Welcome in, I'm Jon Gay. There are typically two types of people that start a podcast Some throw caution to the wind and just go for it. Others meticulously plan every detail before they start. Now, there's probably a happy medium between those two extremes. But too often, folks think once they start the show, it has to stay the same format. So my advice to you this week is that it's ok to make changes to your podcast. For example, take the two biggest podcasts I listen to. The Daily from the New York Times used to run a 2 minute list of credits at the end of every Friday show. I doubt a ton of people stuck around for that. Now, they do 30 seconds at the end of each episode thanking the behind the scenes staff. And Pod Save America used to be 2 segments with the hosts, followed by a guest. Over the last few weeks, they've played with having the guest as the middle segment and moving them around, probably because they are looking at their listening stats and what causes tune out (which you can usually get on premium plans from podcast hosts). And even me, I've been trying different things with the video version of my podcast, as well as playing with the compression settings on my audio. Here's the point. Whether you have 5 million downloads or 5 downloads, you can always make changes if you think it will improve the show. Unless it REALLY degrades the quality of your audio or your content, it's not going cost you audience.
Speaking of audience, podcast Facebook groups are always littered with the question "How do I grow my audience?" Some are looking for hacks or cheap tricks. Others are willing to invest time and effort into tried and true strategies. But this week's newsletter from Vancouver podcast company JAR audio breaks it down so beautifully simply:
There are a million ways to try to game the charts, artificially increase your downloads, and otherwise stroke your own ego with numbers. But if you want true, honest growth on your podcast, start with the content. Why would someone else want to listen?
The IAB, or Interactive Advertising Bureau, projects that not only will podcasting revenue hit ONE billion dollars this year, but it will hit TWO billion dollars by 2023. https://podcastbusinessjournal.com/iab-projects-2-billion-in-ad-revenue-by-2023
For example, The New York Times has announced their Q1/21 results. Revenues overall are up 6.6%; digital advertising revenue, which includes podcasts, grew from 48.2% of the company’s revenue a year ago to 61.3%.
Also, iHeartMedia reported their first quarter earnings, with Year over Year numbers doubling, from nearly $16 million to over $38 million. Worth noting their total revenue is DOWN 10% year over year. But hey, they have launched a self service ad platform where you can create an ad to run on your favorite podcast or radio station. Looks like they're automating away sales people the way they did on-air DJ's. I feel like I say this every week, but it's worth repeating. iHeartMedia, Audacy, and many other companies are focused on podcasting and digital audio. These are huge companies that have to answer to stockholders. The only way that radio will survive is if it's owned by smaller companies that can afford to invest in local markets and local talent that can connect with their audiences. For iHeart, it's hard to care about Cheyenne when you're worrying about New York.
Let's do a quick check-in on Apple Podcasts - James Cridland at PodNews says they are now crawling his feed for new content every 20 minutes as opposed to two hours. And it seems the bugs are slowly being worked out of the new system. However, for some users, the new iOS update seems to be downloading every episode of every podcast you subscribe to - this can be a major issue if you've got limited storage space left on your device. Here's an article on how to fix that: https://tidbits.com/2021/05/04/prevent-apples-updated-podcasts-app-from-eating-your-storage/
Now, while Apple struggles, Spotify continues to revolutionize the podcast space. If you like a particular story in a podcast, you can now share that exact SPOT in a podcast to social media through Spotify. For example, share today's episode at this spot....right here.
Finally, if you want to know more about Clubhouse - now available on Android in the US - the venerable Edison Research is doing a webinar about all things Clubhouse this Tuesday, May 18th, at 2pm Eastern. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/6516203299295/WN_U80SXPDQROenIIxcNmYPJA
As always, if I can help you start or improve your existing podcast, feel free to reach out to me on social media at JAG in Detroit or on my website, JAGinDetroit.com.