Podcasts for the Coronavirus Quarantine.

The economy may be halted, people may be quarantined, but the podcast world is booming. As millions of people are trapped at home, they are turning to their “friendship simulators” in a time of need. It’s likely that podcast listener-ship will spike in these trying times, let’s look at some of the podcasts that are making the most of the Coronavirus Quarantine. 

Coronavirus Daily

NPR has launched a podcast to keep people informed on the expansion of the Coronavirus. Hosted by Kelly McEvers, from Embedded, the show looks to talk about the impact of Coronavirus on society & culture, as well as general health. Coronavirus Daily is expected to have ten minute episodes, and will feature various NPR hosts and contributors.

This show is a perfect way for the NPR-crowd to stay in the loop.

CNN: Coronavirus – Fact or Fiction 

Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosts a podcast titled “Coronavirus – Fact or Fiction” in which he breaks down vital information about the spread of COVID-19 into digestible bits. This series is factual and informative, providing a steady and familiar voice in a time of mostly panic.

This podcast would be great for concerned citizens looking for quick facts about COVID-19.

TrueAnon

Liz Franczak and Brace Belden typically host a show in which they wish for the death of various pedophiles and rail against those they perceive to be bad actors in the general discourse. The brand themselves as “the only anti-pedophile podcast” as they conspire about the life of Jeff Epstein. However, this pandemic has pushed them into uncharted waters. 

The otherwise irreverent duo plunged into sincerity, warning their listeners (who are normally not inclined to trust the media or politicians), to take this issue seriously. TrueAnon has done multiple Coronavirus episodes, but the most engaging encounter with the topic came in the episode titled “Love in the Time of Corona.”

This podcast would be great for anyone who is considering going to a party or bar, it also could provide some much needed clarity and warmth. 

Coronavirus 411 

If you’re looking for straight facts, the Coronavirus 411 podcast gives you just that. These episodes are simple little 4-minute chunks made entirely of statistics and tightly packed information. This show is perfect for efficiency freaks looking to get the information as quickly as possible. Coronavirus 411 sources information from the CDC & WHO, making palatable content from a reliable source.

Comedy Bang Bang

This podcast is nothing like the aforementioned shows. Comedy Bang Bang will likely not acknowledge the existence of Coronavirus & that’s something people might need right now. It’s extremely overwhelming to have the entire world focusing on one subject, CBB will provide an escape.

Scott Aukerman has been hosting this Improv podcast for more than a decade, highlighting some of the best improvisers in America being as outrageous as humanly possible. If you’re looking for an escape, Comedy Bang Bang is a safe space. 

Stay safe and stay clean.

 

@Jpeters2100

Live Podcast 101 – From Recording to Performing

In 2015 I went to my first live podcast. It was unlike anything I had experienced before, because the words “live podcast” could mean anything. Podcasts are a relatively individualized medium, people listen in their cars, through headphones, or at work. Listeners very rarely think about other listeners, because the podcast format has an incredibly personal feel. When I went to The Fighter & The Kid Live Podcast, it was my first time seeing hundreds of people who were fans of the same thing as me. It turned what was otherwise an individual experience into a communal experience. 

The show I saw featured stand-up spots from both hosts, audience participation, and the premiere of some video sketches hosts Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen made. Aside from all of that, they conversed for 45 minutes in the same tone their podcast typically takes on. It was a great show and from then on, I was sold on the “live podcast” idea.

What is a live podcast

As is expected in the podcast world, there is no concrete definition of a live podcast. The podcast medium is so fluid, that a live show completely depends on the structure of your show and the personality of the host. A live podcast experience could feature stand-up, video packages, musical performances, skits, live reads and much more! 

The biggest difficulty that podcasters face in this arena is conceptualizing their live show. If your podcast format is formatted like a radio show, you could perform your radio show live on stage, simple as that. However, if you have a more complex theme or format it’s going to be a much taller order. It’s also important to remember that you have to deliver a fun night out, your podcast should bring your podcast to life.

The Radiolab podcast has a unique live experience. The hosts of the show take the stage, get familiar with the crowd then launch into a script that is accompanied my visuals and sounds orchestrated on a soundboard, by the host.  These shows involve audience participation, multiple guests, and ultimately tell a story. This show can be repeated throughout several cities to several audiences. 

Why do a live podcast?

Far too often in 2019 we forget about the value of face to face interaction. It’s easy to believe the digital world is the real world, especially when your entire production lives online and is managed online. Live shows are a marketing opportunity, a chance to make money and sell merch, it’s a great way to expand your skill set as a performer, and it builds fandom. 

Podcast hosts feel subtly more distant than other performers. If a host is not a household name, their listeners likely have never seen them before. Introduce yourself to your fans by any means necessary. If you don’t have the draw or ability to put on a live show, join local events and meet people that way. After all, a podcast is a brand, your brand is in competition with every other brand. Bringing your brand to life can change how people see you.

Tips for Marketing Your Podcast.

There is no simple template labelled “How to Podcast.” Some people podcast as a hobby, others as a career, most people are somewhere in between. There are thousands of aspiring podcasters trying to break through to the public. Here are some tips on how to market your podcast series.

Think Entrepreneurially

Whether you run a small independent podcast as a hobby or host a nationally known series, operate like a business. Understand your limitations as an operation. What sets your podcast apart from others? If the point of your podcast is not to earn capital, then what is it? Some creators are just looking to expand their audience, a podcast can work as a functional marketing tool for your brand.

Much like an entrepreneur, a podcaster has to manage their product, release dates, assign value, and market their product. Websites, design, booking guests, hosting platforms, and schedule are all a part of the process. The podcast landscape requires much more than talking into a microphone. 

Be Visible 

There are limitations for an audio medium. If you don’t have an immediately recognizable brand or personality, there is leg work to be done introducing yourself to the public. Aside from creating content that resonates with people, there needs to be a way to connect with your listenership. The logo for your podcast is the face of your podcast, make it interesting. 

Joe Rogan’s hit podcast the Joe Rogan Experience does a great job utilizing Joe Rogan’s face and brand into one logo. The imagery resembles the tone of the show and attaches Joe to his show. In the event that you are not a nationally known celebrity, scroll through the iTunes Top 100 and see what sticks out! Use colors that stand out and make sure you are getting your point across! 

In the same vain, literally be visible within your community. Sign up to be in festivals, fairs, and summits. Interact with potential listeners. There is merit to the brick and mortar approach to marketing. Although your product is completely virtual, real life connections will benefit any production. 

Diversify Content

There are limitations within the audio medium. A podcast can only be found in a handful of places, whereas video content can spread through the most popular arteries of the internet. Developing video content, or creating a video podcast can help listeners and viewers get to know the production in a different light.

In this video, I’m speaking about the value that video content brought when marketing my own podcast series 2100

Videos, pictures, and graphics can help to build out what your audio product looks like. Diversifying content can help bring your podcast to life.

Book Interesting Guests

Guests are a major ticket to notoriety. Booking notable guests with large followings can launch your podcast series to new heights. There is no faster way to access thousands of people than having a celebrity with thousands of followers post about your show. A single retweet can take your podcast to new heights.

The Advantages of the Audio Medium

Podcasts are often considered a newer medium. However, I’m a firm believer that podcasts were the obvious next step for audio as a medium. In adolescence, it was not uncommon for my mom to listen to her soap operas over the radio, nor was it uncommon for my dad to listen to a weak signalled AM frequency for New York sports. Growing up, there was always a clear distinction and conversation, “Do we want to listen to music or not?” Talk radio, sports radio, stories, and the news were all completely viable options. Podcasts are the internet adaptation of those forms of audio, an alternative to music.

Intimate

Audio is incredibly intimate. The listener or consumer has an abundance of options, choosing what podcast or what song to listen to is an intimate and personal experience. There is a decision-making process that often happens alone, because audio is typically enjoyed alone. Terrestrial radio, satellite radio, podcasts, Spotify, Apple, Tidal, Soundcloud, and Pandora all thrive in cars and on mobile devices. 

Your favorite podcast starts to function as a “friendship simulator” and songs begin to develop meaning depending on specific times in your life. People develop relationships with audio content, because people are more vulnerable and available when they are alone. In 2019, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, your headphones and your car are an escape. When you’re on the go, the only options are your music, radio, or podcasts.

Imagination

Piggy-backing off the idea of intimacy, the audio medium brings the imagination to life. Headphones turn a long walk into a music video. True Crime podcasts turn a long drive into a tense mystery. The ability of producers to draw listeners into a story dates back into the early days of radio. In 1938, Orson Welles famously went onto the radio reading “War of the Worlds” throwing pockets of the public into a frenzy.

Today, podcasts like the memory palace and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History feel like they transfer you to different time periods through expert storytelling. Other podcasts rely on vibrant soundscapes and sound effects to create a new reality. There is no limit to the tricks of audio.

Storytelling

There is no less expensive way to tell a fantasy story than through audio. To visually portray fantasy worlds requires a green screen, artists, engineers, and highly sophisticated technology. With just a sound board and some music you can transform reality through audio. 

Audio is an extremely direct medium, making storytelling much less difficult. Take all the nuances of directing a film, then strip away the visuals. The unique captive audience audio provides leaves you to lead the listener wherever you want to take them. Less context, more direct communication.   

Versatility

The podcast and audio space is malleable in many respects. From a marketing perspective, you have the chance to hyper target specific demographics. From a creative standpoint, you have the versatility to create new worlds inexpensively. Take the tricks that music has honed and apply it to producing everyday audio content. A personal favorite of mine is to move the audio around, from left to right and front to back – creating a more “full” sound. As a fan of the Beatles, I always loved how music moved from ear to ear. 

Audio has distinct advantages that can be used to better sell products, to approach old stories in a new way, or to tell stories that would have never been heard. In the audio space there is a chance for direct engagement that is simply un-achievable through other mediums. Audio is constantly adapting and we are just moving into the renaissance of the medium.

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