What I Learned About Podcasting After Listening 200+ Hours of Podcasts?

Podcasts are something I’m currently addicted to. I’m trying to listen them as often as possible. While travelling, running, exercising at the gym, while waiting for something.

Podcasts are something I’m currently addicted to. I’m trying to listen them as often as possible. While travelling, running, exercising at the gym, while waiting for something. I was looking for the most interesting ones for a long time and then was listening, listening, listening…

I’ve recently counted how many hours I’ve spent on listening to podcasts during last year. More than 200 hours. Wow! A huge number.

And that’s what I learned about podcasts and podcasting.

Podcasts are like radio programs. Those better programs.

You can find podcasts on every subject. You can find podcasts in English, German, French, Spanish, or Portuguese. You can find podcasts about fashion, tech, business, or travels. You can find podcasts with well-known hosts as well as those hosted by some unknown guys. You can find podcasts hosted by companies. Those huge ones, as well as small ones.

There are funny podcasts. There are educational podcasts. As well as motivational and inspirational ones.

If you spend some time on searching – I’m sure you will find something interesting for yourself.

Podcasts are like radio programs. Those good ones. And you can decide by yourself which one would you like to listen to and when.

How to find good podcasts? How to listen podcasts?

I highly recommend using your smartphone and some app for podcasts. I use iPhone + iTunes.

Most of the podcasts are also available to download. Most of them are also available on some other websites (such as SoundCloud).

How to find good podcasts? With iTunes. You can find everything (and everyone) there. You can sort by popularity, category, date or whatever else you want. A few clicks and you will find what you want.

Podcasts are great for “soft” topics

For me, it would be hard to imagine a highly technical podcast episode, where I need to do something specific (e.g. programming) based on something I had heard in the podcast episode. Sure, a podcast about trends in web development or a podcast about the pros and cons of some specific programming language could be useful. But not a podcast where someone tells you which PHP function you should use to do something specific.

Why? For two reasons:

  1. Learning such specific/technical things should be more visual. Try to imagine learning using Photoshop in a podcast. Someone tells you to click on something, then on something else, then on another thing. No, it’s something that has to be shown.
  2. According to this research – a few years ago everyone used to listen to podcasts on their computers. Now? A mobile device. People listen to podcasts in the car, on the bus or train. At the gym, while jogging or at work. In 2012 about one in five smartphone owners were podcast consumers.

“One in four podcast consumers plug their MP3 players or smartphones into their car audio system “nearly every day””

By looking at some other report – you can learn that from 2013 to 2014, the number of podcasts’ listeners who listen on mobile devices increased from 34% to 51%. Huge increase! In the meantime the number of podcasts’ listeners who listen on their computers decreased from 64% to 46%.

Podcasts

Length of podcast episode

Average length of a podcast episode is 35 minutes. And this length is the ideal length for one episode. Not too long, not too short.

In a shorter episode, it would be hard to provide a valuable content.

Longer episodes often have to be divided into shorter parts (how long does it take you to drive to work? Or coming back from work? How long do you spend on cleaning your home?).

I also heard that an adult is not able to focus on one task for more than 40 minutes.

35 minutes? The best length for a podcast episode.

Publications on a regular basis

With podcasts it’s like with blogs, newspapers or TV shows. If you don’t publish on a regular basis – your fans, followers, listeners or readers will simply leave you. There are too much great content around the web to wait for who knows what, who knows when.

Providing new podcasts episodes at least once a week is the best thing you can do.

Podcasts are great for answering fans’ questions

Just like in the case of blog posts – fans’ questions could be great inspiration for new content. In the case of podcasts – listeners’ questions.

Just like on an old-school radio show – someone calls and asks, host (or the guest) answers questions. In the case of a radio show – it’s live. In the case of podcasts – the listener records a question (or writes an email with a question) and later on he/she can listen to the answer in a podcast episode.

Podcasts are more professional than ever and marketers can see that

According to research, 15% of all the adult Americans (39 million people!) listened to podcasts at least once in last month.

Podcasts

More than that… according to Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner and Jeff Bullas:

“Only 3% of marketers are currently using podcasting in their social media marketing strategy… 32% have a desire to learn how to use podcasting in their marketing efforts and 23% have plans to increase their podcasting activities in 2013”

For now I can say that it has changed already. Currently you can hear some audio ads in most of the episodes of well-known podcasts. And because these ads do not interfere as much – listeners simply listen to them.

For now, podcasts are not just a platform that could help you in promoting you or your content. Podcast is a business nowadays. Business like all the others. Business for which you can raise money from external investors. Just listen to the story of Gimlet Media (StartUp Podcast).

Podcasts that I highly recommend

There are lots of podcasts that I like. And there are also a dozen of podcasts that I truly love. Let me recommend you the ones that I love.

If you know some other great (business related, inspirational or motivational) podcasts on iTunes – please let me know.

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