Welcome To The JAG Show Podcast!
April 6, 2023

What Podcasting Can Learn From Baseball

What Podcasting Can Learn From Baseball
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I grew up a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan.  Every April, we thought, "this could be the year."  Until it wasn't.  But in honor of what used to be our national pasttime, today I'm going to tell you what podcasting and baseball have in common.


When you start your show, it's April.   You've got big dreams.   You're going to be the next Serial, or the next Joe Rogan.  You're going to get millions of downloads, and sell enough ads to quit your job and buy your own private island.  Hope springs eternal, right?


Then you get into the season, and you realize that this is a LOT harder that it looks - and sounds.   You need to be consistent.  And you need to spend a lot more time practicing - or prepping - than you do actually playing (or recording).   And even if you're a knock-it-out-of-the-park type player, you can't do it without teammates.  That could be cohosts, guest, virtual assistants or VAs, editors, and more.   It sure is fun to start, but it's a grind.    And while everyone wants to win - would you be happy with a .500 record? Making the playoffs? Winning the pennant?  What does that mean for you in terms of downloads and either sales leads or ad revenue?


Here's one more comparison.   Baseball interest has plummeted in recent years.  Why? As our attention spans wane, the game has gotten slower.   Time between balls in play has gone from 3 to 4 minutes, which added up over a whole game is a lot.  And the longer your content, the more compelling it needs to be.   News flash: you're not Sarah Koenig or Joe Rogan with a full staff behind you.   Chances are, your show can be more compelling if you keep it under 30 minutes.  And lose the fluff.  If it doesn't interest your audience, leave it on the cutting room floor.


If you follow baseball, you'll know this year has brought - forgive the pun - a seismic....shift.    For reasons too long to list here, baseball has gotten away from putting the ball in play, and just going for the home run.  New rules have gone into place for the 2023 season to encourage more singles, doubles, triples, and steals - to keep the action and momentum going. Similarly, podcasting has swung for the fences - look at the hundreds of millions of dollars Spotify and others have thrown around over the last few years.  It wasn't sustainable.   And now, like many other industries, the podcasting world has started to contract - with cuts at many bloated companies.   As Vanity Fair put it, "The Dumb Money is Gone."  Or, as Steve Goldstein of Amplifi Media says, "Belt Tightening will be good for podcasting."


More and more folks are listening to podcasts.  After a brief dip in 2021-2022 as we came out of the pandemic, podcast consumption has once again grown this year, to another all time high, according to Edison Research's Annual Infinite Dial Survey.  Four out of 10 Americans age 12-54 have listened to a podcast this week, and weekly podcast listeners average 9 shows per week. 


Chances are, your show is not the next Serial, Smartless, or Stuff You Should Know.   Those shows are home runs.  Your show might be a single, double, or triple.  Heck, maybe it's a steal.  Baseball is learning that those plays are key to keeping the game exciting.   And that's why your show is important to podcasting.   


If you have any questions at all about podcasting, you can find me online at JAGinDetroit.com, where I have a new guide to all the equipment you'll need to get started: https://jagindetroit.com/podcast-equipment-recommendations/