A real podcast boom is underway. The experienced radio maker Rob Szymoniak saw this three years ago and founded his own podcast agency in Berlin. Now he advises other people on how they can use podcasts for themselves.
There is currently hardly any other format in which listeners give their full attention for 30 minutes or more, says Szymoniak. If you want to get started yourself you should know five things.
1. The right time to get started
Podcats are more popular than ever. So nothing stands in the way of the start, at least in terms of timing. Many people were just discovering the format for themselves, and it was relatively easy to get started. You can start with investing in a microphone and a good concept. The corona pandemic has also brought even more demand for and offers of podcasts.
2. Choice of platform and content
Apple introduced the format on iTunes back in 2005 – a platform that is now history again. Right at the forefront is currently Spotify. But new platforms like Podimo or FYEO also want to get involved in this audio market.
And where do the podcasts come from? Can you do that yourself? Yes, but your own podcast only makes sense if you have a good story to tell, says Szymoniak. Podcasts are docutainment – a mixture of entertainment and information that has been around for a long time. You cannot do without target group-relevant content.
3. Rely on connectedness
The podcast expert Kia Hampel from Hamburg sees the podcast boom also in the better technical equipment that is available today: “A few years ago you couldn’t stream several hundred megabytes on the go”. In addition, the public is now more used to consuming media on demand. “With podcasts it is just the case that we can find out about any topic whenever we want.”
“The podcast is part of a lot of everyday things. That makes you feel very connected to the podcast hosts, ”says Hampel. This “intimacy of the audio” is in principle successful with all age groups. In general, the podcast audience is not as young as you might think. Much like radio, the podcast is a medium with which one can have “company” at the push of a button – and without much interaction.
4. Know the listener and build reach
But how do you start your own podcast? “You should definitely ask yourself this question in advance: Who do you actually want to reach?” Says Daniel Sprügel, who runs a podcast agency in Berlin. Because only content that is relevant for the target group can get them to listen to the podcast. These then have to take place wherever podcasts are usually heard. “Be where your target group is” is the motto.
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5. Bring top sound quality and patience
Sprügel especially recommends beginners to pay attention to excellent sound quality. This can be achieved with a digital recorder and a high-quality studio microphone. Advanced users and professionals also rely on multi-track production mixers that were specially developed for the needs of podcasters and offer full smartphone connectivity, for example.
Even inexperienced speakers should just trust themselves and get started, because a lot can be optimized afterwards, says Sprügel. Courage alone is not enough: “Without strategy, no success.”
Those interested in podcasts should be aware that success is unlikely if you don’t have the necessary time, attention to detail and patience. Rob Szymoniak also sees it this way: “Podcast is more of a marathon than a sprint,” is his credo. “It makes no sense to quickly publish a few episodes.”