The Most Popular Articles and Podcast Episodes on Beyond the Balcony in 2022

Beyond the Balcony
is already all in on 2023 with some new articles, podcast episodes, reviews and creative pieces. I am about as happy as I ever allow myself to be with what I created, and while the numbers aren't going to cause Coke banging on my door to beg to be a sponsor. there has been decent audience engagement. I am confident that I will continue to create pieces I care about and it will translate to that cherished growth in readers and listeners.

But how did 2022 fare? It was not the creative utopia I had envisioned, but between Scott and myself, we wrote and recorded creations that attracted a humble audience.

But what were the most popular things of the past year?

Well, I am glad you asked. Because this is exactly what I reveal today with some lists of the most read, viewed, downloaded, and listened to creations in 2022.

Top Ten Most Viewed Articles in 2022:

1. Motivation for Old Geezers Like Me: This piece caused a few emails zooming my way to inform me that I am not old, which reminded me that apparently a large percentage of my readers are not teenagers. One of my goals for this site is to be a place to foster creativity, inspire others to follow their dreams, and be a place smothered in positivity. I am thrilled that this piece exploring successful people who reached their dreams later in life was such a big hit with readers. Don't give up.

2. Ode to My Sweatpants: Apparently, readers love it when I write foolish things, But they also love it when I delve into super serious subject matter like a poem regaling the comfort of my sweatpants. They are so comfy.

3. Siskel & Ebert Display the Danger of the Critical Roadblock: This one ended up high in the rankings due to Google searches, because it turns out there not only are people who still Google for the two legendary critics, but depending the words used in the search, my site and articles like this rank high. This is a great thins, because it is inevitable that I will be motivated to write about them a few times a year and the site it partly an homage to their legacy.

4. Top Secret UFO Projects Declassified: Perhaps as Stupid as I Could Ever Get: How did this poorly reviewed documentary about UFOs draw so many readers? Well, people love aliens. And apparently, also love it when supposed entertainment drives Scott gradually insane.

5. 10 Movies That Were Box Office Hits But Never Got a Sequel: This was written entirely with the goal to draw big numbers and write the type of pieces that are popular for major movie sites, and the type of article that I used to write for Collective Publishing. I would usually warn against such a strategy unless the subject is also something the writer was passionate about, because writing for the sake of clicks often leads to disappointment unless for a huge mainstream site with reach. But it paid off for this one, and luckily, it was a lot of fun to write too.

6. There is Lots of Good in Watching Bad Movies: Sometimes I just feel motivated to write a specific article even though I am sure it won't be a huge hit with the readers but I feel passionate to create. It often turns out those pieces shock me by doing much better than my 'writing for clicks' pieces. I believe there is a lot of value in seeking out all kinds of entertainment and art even works with a poor critical reception. I appreciate my little championing for lesser-loved works resonated with readers. How many dared to track down Gods of Egypt after reading this?

6. 8 Quick Personal Observations About Being a Writer: I believe the best form of advice is one just sharing their own personal experience with hopes the reader or listener can find ways to apply it to their own life. I get asked sometimes how to be a successful professional writer, and I then question them why they are asking me. But I've been doing this for over ten years now, and I am grateful there are those that value my insight.

7. 20 Amazing Headlines You Will Never See on a Movie News (Clickbait) Site: Once again proof that when I decide to be creative (and mostly silly) it seems to attract some views. There is something extremely satisfying about getting decent numbers on a completely fictional creation than thoughts on a major news item or a movie review, because it means my writing style and imagination is the draw rather than a particular subject. Everyone remember you love my odd creativity when it comes time for me to sell my books to you.

9. Now, For a Proud Dad Moment: My Kids Bringing Beauty Through Cello: I love it when an article takes off and does better than expected numbers. I love it even more when it is about two of my favourite things: the success of my kids and the value of art in society. This short piece is both of those things, but it gives me great joy that even people I don't know seem to appreciate the bragging of my amazing kids. Thank you for humouring me.

10. 14 Things That I'd Have Told Myself 14 Years Ago About Marriage: I am always humbled when personal pieces connect with an audience, because it reminds me that readers who don't even know me somehow care about me. I really appreciate that. Plus, some people clearly felt I had some value when it came to advice about marriage. I am no expert, but I have over 14 years of hands-on experience.

Top Ten Most Downloaded Episodes of The Movie Breakdown in 2022:

1. The Breakdown of the Best of 2021: Without fail, the Best of show is the most popular episode of the year. This thrills me because the episode is a lot of work, but it also means our listeners get to hear a bunch of glowing recommendations of modern classics.

2. The Breakdown of Nicolas Cage: I am love the Cage, so it make my heart soar that the podcast devoted to him was the second most listened and downloaded of 2022. I knew that we had the smartest listeners in all the internet. 

3. The Breakdown of Our Favourite Bruce Willis Movies: Hmmm. . . it appears episodes dedicated to certain well-known figures leads to increased listeners. Or it means listeners are really down with list episodes. How successful would we be if we just rebranded the show to our top ten Pauly Shore and Jim Varney movie moments every week? Um, maybe not.

4. The Breakdown of Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, My Son, and The Royal Treatment: Obviously, all sign point to audience demanding a deep dive into the Ice Age franchise. Or maybe it is time to not analyze the rankings too intensely.

5. The Breakdown of Love - 'Pretty Woman', 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner', 'Out of Sight', '10 Things I Hate About You', and 'I Want You Back': Even though Scott and I consider ourselves big horror fans and we feel we have a lot to say about the genre, it has been proven our audience actually really connects to when we review movies with romance. Good thing that I like a great romantic comedy, and Pretty Woman is a classic.

6. The Breakdown of Ivan Reitman - 'Ghostbusters', 'Dave', 'Kindergarten Cop', 'No Strings Attached', and 'Draft Day': We try to review many new releases on the podcast as we can afford, but this ranking is proving that older movies garners quite an audience too. We should probably do it a bit more often in 2023.

7. The Breakdown of 'Turning Red', 'The Adam Project', 'Fresh', 'Vince Carter: Legacy' and Remembering William Hurt: You know what else has proven to do well with listeners, reviewing animated movies. Considering I watch most of those with my kids, I am glad they are hits for the podcast.

8. The In-Depth and Spoiler-Filled Breakdown of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Considering how well our deep dive spoiler episodes have done, we probably should have tried them a few more times this past year. The hope in 2023 is to do a few more bonus episodes like this one.

9. The Breakdown of 'Sonic the Hedgehog 2', 'The Bubble', 'Better Nate Than Ever' and Remembering Estelle Harris: Once again, movies for kids leads to more listeners. This episode also had two movies that I got to watch with one of my kids. Kids love Apatow.

10. The Breakdown of the Best of 2022 So Far: Our middle of the year tradition isn't quite as popular as our end of the year show, but still pretty big hit. It just squeaked out the episode that we reviewed Top Gun: Maverick and Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, which leads to the question was a review of one of biggest box office hits of the year or a family movie what brought in listeners?

Now, how about a bit more stat fun.

Top Ten Referrers: This means the top sites that led readers to Beyond the Balcony.

1. Google: SEO still mattered in 2022. 

2. Twitter: Will Elon Musk ensure that the social media site is not one of my biggest sources for readers in 2023?

3. Facebook: There is a reason I am still on this site, and that is to promote mine, because it works.

4. Scott's Blog of Doom: The amazing owner of the site, Scott Keith, has been kind enough to promote some of my work through the years, and he has hundred of thousands more readers than me. He is a major reason why my Macho Man tribute is the most popular article ever on this site and still gets Google searches today.

5. Tumblr: Apparently, still a thing, and it gets me some readers.

6. LinkedIn: I never write or go on the site, so I am impressed it leads to website traffic.

7. Bing: Probably not a great sign of the popularity of Microsoft's search engine that it ranks lower than several websites by a massive margin.

8. Whatever: The home of acclaimed writer John Scalzi, and I have commented on their a few times, which I assume was good enough for people to follow links? Scalzi may have promoted something I wrote a few years ago as well. I am very grateful such a successful writer would do such a kind thing.

9. Yahoo!: I only know they still exist because Emily uses them for email.

10. DuckDuckGo: What happened to goose?

Pageviews by Browsers:

1. Google Chrome: The official endorsed browser of Beyond the Balcony. In other words, the one I use too. Good job readers! This is the most used browser by a very large margin.

2. Firefox: The browser that I used to use before I went Team Google several years ago.

3. Safari: Apple users can't get enough of Beyond the Balcony, and how much we never talk about their products. Though, we are open to them as a sponsor and their oodles of cash.

4. Opera: A love that an entire art form is such a fan of our site.

5. Internet Explorer: It says something that this is a very distant 5, despite Microsoft constantly telling me that it is the leading browser.

6. Mobile Safari: It says something significant about my readers that it took a distant six to finally get to a mobile browser, as it looks like most of my readers still check me out on computers. It likely is a sign of the age demographic that I attract, which may be a tad older than teenager.

7. CriOS: Google tells me this is Chrome on an iOS, because Chrome rocks no matter what device you use.

8. HeadlessChrome: I assume this one isn't used by Ichabod Crane.

9. Google Chrome Frame: Apparently, a plug-in so you can use Chrome on Internet Explorer, because why would one ever bother to just download Chrome.

10. Samsung Browser: The Android users are finally making a presence on the ranking.

Pageviews by Operating System:

1. Windows: Finally, a win for Microsoft! This is also the most used by a very significant margin.

2. Macintosh: Nothing to sneer at with second place. Send us sponsorship money, Apple! My readers need to know more about you!

3. Linux: Fun fact, there is almost as many users on this OS than on Macintosh that view Beyond the Balcony.

4. Unix: Again, it says something about our readers that lesser known open source operating systems are beating out mobile operating systems,

5. iPhone: Why, hello smartphone OS. I was wondering when you'd show up. 

6. Android: Despite ranking just behind, there are several thousand more iPhone users for the record. I am Team iPhone, but mostly because I get it handed down to me for free.

7. Compatible: My guess this is an open-source version of either Windows or Macintosh, but my stats package doesn't specify outside of the generic label.

8. iPad: Still a thing, apparently.

9. Android 12: No idea the different between this OS and the more generic Android one that ranks higher.

10. Windows NT 6.1: This is apparently a version of Windows 8? Not sure why this one is specific while we just get a generic Windows in the top spot.

Top Ten Keywords:

1. Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness: My guess is that this movie was not covered by many major sites, but it being a family movie meant there were parents wanting to learn about it, so our site benefited in the search engines.

2. The Rodriguez and the Beyond: I have no idea what this is, and I definitely never reviewed it. The closest thing I found was The Rodriguez and the Far Side, which I also have no idea what that is. My guess is that the beyond title is what got us in the rankings. The puzzling part is that there doesn't seem to be a show or movie called this, yet we got hundred of searches for it.

3. Ali and Ava: Apparently, this is a movie. A movie that has never been reviewed on Beyond the Balcony. My best guess is that once again it is an obscure enough movie that it wasn't reviewed by major sites, and since our site has those three words that we ranked surprisingly high. The moral of the story is always write less common names, because search engines love it.

4. Siskel & Ebert Critics: I am actually surprised that googling these legends actually gets our site ranked. My best guess is that I have written several articles about them in recent years, and other sites likely do not do it as much anymore. I also created the site as a tribute to Ebert, and that is put in several taglines and SEO materials for the site.

5. Magic Mike XXL Trailer: I apparently did review the trailer, so that makes sense why Google would send searchers this way. I would have also assumed major sites did that as well, so no idea why this one ranked well. Maybe all the other sites were too busy analyzing the 80th Avengers trailer. It should be noted that I wrote the article that garnered this keyword search back in 2015, and I am not entirely sure why anyone was Googling to see the trailer for an eight-year-old movie.

6. The Deer King: Google informs me that The Deer King is indeed a movie, and my own search tool on the site shows me that we never reviewed or wrote about it. My best guess is that once again it is a small enough movie that it wasn't reviewed on most major sites, but we did review movies with Deer ad King in the title on the same episode of The Movie Breakdown, which likely why we showed up in searches.

7. Butterfly Film: This is a movie that was reviewed on this site, but I am sure Scott wishes that were not true. I am sure he is happy to know that people are searching for it, and our site benefits.

8. Forgotbusters: This is a recurring column that the awesome Nathan Rabin did on the now sadly defunct Dissolve site. We used that title for our own The Movie Breakdown episode a few years ago, which is likely why we showed up in search engines. It does make me happy that readers are still seeking out old Dissolve columns, because that site was amazing. I hope they weren't disappointed when we stumbled into their search.

9. Enola Holmes: This was a pretty big Netflix hit, to the point that it got a sequel last year. My guess is the searching was for information on the sequel, but they would have only got a review for the original on the site. This is proof of the value of reviewing 'smaller' movies with an audience as they may not get covered on as many major sites, but still enough interested people that it benefits our site in the search engines. The challenge is knowing what smaller movies ignored by bigger sites still have folks interested in reading about it.

10. Macho Man Randy Savage: My tribute to the Mach Man is by far the most popular thing ever written on the site. A huge part of that is due to many kind writers and sites that linked to my piece when Savage passed away. It has meant the wrestling icon has benefited us on the search engines, though I am sure the lack of other wrestling writing disappoints those that discover us.

Top Ten Viewed by Location:

1. United States: By a massive margin, this is the country that a huge portion of our readers reside. This is likely the case for most sites, even outside of the States, I'd guess.

2. Germany: No where close to the US, but it is also way ahead of every other proceeding country. No idea why we are popular in Germany because we don't have a single article devoted to David Hasselhoff.

3. Canada: Finally, the country I live in gets on the ranking. It always baffles me that Canada is not the top spot for the site and the podcast.

4. China: Censorship doesn't stop the people of China getting their Beyond the Balcony fix. At one point Hong Kong ranked high, and is now absent, so my guess is the stats are lumping it into China now.

5. Indonesia: I think it is cool Asian countries love some Spicer and Martin in their life.

6. Netherlands: Maybe I have some distant relatives here.

7. Russia: This actually dropped, as at one time it was the number 3 country. They probably lost some interest in the site after they learned my stance on the Ukrainian invasion that I've never once revealed on the site. It isn't pro-Russia for the record.

8. France: It would have done better if I remember anything from my French classes in my childhood and teen years.

9. Romania: We are very pro vampire!

10. Hungary: We are very pro eating! It also should be noted that United Kingdom falls to 11th spot after being in the top five for years. No idea the cause other than not reviewing enough Mr. Bean and Downton Abbey.

Top Ten The Movie Breakdown Listeners by Country:

1. United States: What a shock! There are three times more listeners here than anywhere else.

2. United Kingdom: Whatever dropped the site visitor number did not hurt listeners for the podcast in this region.

3. Canada: This is quite a bit behind the number 2. My own country just doesn't love us as much, sigh.

4. Australia: Interesting how different some of the audience for the site differs from the podcast.

5. India: We actually got on an Indian exclusive podcast distributor at the end of the last year, so that likely helped with growing that audience.

6. Ireland: My ignorance shows as I am always confused between Northern Ireland that is part of the UK and sovereign Ireland.

7. Barbados: The Movie Breakdown is the ultimate vacation spot for your ears.

8. Philippines: I get a blast of the random countries that I have readers or listeners, and again, how different the two lists are.

9. Germany: Prefers to read my thoughts over listen to them, apparently.

10. Belgium: I drink their beer, and they listen to my podcast. Fair trade.

Top Ten Sources for The Movie Breakdown:

1. Castbox: Over 50% of our listeners come from here. I probably should be better at promoting it.

2. Spreaker: It is our host site, so makes sense we would have a larger listenership here.

3. Spotify: A very distant third, but it has grown over the past year.

4. Apple Podcast: This is still the site where we have the most reviews, even if not close to the most listeners.

5. JioSaavn: This is the Indian site that we got on thanks to Spreaker. Did not even know about the site before joining.

6. VLC: An open-source media player that I learned about by looking at my stats.

7. Overcast: An iOS app that I also confess I am just learning about.

8. Podcast Addict: Apparently, an Android app for podcasts. Things you learn when looking at stats.

9. iHeart Radio: The owner of Spreaker, but they have their own separate podcast site that we joined along with Spreaker.

10. Amazon Music: It gets the tenth spot, but there are a whole bunch of smaller sites I've never heard about that are just behind them when it comes to listeners for the show.

The Devices Used to Listen to The Movie Breakdown

1. Smartphone: Now, there is our listeners being modern and technological savvy. 

2. Desktop: This is a way, way, way distant second with the smart phone being 80% of listeners.

3. Tablet: It is how Moses listened to all his podcasts.

4. Laptop: I need a new one.

5. Smart Speaker: Alexa, please tell Siri that I want Google to play The Movie Breakdown.

6. TV: You haven't experienced The Movie Breakdown until you've listened to us on a 75" 4K screen.

7. Set-top box: Which I assume is also a TV, but using another device to play it.

8. Other: Toaster?

Top Ten Operating System to Listen to The Movie Breakdown

1. Android: I hear it can play the podcast in over 6 million forms of communication.

2. IOS: Apple!

3. Windows: Why hello our computer listeners.

4. Mac OS: Listening on here once a day will keep the doctor away.

5. Linux: It wasn't until looking at these stats that I realize how many people use Linux.

6. Amazon Alexa: Blare that podcast through the house!

7. Google Pod: Hey Google!

8. Chrome OS: Hey look, it is a Chrome Book!

9. FireOS: More open-source love.

10. Rokus OS: For that big screen listening pleasure.

So, there is your rankings and stats from 2022! Hoping an even better year in 2023!