How to double your radio show’s podcast numbers overnight
Almost daily in my Business Development role at Omny Studio, I get asked by radio stations how they can improve their podcast download numbers, search-ability and share-ability.
I want to share a simple idea that will help with the above questions, and also set your station’s on-demand offering up for the growing popularity of smart speakers and “augmented live” radio apps. The idea is simple: split your podcast into separate pieces.
Currently, radio shows release a daily 45 minute or 2-hour big blob of audio with all of the show’s segments butted up against each other as their podcast offering. As an audio producer for many radio shows over the years, I was actually the one doing this. As the shows went to air, I would label each segment and save it to a hard drive for archiving purposes. Then I would get all of my nicely labelled segments, consolidate them into one long podcast episode and hit publish. It seemed crazy then, and it still seems crazy to me now, that you would strip all of the searchable, shareable metadata out of the podcast and then publish it.
There is more than one incentive to change your podcasting habits. Not least of which is that if your radio show is currently releasing daily blobs and starts splitting the podcast up, your download numbers will double overnight. I’ve seen it first-hand. I promise you it won’t create much extra work as someone who spent over five years building the podcast for many radio shows daily.
Here are some of the other advantages of releasing your podcast in segments.
Set your show up for future listening devices
Radio Futurologist, James Cridland describes the idea of splitting a radio show into multiple segments as “atomisation”. By atomising your show, you’re setting it up for the on-demand listening devices and apps of the future like NPR One, Otto Radio and, of course, the smart speaker.
Smart speaker popularity is exploding in the US right now with 7% of all Americans already owning either an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device (around 23 million). These kinds of devices are being touted as the future of on-demand audio consumption.
American serial entrepreneur, investor and podcaster, Gary Vaynerchuck believes that “the novelty of being able to use natural language to communicate with your device is going to change the world.” Link.
In the not too distant future, on-demand listeners will want to be able to command their smart speakers to play the latest content from their favourite show.
“Hey Alexa, play me the Breakfast with John show’s interview with Justin Bieber from today”
In fact, Google recently reported that that one in five queries made by search are now through voice. Seems to me that this is a very clear sign that audio and voice are on the rise and that smart speaker devices will play a large role in this.
The point is, smart speakers and “augmented live” apps ingest RSS feeds and if your RSS feed only has a two-hour chunk of daily audio, you’re dramatically limiting your offering. There’s a huge opportunity here for radio content makers to take advantage of this coming wave of on-demand audio consumers.
Improve your shows search/share-ability online
Putting smart speakers aside for a second, let’s say that a listener wants to find an interview from your show online from last week that only exists in your full podcast. The only way that the listener can do that is to maybe get lucky with Google or search on your website, and that’s only if the audio producer wrote an itemised list of every segment. Then they’ll have to skip through over an hour of audio to find the exact moment. In other words, it’s not going to happen.
This actually happened to me the other day in a group Whatsapp chat, a mate of mine Deano interviewed Tom Cruise on his radio show and everyone wanted to hear it:
After someone asked for a link to the audio at 8:22 am, eventually at 3:19 pm we got a 20 second Instagram link.
It was worth the wait, but if this was released as a separate piece of audio, we probably would have found it with a few keywords on Google.
An obvious byproduct of making your show more searchable is that it then becomes easier to share on social media, email, Whatsapp etc. It at least gives your listeners a fighting chance of being able to share content from your show.
Increase your download numbers
The idea is simple: if you release more episodes, you’ll get more downloads from your RSS subscribers and fans.
There are so many advantages to releasing your on-demand audio in a segmented or “atomised” RSS feed, I can’t understand why we all don’t…
Check out omnystudio.com for more information on how Omny Studio can help you with your on-demand audio strategy or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.