short talks have reached total downloads of 118,579 through iTunesU. We knew these inspirational talks donated by Oxford academics for the benefit of all for free were gold standard, but it’s nice to see that thousands of people across the world agree.

This series of talks were promoted by iTunesU from 1 May (see Peter Robinson’s post) and we have benefited from some pretty impressive downloads ever since. When one of our podcast series is promoted on the iTunesU site it does wonderful things to our download stats. And of course once they get high downloads because of the promotion, they appear in the top download charts and the ‘what’s hot’ section, and so it continues. Our Great Writers Inspire series of talks have experienced this success and have regularly appeared in the global top 10 in recent weeks. The figure of 118,579 is for audio and video downloads from mid April until the second week in July.

Download figures are influenced by all sorts of things: recordings which appear at the top of the list always receive higher downloads, as will talks with familiar titles. Stars of the series include Chaucer by Professor Daniel Wakelin with over 10,000 downloads and Shakespeare and the Stage by Professor Tiffany Stern with 9500+. Jane Austen’s Manuscripts Explored by Professor Kathryn Sutherland has achieved over 8000 downloads in just 5 weeks! High download statistics are not the only indicator of quality, and talks with more obscure titles naturally appear lower in our charts. Even so, talks on lesser known writers have achieved still impressive downloads of 5000 and more.

If you haven’t already done so, please visit the talks on iTunesU or via the University of Oxford’s podcast portal – a global audience of this size can’t be wrong!

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