What’s your podcast doing over Christmas? You have options, especially this year. You could re-publish a great episode or interview from earlier in the year. You could do a year-end recap. Or, you could take a week off. Whatever you decide, today’s piece of advice comes from my colleague Johnny Peterson of Straight Up Podcasts and the Pod Logic podcast. TELL your audience what you’re going to do – you want to manage their expectations. For example, every Friday before a long weekend, on The Daily, Michael Barabaro says “See you on Tuesday, after the holiday.” If you tell your audience not to expect an episode until January, you won’t leave them waiting for something that won’t show up. Of course, this year is different from all other years, in that many of us won’t be travelling over the holiday. And while that may mean less time in cars and waiting at airports, it may mean more free time around the house between December 24th and January 1st. So, make a decision, and tell your audience. For example, I plan on releasing an episode next week, perhaps on Christmas Day. After all, I’m Jewish, I usually volunteer to work December 25th, so my co-workers can stay home.
Steve Goldstein, a brilliant radio turned podcasting mind, writes about the resurgence of audio in his 2020 recap. Highlights include Apple, Amazon, and Google all getting into the space, as well as C-suite executives now seeing the power of audio. https://www.amplifimedia.com/blogstein/s5yixzq7ir85mclsvw6tewrxy8nyq9?mc_cid=d5cf6b7f30&mc_eid=0629248349
Speaking of which, Spotify and The Drum have partnered on a three part podcast series on the future of audio, and how powerful it is. https://www.thedrum.com/news/2020/12/10/spotify-and-the-drum-launch-podcast-series-educate-the-future-audio
And of course, Spotify continues to land the biggest names in the world. They’ve announced a new podcast hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Maybe their friend Michelle Obama had something to do with it. https://newsroom.spotify.com/2020-12-15/spotifys-new-multiyear-partnership-with-the-duke-and-duchess-of-sussexs-archewell-audio-promises-podcasts-that-will-inspire
There’s an effort to create a universal definition of every role in podcasting – from host and guest to editor and producer. There’s a white paper on this called Podcast Taxonomy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pkkb6_Kg7Dc33IVgTopJO7QNka3FnH7m/view
I tell all my clients not to sweat downloads, and building your podcast is a process, a marketing tool. But there will always be folks who want some way to measure success. Bryan Barletta of $ounds Profitable, a weekly newsletter, does a nice job of breaking down “Lift Reports.” https://soundsprofitable.com/update/understanding-podcast-lift-reports?utm_source=podnews.net&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=podnews.net:2020-12-16
Substack, a popular email and blogging platform, has gotten into the podcast hosting space. https://library.substack.com/p/how-to-use-substack-for-podcasts
If you want to start a podcast but have zero budget to do it, Tal Minear has a piece that shows how he created audio drama with 10 free tools. https://talminear.medium.com/free-tools-ive-used-to-make-my-audio-drama-81746291d1be
And finally, this episode is being released Friday, December 18th, which happens to be…gulp….my 40th birthday. It’s crazy to think what a difference a decade makes. The night I turned 30, I rented out the back of a nightclub in Burlington, Vermont, and had a bunch of friends in from out of state. 6 months later, I got my dream radio job here in Detroit. Three months after that, I met the woman who I’d later marry, even though I didn’t know it at the time. The last decade has been filled with travel, a huge career change to start my own business, dogs, and of course a global pandemic. At 40, a nightclub has no appeal to me, COVID aside. But a nice night in, with steak, lobster tails, and Johnnie Walker Blue should do just fine. Thanks in advance, honey.
I hope that whatever your holidays look like this year, you enjoy them in good health, and here’s to a much better 2021. I’ll talk to you next week.