I just did an email type interview with a girl who’s doing a Masters on podcasting. She asked me a few questions and I sent them back but I decided I’d stick the answers up here too. Cheap content for my fluffy blog.
1)Why do you listen to podcasts? Is it because its convient as you can listen to them whenever you want? Because you find podcasts on areas that you wouldn’t find on mainstream radio?
It’s a combination of two things. Original content and I listen to them under my conditions and my control. I can listen to them whenever I want and I can stop or pause or rewind them. Far far more convenient than radio.
2)Do you listen to Podcasts on mostly your PC or iPod/MP3 player? And why?
Both. When on the move I use my mp3 player, at home I’d listen to them on my pc. The pc is the home media centre and is the store for all my media so I like to work off that. mp3 player is great for the car and planes.
3)Does the lack of advertising on Podcasts add to their appeal? Do you find there is too much advertising on mainstream radio? If Podcasts started to include advertisements would this decrease their appeal?
A lot of time I find podcasts are far too shill like and are just pure stealth advertisments. I wouldn’t trust these podcasts as a result. There are going to be a few types of podcasts and there already are. There are the corporate podcasts where the company basically talks to their customers and future customers. If done right these are wonderful insights into the company and builds a weak bond of trust (compared to no bonds previously). These are advertisments anyway and should not then contain additional ads. If they do then they don’t understand how to treat customers.
Then there’s the original content podcasts which might be like radio shows or discussion shows. They need some monetary incentive to keep going and podcasts to produce are not cheap. You need good equipment and you need a lot of time to get them ready. Lots of work before and after the actual recording. I don’t think anyone could object to advertisments on these. If you want to be professional and stay professional you need to break even or make money. I’d prefer ads like radio ads or maybe have one weekly slot where someone is interviewed (in an unbiased away) about their product and they pay for the interview.
4)Would you pay to subscribe to a podcast?
Yeah but only if the content is worth it and I think I’d have to sample it first. A good idea might be to offer a scale of payment where people can choose to pay 50cents 1 Euro 2 Euros or 3 Euros for a podcast. It’s been shown in other stories that not everyone will pay the cheapest rate and they appreciate that they have a choice.
5)Is the fact that podcasting is removed from corporate monoculture appealing? Is it refreshing to hear people talk about things they’re and you’re passion about rather than arbitrary chit chat?
It’s taking a niche show or product that might have only been available to a small catchment area and it’s making it global. This is great. Niche is good, it’s more appealing because it zones in on your specific interests. All that’s needed is for the podcaster to make the podcast findable via search engines and iTunes etc so that they can get a worldwide audience. As above, some of the podcasts will be done by corporates but podcasts encourage transparency so that’s a good thing. I’d love to see more companies doing podcasts and maybe even answering customer queries in a frank manner.
General discussions on specific areas is also good and I’d encourage it.
6)What are you opinions on mainstream radio today? Do you think podcasting will have an effect on traditional broadcasting? And what changes do you feel need to be made?
Podcasting is not a mainstream radio killer. I think radio and podasting can be complimentary and both will change each other for the better. Radio now realises that they can have an audience outside their strict programming times and are making available shows on their sites. I’d really love to get a podcast of morning Ireland, 5-7 Live and the Last Word and additionally Pet Sounds. This would be great.
Commercial radio is naturally commercial and so podcasting allows loads and loads of niche programs that I’m sure radio stations would love to have on but just can’t because they wouldn’t make money. Radio people are huge enthusiastsfor discussion so we might even see Radio stations airing shows on the airwaves but actually offering additional Internet/podcast only shows as well. I would like to see the commerical stations giving over studio time and resources for people to produce podcasts that can be offered on their websites. Radio need to start fostering the next generation of producers and content creators and what better way than to have a kind of academy taking place?