I come from the world of audio and media production in general. I am very pleased to have been working on a couple of projects for HumorOutcasts.com.
In professional and social settings I often get asked about podcasting and its relevance. Being that I enjoy the medium I’m not sure how much people expect an objective answer from me. Well, there are no easy solutions in today’s complicated and fragmented online and traditional media landscape. I would not tout podcasting as a one size fits all solution for everyone. However, it is becoming a force that more and more people are turning to as part of their overall content marketing strategy.
The audience for podcasting is growing. According to recent data from Edison Research, the audience is strong in the age group 18-54. The podcast listener tends to be educated, affluent, and is also part of a group that likes content that is free from advertising or that is at least low in advertisement rotation. The on-demand nature of podcasts seems to be a big part of the medium’s appeal as well.
There are plenty of ways for people to produce their own podcasts at a low cost just as there are easy ways for them to produce their own online videos and digital pictures. However, just as with video and other media there are times when professional production is more appropriate. For one, the growing audience is increasingly listening to podcasts on better sounding streaming devices and becoming savvier regarding production quality. Secondly, as this occurs companies and organizations wanting to increase their listenership may not want to incur the time of in-house training and the cost of equipment to get to a high production level. Even with this being the case, most of the time professional podcast production is very affordable when compared to television and other media.
Investment in the medium is improving not only with increased funding but with traditional media outlets beginning podcast divisions. Style and presentation is also evolving for the better due to the talent base that podcasting is attracting. Moreover, marketers are aware that internet enabled automobiles will likely only serve to expand the base of podcast listeners where almost half of radio listening takes place.
To me, one of the major appeals of podcasting is the fact that they do not require the audience’s complete attention. Unlike a video or a blog post, you can listen to a podcast while you are pretty much doing anything. This is a key feature for young professionals who are busy with a family and a career.
I would also want to be aware of the burgeoning use of interactive audio content. It may not be long before you are able to just simply ask your car’s dashboard what your council representative’s position is on a given issue and his or her voice will be coming out of the speakers. Building an online reservoir of audio content for your potential clients to access in the future is probably a good idea.
Podcasts can be very entertaining and informative. I certainly would encourage anyone to become a fan of podcasting.
For the more ambitious of you who may want to try making one, it is often said that good writers are good readers first. I would advise the same for novices regarding podcasts. Listen to a few of them. Remember, we don’t expect online videos to be stylized as television programs and podcasts do not need to be modeled after morning zoo radio shows. Get some ideas and settle on your own panache.
Oh, and have fun.