Podcasts Often Lead to Serious Prospects and Rich Content
No, the podcast is not new. It is not sexy or cutting edge. Truth be told, the podcast — typically long-form audio and video programs available for download or streaming via the Internet — is a wonky, in-the-weeds cousin to the pop-culture rich content available via Netflix, HBOGo and other online spots where you can catch the latest episode of your favorite TV show. But podcasting’s status as resident media know-it-all is exactly why it is growing in relevance and popularity among consumers accustomed to on-demand content and advertisers seeking serious prospects.
What podcasting lacks that other on-demand content producers have is an online marketplace dedicated to its promotion. That’s why you may be aware of podcasts but unsure of exactly what they do. If you have ever watched a movie or TV show on hulu.com, or listened to music on-demand via spotify.com, you already get the concept of podcasting. But a podcast is different, because it applies to more program-oriented audio or video content, such as a hosted program or talk show, a video review of a product or service.
If you are an advertiser, you are more likely to connect with serious customers among America’s 39 million reported podcast listeners, a group that has increased to 15 percent of Americans in 2014 from 12 percent in 2013. Podcasts also reduce the need to rely solely on advertising. In its 2012 report on podcast consumers, Edison Research cites the medium as “an effective way to reach affluent consumers who exhibit ad avoidance behaviors.”
If you consider yourself an expert on a particular topic, a podcast is where you are likely to find both an audience and in-depth or scholarly content upon which you can expand your knowledge. If you are looking to mobilize people who understand your cause, podcasting provides a means to a smaller, but more targeted, following capable of weighing facts and options and responding to a call to action.
Aside from the time it takes to develop and produce the podcast, there is no cost to get started. Free online podcast software options include audacity.com, audioboo.com as well as stitcher.com, used by several local churches to create podcast sermons.
Whether you want to listen to mainstream news or take a deep dive into a particular subject, there is a podcast for you. Though the moniker itself is germane to the iPod, and Apple houses the Web’s largest podcast catalog, not all worthwhile podcasts are on iTunes. Below is a selection of popular national podcasts as well as Tallahassee- and hobby-specific ones.
A quick Google search for Tallahassee podcasts demonstrates the majority of homegrown podcasts are faith-based and produced by local churches, including City Church, Every Nation, Four Oaks, Life Point, Restoration Place and St. Peter’s Anglican. Sports enthusiasts are in luck; espntallahassee.com houses an archive of Jeff Cameron’s local sports podcasts. For artists, the Japanese Animation Club of Tallahassee’s podcasts can be found at tallahasseeanime.com. Or, consider these two locally produced podcasts; Nerd Lunch at nerdlunch.blogspot.com or Pod, James Pod at podjamespod.tumblr.com.
Arts and Crafts
This American Life: This show follows a by-episode theme, with related stories podcast to more than one million subscribers. The weekly radio show is broadcast to about 2.1 million listeners. thisamericanlife.org/about
RadioLab: This show combines science and stories against a musical and sound-infused backdrop. It describes itself as “a show about curiosity.” radiolab.org
Freakonomics: A longtime favorite, this weekly podcast “explores the hidden side of everything.” Prepare to be shocked. freakonomics.com
Wait Wait: This weekly quiz tests your current events knowledge. The twist: You have to decide which news is real and which is made-up. npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me/
Welcome to Night Vale: This dark comedy audio podcast snuck up on “This American Life” and swiped the No. 1 spot in late summer 2013. Available via iTunes.
*All national podcasts are available via iTunes.