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Show HN: The Program – my series launched on HN, now featured on Apple Podcasts (programaudioseries.com)
101 points by I-M-S on Dec 4, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 26 comments

Hello HN! In June 2018, I unveiled a fictional podcast called The Program on HackerNews [1]. You can think of The Program as a historical podcast set in a future in which Money, State, and God became fused into a single entity. Each episode is a self-contained story focusing on ordinary people inhabiting this extraordinary world. And for them, it is not this future that is terrifying - it is our present.

The remarkable reception I’ve received on HackerNews (one person called the show "the best 3 hours of entertainment and critical thinking [he has had] in a long time") motivated me to invest even more time and energy into The Program, a labour of love for me and everyone else involved. So I have made ten episodes in total and officially launched the show two weeks ago.

Five days after the release, The Program has been featured on Apple Podcasts' New & Noteworthy list in Canada. Less than 48 hours later, it topped the Canadian Fiction chart, beating out heavyweights such as Welcome to Night Vale and Gimlet’s newest fiction offering.

This auspicious start owes a lot to the feedback I’ve received here (thanks to everyone who completed the survey back then!) and the general intellectual stimulation this website provides. There are full episodes that have been inspired wholly by articles HackerNews’ readers shared and discussions they provoked - in fact, some upcoming stories incorporate comments from the threads almost verbatim [2] [3]. So I wanted to share the show with you and let you decide if I’m right to believe you’ll find it interesting. You can find the first six episodes at https://programaudioseries.com or simply search for “the program audio series” (full title) in your podcast app.

Thank you all for making HN such a precious place! If you have comments or feedback, feel free to share them here so we can continue the conversation.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17425278 [2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15651510 [3] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20666272

Congrats on the launch and positive reception!

What have you found helpful in finding an audience for your show? One of the big challenges of a podcast is that it's relatively high friction to get new listeners, especially for a deep, complex show like The Program. I'm curious how you get momentum behind it and convince new listeners to check it out.

To tell you the truth, I'm still trying to find it! xD But so far, Apple featuring the show as "New & Noteworthy" (in Canada) has been instrumental. This is a model example how independent productions can succeed if given a chance to be exposed to wider audiences.

sounds great! I went searching for it on my iPhone, and it's very hard to find by the name "The Program". However, I did find it by searching by author "Ivan Mirko". Best of luck!

interesting, I didn't know that helps... I just tell people to search for the full title ("the program audio series")

hope you enjoy the show!

I listened to the first episode. Very good! I'll definitely listen to more.

I've listened to the previous episodes when they were released initially last year. The promise of The Program sounded intriguing: set in a (dystopian?) future, narrated by ordinary people, often in an interview style, so I as a listener was (and still am) unaware of the full setting. And then the series took a break for about a year, but is now finally back. Finally!

The previous episode was as good as expected, and I can't wait to listen to the latest one. It's a bit sad that I work from home, I'd love to have to commute tomorrow so I could listen to it on the train...

The ideas, the writing, the chosen music, and especially the production quality is top notch. I don't know how he does it or where he's got his budget from, but this sounds better and more professional than almost all other podcasts, totally on par (or even better) with content produced by BBC etc.

If Black Mirror went back to its pre-Netflix roots and had an audio version, THIS would be it!

Thanks for re-submitting your project! I've started listening to it last year, enjoyed it a lot and then lost it after switching to a new phone. Couldn't find it because of rather generic title - searching for phrases like "the program sf audio drama" helped me to find a lot interesting stuff but not this one. So I'm happy to bookmark it properly this time :)

Lovely story! Life sometimes does give you a second chance (which is incidentally the theme of the episode coming out Jan 1st ;))

Nice segway, convinced me you are a good storyteller worth listening! lol

(nah, actually was already convinced by the upvotes, comments, and description; all episodes on my Play Later list)

I was wondering if this was going to continue. I listened to the episodes about two lovers split up by the war and the one about the militia operating out of an old Amazon warehouse. I liked them both but the lovers one was really good. Trying to piece together what the Program was doing and how it worked along with a really relatable story of two people separated by chance.

I'm glad I saw this... I've had the old feed in my reader all this time, waiting for a new episode that never came. If you still have the old feed up it might be worth publishing a small announcement ep to add the new feed?

Anyway, good luck and I can't wait to listen to the new eps!

my web dev guy tells me I've explicitly told him to delete that feed, so I'm guessing chances are slim. Sorry about that!

Wow, perfect timing. I'm looking for a new podcast and wanted to try something fictional. I'll give it a go.

I found the show on Google podcasts although it wasn't a top entry. I have no vested interest, but I've found Chartable worthwhile. They provide a link that detects the device and then route the clicker to Apple podcasts or Android etc.

I use it for my podcast called The Chat Bubble. It's about messaging (SMS & Messenger) as a marketing channel. Shameless Plug - https://link.chtbl.com/5aq29ViJ

I use AntennaPod and can directly search for podcasts there from several sources. I had to search for "The Program audio series" to find it, just searching for "The Program" brought too much noise.

I've been in touch sporadically with the author/creator since the original two episodes in 2018 and he's put a lot of work into it. I remember those two episodes fondly and for their high quality, and am really happy more are coming out.

Just listening to it WOWWWWW from Israel this is BRILLIANT

This has big Dark Tower feelings. I love it, thank you!

I can't find it on PocketCasts. Is there a service you can use to publish it, clearly you want your stuff accessible to others?

It's definitely on PocketCasts - you just have to search for the full title ("the program audio series")

Alternatively you can copy/paste the RSS link into the search bar in the app: https://rss.whooshkaa.com/rss/podcast/id/9740 (I haven't done this myself, but people tell me it works)

Maybe you have a chance to submit your podcast to Google Music and/or Stitcher?

It is on Stitcher! And on whatever Google is calling their podcast app today... Fun fact: for all other platforms you manually submit your show, whereas Google's platform finds it and indexes it automatically.

Just added it to my platform, hope that's OK!


Sure thing! Let me know if you need anything from me

this is nice - good luck to you and yours - definitely going to give it a listen

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