Radio is Podcasting Backwards

We’ve all seen podcasting stats continue to rise. Worldwide podcast listening is projected to reach 504.9 million this year and the average listener spends an astonishing 7 hours per week listening to podcasts. So, most of radio has gotten the message that they need to be podcasting and need their audio available on all the platforms people already visit to get their podcasts, hence the line we all use ‘listen wherever you get your podcasts’. However, for the most part, radio is podcasting backwards.

Here’s what I mean and why we should adjust our strategy.

The majority of radio shows and talent who are podcasting are doing their on-air shifts first and then taking the best clips from that, or the entire show, and pushing that out as a podcast episode after they get off the air. To be clear, this is far better than not podcasting at all, because it’s still extending the life of the on-air content by getting it in front of additional people. However, even if it includes a little additional exclusive content, which it should to give listeners a reason to listen to both, it’s still not the most effective way for on-air talent to podcast.

A better strategy would be for shows and talent to do a once-a-week longform podcast that’s separate from the show and ALWAYS both audio and video. Then, have that podcast episode fully produced before any of it airs.

Here’s why this works.

It allows shows to give the content room to breathe, gets them out of the mode of listening to that loud and always ticking internal clock all terrestrial radio talent develop out of necessity. Which also allows us to relax our delivery a little to better fit the platform. All of this protects the integrity of the tight and bright on-air product. Plus, it makes our podcasts MUCH more likely to create a handful of great on-air size breaks that can be used during our on-air shows and a TON of 30 to 60 second reels for social media. These are the secret weapon of all popular podcasts because they are favored by the algorithms, look great on TikTok and Instagram (even Facebook now) and overperform compared to other content when boosted and targeted. They’re also very easy to generate now with the help of AI. I use RiversideFM to record my podcasts and their built in AI ‘magic clips’ generate five to fifteen clips within seconds that only have to be adjusted slightly, if at all, to work with captions already built in. Not sure if Streamyard has the same feature but if not I’m sure they’ll add it soon. Plus, I know there are multiple other AI editing sites that work regardless of how our shows are recorded.

Whether you love or hate him, Joe Rogan is still the world’s most successful podcaster. There’s a reason why he does longform podcasts. Joe Rogan knows that if he gets funny, smart, interesting, or just weird people talking for an hour or more (sometimes WAY more) they’re considerably more likely to create viral moments that will generate buzz online and drive traffic to his show. I’m not saying all radio talent should create four or five hour weekly podcasts, but stealing a page from Joe’s book and going an hour or longer (even though half of that may end up being edited out) would be a step in the right direction and improve their probability of creating viral content.

It’s important to remember…

Longform podcasting doesn’t mean podcasting without a plan or strategy. We still want to outline the show, prepare questions for guests, have segment and feature ideas, and a rough idea how we’re getting into and out of segments. But, because it’s recorded, we have MUCH more freedom to improvise and follow the content where it naturally leads.

What do you think? How are you doing your radio podcast, what’s working and what isn’t? Comment below or email me at Andy@RadioStationConsultant.com

Get more info in my ebook From Broadcast to Podcast: Applying Radio Rules to Podcasting.

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