Podcaster Tips

Is Podcasting the Same as Radio?

I have been hearing some radio broadcasting folks make posts to blogs about how to best produce a podcast and must comment on the topic, as it hits at the core of why radio and podcasting industries have not been more connected.

I think that podcasting is significantly different than radio broadcasting and it is not the same medium.

In podcasting, the content “segment” is rarely related to a commercial break in the program format. Most ads and sponsor messages are best delivered as part of the flow of regular content. In podcasting, you rarely need to use exit music or the concept of “we are leaving” and coming back after this message.

My experience is that well produced podcasts do have a structure to the format that is led by the type of content or titled parts of the show that are very loosely timed in the program as you are not needing to hit a certain time clock on the production. The thing about program length is that it does not need to fit some standard model like radio does and thus presents the opportunity to give the appropriate length that is wanted by the audience and what producers wants to produce. The length issue is a more important factor in different genres of podcasts programs – no one size fits all.

The thought shared was that all podcasts should be short and the issue of listening duration, “see how people stick around” thought is missing the real point here: podcasts are more about engagement and are more personal than “radio”. Podcasts just don’t have the channel flipping issue that radio has, as it is more difficult to change to another podcast episode than to change a station on your radio dial. Podcasts are on-demand and can be continued later, as opposed to radio which mostly airs live or on replay. If you missed it, “Sorry”.  The content is never able to be heard on the listener’s timeframe.

I believe that podcasts and typical radio show formats can co-exist, but the folks coming from radio to podcasting need to spend some time to learn from successful podcasters and podcasters can learn some other things from the professional radio broadcasters. Both should not view each other as the same thing or same medium. Both require a certain set of core skills that are the same, but both sides need to understand how each is uniquely best.

Listen below to episode #2 of “My Digital Life Show with Rob Greenlee”, as I discuss the above topic.

Podcaster Tips

On-Demand or Podcasts are the Next Evolution of Talk Radio

If done right podcasts are much better then regular broadcast talk radio. The niche focus is very much the strength of the medium and their general on-demand accessibility on internet connected devices. This scheduled live or live-like broadcast radio is just not needed as much for topics other than traffic, weather, local news, live sports and breaking news. That is enough to keep broadcast radio alive in the future, but much of that will be delivered to the car via internet radio streaming. We will also see some DVR like functions in the car via live radio apps and on-demand radio show playlists that auto update.

Podcaster Tips

Podcasting vs. YouTube

By podcasting’s definition, YouTube Channels are not the same as podcasts.  I keep hearing the comparison and matching going on by users and some newer content providers.  The current state of perceptions might lead one to that conclusion, but they are very different things.

What you generally find is that podcasters and YouTube content creators are very different.  You also find that successful podcasters are not always successful YouTubers and successful YouTubers are rarely successful podcasters. The two areas cater to very different audiences and usage scenarios.  Here is a case study presented by content provider Pat Flynn that discusses his success in combining YouTube and Podcasting distribution.  He did find a synergy between the two for him, but depending on the type and genre of content your success will vary.

The existence of proprietary distribution platforms like YouTube and other mostly streaming hosting platforms is creating some confusion around what a podcast is today.  Things come in cycles and we have seen this gravitational pull to streaming that started in the late 90s and is continuing to grow in popularity. The thing that always kept streaming grounded in reality is the unreliability of internet connections to deliver the data speeds to keep us connected to the audio and video content we seek online.  While admittedly, our wired and wireless broadband has gotten much better over the past 10 years, we still have a need to store our media files locally for playback anytime at a consistant quality level.

We are seeing increasing user demand for on-demand streaming like playback for podcasted content today and am sure the demand will continue to grow.  This will cause the podcasting community to evolve the current model more towards favorites and click-to-play user scenerios.  These new user scenerios and functions are already being built into podcast aggregator apps, but for us to move towards more streaming, will require podcasters to move beyond the current download and subscription model that is still popular, but fading today.

Podcaster Tips

Top 13 Things That “Really” Build A Podcast Audience

I have been recently reading the advice given by many others about ways to promote your podcast.  Many focus on new types of things like distributing CD’s and making business cards for your show – not really the best of ideas really!  I believe in making sure you are doing the basics well first before doing some of these other ideas.  While all the promo ideas given online can help to some degree or so.  The real keys to building your show audience boil down to these things mainly – doing these things well WILL GROW YOUR SHOW:

  1. Great audio/video quality
  2. Entertaining or informative topics with passion, knowledge, personality are KING!
  3. Compelling album art that is refreshed/updated regularly
  4. Clear and interesting show name/series descriptions
  5. Get your show distributed to as many aggregation platforms as possible – even broadcast radio
  6. Major parts of the show include audience involvement/contribution to show and topics
  7. Meet your audience in the real world as much as you can
  8. Guest on other podcasts/radio/TV shows – as a topic expert or entertainer
  9. Contribute via written word to online topic discussions in your genre
  10. Produce shows on a consistant basis and at a fairly consistant duration
  11. Join a network of other podcasters
  12. Work to be known locally in your community and gain local media attention
  13. Get top listing in search engines based on your topic genre keywords