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So you want to start
a podcast …
Jenna Spinelle
Producer/Host, Democracy Works podcast
Penn State McCourtney Institute for Democracy
… or your boss does
#eduweb19
I started a podcast
last spring.
I’m going to tell you
what I’ve learned
along the way.
The potential
#eduweb19
The potential
#eduweb19
The potential
• 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
#eduweb19
However …
• 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
#eduweb19
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?
#eduweb19
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
large?
• Podcasting is personal; higher ed is not
• Democracy Works: Dogs and bananas, Federalist Papers drinking
game
#eduweb19
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
#eduweb19
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?
#eduweb19
How will it fit into your mission?
• It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture in the grind of putting out
episodes
• Can you create other content around the podcast, or vice versa?
• Opportunities for outreach and collaboration
• Punching above your weight class
#eduweb19
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
#eduweb19
How do you make it happen?
Going from idea to iTunes
(or whatever Apple is calling it these days)
Recording
• 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
• Practice!
#eduweb19
Editing
• Who will do it?
• Audition, Audacity, GarageBand
• “From black to black”
• Listen critically and ask for feedback
#eduweb19
Packaging
• Cover art
• Categorization
• Show description
• Show notes
• Hosting services: Blubrry, Libsyn, Podbean, Anchor, Soundcloud
#eduweb19
Launch!
• 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
#eduweb19
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
#eduweb19
Metrics
• 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
#eduweb19
Souce: Libsyn The Feed podcast, June 9, 2019
https://thefeed.libsyn.com
Resources
• 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
#eduweb19
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
#eduweb19
Thank you!
Jenna Spinelle
jenna@psu.edu
@McCourtneyInst
#eduweb19

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So you want to start a podcast ... your or boss does

  • 1. So you want to start a podcast … Jenna Spinelle Producer/Host, Democracy Works podcast Penn State McCourtney Institute for Democracy … or your boss does #eduweb19
  • 2. I started a podcast last spring. I’m going to tell you what I’ve learned along the way.
  • 5. The potential • 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 #eduweb19
  • 6. However … • 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 #eduweb19
  • 7. How do you know whether to take the plunge? Spoiler alert: It depends
  • 8. 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? #eduweb19
  • 9. 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 large? • Podcasting is personal; higher ed is not • Democracy Works: Dogs and bananas, Federalist Papers drinking game #eduweb19
  • 10. 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 #eduweb19
  • 11. 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? #eduweb19
  • 12. How will it fit into your mission? • It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture in the grind of putting out episodes • Can you create other content around the podcast, or vice versa? • Opportunities for outreach and collaboration • Punching above your weight class #eduweb19
  • 13. 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 #eduweb19
  • 14. How do you make it happen? Going from idea to iTunes (or whatever Apple is calling it these days)
  • 15. Recording • 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 • Practice! #eduweb19
  • 16. Editing • Who will do it? • Audition, Audacity, GarageBand • “From black to black” • Listen critically and ask for feedback #eduweb19
  • 17. Packaging • Cover art • Categorization • Show description • Show notes • Hosting services: Blubrry, Libsyn, Podbean, Anchor, Soundcloud #eduweb19
  • 18. Launch! • 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 #eduweb19
  • 19. 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 #eduweb19
  • 20. Metrics • 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 #eduweb19 Souce: Libsyn The Feed podcast, June 9, 2019 https://thefeed.libsyn.com
  • 21. Resources • 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 #eduweb19
  • 22. 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 #eduweb19