On-Demand Podcast Experiments From the 2020 Election


PodMov Daily: Monday, November 16

Episode 320: Your Monday Mix

On-Demand Podcast Experiments From the 2020 Election

The 2020 election was a prime incubator for audio experiments, writes Jack Mitchell of Project CITRUS. Run by Boston NPR station WBUR, CITRUS studies the future of on-demand audio. “For publishers that want to capitalize on the insatiable appetite for election coverage,” AI integration and ‘live podcasts’ fit the bill.

Axios and ABC News took the ‘rolling’ approach, dropping multiple quick episodes per day. The Washington Post even incorporated “an AI voice named Claire reading election results.” In contrast, the New York Times channeled live radio with The Daily’s four-hour live Election Day broadcast. In a way, linear news is a novelty.

“This all prompts a question of whether live broadcasts will see a resurgence around specific news events, even as on-demand content disrupts the age-old status quo,” Mitchell speculates. “Could live radio be pitched to younger audiences as ‘like listening to a podcast as it’s being made!’” What a very 2020 idea.

Do Podcasters Really Need Social Media?

Podcasters, like all people, have plenty of reasons to avoid social media. We’re told it’s an absolutely essential tool, says Matthew McLean of The Podcast Host. “However, I don't think this [is] true at all. In fact, in certain cases, there's arguably a potential for your podcast to grow even more by not using social media.”

Audience engagement and discovery may seem to revolve around social platforms. What about tried-and-true guerrilla marketing, email lists, Discord or Slack channels, and regular live sessions? McLean argues that these methods thrive separately from “the glowing lights of a never-ending newsfeed.”

Even if you’re a social media superfan, “You only have a finite amount of time, and it's the one currency you can't get back.” Instant feeds are time drains (by design) that can sap hours from the day. “What could you achieve if you put even a fraction of that towards creating great content for your audience?” Great question.

Podcasters Welcome: Adobe MAX Sessions On-Demand

This year Adobe MAX was free, virtual, and at exactly the same time as Podcast Movement! In case you missed it, many of the sessions are accessible for a full year. Ready to build podcasting skills at no cost? Renowned producer Mike Russell has two must-see workshops for creators:

In “Audio Essentials for Editing Audio Like a Pro,” Mike shares tips and techniques to help you get the most out of Adobe apps, including Audition, Premiere Rush, and Premiere Pro. His session “Elevating Your Brand with Podcasting” highlights expert strategies for reaching new audiences and amplifying your message.

Check out these sessions and many more from Adobe MAX: The Creativity Conference. Inspiration is at the heart of every great podcast. Explore this year’s innovative presentations to find yours.

The pleasure we feel in criticizing robs us from being moved by very beautiful things.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Phone tag: The Podcast Host has announced #LetsTalk2021, a challenge for new and aspiring podcasters. Entrants will create a pilot episode and 60-second trailer “centered around positivity and discourse” for voting on social media. Winners will be announced on December 21.
  • Best results: WOC Podcasters has launched the Women of Color Podcast Editors Directory. The resource showcases talented Women of Color podcast editors, professional audio editors, and podcast production companies. Listings include starting prices and contact information.
  • Always fresh: According to Alban Brooke of Buzzsprout, “One of the best things you can do [to] make your podcast binge-worthy is to ensure your episodes are evergreen.” He tells Tracy Hazzard of Authority Magazine why a “hyper-topical” back-catalog will fail to retain future listeners.

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