How to Start Podcasting

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In the past, consumers watched more broadcast TV. Now, they more often choose to binge watch their favorite shows on-demand.

So it should then be no surprise that on-demand radio, or podcasts, are also growing in popularity. Talk to any teen or 20-something about podcasts and you’ll catch a glimpse of what the future could include for artists like you whose instrument is a microphone.

If you’re considering doing a podcast of your own, whether it is a podcast for your current radio show or an independent podcast from your own living room, here are some good questions to consider.

Why are you podcasting? What goal are you hoping to achieve? A podcast is a tool like a hammer, and while it might be enjoyable to buy a hammer and run around smashing things, that’s not getting you anywhere. So spend some time considering that question and identify clearly what podcasting success look like. Podcasting just because every body else is doing it is also bad strategy. But if you can work your way up to 10,000 downloads a day that become potential new PPM impressions and a new revenue vehicle for your sales manager, that’s what you call a “win.” Once you know your goal, then you can answer some of the deeper questions below.

Return-on-investment. Is podcasting the best use of your limited time and resources right now? Maybe you should not be podcasting. Perhaps that hour-per-day is better spent brainstorming better topics or to finding compelling audio for the broadcast show. A good guideline: If your show is not outperforming your station in the ratings, or at least at par with your station, consider using your limited time and resources to get the ratings up and then revisit podcasting.

Size and shape. How often are you podcasting? Some shows post once a week, others go once per day. How long are you podcasting? Some shows post individual segments while others post all four hours of the show, minus music and commercials. If you’re not sure, consider beginning by producing a 30-minute daily “best of” podcast that your producer can assemble.

Nuts and bolts. Who’s going to produce the podcast and how long will it take each day? Keep in mind that podcasting is a major undertaking and a permanent one. Once you start, you can’t stop. Transferring audio, editing, posting to various podcasting channels, getting associated copy and graphics right – take your estimate for the amount of time that you think podcasting will take, double it, and you should be right on target. Work with your engineers to set up the most user-friendly studio setup that will save steps, reduce production time and eliminate errors.

Getting credit. Is your podcast PPM encoded? Work closely with engineering to sure that if a PPM device hears the podcast that it is measured. If your station uses Voltair, make certain that podcast audio will have that processing in the final product. For diary markets, how will you brand the show to aid recall? Will you produce imaging, record new jingles? Build in imaging and production that will increase your unaided recall with listeners who listen to your podcast.

Why not video? If you are going to the trouble to podcast audio, you might consider doing video. The truth is that while podcasts are growing, audio rarely goes viral while consumers will share video on every social media platform. Consider making your podcast a video podcast with some Go-Pros and simple video editing software like iMovie. If you have a big staff and great facilities, you can do TV-show quality video podcasts like “Daily Rush” from WMMR Philadelphia’s Preston and Steve, but you can do an awesome YouTube video even in a small market like Huntington, Tennessee like Kelly and Ken at 100.9 The Farm.

You might also consider this article called “How To Start Your Own Podcast” by Patrick Allen of, and while the article is aimed at non-broadcasting professionals, he brings many good ideas and some “wow, I didn’t think about that” concepts.


Photo Credit: Irish Typepad/Flickr

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