In April 2018 Apple confirmed that there are currently over 550,000 different podcasts online at the moment. That's a daunting number for anyone wanting to start their own podcast. With the market so big, it takes a lot of work to stand out from the crowd and secure a healthy audience (and make some dollars along the way).
For the uninitiated, podcasting has quickly swept in to replace the old and faithful medium of radio. Though podcasts have been around for over a decade, its only in the last few years that they've really taken off as a viable alternative to radio. The reason? Smartphones. We've all got one in our pocket and with public wi-fi proliferated and 4G speeds strong enough to support long bouts of listening, plugging into your favourite podcast is just as easy as dialling into a radio station. Plus you get to select exactly what you want to listen to, whenever you like.
Speaking at Hybrid World Adelaide 2018, Marc Fennell (from The Feed (SBS), Download This Show (ABC) - pictured) outlined how to make your podcast hit #1 on the iTunes charts.
Podcasts are big business and, according to Marc Fennell, are the future of radio.
"Podcasts are one of the most exciting parts of the media at the moment," says Fennell.
"You can do incredible things with very simple conversations."
Fennell has had a long history with podcasts and currently runs one of the longest running ABC podcasts called 'Download This Show' a tech podcast where he delves into the nitty gritty of the latest developments in Silicon Valley.
The main issue with jumping onto the podcasting bandwagon to promote your business, startup, or even just building a career in the sector, is the vast amount of podcasts already available. Fennell says this is the main hurdle many new podcasts fail to overcome.
"On Facebook and on TV there's a chance for people to randomly encounter your content. Podcasting is in a state where there's only a handful of ways to be found," says Fennell.
"92 per cent of ABC podcasts are found through iTunes that's where you're going to be found."
In addition to a clever title and an interesting thumbnail, Fennell says it's important to nail the first few minutes to hook in a listener and then deliver on what you've promised with the opening hook.
"I put a lot more effort into my opening line than the rest of the package," says Fennell.
"You also need to create enough of a curiosity gap to make sure you don't flip over and lose potential subscribers."
"The most important thing in podcasts is to really understand what it is going to mean to the person that is listening to it. Once they're there the key is to make sure you get return business and to become part of their life. Podcasts are at their best when they're a habit. Keep in the back of your mind that the first half is getting them to click and the second half is getting it to mean something to them and for them to come back."
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