(Photo by Flickr user Patrick Breitenbach, used under Creative Commons license)
With the surge in popularity of podcasts, those looking to get started can take a cue from emerging trends to build a following.
At ETC’s Haven campus on Wednesday night, a panel of audio creators covered topics including podcast content, dynamic ad insertion, community storytelling, and diversity in media.
A Sound Future, with Sarah Ellison, Aaron Henkin, Stacia Brown, and Dan Rodricks, was hosted by tech community organizer Gabriel Pendleton. The event was held during Baltimore Innovation Week.
Stacia Brown, creator and producer of Baltimore: The Rise of Charm City, a radio and podcast series that tells intergenerational stories of place and memory in Baltimore city, told Wednesday’s audience that their content should always be as strong as the last piece they put out. She encouraged them to invest on the front end and not make the audience wait for quality.
Investing upfront may look like purchasing Adobe Audition and good microphones, according to Dan Rodricks, host of Roughly Speaking and columnist for the Baltimore Sun. He also suggested finding an affordable platform such as Soundcloud and taking advantage of social media, though Aaron Henkin, host of WYPR’s Out of the Blocks warned that it uses a completely different part of the brain than podcasting.
— kmazurek (@kmzrk) October 5, 2017
Brown also said the voice of the interviewee is influential in capturing listeners. She suggested calling those you hope to interview first. That will help to determine how much time will need to be spent editing and working with the cadence of their voice or storytelling patterns.
When it comes to funding, podcasting is also introducing new ways of deploying ads. When discussing the addition of advertisements to the podcast realm, Brown said it can be “jarring” sometimes and Rodricks added that it’s a new dynamic at play to hear journalists read advertisements.
While some things may be changing for the podcast world and algorithms for their discovery are getting better, Henkin and Sarah Ellison, host and creator of Harbaugh-focused podcast “Man of the Crowd”, agreed on three timeless things: cross-promotion, word of mouth and bringing it home.
“There’s not a more effective way,” Henkin said. “You can’t sneeze at that.”
And no matter what topic a podcast may cover, the panelists all agreed that it has to be localized.
“You’ve got to bring it home,” Ellison said.