You have been broadcasting for a while and heard of the amazing things said about podcasts. For fear of missing out (or to leverage this popular format), you may be considering starting a podcast for your radio station.
Well, many radio stations have taken this route. For instance, the BBC offers streaming opportunities and podcast listening capabilities on its BBC Sounds App. Its popular podcasts include In Our Time, Comedy of Week, The Missing Cyptoquee, and more.
Our goal today is to ease you into this audio format. We'll talk about the right way to repurpose existing content and opportunities to explore new topics.
Why Start a Podcast as a Radio Station
Well, you should start a podcast for your radio station to go after new audiences. And who listens to podcasts? The largest share of podcast listeners is taken up by people aged from 25 to 44 years.
They may be people who don't have access to your radio station or listen to the radio. For instance, BBC achieved a weekly audience on BBC Sounds of 2.9 million in Q4, 2019.
About 44% of plays, amounting to 100 million plays, were for on-demand content, including podcasts & on-demand radio programs. So there's an active segment of people who prefer on-demand content, and since you're in the business of creating content, you can target them.
As a medium, podcasting is similar to radio programs but not completely. So, it offers the chance to try something new. They are also inherent benefits podcast have, for instance, high audio engagement scores, highly flexible format (short or long), and a growing market. The argument about podcasting reaching its saturation point is simply not true.
Examples of Radio Stations With Podcasts
As you embark on the process of launching your first podcast, it’s great to have role models to emulate. So, let's shine a spotlight on ordinary radio stations and networks that have delved into podcasting:
1. USA Radio
It’s an American company specializing in talk radio and newscast programs, with an interest in conservative and Christian topics. If you're looking to repurpose some of your long-form content, this is a great example of a radio corporation doing this successfully. They condense their 2-hour to 3-hour programs into just 25-minute podcasts.
USA Radio Podcasts on Spreaker
Listeners can catch some of USA Radio’s popular broadcast programs like Cyber Line with Mickey William, Charlie Jones at Night, and the Dan Sileo Show. These are some of their widely syndicated radio talk shows.
2. Capital FM
Capital FM runs a network of about 12 independent contemporary radio stations in the UK. They repurpose some of their live broadcasts into a series of podcasts, for instance, Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp and The Official Big 40 Podcast. The network also produces original podcast series such as Good Influence, a weekly podcast.
WNYC Studios are behind some of the most popular podcasts such as Radiolab, All Things Considered, The Brian, and On the Media. It's also one of the most popular public radio stations in the country. Their main focus is on courageous conversations and independent journalism. Listeners can also catch their programming online through streams such as WYNC 93.9 FM and AM 820.
Rules for Repurposing Your Radio Content
You may be ready to repurpose your content and produce podcasts, but hold on, there are things you need to know:
● Play it legally safe by removing the music: If you listen to lots of radio station podcasts, including repurposed morning shows, you'd be hard-pressed to hear a popular song played on air. It stems from copyright issues. Broadcast licenses cover the performance of the song. With podcasts, you may be said to distribute the song and, therefore, require the copyright holder’s explicit permission. So, strip out the commercial music. Alternatively, use royalty-free music for podcasts or commission original content.
● The commercials, jingles, or sweepers should go too: With podcasts, you give the listeners the message straight without the superfluous stuff. It's possible to condense a three-hour program into a 25-minute podcast. And that means removing anything that needs to go, from commercials, jingles to dropped calls.
● Spruce it up: Give your podcast a different identity, and don't let them sound like ordinary airchecks. You can even consider having someone review or narrate about what was happening at different show moments. You can produce unique jingles or intros and outros for your podcast episodes. Whatever you do, don't let it be an effortless attempt.
Ok, now you may ask: Is my programming suitable as a podcast? Yes, it's entirely suitable as a podcast if it features:
● Call-in segments;
● On-air competitions;
● Phone interviews;
● A zoo format;
● Discussions between hosts;
Basically, if your show has original content, it may work as a podcast. Remember, there are no limits to how long your podcast should be. Some may be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 25 minutes, etc. It's only for consistency’s sake that most podcast publishers aim for a certain length for all their episodes.
Now, let's look at the steps you need to take to launch your podcast to the world:
Steps to Start Your Podcast as a Radio Station
The path taken for someone without a broadcasting background may be different from yours. They may need to purchase audio equipment such as mixers or microphones. On your part, you may only need to come up with the idea, nail down the specifics, assign roles, and find a podcast hosting platform. That's what we'll be talking about next:
Step 1: Come up with a winning idea
If you are repurposing your old content or creating a new podcast, you still need a winning idea. Here are some pointers you can use when generating an idea for your next podcast:
● Choose a specific topic or genre: If you take a look at the Apple Podcasts page, you’ll definitely notice that all the podcasts are neatly categorized into specific topics from Arts to Society & Culture. You need to pick a specific topic or a definite direction to take. For instance, if you have a dynamic show featuring interviews or call-in segments, this can be split into different podcasts. And you need to choose segments with the best shot at wowing listeners.
● Know who will listen: Don't expect your loyal radio fans to be the largest segment of your podcast listeners. You need to conduct proper audience research to uncover new audiences. Just ask, who will be most likely to be entertained or informed with this content? Remember. With podcasts, you're really going after a niche audience and not a broad audience as with your radio station programs.
● Identify the goals of podcast listeners: Why is someone listening to your podcast? Are they looking to be entertained? Do they expect to laugh? Do they expect to learn something new? It's essential to consider the goals of the potential podcast listeners, so you can tailor your content to serve their needs.
Podcast topics on Apple Podcasts
Step 2: Nail down the structure - Length, format, etc.
After coming up with a great idea, it's time to move on to other matters, such as your podcast’s titles, length, and format. At this point, consider listening to similar podcasts in your target niche. Figure out if you need to create jingles or unique intros for your podcasts.
If you're creating a brand new podcast series, it may also be time to ask who will host it, produce, fact-check, or book guests. You should also think about the schedule. Are you publishing your podcast on a daily or weekly basis?
Step 3: Repurpose your content like a pro
We have more tips that will help you repurpose your content like a pro:
a. Break up long broadcast sessions and select the most entertaining bits;
b. Make it easy to repurpose your content into podcasts, for instance, keeping separate recordings of your hosts or interviews.
c. Write out a summary of what happened during the show;
d. Check which aspects of the show resonated with the audience by asking for feedback or watching for audience reactions.
Step 4: Who will be in charge? Think long-term
Creating a podcast may be a secondary goal, and it's easy to try it the first time and determine that it's too difficult to pursue.
You need to think long-term by putting the right people in charge and having a motivation strategy in place.
Remember, your podcast will not be a hit the first time around. It will need some time to pick up. It may be horrifying if you have thousands of listeners tuning to your live broadcasts but only having a few listeners for your podcasts. That doesn't mean that the whole project is not worth it.
Step 5: Put in the work during post-production
The post-production stage is where you wrap up your podcast recording and edit it to sound great. It's certainly a very difficult stage, and you can make it easier for yourself by implementing the following tips:
● Implement a system for your post-production, and detail the steps you need to produce the final podcast version in writing;
● Create a project template that you can keep using every time;
● Think of designing unique artwork for each of your podcasts instead of reusing the same image time and time again;
● Make sure to use show notes and write unique descriptions for your episodes.
Step 6: Distribute your podcast
The first step to distributing your podcast is finding a podcast host. Some radio station hosting providers also have separate hosting plans for podcasters. You may have to check.
And what is the role of a podcast hosting platform? Well, podcasts can be anything from video to PDF files. The only thing that is unique about them is that they are distributed as RSS feeds.
Podcast hosting platforms take on the role of distributing your content. For instance, you cannot upload your episodes to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or other directories. You only provide the link to your podcast feed.
Step 8: Promote your podcast
After creating your podcast episodes and uploading them to your hosting platform, the next major step is to submit your podcast to directories and aggregator platforms. Here is a list of different podcast directories:
● Apple podcasts
● Google Podcasts
You can also consider other tips for promoting your podcasts, like sharing them on social media. You can create teasers or run giveaways.
It's also important to share your podcasts on your website and even have your web manager create a separate webpage for them. Encourage your hosts to promote the podcasts to listeners, particularly your original productions.
Step 9: Connect with like-minded people
There are dozens of communities where you can participate as a podcast creator. The value of these communities cannot be overstated as you get to ask questions and receive answers from experienced podcasters. The groups have a sense of camaraderie. Some communities you can join include:
● Podcast Nation (Facebook)
● Podcasters support group (Facebook)
● Podcast Movement Community (Facebook)
We have highlighted the different steps you can take to create your podcasts as a radio station. This was just an overview of what you might need or challenges you may encounter.
Be sure to dive deeper into the topic of podcasting. The more knowledge you have, the better. Check out How to Come Up With Good Podcast Ideas? by Design Your Thinking. You can also catch up on the webinar: How to Launch a Podcast for Your Radio Station by Jacobs Media.
From CloudRadio, we wish you godspeed on your podcast creation effort.