Do Benchmarks Still Work?

 In Blog

“Features and benchmarks are old-school radio. Why can’t we be more like unscripted podcasts and just shoot-the-s*#t?”

Go down that road at your own peril. The best podcasts do have features and benchmarks that help distinguish them from an ever-expanding number of choices.

Audio specialist, Steve Goldstein, Amplifi Media CEO says, “Every podcast needs something distinctive and memorable.  Many have benchmarks and way more have clear formatics. There is also a good deal of fatigue, abandonment, and of course, self-indulgent chit-chat.”

New shows are especially high risk

It will take forever to create awareness and attract a mass audience without a breakthrough benchmark.

New shows become established quicker when they set up audience expectations with a differentiating feature. Features that become benchmarks (content that your show becomes known for) have three key benefits:

  1. They create an image that brands your show.
  2. They generate appointment listening that boosts TSL.
  3. They provide sponsorship opportunities for revenue.

Benchmarks create an image. WMMR Philadelphia’s Preston and Steve’s Crackshot signals that it’s an edgy show. James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke brands his show as silly and fun, but that benchmark is what put him on the map. A compelling benchmark can even save a complacent, mature show from the graveyard. These shows remain competitive by airing high tune-in benchmarks frequently.

Caution:You can’t thrive long-term on benchmarks alone. Winning shows build innovative, creative content and memorable, HD characters around features and benchmarks.

Photo by Will Paterson on Unsplash

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