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May 24, 2023

Promote Your Show on Other Podcasts, But DON' Make it Exclusive!

Promote Your Show on Other Podcasts, But DON' Make it Exclusive!
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The Daily from the New York Times -one of the biggest, and in my opinion, best, podcasts out there is expanding.  They're going to offer a daily 10 minute recap of the day's headlines.  But in this week's rollout, they are doing something right, AND something wrong.

Here's what they're doing right - they are promoting the show on their flagship podcast.  The best way to grow your show is by targeting other podcast listeners.  It's the old "fish where the fish are" mentality.  By doing a promo swap with another show in your space, you can grow both audiences.  And also think about the actual user experience.  It's much easier to find another podcast when you're already in a podcast app, like Apple or Spotify, then having to click over from Twitter, Facebook, or another social app.

But speaking of podcast apps, here's where The Times gets it wrong.  While you can listen to "The Headlines" for free this week in the same feed as "The Daily," that will change next week, where the show will be available only in the new NYT Audio app.  Clearly this is an attempt to drum up some revenue.   But I don't know who's going to pay $6.99 a month (or $24.99 after the first year) to get the day's headlines in podcast form when you can just as easily get the same headlines from NPR, ABC News, or any other competitor, for free on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, etc.  Now, "The Headline" and NYT audio will be great for anyone who already pays for a digitial subscription to read article, play the crossword and Wordle, and anything else. And maybe you can justify this by it maybe being the final piece that grabs someone on the fence about subscribing anyway.   But this are the big mistakes that podcasters are making.

Just look at TV - do you really want to be paying for Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max (i'm sorry, Max), and Apple TV?  No, that adds up.   Yes, I keep Netflix for my parents, but I'll be dumping HBO when Succession ends and Apple TV when Ted Lasso finished up.  

So with all these video services nickel and diming us, do you want to have to pay separate subscriptions for Apple, Spotify, and a bunch of other places for your podcasts?  In my opinion, this is a short-sighted money grab on podcasters' part.  And unless your show is SO good that people are willing to spend money on it (like Succession and Ted Lasso), it won't work in the long-term.  Would I pay for the Daily?   Maaaaaaybe, but probably not - as I don't listen when I get busy.   Would I pay for 10 minutes of headlines I can get anywhere?   Absolutely not.

Podcast revenue is up year over year, but you won't make money selling ads on your shows until you spend a good year, or even two or three, building your audience (unless you're uber famous to start with).   So don't cannibalize yourself by limiting where your show is available.

As always, thanks for listening, and if you have any questions about podcasts, find me at JAG in Detroit.com.  Lata!