Streaming platforms are avid for new natural-born podcasters. But the format is a bit more complex than it seems. If you’re wondering how to do a podcast that can become the next big hit, here are some insights you must know first.
Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s Chief Content Officer, is upset by the fact that the company is not producing enough new popular podcasts. Even when podcasting is a rising trend, it’s hard to find shows that get popular without being sustained by other types of media.
The number of new podcasts has grown faster than the podcast audience. So the number of listeners per program is declining. In fact, the average podcast in the top 10 is more than seven years old.
The arrival of podcasting to mass media is a recent topic
Although podcasts have been around for more than two decades now, it has only been a few years since they entered the most popular streaming platform. In October 2018, Spotify opened podcasting for all their users and by the end of the year, podcast listening grew on Spotify by 175%.
Right now, podcasts are a great complement to massive media
When we look at the profile of the hosts featured in the most popular shows, we notice that the vast majority of them already have an established track record in other media. There are few celebrities out there considered podcast stars before any other title or recognition.
This is actually a good thing. Right now, podcasting is going through a phase of mass discovery, in which the emerging audience is only just starting to get the full picture of what this listening experience is capable of. We believe that there will be more natural-born podcasters in the future. But maybe their content will be radically different from what we know now.
Podcasts are similar to books…
They are easy to sell (but not so easy to be consumed). This is also helping the podcast industry to raise more money through advertisement and sponsorships.
The main difference is that with podcasts anyone can upload their content and it will get into the same outlet as any other podcast inside a platform. Spotify is like a big library. But let’s remember that books are not the only type of literary consumption. Magazines have their own industry and it’s worth billions of dollars. More recently, there’s people out there getting their fan-fictions read by thousands of people and eventually signing book contracts. That’s how 50 Shades of Grey emerged and it sold more than 150 million copies.
The reading experience has found many other outlets and that doesn’t mean that books are dying. It’s actually quite the opposite. This makes it easier to label the content and sell it to the right niches.
Podcasting is an industry so big it needs actual librarians to organize it
A librarian for podcasts performs almost the same tasks that a librarian for books would do. Add new titles to a collection, organize them so people can find what they’re looking for, which, as the audio landscape gets more crowded, offers a systematic way to find shows. This helps overwhelmed listeners. And it also helps podcasters, for whom making money requires a show to be discoverable (both by audiences and potential advertisers).
If you’re consistent enough, your podcast audience will grow and that’s a fact backed not only by the algorithm, but by the people in charge of labeling the content within a platform.
Listener experiences are diversifying
Natural-born podcasters need to create natural-born communities. Tools like Discord not only offer audio channels, but also innovative interactions and immersive possibilities. The company has an amazing blog post with the Best Practices to start a community using this tool.
Right now, podcasters can turn their show into an exciting live experience. Twitch used to be a platform known for hosting gaming streams. But now their number of users has grown so much in the last couple of years that it now has a Talk Shows and Podcasts section. And there are mad creative pieces of content in there. But also supportive communities enhanced by the app’s UX.
If you want to know more about how to do a podcast on Twitch, check this awesome piece by Podigee
A natural born-podcaster needs to embrace this mutation phase within the format. Explore new types of interaction that can nurture a show beyond pieces of content.
The upcoming natural-born podcasters must follow these guidelines and change the way in which podcasts are conceived. A natural-born podcaster has the mission to create a new language to share with its audience. Find new ways to really talk to them. The tools to make that happen are already here, and that’s exciting.