A recent ad campaign from Spotify would have us believe that the best shows aren’t on TV. The implication is that they’re on Spotify. But in reality, they mean the best shows are podcasts.
Over the weekend, it was hard to miss an ad campaign from Spotify that said that the best shows aren’t on TV. In the ad’s visuals they showed a rotating list of podcasts you can listen to on Spotify.
What I found quite interesting was that the featured shows weren’t Spotify original podcasts. They were just the same podcast — popular ones — that are available and popular on any other podcast app/directory.
Spotify’s play seems to be less about exclusivity and more about mass adoption. So this week, we’ll talk about how podcasting is encroaching into the world of other forms of media. And how the people involved with those forms of media are reacting to podcasting’s encroachment.
The veracity of Spotify’s provocative statement isn’t the point. More people still consume more TV content than any other medium, including podcasting. So while it’s not true right now, it might be directionally true.
So how do we respond to that directionality? As a working podcaster, I bet that you don’t think much about the parallels between TV and your podcast. But many podcasters are, and more importantly, many television-companies are taking a hard look at podcasting as a viable medium.
In the growing podcast fiction world — we used to call it audio drama — talented actors are in high demand. And where do you find lots of talented actors? Why TV, of course. Many television actors are getting involved with podcasting simply because television production companies are looking at podcasting and doing some easy math. No Director of Photography needed. No terribly expensive cameras needed. No on location shoots needed.
No wonder we’re seeing the people who produce television programs looking at podcasting as a viable medium to get their ideas and stories to the public.
As a working podcaster, you probably have lots of friends who listen to podcasts. How many shows do you share in common? I’ve said before that the short head dominates, and a relatively small number of shows will be what “everyone” listens to. These very popular shows tend to be well-produced and benefit from word of mouth. When people gather their friends on the weekend, some talk about the television shows they’re watching. Some of us are now talking about the podcasts that we listen to.
It wasn’t that long ago that the television show we were all talking about was the one that was being released every Thursday. Nowadays, the television show that we’re all talking about is available on-demand through a variety of services.
We need to recognize that this is our reality, too. The program you make right now might be a weekly interview show. Or it might be a four-days-a-week monologue show. How well is that recurring format going to tap into the psyche of the television watcher? Sure there are television talk show programs and news-based programs that are produced on a regular, never-ending schedule.
But those shows aren’t the “most talked about” programs. Television programs that get word of mouth tend to be series. Sometimes fictional content. Sometimes documentaries. But almost always, interesting and self-contained content.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting you quit what you’re doing right now and move to make a sitcom. But if you are trying to create a show that everybody’s talking about, you might want to make an adjustment.
How do we create that kind of content that today’s TV watchers are looking for when they discover podcasting? How do we adjust to the fact that everybody watches TV but not everybody listens to podcasts? If we’re going to facilitate the switch away from TV and into podcasts as our friends at Spotify have predicted… what do we have to do?
I think we can do this. You’ve gained valuable skills over the time you’ve been podcasting. If you really want to branch out and try something different, do you think you could make content for the TV-watching audience when the crossover into podcasting? Tell me that right here in the comments, or go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications and share with the group.
Since you got this far, how about mashing that 👏 button a few dozen times to let me know you dig the written-word version of my thoughts on these podcasting topics? I’d sure appreciate it!
This article started life as a podcast episode. The 231st episode of my four-times-a-week short-form podcast called, oddly enough, Podcast Pontifications. It’s a podcast for working podcasters that’s focused on trends in our growing industry and ideas on ways to make podcasting not just easier, but better. Yes, you should listen. Here’s an easy way: 👇
Evo Terra (hey, that’s me!) has been podcasting since 2004, is the author of Podcasting For Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, and is the CEO and founder of Simpler Media Productions, a strategic podcast consultancy working with businesses, brands, and professional service providers all around the world.