Since the mid 2000’s, podcasts or audio blogging has been increasing in popularity. These pre-recorded sessions that a listener can subscribe to; pause, fast forward and delete at their leisure have changed the way people listen to audio. But nearly ten years later podcasts have not, as predicted, spelled the death knoll for traditional radio. In fact smart stations and companies have begun to embrace podcasting, using it as a complementary tool to engage a younger, tech savvy audience. The only people who are likely be negatively affected by podcasts are those who choose to ignore it as a valid supplementary medium. Stations must work with technology and new forms of communication to grow their business and be open to learning new ways to get their messages across.

Using podcasting in conjunction with your regular broadcast opens up a world of possibilities and experimentation. People who choose to listen to podcasts know what they want to listen to, cutting out the chaff.  The chief way that mainstream radio can use podcasts effectively is by offering podcasts of their more popular shows, allowing listeners who weren’t able to catch it live to listen at their leisure. Other fantastic ways to utilise podcasting is to have a ‘behind the scenes’ discussion or show from popular announcers which gives podcast listeners a more comprehensive look at issues or interviews that were shortened for live broadcast. Stations might consider looking at weekly podcasts from each announcer in a type of personal blog, this enables listeners to develop a relationship with their favourite announcers, which creates loyalty.

One fantastic thing about podcasting is that it is low to zero cost to implement. All you need is recording equipment and webspace, and as a functioning radio station these things will already be in your reach. There is really very little excuse for not offering at least your regular content as a podcast option.

This extra effort is not going unnoticed by listeners. Studies have shown that people who listen to podcasts actually spend more time listening to live broadcasts and that nearly 40% listen to a wider range of stations than they did before using podcasts. Surprising results but it shows how stations are utilizing online broadcasting results to their advantage. This is fantastic news for smaller regional stations that can increase their listening reach well beyond its frequencies limitations.

So, don’t be afraid of podcasts, think of them as a complementary tool in marketing your station to a wider more varied audience. Broadcast radio has been with us for more than one hundred years, it has survived the advent of television, LP’s, and CD’s. Radio has proven its resiliency every time and it is continuing the trend with podcasts. Podcasting can only help make your station accessible in a modern user-friendly way.

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