In less than 10 years, podcasts have gone from a nearly non-existent niche market to an explosive media format that continues to grow worldwide. In the United States, between 2020 and 2021, podcast consumption increased by approximately 116 million listeners, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various quarantine phases (source: Podcast Business Journal). Every month, French people listen to 100 million native or replay podcasts, with an average of 16.9 podcasts per listener (source: Harris Media).
These days, podcasts are so popular that you can find them on almost any topic, including language courses, philosophical debates, chilling police investigations, or even fictions based on Marvel characters. With such a wide range of topics available, quantity and quality of content are central and listening platforms are multiplying.
So how do you make your podcast stand out from all the others, and more importantly, how do you maintain a steady revenue stream so that your podcast is successful and profitable?
👉 Discover the top 100 podcasts in the US, updated regularly by the Apple Podcast charts.
How to stand out?
As with any other media, the key to a successful podcast is strategy. There are two main types of podcasts: replay podcasts, which allow media outlets to offer listeners the opportunity to listen or replay recorded live shows, and native or original podcasts created for a specific audience. If your brand offers both, you need to make sure they are distinguishable when published. It may seem simple, but doing so will help two very different types of audiences to easily find the content they prefer, saving them time and allowing them to better relate to your content. Discover the keys to a successful podcast: a clear concept and a good sound quality.
1. Define the podcast’s concept
Podcasts should be thought of as brands. While it’s important for podcast creators to have the ability to digress and improvise, it’s equally important that the end goal of each podcast remains the same. Your listeners won’t stay loyal to a program if they don’t know exactly why they’re listening to it. On the other hand, offering a different topic for each show is a solid strategy that can work well, but the catch is that too many podcasts fail to tie their show to a larger theme while maintaining consistency, resulting in a loss of audience.
For native content, you should offer themes that listeners could relate to. They should captivate or intrigue them. For example, Mortel, Nouvelle Écoutes’ podcast changes its story at every show, while always focusing on the theme of death, a subject that is certainly morbid but undeniably fascinating for a niche audience.
Your podcast series must be able to offer more than just entertainment, but a true emotional connection with listeners in order to build a lasting audience.
2. Focus on the sound quality of the podcast
In addition, what characterizes each podcast is the sound quality. If you don’t have the budget to hire professional sound engineers, pay attention to the acoustics of the room you are recording in. The ultimate goal is to sound like you are sitting right next to your listener and talking directly to them. You can achieve this with a little effort, but you will need to find the room that best suits your microphone and recording equipment. You may need to add sound-absorbing foam to suppress echoes or alternate the position of the podcasters in the room. Experiment until you get a sound as clear as if you were sitting in front of your listener. You may also want to consider adding sound effects to liven up the program so that it doesn’t sound monotonous. However, be sure to choose effects that sound authentic, otherwise, your podcast may sound tacky.
There is no magic formula for creating a successful podcast, but it is essential to focus on the quality of concept and sound to develop compelling content. It’s also important to follow a regular broadcast schedule to generate revenue streams, whether through host-read ads, subscriptions, or both.
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