Podcasts have been making a comeback. This is likely the result of two things. First, services like Soundcloud have simplified their interface and have finally made internet-based audio more accessible or understandable (like video). Second, streaming audio to mobile devices is now easier and more affordable due to increased wireless bandwidth and data plans with better pricing structures.
That is good news.
There is bad news, though.
Many organizations are producing unlistenable podcasts. They are clearly reading their scripted content which makes for unpleasant listening experiences sure to chase listeners away. Worse yet, guests are being empowered to script and read their answers in interviews, something they surely wouldn’t do if they were on national radio or television.
Building an audience is as much about delivering a quality performance as it is about delivering quality content.
Attracting listeners means having compelling content delivered in a compelling way. Ask yourself, would you would walk out of a comedy show if the comedian stood at the front of the room and dispassionately read his entire act? Would you watch a movie in which the actors recited the script at one another rather than deliver it in a way that seemed as though they were truly interacting? Would you change the station if the news anchor seemed robotic as her eyes moved back and forth reading the headlines?
Don’t be that person. Don’t write and read your podcasts. Don’t allow your guests to do so either. And, don’t release anything that seems as though people are dictating rather than conversing. You may fool your audience for an episode or two. However, the numbers will speak for themselves and you will find yourself with a very small and unengaged audience. What may seem like convenience or something you can turn a blind eye to is sure to result in the kind of metrics that make the case against funding a podcast for your organization.