The 2017 annual Podcast Movement officially kicked off Wednesday, August 23rd with a full schedule of panels, keynotes, and cap off with the 2017 Academy of Podcasters Awards. While I couldn’t get to everything, these are some of the highlights during my experience on day two.
Podcast Movement Coverage Day 2
As a pro wrestling fan since childhood, it was hard for me to resist the morning conference with WWE legend Bruce Prichard. Besides that, Bruce has an amazing podcast and was the winner of the Sports Podcast of the Year at the previous night’s Academy of Podcaster’s Awards!
This panel was titled “The Rule Breakers of Podcasting” and for good reason. As we learned in the discussion, Bruce has went against every piece of advice anyone has ever given him in podcasting. For example, people told him to only do a podcast that lasts an hour. He did three or more. He was told he needed to bring on guests. He doesn’t use guests.
One of the biggest treats of the talk was the examples he gave from successful advertisement reads he had done on his podcast, including a Pro Flowers read done in the voice of the legendary Dusty Rhodes! He stressed that it’s much easier to sell using a story and that it keeps listeners engaged. Something sponsors of his show like Miller Lite and Hyundai love. In fact, Hyundai actually gave him a car!
When Bruce started, his initial goal was to get 20 thousand downloads. His first show did 60 thousand and he now averages 900 thousand downloads a week.
The Myth That All Podcast Ideas Are Taken
One thing new podcaster’s always fret on when starting a new show is the anxiety that their idea is already taken. Lauren Ober of NPR’s The Big Listen put on this presentation to put that thought to rest.
She gave great (and hilarious) examples of the types of podcasts currently out there and aimed to inspire innovation in podcasting. She even provided ideas for what’s missing in today’s market and 50 free podcast ideas!
Here’s some of the podcast subject matter Lauren thinks is still available:
-Show’s featuring voices of the very old or young, people not middle-class, and female-identified people.
– Audio fiction that is not about spooky things.
– History podcasts that are shorter, not boring, use more sound and are not about white European men.
– Serialized narrative nonfiction featuring women’s stories.
Inside 30 For 30
There’s a good chunk of people in this country that have fell in love with 30 for 30 and are not even sports fans. The popular show on has been around for several years and has had over 100 episodes, but earlier this year launched as a new podcast with all-new stories.
In this panel, Adam Neuhouse, Rose Eveleth, and Tom Ricks talked about how the show is constructed, the challenges they face to create new content that’s different from the television show. Rose Eveleth also told about the hours and hours of recording they do just for one episode!
It was a great look into an iconic show turned podcast.
How Finding Richard Simmons Found It’s Narrative Style
There’s no doubt that the Finding Richard Simmons podcast was one of the biggest launches of 2017. It was featured on almost every major news network and every entertainment magazine online. Ironically enough, it was the very first podcast Dan Taberski ever created!
In this discussion, Dan talked about the moral dilemma of the popular show he created as many questioned in the media if he went too far and was maybe taking advantage of the famed personality. As he discussed these issues, he concluded that his main hope was to help a person in need.
Marketing Advice For Podcasts Is BS
This was probably my favorite talk of the entire conference so far, and the host Rob Walch of Libysn is the main reason why. In fact, i’ll go along with Rob’s request that he needed a bigger room. It was the most valuable session I feel I had.
In the discussion, Rob offered valuable stats and trends for podcasting, while also debunking a lot of the marketing myths you’ll find in those webinars you see advertised on Facebook. One of the main myths he dispelled was that public media holds all the cards in podcasting. Sure you see them a lot on the charts, but in reality indies still have the market share at 56%!
Next came the diss on Soundcloud. Hands down, no podcast should ever be on Soundcloud and he really reinforced that. In fact, he think’s they’ll run out of money in less than a year.
The next myth debunked is that your show needs to be 22 minutes long. In Rob’s report, he mentioned that 84% of shows with over 100 thousand downloads per episode were greater than 51 minutes long.
One of the most valuable notes in Rob’s presentation was his deep dive into iTunes’ new feed structure launching and what defines chart position in iTunes, which is the average number of subscriptions in a given amount of time, not downloads. A very important note of knowledge. He also offered a tip that because most downloads happen on a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the best bang for your buck in marketing your show (mailing list sends, social, etc) is on a Friday.
Overall, day two was an amazing learning experience even as a seasoned podcasting veteran. I didn’t make it to the evening’s party, partly because i’m lame that way, but I could tell many people had an awesome time based on the Podcast Movement app stream.