• Listeners are curious and well-educated
• 74 percent listen to learn new things
• We do a lot of great stuff that people should know about
• Higher ed can bring new people to podcasting
• Lifelong learning
• It’s a crowded marketplace, and getting more crowded every day
• Peak podcast or the golden age of audio?
• Podcasting is A LOT of work
• You need to set realistic expectations
How do you know whether
to take the plunge?
Spoiler alert: It depends
5 questions to help you decide
• What do you want to say?
• Does someone else already do it?
• Is it going to sound like a commercial?
• How does a podcast fit into your organization’s mission?
• How will it enhance your work?
What do you want to say?
• All about the niche
• Format and tone
• What are your strengths and how do they relate to the world at
• Podcasting is personal; higher ed is not
• Democracy Works: Dogs and bananas, Federalist Papers drinking
Is it going to sound like a commercial?
• Remember all the other listening options people have
• Listeners from far beyond your campus
• Unlike a lot of podcasters, we’re not in it to make money
• Democracy Works is about democracy, not about Penn State
Does someone else already do it?
• Survey the landscape — thoroughly
• Determine what you can bring to the table
• Be open to options outside of having your own dedicated podcast
• What ideas can you take from other shows and make your own?
How will it fit into your mission?
• It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture in the grind of putting out
• Can you create other content around the podcast, or vice versa?
• Opportunities for outreach and collaboration
• Punching above your weight class
How will it enhance your work?
• The ROI is not that high, especially at first
• Will you and your team benefit from the experience?
• Do you have the buy-in you need to get started?
• Measuring impact beyond download numbers
• Listener feedback, name recognition
How do you make it happen?
Going from idea to iTunes
(or whatever Apple is calling it these days)
• Studios are best for sound quality, but are limited and expensive
• Microphones: AudioTechnica, Rode Procaster, Blue Yeti
• Recorders: Zoom H6 – just do it
• Recording services: Zencastr, Squadcast, Zoom, Skype
• Who will do it?
• Audition, Audacity, GarageBand
• “From black to black”
• Listen critically and ask for feedback
• Cover art
• Show description
• Show notes
• Hosting services: Blubrry, Libsyn, Podbean, Anchor, Soundcloud
• Create a release plan
• Don’t forget a trailer!
• Pick a schedule and stick to it
• Use your networks, and your guests
• Promo swaps/guest exchanges
A note on promotion
“If you have time, spend time. If you have money,
spend money. If you have neither, then maybe you
shouldn’t be doing it.”
- Rob Walch, VP Podcaster Relations at Libsyn, @podcast411
• The median is 140 downloads per episode after 45 days
• If you have more than 140, you’re doing better than half the shows!
• Top 20%: 1,100 downloads per episode
• Top 10% 3,200 downloads
• Top 5%: 7,700 downloads
• Top 2%: 20,000 downloads
• Top 1%: 36,000 downloads
Souce: Libsyn The Feed podcast, June 9, 2019
• Edison Research: edisonresearch.com
• Libsyn The Feed podcast: thefeed.libsyn.com
• Democracy Works: democracyworkspodcast.com
• Other higher ed podcasts:
• Big Brains (University of Chicago)
• No Jargon (Scholars Strategy Network)
• Well Said (UNC)
• With a Side of Knowledge (Notre Dame)
• The Good (Dickinson College)
• Sound Education: October 9-12, Harvard
More podcast info at Eduweb!
• Pod Locally: How a Podcast Can Celebrate the Richness of Campus, Drive, Key
Initiatives, and Strengthen Bonds Within the Community
• TODAY at 2:15, Columbus C
• Presented by Bill Zimmerman, host of the Happy Valley Hustle podcast