Podcasts + Publishers = Opportunity!

Now that Google has formally entered the fray for podcasts along with Apple, we can expect this channel to grow quite significantly. This represents a powerful new opportunity for newspaper and magazine publishers. Toss in the growing use of voice devices like Google Home, Amazon Alexa and the Apple Speaker, distribution opportunities will abound. How to take advantage of them?
Build a Solid Strategy First
The podcasting ecosystem is fairly well defined. Today it is largely dominated by independents, NGO’s and non-profits. Distribution systems and monetization platforms such as Podbean and Buzzsprout are fairly well established. To begin with, they offer publishers an excellent way to build audience and monetize at a reasonable cost.
But what’s needed is a clearly defined strategy. Many newspapers and magazines still struggle with video and video strategies remain sparse and not clearly thought through. It’s not as simple as just warbling the latest news into a microphone. Publishers should ensure that any podcasts they create align closely with the brand and text content they create. A podcast must compliment. Then there’s the money. There are advertising opportunities and they should be considered; will you do top and tail ads or interstitials in the middle? Sponsored content or fully sponsored topics?
The clearer your strategy the better you’ll do. We’ve advised a few publishers and seen that those with a solid strategy have far greater success.
Execute With Time In Mind
There’s a good chance that your subscribers and readers will saunter over to your podcast. But it can take time to grow a solid audience. You need to think commitment in terms of time and episodes. Commit to at least six months of episodes. Record a whole bunch up front. We don’t recommend doing daily news updates for podcasts, daily news is table stakes that won’t work well with podcasting.
It’s Not Hugely Expensive
You don’t need a massive budget to podcast. You can buy the basic, good quality mics, mixers and such on Amazon and if you have Macs in the workplace, you can easily record a decent quality podcast using Garage Band.
For anywhere between $500 to $2,500 you can get all the equipment, find a quiet room and do some sound baffling on a budget and off you go.
It’s easy with podcasting platforms like we listed above and there’s about 20 of them in the market now. Each one offers different options and prices range from $3 a month up to $200 depending on what your needs are. They all enable you to connect to iTunes and Apple’s ecosystem. Google is still getting this sorted out, but they have a Google Podcasts platform. It can get a bit complex when it comes to ads, so you’ll need to consider what each platform allows and blocks.
Once that’s sorted, use your email subscribers and social platforms to drive awareness. Just be sure to have a solid marketing plan. Once your numbers are up in terms of listeners, new revenue opportunities open up.
In the end, this is a great low-cost investment for publishers, but do it without careful consideration and you risk damage to your brand.
What are your thoughts?

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