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School of Podcasting - Plan, Launch, Grow and Monetize Your Podcast

May 1, 2017

Because of My Podcast: Katie Krimitsos

Katie is the host of the Biz Women Rock show, and when I asked her how she would finish the "Becuase of my podcast ____" she answered, "Everything" She feels her business, her consulting, courses, and coaching are all based on the relationships she has fostered through her podcast.

Bridge Ratings Podcast Report is a Bit Hit or Miss

Bridge Ratings continues its coverage of the podcasting space with this latest update which provides never before insight and best practices learned from a three-month study conducted between January 23, 2017 and April 10, 2017.

A panel of 2000 persons ages 13 and older were contacted by random digit dialing phone method to both landlines (45%)  and mobile phones (55%) in the continental U.S. Phone interviews, on-line questionnaires, and daily diaries were utilized to gauge the consumption behavior of current podcast listeners and potential listeners. The margin of Error for this study is +/- 2.2%.

Here are some items I wanted to address

Trends in time-spent-listening shown in the following chart reflect a significant reduction in the average time spent per listening session falling by a third between August 2015 and April 2017.  "Listening Session" is defined as the portion of each podcast listened to during individual sessions. 56% of our panelists listened to podcasts in multiple sessions.

When they mentioned how people find podcasts, their answer was

What are the most popular methods of discovering podcasts of interest?

1. Social Media
2. Search
3. Word of Mouth
4. Other Podcasts
5. Streaming Channels
6. Radio Hosts

In their conclusion they stated, "“For broadcasters seeking to increase listenership to podcasts by their talent, a significant increase in promotion - both on-air and through social media - would be the primary strategy.”" 

In their Best Practices Section, they listed the following

1. Producers of podcasts should have a clear idea of the prospect or audience - the target market. Knowing who is the target will help producers stay focused on the topics covered. Audience knowledge lays the foundation for all of the other items on this list.

To this I say AMEN. I'm doing a show right now as a test called "Podcast Rodeo Show" where I pick random podcasts and give my first impressions.

2. Be organized and know where the podcast is going. Be considerate of your audience's time and don't ramble. Get to the point. The average time spent with podcasts is 22 minutes with listeners who commit beyond the first five minutes. Podcast abandonment continues to plague non-focused hosts with no clear understanding of how to capture their listeners' attention. The “session” average of 22 minutes also reflects partial podcast consumption, i.e. podcasts of longer length are often listened to in 2 or more “sessions”.  

This is the point that I want to make sure people don't get wrong. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOUR PODCAST NEEDS TO BE 22 MINUTES. (a podcast media hosting company) reports that 84% of the podcasts with more than 100,000 downloads per episode are longer than 51 minutes.

Listening to a podcast “in its entirety” often means listening to it in multiple sessions.

No Kidding. Really? In a world where both parents are working, taking kids to school, soccer practice before going to their second job, you mean they don't have multiple unlimited hours to sit and listen to a show uninterrupted?

I've quoted her before Valerie Geller in her book Beyond Powerful Radio has said, "There is no such thing as too long, only too boring." I recently listened to episode 301 from Daniel J Lewis. It was 3.5 hours long. In spans of 10-20 minutes, I listened to that show over two days. Why? Because I find it interesting.

3. Edit. Edit. Edit. It is easy to start a podcast recording only to find the host and/or guests have rambled for 45 minutes or an hour. Before posting podcasts on-line, producers would be best served to listen to the entire recording with a critical ear and edit out content that doesn't serve the "vision" of informative, engaging and entertaining content that listeners can't get from other media.

Again, I totally agree here. Mount Rushmore was just a mountain, and then Doane Robinson decided to have some editing done to it.

4. Establish a publishing schedule. Bridge Ratings' analysis found that weekly podcasts are most popular followed by twice per week and daily. Tuesday was the best day to post podcasts followed by Friday. based on our panel's responses.

I don't think it matters what day as long as your consistent. A podcast about entertaining might make more sense to put out on Thursday or Friday as people prepare for the weekend. When it comes to picking a schedule, keep the following in mind:

Podcasts app for iOS pauses downloads of episodes from podcasts which the user hasn't listened to. Episode auto-downloading stops 15 days after a user last views that podcast or plays an episode on any device the user is signed into and after 5 new episodes are unplayed on a single device.

After 45 days of a user not viewing or playing episodes from a podcast on any device and after 5 new episodes are unplayed on any device, Podcasts app for iOS and tvOS stops updating the podcast metadata altogether.

iTunes desktop also has protections against unwanted downloads. After 15 days and 5 unplayed new episodes, new podcast episodes stop auto-downloading. After 45 days, the podcast metadata stops updating. (source)

so before you go launching a daily show....

5. Tagging metadata. Search is the second most-popular way consumers find podcasts of interest. Producers should be cognizant of search engine requirements including software that consumers use and directories. Metadata is that additional information embedded in an object which provides information to software platforms about that object. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a function of these tags and allows a podcast to be found. The more refined and focused the tagging data, the higher the chance of the podcast appearing on the first page of search results.

While it makes sense to have keywords in your websites, the best advice I can give is to use the title of your podcast and the title of your episodes to the maximum. Use words that peak people's curiosity or inspires them to click. If you're going to put any kind of episode numbers in your titles, put them at the end (as the information at the beginning of a title cut off in some apps. Here again, don't go crazy and remember that people create word of mouth, and when you ignore the people, you lose a key source when you right strictly for robots.

6. For broadcasters seeking to increase listenership to podcasts hosted by their talent, a significant increase in promotion - both on air and through social media - would be the primary strategy.

Yes, you need to tell people about our podcast. My formulas for podcast downloads is TOTAL VALUE IN EPISODE multiple by INTELLIGENT PROMOTION equals TOTAL NUMBER OF PODCAST DOWNLOADS. Even in their own study, they state, "Awareness through word-of-mouth from friends and family, increasing publicity of podcasting in general and high-interest topics are motivating more people to try podcasting."

The article quotes an article from Mumbrella, saying,"The understanding of podcasting in media agencies trails that of streaming, the research revealed. On a scale of 1-to-10, media agencies ranked their understanding of podcast advertising at 5.1 on average and 7.2 for streaming digital audio, with just 6% classifying themselves as having little understanding." It's this kind of information that leads people to say "We need to get podcasters abandon downloads and start streaming." This would be liked saying, "We need to get people to quit emailing people and go back to letter writing because people are confused by email." We need to educate people on podcasting.  Grab your neighbors phone as ask them what their hobbies are. Go the Apple Podcasts app (on an iPhone) and type that in and click search. Then click play. It doesn't take long.

With the exception of Spreaker (which streams via Shoutcast on their live technology), a podcast that is played on a website or app or tablet that has not been previously downloaded is a progressive download. It looks and smells like a stream, but it's a file that is being downloaded in chunks and is going to show up as one download in your stats.

In their final thoughts, they state:

  • Podcasting continues to have great potential to drive a broader trend toward on-demand audio that is reshaping the $75B+ global audio market
  • Podcasting still has an issue with discovery and needs to become more social in order to drive audience growth in addition to simplified search mechanisms.

I don't think the problem is finding a podcast on a topic, the problem is finding a GOOD podcast on your favorite subject.

  • 75% of podcasters are concerned with generating new listeners and app presence, monetization (70% dissatisfied) and social media presence (58% dissatisfied.

Wait, are you saying podcasters want more listeners? This is truly the most insightful report I HAVE EVER READ. Really?

  • Social media, search and word of mouth are the most popular channels for audience growth.

So make a podcast that inspires other people to talk about it.

  • Barriers to faster growth: 1) "Finding Podcasts I'm interested in", 2) "Programs are too long or have uninteresting hosts".

Again, finding GOOD podcasts is a struggle, and the length of the podcast is not a problem. This is put forth by people who want to stick to a "Closer to radio" model and convince everyone to stream their show.

Who are Bridge Ratings?

They are located in Irvine, CA. They were founded in 2001 and is a media analysis corporation providing behavioral analysis of media consumers in the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Company clients include Emmis, Microsoft, Yahoo!,, CBS Radio, Cumulus Broadcasting and Clear Channel Communications as well as finance and media investment firms around the world.

Founded by broadcast executive Dave Van Dyke, Bridge Ratings had its roots as a radio ratings company positioned as an alternative to other services in medium and small markets. Bridge Ratings surveys were utilized as a bridge between the one or two annual surveys offered by other research companies.

The company transitioned to a media consumer analysis firm in 2003 when its study focusing on the impact of commercial interruptions on radio listeners revealed that stations lost as much as 25% of their listeners with every commercial beyond two in a row. This study became a template for future analyses of listener behavior.

Who is David Van Dyke?

Bridge Ratings Founder and President Dave Van Dyke’s extensive and varied experience in media has captured every facet of radio and Internet audience engagement.  In radio, he has worked in a diverse array of positions including programming, management, sales, on-air, marketing and research for CBS, Infinity, ABC, Nokia and Westinghouse.  Through his work with Bridge Ratings Dave is widely recognized for his ability to forecast and gauge media consumption across multiple platforms and to utilize field data to advise his clients. He is also known for his management of radio station rebuilding successes, taking underperforming radio properties and turning them into high cash-flowing corporate contributors.

Nobody Can Do A Show Like You

My Buddy Steve Stewart sent in a very cool piece of audio feedback that got me thinking.

  1. He shares why he listens to this show, and he explains how everyone who does a show stamps their own style on it. Your show will be your show. 
  2. I point out how we ALL face imposter syndrome. We feel we're "not worthy" or we are worried about being "big headed." 
  3. Podcasting puts you into a place of leadership simply by creating a podcast. A leader should appear confident and accept their role. For me, I would downplay my role, and my jokes about "little old me" and didn't realize that this type of humor could be damaging my brand. People don't want to follow "little old whoever.."
  4. Steve shares that he is now making a full time living doing podcast editing.

Mentioned In This Episode 564

Randy Cantrell and the Grow Great Show

Bridge Ratings Report

Podcast Review Show (Get Your Podcast Reviewed)

Podcast Rodeo Show (use the coupon code sopfree to get a free month)

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