Narrative Podcasting: Expert Solutions for Better Stories


PodMov Daily: Wednesday, January 27

Episode 359: Your Midweek Update

Narrative Podcasting: Expert Solutions for Better Stories

If it’s possible to be a master of narrative podcasting, Karen Given comes close. Published by Transom, her Eight Axioms of Semi-Efficient Narrative Production draw on 27 years with WBUR and NPR. Each concept will help podcasters tell better stories — in spite of limitations on time, budget and access.

Weaving others’ voices into an audio story is a tough process. Given’s actionable solutions insist on quality at every turn. Remote interviews can work, she says. “But here’s the deal. If you’re not going to be there, you need to pay extra close attention to the ways you can bring your listener into the story.”

‘Semi-Efficient’ production is only partially sarcastic. Some elements need to be worked out in your own way, Given reminds podcasters. Back at WBUR, being teased for her structuring style (arranging and rearranging strips of paper) only set the habit. Axiom #8 is a gem: “Don’t be afraid to look a little foolish.”

Are Tape Syncs Still Needed for Remote Recording?

When in-person tape syncs stopped last spring, resuming them was a question of timing and safety. Now, Aria Bracci of Hot Pod asks if they should resume at all. (For a tape sync, both ends of a phone interview are recorded. The interviewer’s audio is later mixed with the guest’s audio, captured by a producer.)

“No longer the marker of a small-staffed or non-monetized operation, DIY recordings, normalized through their pandemic ubiquity — and many captured through the ever-improving software of smartphones — are, frankly, pretty decent,” Bracci acknowledges. Why would radio and podcasting return to tradition?

Shifting away from this long-held standard would have positive and negative impacts. (As 99% Invisible producer Katie Mingle has written, “Tape syncs make the radio world turn.”) Bracci considers expert viewpoints from different parts of the industry. By next year, we will have questioned if we’ll go back to a lot more.

Spreaker Prime: Powerful Monetization, Made Easy

At Spreaker, full-service is just the beginning. For consistent podcasters with 5,000+ monthly downloads, the Spreaker Prime Program is a game-changing support system. It’s the smartest way to maximize revenue, increase exposure, and streamline publishing with programmatic advertising.

Prime includes Spreaker’s cutting-edge programmatic advertising tools, an expert live-reads sales team, free hosting on the Anchorman plan, and priority customer care. In the US, ad-fill is typically 100% — no more empty spots. Just ask Morbidology host Emily G. Thompson:

“Thanks to Spreaker Prime, I have been able to monetize my podcast and work as a full-time podcaster,” she says. “It’s taken the stress out of worrying about how to monetize. The team are always on hand to assist in any way possible, making for a seamless partnership.” Ready to level up?

If you aim for the wood, you will have nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood; aim for the chopping block.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Relief bill: “Outsourcing production is a lot more accessible than it once was, even if you're on a tight budget,” says Colin Gray of The Podcast Host. Gray reviews producer titles, cost variables for editing and production work, and key questions to consider when choosing professional help.
  • Cheat sheet: The Society of Professional Journalists has updated its handy list of podcasting resources. It’s got just about everything: hosting platforms, editing software, visualization tools, training links, royalty-free music, and a podcasting legal guide to read before you need it.
  • Flag team: Tomorrow at 6:30 pm ET, Hot Docs Podcast Festival presents “What's Next for Political Podcasts,” a live talk with Tommy Vietor (Pod Save America) and Tanya Somanader (Crooked Media). $14.99 admission, or use promo code PODMOV for 25% off a Festival Pass.
  • All night: On Saturday at 3:00 pm ET, the hosts of Keith and The Girl kick off their annual 24-hour comedy marathon. To celebrate their 16th year of podcasting, Ophira Eisenberg (NPR's Ask Me Another) and at least 50 more listener favorites will drop by for virtual sets. Admission is free.

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