We set out to make Quiz Masters about a year ago, writing, redrafting, auditioning and casting – and recasting; shouts to Ben Keenan who originally played Ollie, and even bigger shouts to Scott Joseph who jumped in at short notice – and when we did so, our aims were modest and humble: namely, to try and realise an idea Aidan had been brewing for a while; to gain experience actually making a fully fledged sitcom; and to have fun in the process.
Beyond that – and knowing we’d be distributing it mainly (but not exclusively) through iTunes – we hoped we’d build up a loyal fan base through word of mouth, social media and dogged persuasion of friends, enough to worry the bottom of the iTunes Top 200 Chart. We knew we liked what we’d made, so I saw the objective of getting into the charts as a vindication of our efforts and convictions in what we’ve spent the last 12 months making. Naturally, if a radio or TV exec tuned in and wanted to develop it, that would be icing on the cake – or more realistically, the promise of taking our somewhat rudimentary cake, sprinkling it with Hundreds & Thousands (TM) and selling it nationwide through a chain of bakers, but I digress. I was keen not to sound overambitious lest I sound like a vain liar, particularly to my dear cast who I suspect are pretty well trained to smelling word-manure. And so we had our objective – to crack the Top 200.
And that brings us to our current operation. We’ve been doing some research on how to get into the chart and as well as making stuff that’s, y’know, good and stuff, and spreading the word online and the like, one thing that really helps is getting loads of new subscribers. For the uninitiated, iTunes allows listeners to download and listen to individual podcast episodes, but also subscribe to podcast streams so that when a new episode is made and released, it gets automatically downloaded, ready for your hungry ears. Some podcast providers charge a fee for subscriptions but, despite what the word might suggest, subscriptions are often free – and they certainly are for Quiz Masters. So our current strategy is that – to try and persuade as many new people to subscribe as possible, specifically on iTunes and on a specific day to really concentrate the hits iTunes is getting.
So do forgive us if we come across as a bit spammy over the next day or two, even though that’s effectively what we’re doing. If you get a Facebook message from us, looking suspiciously like it’s been cut and pasted, don’t view it with suspicion; rather view it as a gesture that we want you in our chart-busting team. Imagine yourselves as the A Team: fugitives in a messed-up world where, by subscribing at no cost to our little venture, you can build an armoured car in a shed out of a pallet and a toothbrush. Brothers and sisters, it may seem like a trifling matter to just click a link but together, we can make something beautiful – we can realise our dreams!
By clicking here, and then clicking ‘Subscribe’ that’s exactly what you’ll be helping us to do. Maybe it won’t work and maybe we won’t even come close to touching the charts, but you have to dare to dream. So dig deep, people, let’s make it happen! At worst, you’ve made it even easier to get the rest of the series as each episode is released. At best, you’ve helped us to achieve our objective.
And with that, soldier, we’ll let you get on with it and update you at the debrief. Stand at ease.