In this final 2023 episode of The Chemical Show, host Victoria Meyer presents a best-of anthology, diving into the show’s stats and analytics to highlight the most impactful episodes and topics. From the most downloaded episode featuring Michael Graff, CEO of AirLiquide Americas, to the most shared episode discussing China’s aging demographics and its impact on the chemical industry, Victoria reviews the year’s highlights and teases upcoming content, including a The Chemical Show LIVE event featuring Steve Lewandowski of Chemical Market Analytics. 

Take a moment to let us know how we’re doing and help us plan for 2024. Please complete our listener survey here.

Through insights from industry events, market assessments, and a focus on bio-based chemistries and innovations, the podcast continues to deliver valuable stories and insights for the chemical community.

 

Learn more about the following this week:

  • The Chemical Show’s Year-End Recap: “mosts” and “top of the charts” for 2023
  • Learning from leaders in the chemical industry on a different level and in their own words.
  • What to expect in 2024: The Chemical Show LIVE and The Chemical Summit

 

Killer Quote: “Podcasting is personal. It’s impactful. It’s real.” – Victoria Meyer, The Chemical Show

 

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Listen to Victoria Discuss The Chemical Show’s 2023 Stats Here:

Watch the Chemical Show Wrapped Stats on Youtube Here:


Best of 2023 – The Chemical Show Wrapped and Replayed

Hi, this is Victoria Meyer. Welcome back to The Chemical Show. This is the final episode of 2023. What I’m calling The Chemical Show Wrapped and Replayed. So this is a little riff off the end of year anthologies that Apple and Spotify are presenting to their listeners. My kids, my friends, my social media feeds are all about these annual stats as presented by both Apple and Spotify. So for this end of year episode of The Chemical Show I am going to present our version of The Chemical Show Wrapped and Replayed.

I love looking at the numbers and the analytics from The Chemical Show, learning about what episodes and topics have made a real impact on you and the other listeners of The Chemical Show and then figuring out how to do more of that. Because at the end of the day, a podcast recording that nobody listens to is a little bit like a tree that falls in the woods. Does it actually make a noise? Does it actually have an impact? I want to make sure that I’m creating value, that I’m sharing great stories, and that I’m helping you become a better member of the chemical community and the broader chemical community. Speaking of analytics and wanting to know what makes more of an impact for you. Have you taken the annual listener survey yet? If not, make sure you do that. It is linked in the show notes for this episode. It’s also linked right here.

It’s really important. Your feedback helps inform us about what matters to you and how we can continue to make The Chemical Show the best podcast in the industry for you. So go do it, it only takes you about two minutes. In fact, I’m going to give you authority just to pause reading this epiosde. Go take the survey and come back and continue on. Alright. So onto The Chemical Show Wrapped and Replayed.

I’m going to be going through some of the statistics, and just some of the interesting mosts of the year, which if you’ve done your Apple Replay or Spotify Wrapped, you will know what these are. So number one, drum roll, please. I’m not going to drum roll, but you can drum roll number one. The most downloaded and streamed episode of 2023 is… Episode 91 – Innovating For a Sustainable Future with Michael Graff, who at the time was the CEO of Air Liquide Americas. I am not surprised.

Mike is an excellent leader. He is very well-spoken. I have told a few people that episode is a masterclass in leadership, in storytelling and really being impactful in what you say and what you do. Mike is a great leader. He is really committed to the industry and he’s really committed to education and that comes through in what he does and what we talked about. One of the things that stood out to me from that episode was that Mike shared that he grew up in the south side of Chicago. In fact, Mike and I went to the same university a decade or so apart, and Mike also spent summers on a family farm.

Presumably in the Chicago area, greater Illinois area. But he shared the impact that it made on him as an engineer and as a leader, curiosity, problem-solving, perseverance and more. I’m always asking people what’s their origin story. What made them interested in the chemical industry, what made them become an engineer or a business leader, whatever their role is.

I get great stories, but what was really impactful about Mike’s story is a member of his communications team who was sitting in on the interview, as they do sometimes, when we wrapped she said, “I had no idea.” She was personally impacted and personally moved by that story. She said, “I’ve never heard that story before. I find it really interesting. I find it a valuable story to understand more about our leader. And I know that our employees would find that valuable and very personal, it was a very personal story.” So to me, that’s one of the great things that makes The Chemical Show special.

It also just makes podcasting as a genre and a media special. It is really personal. You get to know people on a completely different level in their own words. As you guys know, we launched our first conference here, The Chemical Summit. One of the leaders that was there, Steve, he said, “As soon as I heard about it, I knew I needed to come and meet you because I’ve listened to you every week and you sound exactly the same.”

So you guys come to the next Chemical Summit, which will be held in 2024 of October. We’re working on dates and details and will get that out to you soon and you’ll find out. But yes, I look and sound and probably say similar things to what I do on the podcast. Podcasting is personal. It’s impactful. It’s real.

All right. The most shared episode of 2023… is Episode 102 – China’s Aging Demographics and the Future of the Chemical Industry, which was with John Richardson of ICIS. Now, John has been on The Chemical Show several times. Loyal listeners have heard him and it’s always a great story. What was really interesting at that time; and that episode was released mid-year, if you recall what was going on mid-year, boy there was a number of things.

Number one, inflation was taking its toll globally, but really more importantly, what really became a bit of the shock and the surprise of 2023 was China, in the fact that following the zero COVID policies and the really sharp shutdowns that China had. When it reopened it did not rebound. John does a lot of data analytics. He talks to a lot of people. He is heavily invested in Asia and the Middle East. In fact, he lives in Australia if you didn’t know that. So he monitors closely what’s going on in that region and really monitors and tracks what’s going on in China.

The big story with China other than coming back and reopening the economy post-COVID, and not seeing a rebound, is really what else was going on. So real estate market collapse. Evergrande was the big story in mid-year and it probably still continues to be. As I read the newspapers, I’m continuing to see information about China’s real estate market and housing market and the impacts that’s having on their economy and then frankly, the global economy. In real estate, the realization, and maybe it’s been a realization to others, but it was eye opening to me and I think it was eye opening to some of you. Just this fact of the aging population of China and the changing demographics. Heck that was the name of the episode. The aging demographics, the one child policy that was in place for many years.

These things are all leading to a smaller workforce and older population. And frankly, the end of 6 to 8% growth from China which has significant global implications. That story is still being written, as they say, we don’t know how this is all going to play out, but go back and listen to Episode 102 with John. It was a great snapshot of what’s going on and some of those changes. Now I will also say, I have already recorded another episode with John that’s going to be coming out here next week. Listen to that. It’s an update as to what’s going on in global markets and in particularly Asian polyolefins and petrochemicals markets and the impact that has on the chemical industry. Okay, so John’s episode, Episode 102 – China’s Aging Demographics and the Future of the Chemical Industry, was the most shared episode of 2023.

Now Spotify tells me, and this is an interesting little tidbit, that according to Spotify the most popular way to share an episode of The Chemical Show is number one, by a direct link. So people are finding the link on Spotify or on the website, and sharing that with a friend or a colleague. And number two, 25% of the episodes shared are shared via WhatsApp. Cool. I would not have necessarily expected that. Now I don’t have the comparison data from Apple. I’m guessing it’s a little bit different because I know Spotify listener demographics skews younger and skews more international than Apple.

There is that mix. All right. Moving on. The most shared episode on LinkedIn…. Episode 115 – How Digitization Transforms Supply Chains and Customer Relationships with Arun Samuga of Elemica. Man, that was a long title. By the way, sometimes you guys may be wondering, why are these titles so long? The answer is so that we can get enough content and keywords in there so that you can find them, because people tell me they find The Chemical Show by searching on a specific topic. So topics matter, which mean titles matter. So we do our best to make the title indicative of what the episode is.

Okay, most shared episode on LinkedIn. What I know is that many of us consume news and information via social media. We are a soundbite culture. More people see, and maybe watch a video clip or listen to an audio clip of The Chemical Show on social media. In the case of B2B professionals, which is the vast majority of you and other listeners, that social media site is LinkedIn.

So continue to do that. We publish almost every day it seems like, on LinkedIn, something about the current or other recent episodes. Share, comment, repost it. Your engagement and amplification helps get the word out, helps others find The Chemical Show, and also sparks some really great and interesting dialogue. At the end of the day, connection, insights, and dialogue is really critical to The Chemical Show. So, keep doing that.

This is another good time to interject a Wrapped and Replayed statistic. First of all.. according to Apple, when you look at listeners of all podcasts, all types globally for 2023. Five out of the top six most popular podcasts fall in the true crime category. True crime. There’s one that’s thrown in there that’s a comedy podcast. I mentioned that to somebody and they said, “Hey, maybe need to be a little bit worried about the world and where we’re going if that’s what people are listening to all the time. True crime.”

Ah, to contrast this, and I don’t know if this is good or bad news for any of us. The most popular categories of podcasts listened to by The Chemical Show listeners, and now this is from Spotify. Number one, business. Number two, news. Number three, comedy.

So what that tells me is, Chemical Show listeners are law abiding citizens because we are not out looking for true crime and wondering how to create that true crime or recreate the true crime or whatever it is that people are listening for. In fact, I think it’s more for entertainment. But, we’re a law-abiding and we are both serious with a little hint of funny. So business, news, comedy, I gotta be honest that is probably what I listened to as well. There is not any true crime on my podcast playlist. If you have an episode that you want to recommend or a podcast that you recommend that falls into any of these categories, DM me on LinkedIn. I would love to know what other podcasts you’re listening to and what I should be queuing up in my podcast playlist.

Okay, we’re moving on now to YouTube. YouTube is actually becoming a very popular podcast player and platform. So we know that it’s a go-to for so many things. Oh, how do I fix my garage door opener? Which by the way, we’re working on a garage door opener as we speak, I don’t know, go to YouTube and figure it out or go to Google and YouTube owned by the same company, obviously. They are go to places. But when we look at YouTube, every episode of The Chemical Show gets published on YouTube and we also publish many short versions of these podcasts episodes. So one minute clips, because again, soundbite city, let’s see the one minutes that people are interested in.

Drum roll…. The most watched YouTube short of The Chemical Show is…. What is Operational Excellence, which comes from Episode 82 – The Importance of Operational Excellence with John Yagel of Huber Engineered Materials. I think this is interesting. I’m not exactly sure how to interpret this, but consistently this is the top of the top YouTube shorts that people find and watch, and I guess, search. So Youtubers are interested in operational excellence. Who knew?!

Now we’re going to finish rounding out the most popular category. When we just look across categories of episodes that The Chemical Show publishes, one of the most popular categories and maybe the most popular category is market and economic outlooks. We started out the year with a 2023 outlook from Trey Hamlet, mid-year we had an update and an outlook on M&A, mergers and acquisitions and the markets and the activity they’re in from Kevin Yttre of Grace Matthews. And then of course, I’ve already mentioned one of our most shared episodes, which was around China and the effect of aging demographics on the chemical industry with John Richardson of ICIS, so this is clearly a popular category. We all want to know what’s going on, getting insights, figuring out how do we bring that into our business? How do we compare our business with where it is? On that note, we are kicking off the year with a Chemical Show Live featuring Steve Lewandowski of Chemical Market Analytics. So if you remember The Chemical Show Live, it’s been a while since we’ve done one, we actually paused them in 2023.

We are bringing them back monthly in 2024. It is a combination of a 30 minute podcast interview where I and the guest, in this case, Steve Lewandowski. We’re going to be talking about the 2024 chemical market outlook. I think it’s going to be really insightful. I can’t wait to see what Steve has to say. So 30 minutes, just Steve and I, and then 30 minutes where you get to ask the questions. So I hope you join us. The registration link is in the show notes.

It is also available on thechemicalshow.com as well as on LinkedIn. So there are multiple ways for you to sign up. Do so, you’re going to love it. Steve as always is a great resource and I know you’re gonna enjoy that. I am as well. And then rounding out the top of the charts for 2023. Assessments and perspectives from conferences.

So ACI, American Cleaning Institute, AFPM, you guys will know that when I go to a conference, I often will report back on what happened. The other one I want to mention, which you can never mention it too much, is The Chemical Summit. So that was held in the fall of 2023. It’s going to be held again in the fall of 2024. There are two episodes out there that give you some insight as to what happened in those conferences. So I am going to continue bringing you insights and overviews from these key conferences that I attend and that others attend across the industry. And then the other topics that round out the top of the charts. We talked already about the market assessments and outlooks.

It’s the insights from industry events. Then finally bio-based chemistries and innovations. I kid you not in 2023, whenever something had bio in its title, it was popular. So I suspect that’s going to be the case for 2024, we will see. We are going to be bringing you a wide variety of episodes, interviews, topics, insights, and more.

Please go ahead and fill out that annual listener survey, because we are asking in that survey, what would you like more of? What would you like less of? What should we keep the same? You can help us tune our agenda for 2024 because we want to make it make sense to be valuable to you. Long day long story. That’s it for The Chemical Show Best of 2023 Wrapped and Replayed. Thank you for joining us this year. Thank you for joining us on this episode. It has been a great journey to share with you. So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year.

Keep listening, keep following, keep sharing, and we’ll talk to you again soon.