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Although Podcasts remain a highly preferred media around the world and the podcast industry is changing at a high pace, not many survive in the long run. This is generally due to a term known as podfading, which later results in pod-death, the death of the whole podcast.
Podfading occurs due to two main reasons. One, the host publishes episodes inconsistently with a huge interval between episodes. The other, when the host stops publishing any episodes at all instantaneously. The podcast then disappears into oblivion.
A little bit of History:
The term ‘Podfading‘ was first coined by podcaster Scott Fletcher, a computer program analyst, in February 2005 when he gave up on two of his very own podcasts.
I liken it to losing interest in a hobby and then coming up with the reasons you don’t have time anymore.Fletcher told in a discussion of podcasting news.
Podcasting is one of those things that’s cheap and easy to begin to do but takes a tremendous amount of time to keep going with no payoff. There was no money in it and it did nothing to push my career forward.Freelance writer and blogger Brian Reid, former host of the gender-issues program Sex Talk, who quit in August.
Besides, the reasons for podfading vary according to different podcasters. Not everyone stops publishing episodes due to losing interest like Fletcher or due to the lack of money like Reid, for instance, in the case of Ozawa’s, it was a massive success story that overwhelmed them.
Causes & Consequences of Podfading:
Podfading occurs due to the following reasons:
- Time: To publish a great podcast episode means to invest a lot of time and effort into creating one. From content research, writing, recording to the final editing and promotion process, a podcaster will need to spend huge hours of his day in the making of interesting podcast episodes. This is one main reason why most podcasters eventually lose interest while creating the fourth or fifth episode.
- Content: Sometimes, the chosen content of a certain podcast isn’t a broad subject matter. As a result, after just a few episodes, the podcast podfades and is forced to end.
- Unorganized: Another cause of a podfade is being unorganized in terms of creating enough episodes to publish consistently. Most podcasters are excited about just the first few episodes and don’t think of or plan about the rest of the episodes leaving it for the last minute. This leads to late publishes, huge intervals, losing interest in recording podcasts little by little, and podfading.
How to Avoid Podfading:
- Make Time: It’s important for a dedicated and passionate podcaster to make time for creating podcasts. It is important to have strict deadlines and a consistent way of getting things done without lazying around. When one feels like giving up, it’s advisable to remind themselves if this is why they came this far.
- Choose wise content: Every podcaster needs to make a thorough research about the content they choose for creating a podcast. The broader the subject matter, the better. Instead of simply choosing a trendy topic every other person is talking about and jumping into the bandwagon, it is better to take some time doing proper research and choosing a topic that is guaranteed to not bore the audiences. Something that is deep, valuable, informative, witty, and interesting.
- Organize: Podcasters need to organize themselves in order to create enough episodes to publish consistently on the specified days. This could be quite tough at the beginning, but practice makes perfect. It is advisable for podcasters to have a reminder or a diary with a To-Do list so they can tick off one by one as they complete the relevant task to creating a podcast episode.
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So, What Exactly is a Podcast Network?
Podcast networks are a collection of shows connected by a theme or genre, that help monetize podcasts by selling adverts and connecting podcasters with sponsors. Networks also provide a one-stop-shop for podcasters who are looking to work with other podcast hosts and shows.
Even though, the networks usually group podcasts together according to similar topics, some networks are made up of shows of diverse topics linked together through the same advertiser.
When you join a podcast network, you as a podcaster will sign a contract with their advertisers, this, decides how and when adverts appear on your show. The ability to get a deal that benefits you and your podcast depend on the influence you have in the podcasting space, and the amount of traffic you get for your show.
Who Are Podcast Networks For?
Podcast networks are designed for podcasters.
In a network, advertisers will buy ads on a cost per thousand listeners (CPM) basis. Advertisers are looking for popular, interesting, and influential podcasts for advertising. Advertisers generally expect your show to have an average of 50,000 downloads per month for them to begin advertising with you.
If you are a new podcaster, there are small podcast networks you can join, but, just keep in mind that advertisers are looking for podcasts with large fan bases.
What Are The Requirements To Join A Network?
Different podcast networks have different requirements to join. However, in general, most networks will want a method to monitor your podcast traffic in order to improve their marketing and advertising campaigns. They will also likely require you to consistently promote their brands on your show. Further, if you decide to join an ‘ad-revenue sharing program’ you will need to free up slots in your show for the adverts where the general rule is one ad-spot per 15 minutes or they may require you to share a minimum of two ads per episode. In this instance, Many podcasters decide to play one ad at the start and one at the end of the episode as it breaks up the content nicely and doesn’t irritate the audience.
After joining, can an advertiser let you go?
Yes, as long as it isn’t violating any contracts, an advertiser can let you go if they feel the campaign isn’t going great.
Will joining a network cause you, as a podcaster to lose control of your brand?
Losing control of your brand can be avoided easily by putting in some time to research your network and their advertising messages before signing any contracts with them. It’s always best to consider working only with networks and brands that are in line with your brand. For example, if you host a podcast on coffee production that widely promotes fair trade schemes, work with brands that advertise and support fair trade coffee.
What are the most popular podcast networks today?
The following are some networks that host today’s most popular podcasts, the top 1% of all podcasts.
This is one of the largest networks with over 200 supported shows.
Founded in 2014, this is a division of Spotify, which primarily distributes adverts in journalism and entertainment podcasts
This is an American podcast network, launched in 2014 by Hernan Lopez and backed by 20th Century Fox which features over seventy shows of many genres.
This is an LA, USA based network that was originally known as the home of the biggest comedy podcast, but, now has expanded to include shows in many other genres.
Midroll aids in producing, distributing, and monetizing over 300 podcasts. They partner up with over 200 major world brands such as Toyota and T-Mobile to provide adverts.
Most podcasts out there don’t have over 50,000 downloads per month, so, likely chance is you are a podcaster with a small, loyal fan base who would like to benefit from a podcast network. So, here are some networks for small shows
A startup that exists to support small, new podcasts connect with advertisers. Joining this network is completely free!
This network, however, requires a minimum of 2500 downloads per month in order to join it. Here advertisers will view your podcast and send you an offer if they think their ads would work well on your show.
What are the benefits of joining a podcast network?
- Networking opportunities with other podcasters
- Marketing assistance through sponsorships
- Higher revenue received through advertising
- Expansion of your audience due to more exposure
- Can engage in cross-promotion
- You would be joining a team of like-minded podcasters
What are the Cons of joining a network?
- Loss of creative control as some contracts allow advertisers to veto any creativity that doesn’t fall in line with the network and its brand.
- Sharing of ad revenue gained with the network. Further, the amount of money you earn each month will likely be inconsistent.
- Some networks may request full or partial ownership of your show, especially if you are just starting out. Others may ask for specific rights in your show during the length of your contract with them.
- You may have to switch your podcast hosting service as a network like to have all their shows on the same platform.
IMDB allows users worldwide to find ratings and reviews of TV shows and movies. It contains reviews and ratings for even the newest movies and TV shows out there and a few weeks ago IMDB announced that they are now accepting listings for podcasts (Audio-only).
As a podcaster, you are not required to have a website. You don’t need a website to host and publish the podcast. However, having a website helps a ton with marketing and makes it easier for your audience to engage with you. If you can’t decide whether to create a website or not, here are a few reasons why you should consider creating one for your podcast.
If you, as a podcaster have the budget for it, outsourcing is going to pay off as it produces impressive results. Further, if you are new to podcasting you would be able to focus on your content and leave the technical concerns to the professionals!
Why Should You Outsource Your Podcast?
Creating raw content is simple, however, editing it to a professional level to get quality content for example, by mixing audios together, editing background sounds, adding intro music, and putting the parts of the podcast together takes skill, time, and expertise. Depending on the equipment and recording there may be a lot of work involved. Further, as a podcaster, you also have to create social media posts, design your cover art, and market your podcast which will be time-consuming. By outsourcing your podcast, you would be able to save time and free up your schedule to focus on creating new content while also being able to obtain a good quality podcast. It also allows you to stick to a consistent time schedule in uploading your podcast episodes which will keep your listeners engaged and happy, helping to build a strong fan base.
What Should You Consider Before Outsourcing?
Before you outsource your podcast, always think about the reasons you got into podcasting, whether it was just as a hobby or whether you wanted to make a profit out of your show. The vast majority of people do podcasting as a hobby or simply for fun, i.e. not for profit, for example, if you love coffee, you may decide to start a coffee podcast. These podcasts will likely never be affected if an episode is released late or if they have low and inconsistent sound quality. In fact, they will be able to build a fan base that loves the content and this ‘unprofessionalism’.
As the podcasting industry grows, more and more companies and individuals get into podcasting as a business, i.e. to make a revenue by promoting their content and brand. These types of podcasts, if done correctly will lead to business opportunities and income streams further down the line.
So, if you are considering running a podcast for business your likely goal would be to create content that builds relationships with your audience and clients to ultimately promote your brand. Thus you cannot afford to release content with low production quality and on inconsistent time schedules as it would disappoint your listeners and potentially cause a loss of a loyal fan base.
These are the podcasts that outsourcing will offer loads of benefits to as it will allow them to stick with consistently producing a show. Further, they would able to get back valuable time by hiring a professional to take care of post-production and other podcasting tasks they dread doing, which allows them, as podcasters, to focus on their content.
What Can You Outsource?
Many podcasters are talented speakers but lack the design expertise in making graphic designs. Graphic design for podcasts can include anything from podcast cover art to promotional images for posts on social media. Using powerful visuals can help attract new listeners and engage current ones. You can get help from a podcasting production company or you can use web services like ‘99 Designs’, ‘Podcast Design Studio’, and ‘Fiverr’ to create your designs.
Having an outline of what you’ll say is a great place to start planning for each episode, but, it can be difficult to put all your thoughts down on paper. Luckily, there are dedicated services that provide scriptwriting to craft quality content for your show.
Show Notes and Transcriptions
When you poll podcasters about the most unexpected time-consuming task of production, show notes are at the top of the list. Show notes have to be created per episode and must be engaging and SEO friendly to raise the discoverability and accessibility of your show, making it the perfect task to outsource to a team of professionals. If, you are on a budget, try ‘Podcast Fast Track’ or ‘Lidwell Writing services’!
If you shudder at the thought of transcribing each episode word for word then consider a professional transcription service. Transcription services range from machine-generated to transcripts written by professionals. If you want an automated service you can use, ‘Alito, The Podcast Maker‘.
Many podcasters start their first show without much editing experience. Audio editing is an extremely important post-production task and is lengthy and time-consuming but is necessary to produce high-quality professional episodes to engage listeners so most podcasters do outsource their audio editing out.
Many podcasts out there are interview-based podcasts, which requires a lengthy list of new guests to appear on every new episode. Finding, reaching out, and scheduling every guest interview can be a lot of work hence there are full service booking agents and virtual assistants to help you out such as ‘Interview Connections’, ‘Podcast Bookers’, and ‘Fancy Hands’.
Social Media and Website Management
Promoting a podcast across social media is an important pillar of audience growth and to create a loyal following. You can use outsourcing services to get help from crafting an enticing image, finalizing a posting schedule, to regularly optimizing your posts.
Likewise, website management can we hard work as you have to constantly upload your new content, shows notes, transcriptions, and designs to your website therefore most consider outsourcing this task.
Where to and to Whom Can You Outsource to?
If you are on a budget, you can choose to hire a freelancer. Freelancers can be found of websites such as ‘Fiverr‘, ‘Content Vista‘, and ‘Express Writers‘. Freelancers are often college students or individuals with ICT backgrounds that work part-time, thus, they will only have a few hours to give to aid in your production.
When working with a freelancer, always have a back-up plan, don’t just depend on one individual, just in case he/she cannot make the content by the due date.
Third-Party Outsourcing Companies
If you are committed to your podcast and you can afford to pay a bit more, you can hire a team of professionals from companies dedicated to podcast production services, and most offer production services per podcast episode or per month. One such company is ‘Podlab‘.
Founded in 2018, Podlab is made up of a team of audio engineers, writers, video editors, graphic designers, transcriptionists, and programmers that can help you with every aspect of your podcast.
Podlab offers a wide range of services from Audio Production, Web Development, Graphic Designing, Transcriptions, Show Notes, Social Media Marketing to New Podcast Launching. They produce your podcast in just 72 hours/3 days.
You as a podcaster will get a custom plan based on the number of episodes you would like to publish a month, the average length of an episode, and whether you would like additional services such as show notes, cover art, website management, and video promos. We will also produce the first episode you do with us absolutely free and offer a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service!
If you have a podcast that you would like to produce with Podlab, use our ‘Price Calculator‘ to find how much it would cost.
The advantage of outsourcing to a company is that it is usually run by a team and won’t be affected by a single individual’s schedule. Further, you would get the expertise and ideas of a collective group rather than a single individual alone.
Currently, there are over 500,000 podcasts online with some specially dedicated to interviews. There are two main ways podcast interviews are conducted, remote interviews are done using recording apps such as Skype, Zoom, and Zencastr while microphones and digital recorders are used in face-to-face interviews.