Making Podcast Listeners Wait is a Risky Approach


PodMov Daily: Tuesday, June 8

Episode 446: Testing, One Two-sday

Making Podcast Listeners Wait is a Risky Approach

Steven Goldstein gets to the point: “Podcast intros are way too long, and audiences are increasingly frustrated.” The Amplifi Media CEO argues that delaying an episode’s actual content for three or four minutes is increasingly risky. Would any reasonable person sit that long through a YouTube intro?

Goldstein has spent years in audio brand development, working directly with radio stations and podcast hosts. Listeners are more ruthless now than ever, he says. “The first :60 seconds (really the first :30 seconds) need to hook and engage the audience and set the table by laying out the benefit for listening to the episode.” 

Pre-roll ads, theme music, and rambling banter will always be up against listeners’ skip and delete buttons. Goldstein points out that on “Wheel of Fortune,” Pat and Vanna made sure the game was rolling within 45 seconds of air time. “Cut the bloat. Your audience will thank you, or at least they might not leave.”

How “Podcast Friends” Blend with the Real Thing

“Some of my friends have no idea I even exist,” writes Rachel Aroesti of The Guardian. Well over a year into the pandemic, listeners’ feelings about their favorite podcast hosts are more disorienting than ever. Parasocial relationships — summed up in Aroesti’s first statement — aren’t so strange to admit these days.

A 32-year-old fan tells Aroesti that isolation further blurred the lines between one- and two-way interactions. “A story you’ve heard [from a friend] and a story you’ve heard via a podcast are coming in via the same medium, which is a disembodied voice on your phone. In a lot of ways, one isn’t any more real than the other.”

As a podcaster, John Robins actively considers this angle behind the mic. He’s passing on the joy of listening to his own beloved BBC radio comedians. He and co-host Elis James, “terrestrial radio's most unproduceable presenters,” aren’t putting on an act. Their bond is real, and so is the listener’s familiarity with it.

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Anthony’s approach is real, relevant and relatable, giving listeners new insights on the topics that matter most. He puts it best: “I’m going to show you how to set a clear vision for your future so you can start winning in your life, with your money, and in your relationships.”

From debt to life transitions, it can be tough to find a way forward. True success starts with an experienced voice you can trust. Ready to plan for a stronger future? Follow The Table with Anthony ONeal wherever you get your podcasts.

Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Thread count: The 8th of every month is Podcast Review Day. Celebrate #podrevday by reviewing a show and posting it on Twitter. Founder Stephanie Fuccio says it best: “This impact, this connection, this feedback, this is why many independent podcasters do what we do.”
  • In brief: YouTube will soon allow users of its TikTok competitor, Shorts, to “sample sounds from any content uploaded to YouTube.” All videos will be fair game by default unless creators opt out, reports James Vincent of The Verge. The feature will reach the US in coming weeks.
  • Square root: “The Notes app is your best friend” for turning your ideas into podcasts, said Josh Gwynn at Podcast Day 24. The little notepad has been central to Gwynn’s process as a senior producer at Pineapple Street Media and co-host of the acclaimed Back Issue with Tracy Clayton. 
  • Wise words: The Curious Conversations Podcast Discussion is coming up on June 19 at 11:00 am CT. The free online event will offer tips from journalists and podcasters about the art of conversation. Hosted by Podcast Brunch Club and The Democracy Group podcast network.

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