One of the most fashionable things in the digital space for some years now has been podcasts. Extremely popular for the diverse content on offer, podcasts also form part of what is considered disruptive innovation i.e. one that creates a new market and value network or enters at the bottom of an existing market and eventually displaces established market-leading firms, products, and alliances. Podcasts have been a welcome inclusion because like radio, cost to the consumer is low. Many podcasts are free to download. Some podcasts are underwritten by corporations or sponsored, with the inclusion of commercial advertisements. In some cases, a podcast could be a business venture supported by a paid subscription model. But there are stark differences that make podcasts stand out from radio, to their advantage. Some differences include the following;
- Schedule – Radios have a pre-set schedule for their radio shows which you have to stick to. With podcasts, there is no time constraint as listeners can download and listen to the content anytime they want.
- Audience – Radio is a medium of mass communication that uses several different types of content to appeal to a mass audience. Podcasts, on the other hand, through their tailored and feature-rich content, appeal to a more niche audience. Podcast listeners can tune in to their preferred topics throughout the day, by following podcasts whose content they subscribe to.
- Content delivery – Radio shows, are mostly live broadcasts meaning the content cannot be re-formatted or edited after it’s already on air. While there are live podcasts, many podcast creators prefer creating podcasts that can be released at a later time, allowing for formatting and re-recording. Podcasts leave room for correcting errors.
- Shelf life – Radio is more of an instant medium meaning the second a radio show goes on air, it’s on and after a while it’s gone. As a listener, you cannot tune into the same show again after it’s already over. Podcasts are always there and anyone can listen to their favorite podcast episodes months or years later.
Why Start a Podcast?
Starting a podcast can offer a number of benefits, such as;
- Building an audience: A podcast can help you reach and engage with a large audience, potentially expanding your brand or personal network.
- Sharing your message: A podcast allows you to express your opinions, share your knowledge, or tell your story to the world.
- Improving your skills: Podcasting can help you improve your communication skills, such as speaking, writing, and storytelling.
- Passion project: Podcasting can be a creative outlet and a fun hobby that allows you to share your passions and interests with others.
- Opportunities for monetization: With a large enough audience, you can monetize your podcast through sponsorships, advertising, or merchandise sales.
- Podcast advertising revenue is on the rise: During the Covid-19 pandemic, with consumers feeling stressed and unsure of things, podcasts with familiar voices and hosts offered comfort and escapism for listeners. Before the pandemic, listening times were higher during commutes and daytime hours. During the pandemic, listening evened out throughout the week and some of the habits remained even after returning to normalcy. This increased audience and engagement is the kind that advertisers want to be a part of, especially because the pandemic forced companies and brands to reexamine and tighten their budgets. Also, since the Covid-19 pandemic began, there’s been increased listener-ship to podcasts related to design, food and medicine. With everyone being home more, even after the pandemic, it’s clear that consumers want content related to what they’re going through at the moment or value the most. Having a media product that focuses on exactly what the consumer is interested in gives podcasting a huge advantage over its media competition.
- Invest in quality equipment, such as a microphone and headphones.
- Plan your content and structure each episode.
- Edit and post-produce your podcast to ensure good sound quality.
- Promote your podcast through social media and other channels to grow your audience.
- Engage with your listeners by responding to comments and feedback.
- Be consistent in terms of frequency and format.
- Neglect to plan your content and structure each episode.
- Use low-quality equipment that can negatively impact the sound quality of your podcast.
- Neglect post-production and editing, as this can negatively impact the overall quality of your podcast.
- Ignore your audience and neglect to engage with them through comments and feedback.
- Violate any copyright laws or use any unauthorized music or content in your podcast.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment, but don’t drastically change the format too often.
- Over-promote – too much self-promotion can be annoying and turn listeners off.
- Copy other podcasts – You can learn from the more popular or better performing podcasts but leave room for originality. Being original and authentic will set you apart and attract a loyal audience.