Ups and Downs: Podcasting and the Trough of Disillusionment


PodMov Daily: Monday, October 5

Episode 299: Your Monday Mix

Ups and Downs: Podcasting and the Trough of Disillusionment

We’ve all been in the Trough of Disillusionment — that dreaded place between the excitement of a new project and actually getting it off the ground. According to Karen Burgess of Pacific Content, “The Trough isn’t as bad as it might seem. It just feels that way because you’re comparing it to that overinflated peak.”

Burgess uses a model showing that “over time, there are ups and downs — but cycles eventually resolve, often returning the system to some kind of balance.” The Peak of Inflated Expectations (“that post-brainstorm, everything-is-awesome phase”) is followed by a dip. Building out a new idea is tough, and often feels demotivating.

To escape the Trough quickly, podcasters need “well-planned, well-articulated and aspirational expectations.” Burgess explains how a realistic attitude allows creators to appreciate the first signs of progress. “It’s time to use all the method and the magic you have at your disposal to find your way to higher ground.”

Song Exploder Adapts to Netflix

The hit music podcast Song Exploder has been adapted into a four-part Netflix documentary series. Sonia Rao of The Washington Post speaks with Hrishikesh Hirway, who hosts both the podcast and its onscreen counterpart. The episodes, released on Friday, star Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ty Dolla $ign and R.E.M. 

For seven years, Hirway has been inviting musicians to break down their most iconic songs. On Netflix, he successfully “channel[s] the podcast’s in-your-ear intimacy,” Rao writes. “His challenge as a podcaster, and now as a television producer, is striking a balance between illuminating and approachable.”

Hirway hopes that his approach will lead casual viewers to explore the podcast’s archives. “You can look at a cross-section of episodes and feel like there’s a really wide range of music,” he says of the 200-episode catalog. “The real hope is that people will stay for every episode and learn about new music that way.”

Learn VO Basics and Become an EQ Master

Clear, balanced vocals are the secret to a professional-sounding podcast. The expert tutorial Voice Over Basics – The 5 Ranges is your chance to learn from the best. Tim Tippets, AKA VO Tech Guru, makes equalization for voiceover simple and easy to understand.

Tim does a stellar job of breaking down the 5 basic ranges of EQ, all in under 12 minutes. During the tutorial, you’ll listen to and see ‘real time’ changes in his voiceover. It’s the fastest way to pick up the terminology and concepts you need to transform your podcast’s sound. 

Ready to start creating audio magic? Take your editing skills further with Adobe Audition, the gold-standard DAW. Start a free trial of Adobe Audition today — your podcast (and videos!) will thank you.

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

Here's what else is going on:

  • What's next: Tomorrow at 9:00 am PT is the second annual Podfront. Major podcast networks (Entercom, ESPN, Kast Media, Midroll, NPR, PRX, and Wondery) and industry figures will give keynote talks and announce new shows. This year’s free preview event open to the public.
  • Low volume: Joe Rogan insists that “Spotify has said nothing” to him about employees urging censorship of his podcast. Calling Spotify “an open-minded company,” Rogan said that those concerned about transphobic content should focus instead on violent song lyrics.
  • Safety school: Especially near the presidential election, Facebook-wary advertisers are spending more on podcast campaigns. Art19 chief revenue officer Lex Friedman tells Digiday that ‘podcast advertisers did not pause their spending around the election in either 2018 or 2016.’
  • Page turner: In an interview with Patrick Cavanaugh of ComicBook, Lore creator Aaron Mahnke discusses the expansion of his spooky megahit podcast. Adapting episodes into a book series “got me the opportunity to take it to people who aren't necessarily audio people.”

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