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About our new PMQs podcast

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Be where people are, Digital strategy, Social Media

PMQs inforgraphicI work on digital engagement and social media here in Parliament and over the past week I've been asked to look at how we can develop an 'official' PMQs podcast (after some friendly prompting from the team behind the Downing Street Says site).

So what's new?

I've just started putting a podcast of PMQs on our UK Parliament SoundCloud account and you can now subscribe to the official PMQs podcast on iTunes. In the coming weeks I’ll be looking at ways we can further distribute the podcast by linking it up to other directories and subscription services. I’d be interested to hear any suggestions you might have about how we might develop this new service.

The Guardian PMQs podcast stopped in May 2013 and since then the Downing Street Says PMQs podcast has done an excellent job keeping an 'unofficial' service going. We are now trying to establish an 'official' PMQs podcast and integrate this with our other PMQs coverage.

What do users want from a PMQs podcast?

Reading the customer reviews for these other PMQs services gives a good idea about what users want: the PMQs podcast needs to be available quickly (as close to the live broadcast as possible), the service needs to be reliable e.g. no gaps, and the quality of the audio needs to be up to scratch. Let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed.

Since 2011 we’ve been adding a recording of PMQs to the UK Parliament YouTube channel  approximately three hours after the live broadcast - and we haven’t missed one yet! We’ll be looking to establish a similar process with the podcast so our intention is for it to become a timely, reliable, high-quality and above all useful service.

PMQs on YouTube

You can watch PMQs live (or catch up later) via Parliament TV but increasingly we've been looking at ways we can get greater reach on the PMQs broadcast. Our YouTube video of Jeremy Corbyn's first PMQs has now been watched around 80,000 times, which is one of the largest audiences we've had for a PMQs video, and we regularly get around 25,000 views.

About 50% of the traffic to our YouTube PMQs comes from within the UK, with the next biggest audience the US (15%). Most traffic occurs on the day the video is posted (30%), then we get about 10% the next day, 5% the day after and then traffic settles at a steady rate of between 500-1,000 views per day for a week or two. However some of our best performing videos have been PMQs from the archives such as Margaret Thatcher’s last PMQs from November 1990 (270,000 views) and Tony Blair’s first PMQs from May 1997 (160,000 views).

Making PMQs more social

In addition to YouTube since March this year we’ve been uploading a video of PMQs straight onto the UK Parliament facebook page. These have also proved popular: Jeremy Corbyn's first PMQs got 75,000 views on facebook. These videos are also open to comment which leads to a significant amount of engagement. Jeremy Corbyn’s first PMQs generated about 1,500 comments and around 5,000 likes.

There’s a huge opportunity for Parliament to make greater use of its video/audio assets and hopefully a PMQs podcast is a step in the right direction. Trying to offer more real-time coverage of events like PMQs via our social media channels e.g. live streaming PMQs via our YouTube channel is the next step I'd like to make. Again I would be interested in hearing your views and ideas. What would you like Parliament to be offering in terms of online video and audio?

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  1. Comment by Mike posted on

    I subscribe to the Downing Street Says PMQs podcast, it's a great way to listen to important excerpts from Parliament. I download from an RSS feed, so as yet am unable to download your official version.
    I'd love to see an official PMQs podcast RSS, so I can access the official recording.

    I actually come across this page looking for a recording the Autumn Statement. I'd love to see a podcast (with RSS feed) of recordings of the 'big' parliamentary business: budgets, statements, maybe the occasional urgent question, if deemed interesting enough.

    • Replies to Mike>

      Comment by Matt Instone posted on

      Hi Mike

      If you used to subscribe to the Downing Street Says PMQs podcast on iTunes you are now receiving the official PMQs podcast. We've taken over this feed (with the agreement of Downing Street Says) and we have therefore inherited their subscribers.

      Thanks for your feedback about content. I put the Autumn Statement on our SoundCloud account but I didn't include it in the PMQs RSS. I thought as the feed was advertised as a PMQs podcast I didn't want to confuse matters by adding non-PMQs content.

      It's interesting to hear that you were looking to listen to the Autumn Statement. Perhaps in the future I'll add things like the Budget and the Queen's Speech to the PMQs RSS. It's a bit more tricky for us to decide what constitutes other 'big' parliamentary business, it's really important that we remain editorially impartial, but including all statements and urgent questions might work.

      I wouldn't want to dilute the PMQs podcast too much by adding a lot of other content but perhaps there's more of an appetite for a general Parliament/House of Commons podcast than I thought.