PodMov Daily: Monday, October 11
Episode 517: Your Monday Mix
Junk Marketing vs. Podcast Listeners’ Trust
Financial journalist Chuck Jaffe specializes in trustworthy advice. In 900+ episodes of his podcast Money Life, he’s helped listeners recognize bad-faith schemes. Now, he warns, podcasts are full of misleading messages — not just directly from hosts, but through sketchy affiliate and cross-promotional deals.
“I’ve found that marketers who offer the biggest affiliate payouts are trying to persuade bloggers and podcasters to hawk junk that’s bad for consumers,” Jaffe writes in The Seattle Times. While affiliate marketing itself is perfectly fine, many get-rich-quick hosts use it to endorse products or services they know little about.
Jaffe tells listeners to wise up about business motivations. Trust, but verify: “It’s one thing if your favorite podcast host makes a buck steering you to a site they believe in — where they think you can get real help — but another if their motivation is entirely the financial reward they get from your click-through.”
How Should a Trailer and First Episode Connect?
The connection between a podcast’s trailer and its first episode can make or break a listener’s interest. Heard back-to-back, how do they relate? Rob Rosenthal of HowSound was struck by this question thanks to a bad example: “The producers took the trailer and tacked it on to the front of the first episode.”
A repeat of the same content isn’t just disrespectful, he says. Confusion is an instant mood-killer. “I listened to the trailer and thought ‘Okay. I’ll give this a try.’ I hit play on episode one and had to look at my phone. ‘Did I start the wrong file?’” With a few examples, Rosenthal shows how other shows craft the transition.
His favorite pairing respects the listener’s time while building a bit of mystery. “When the first episode starts, it’s almost a continuation of the trailer — as though the trailer was a kind of preface.” Though it’s tough to get a ‘first impression’ of your own work, trusted feedback from others will help clarify the mission.
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Here's what else is going on:
- Critical mass: Three weeks in, Apple Podcasts’ 1.8-star average comes from about 1,100 users. The star rating hasn’t changed since week two, and neither has the commentary. Recent reviews include “Flaming piece of garbage,” “Unusably bad,” and “Apple I really hope you are reading these.”
- Open minds: The inaugural Humanities Podcasting Symposium is this Friday and Saturday. Featuring Radiolab co-host Latif Nasser, the free, virtual program of discussions and workshops will focus on using podcasts for teaching, learning, and scholarship in the humanities. Register here.
- Stay classy: “Audio storytelling for journalists,” a four-week online course taught by NPR’s Tamar Charney, begins October 18. Guests like N’Jeri Eaton will lead conversations on podcasts, social audio, and more. Through the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. $95.00 registration.
- California dreamin’: Speaker applications are open for Podcast Movement Evolutions, coming up March 23-26 in Los Angeles. Start planning that session or panel and check the event site for details. Submissions will be accepted until October 31, with decisions made in mid-December.