Ancestry Podcast Is A Chart Hit!

From a murder fuelled by love, jealousy and drink in Victorian England to the family rift that split some of history’s most famous sisters, Ancestry’s new podcast series It’s About Time had all the ingredients to make it a big hit


Challenged to inspire a new audience and bring Ancestry’s grasp on history to people who may not yet be familiar with the brand or proposition, we did some analysis to find out how we could complement the brilliant PR and social work we’ve done with the brand. The answer was a non-traditional route. Podcasting.

Ancestry is the leader in family history and consumer genomics, so who better to help people get into history? And what better way to do it than by making inroads into the podcast charts, where our prime ABC1 audience find their favourite shows from Desert Island Disks and The Archers to No Such Thing As A Fish and Serial.

But to reach that mainstream audience, the solution wasn’t a commercial family history podcast. Something too focused on genealogy would turn off a generalist audience at the door. Rather, we wanted to tap into potential listeners’ love of history, stories and factual content to gently bring them into the world of family history, so we created It’s About Time, brought to you by Ancestry but with its own brand and identity.

The concept? Storytelling in its purest form. So this September we’ve been bringing stories from the past to life in the present with the help of actor and historian Sir Tony Robinson, himself a huge advocate for Ancestry.

But the commercial messages are there too. As well as inviting listeners into the podcast with a variety of compelling history stories, It’s About Time also served as an advertising platform for Ancestry. AncestryDNA is the sponsor of the show, playing ads in the middle and at the end, and even offering listeners a special offer on an AncestryDNA kit.

The results have been fantastic. The first three amazing episodes brought It’s About Time to the attention of the curators of iTunes New & Noteworthy section, and the series hit number two in the iTunes charts just a few days later. Further episodes saw it continue this performance, with listenership further boosted by ads on other relevant podcasts, social media advertising, and the creation of an online home for It’s About Time content.

You can check out It’s About Time on iTunes or the It’s About Time web page. Make sure to subscribe, rate and review to let us know what you think!

Number two podcast on iTunes


Over 50,000 listens in three weeks