Episode 43

Listener Survey Results

August 20, 2020

We turn the focus of this week’s show on you, our listeners. You told us who you are and what you like, and in this episode we showcase those results.

Episode Audio:



I’m Judy Gordon, and this is San Mateo Focus. As long-term residents who have raised six kids here, we thought it was high time someone shined a light on the good things in San Mateo to enrich the lives of those living here and the businesses that serve them. If you want to know the best places to eat and play, the events not to miss, and want to know how San Mateo became the crown jewel of the peninsula, tune in every Thursday and please be sure to click the ‘subscribe’ button on your favorite podcast app. Now, onto this week’s episode.    


On July 9th, we aired episode 37, what we called the “Tell Us What You Think” show. In that episode, and for the next few weeks, we encouraged listeners to take an online survey so we could better understand how to make the San Mateo Focus podcast the best it could be. Well, you came through, and in today’s episode we are going to share the results of our listener survey. It is our hope that by sharing these results we can communicate who listens to the podcast, what type of stories our community most wants to hear, and more about you, our listeners. If this prompts you to want to make your voice heard, or help shape what San Mateo Focus becomes, we will open the survey back up for two weeks to give you time to provide your own input.

First of all, who IS the San Mateo Focus listener community, anyway? You told us that 78% of you identify as female and 22% as male—that 23% of you are 25 to 44 years old, 33% are 45 to 65, and 45% are over 65. You also told us that 85% of you are Caucasian, 8% Asian, and 3% each for Latino, Native American, or other.

In terms of your listening habits, you told us that just over two-thirds of you listen to between one to three additional podcasts weekly—another third listen to as many as six—and three percent listen to a whopping seven podcasts or more.

We found where, when, and how you consumed San Mateo Focus to be just as interesting with 88% of you listening on your smartphone and the rest of you evenly split between tablets and computers. 60 percent of you tuned-in through a Podcast app, and the rest were split between listening directly on sanmateofocus.com and our Facebook or Instagram feeds.

22% of you listened while exercising, 15% while doing chores, 15% when prompted by our social media posts, 7% while in the car, and 42% saying “no particular time.” Those numbers were probably influenced by the 41% of you who subscribed and received notifications versus the 31% who don’t, and the 28% who weren’t sure. The final notable listening habits were split almost in thirds between those who listened to every episode—picked and chose which episodes to listen to—or just selected randomly.

A lot of numbers, I know, but we’re more than halfway done.



In terms of your opinion of the podcast itself, your answer to the industry-standard question of “whether you would recommend San Mateo Focus to a friend” resulted in what is called a 73 point ‘Net Promoter Score.’ That’s better than Apple and Samsung and just under Starbucks and Costco. That and the 24 five-star reviews in the Apple Podcast store tells us we are doing something right.

Back to the survey, 61% of you were “very satisfied” and 32% were “satisfied” with the narrative show format versus the common interview format of many podcasts.

Also, 59% of you were “very satisfied” and “29% “satisfied” with the five-minute show duration, with only 10% wanting longer episodes.

Many of you “wrote in” which episodes were your favorites, too. A number of you said you liked the Giannini family episodes, St. John’s Cemetery, and Mini Pantries, plus a smattering of you also mentioned liking the San Mateo Parks, Crystal Springs Dam, Japanese Restaurants, and Downtown episodes.

In order of preference, three-quarters of you liked stories about San Mateo history, and then between 37 & 55% of you ranked these topics next in line: current issues, things to do & see, places to eat, profiles of everyday San Mateans, San Mateo culture, and lastly, Celebrity San Mateans.

In terms of how you found out about San Mateo Focus, 55% of you were turned on by a friend, 17% found us through social media, and 29% didn’t remember.

But most importantly, everyone said they enjoyed the podcast with 44% saying it is “extremely enjoyable”—49% choosing “very enjoyable”—and 7% selecting “somewhat enjoyable.” It was heartening to find out that 40% of you said the podcast was ‘extremely valuable’ to the San Mateo Community—48% said ‘very valuable—and 12% ‘somewhat valuable.’

Write-in evaluations included plaudits such as, “I’ve been hooked”—and “upbeat, informative, short and sweet. Ideal for sharing with friends”—and “Keep doing what you are doing!” Plus, we hear what you told us about wanting longer or multipart episodes, more topical content, bringing on some guests, and needing more promotion to grow the number of listeners.

About that: we get asked a lot about how many people listen to San Mateo Focus, so Here’s the Deal: Since we launched late last year, we have had about 20,000 “listens” across forty-two episodes which averages about 475 listeners per episode. Another way to look at that is that we have provided over 100,000 minutes of information and entertainment to our community—all with virtually no paid sponsorships and minimal social media campaigns. Most of you came to know us by some type of word of mouth, and we could definitely use more of that—so please share the love!

As far as we are concerned, San Mateo Focus continues to be our experiment and we don’t know exactly where it’s going to end up—especially since “shining a light on the good things in San Mateo in order to enrich the lives of those living here and the businesses that serve them” during a pandemic has proven to be exceeding challenging—the same as for all of our lives.

Okay, that’s all the time we have for this episode. Have a great week. Don’t forget to subscribe to San Mateo Focus on your favorite Podcast app. As always, if you’d like more information about the topics in today’s episode or any of our sponsors, visit sanmateofocus.com.


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