Many people have been misled into being in radio shows. On top of that, most of the podcasters do not even have any idea how they are being poorly served. We tackle this hot topic as we clear up why radio shows posting podcasts is not good for your brand. From the audio quality to advertisements and listings, we look into how it could affect your podcast plays, listens, and ability to gain audience.
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Reasons Why Radio Shows Posting Podcasts Is Not Good For Your Brand
We are going to talk about something that is a hot topic around here because we have been getting a lot of radio hosts, whether they’re internet radio, blog talk radio, national public radio, all kinds of radio. It’s a hot topic because I’m fired up about it. I am very frustrated for some of our clients who have been misled and not served well by these internet radio companies. They say, “You’ll be on our networking and exposure to all these millions of potential listeners,” which I don’t believe the numbers that they quote anyway. They say, “It’s okay. It will be a podcast also.” It leads those customers to believe, “I get on a radio show and have a podcast and that’s perfect. I have the best of both worlds.” Unfortunately, the reality is somewhat different. The thing is the shows themselves are also a little hard to manage because you’ve got to be there at a specific time every time and a lot of them will have call-ins. There’s also that number one sound problem that comes from call-ins. Not everyone is like that. There are some that have gotten themselves a lot more professional but for the most part, you have a call-in phone number that you call into. The technology they’re using to not only record you as the host but any guests that call-in is older technology.
This audio quality is not the best. They don’t provide you with equipment. Many of the hosts that we find don’t even have a microphone hooked to their computer. They may call-in through their computer, call-in through Skype, call-in through Zoom if you’ve got an upgraded package. They call-in without using a microphone, only using the microphone on their computers. Even if you do have a good quality mic, we find the quality and the systems they use are not the best. This is the least of the issues that we’ve been finding lately with these radio show networks. We should say that there are some radio shows that you go down there and you record at with the full studio, with the full sound and those are brilliant. That’s absolutely fine if that’s what you want to do. You’ve got the sound engineers and everything there. There are some that have that as a part of their package. You pay a lot of money for that though. Keep that in mind and that is sound overkill. You’re paying for way better sound and editing than you actually get through on a podcast.
That’s actually true because the reality of podcast distribution is MP3 files are the only format that podcasts are distributed in. MP3 files are limited in their audio quality capability. It’s like you’re driving a Formula One race car on a street that is 65 miles an hour. You can only get it so good. Either you have downgraded quality to begin with and it’s not recorded very well or you have overpaid over-engineered sound for what you’re going to get when it comes through on a podcast. Sound quality is one of our issues, but it’s minor in the scope of things. That’s where Tom is getting fired up. Before we hit into techy, I just wanted to hit that sound level first.
Radio Shows Versus Podcasts
I want to talk about how these radio networks are misleading podcasters and unfortunately, most of the podcasters I come across who are working with a radio show company don’t even know how they’re being poorly served. They have no clue on that. I want to clarify this. It’s how those radio show hosts are being poorly served by the podcasting process of the radio show. They may be perfectly served well by having a radio show because their topic is that drive by, drive time and it works really well for them. We have a couple of clients who want radio shows because that’s their primary demographic listens on the radio. They definitely want it also repurposed and put into a podcast as well. Keep that in mind that there is a play. There is a marketing opportunity and a possibility for radio shows. It’s not for if you want to podcast solely.
I am podcast-biased. Part of that is because the radio show model that you’re going to be on the air at the same time of day, on the same day of week, every day is very different from the podcasting model where consumers want to listen to audio on their time, on their schedule, when and where they want. They don’t have time, most podcast listeners in this modern day and age, to schedule and to be listening to something live.There is a marketing opportunity and a possibility for radio shows. It's not for podcasting solely. Click To Tweet
That’s different than radio listeners. If you are syndicated and actually on a radio station broadcast, that’s what they’re expecting. That’s the model. It is old-school, but then the radio shows and the internet radio shows will especially tell you it doesn’t matter because we podcast syndicate you. Here’s where it starts to fall apart. My experience has caused us to want to record this episode now because we’ve talked about this before. We have a past episode about blog talk radio versus podcasts hosts. If you’re trying to decide between one or the other, we laid that all out there. That’s a great episode to go back and refer to. This has built upon that and it’s an extension of that. We’ve had this happen with a couple of customers and one that has a radio show that’s on what’s called the Bold Brave Media Network, BBM. BoldBraveMedia.com is their website. The reality is they do the radio show just fine, but when it comes to the podcast, it’s clearly an afterthought. It’s not their primary interest and goal. They don’t do a good job on it.
Time Commitment And Segments
We find that a lot of internet radio got forced into the podcast. They’re still fighting it that they don’t value it. They think the podcast is for Millennials only. They have this attitude about it like, “We have to do it because everybody asks and I’m tired of telling them we don’t do that.” I can’t close them as a radio client. That’s why they’ve come into this model of, “Yes, we have that.” They just do it as an aside. They would have their customers believe they do it well. Unfortunately, we’re going to show you here that they don’t. In this case, listening to this client’s episode, the radio show is broken up into four segments. It’s an hour-long show. Every fifteen minutes is a different section. The reality is they are running advertisements. In fact, when you listen to it as a podcast, they haven’t edited it differently to be a podcast. They’re taking what they did and produced in that live radio show. They’re putting it out as a podcast. They’re not doing any more work. That show starts with two audio advertisements right at the beginning before they even get to the intro for the podcast. Before they even mention the name of the host or the show.
Those two ads, one of them is for a paid sponsor and one of them is for the Bold Brave Media Network. It’s for the radio show company. We’re singling this one out because it’s very obvious. You guys can go check it out and hear it and see it for yourself. However, this is very common among these networks. I didn’t do a whole lot of research on a whole bunch of them. This isn’t a primer on all the different radio networks. A lot of these characteristics we do see over and over again. If you’re considering going on one of these radio networks, you need to check it out against these reasons that we’re pointing out right now that are hurting your podcast plays, listens, and ability to gain an audience from that replay that is happening in podcasting. In this case, there were two ads that took 90 seconds long and then there was the intro to the show, which was also a little long in my opinion. It was a full two minutes of the podcast episode that you would have to listen to before you get to the actual host speaking. This tremendously hurts binge listening but annoys podcast listeners because if they wanted to listen to ads, they would listen to the radio. There’s nothing wrong with having some ads in a podcast. It’s a wonderful thing you can do to help monetize your show and to help either promote your own products or have paid sponsors, ones that are not relevant to your core audience or to your show.
Having only one, two or at most three at an episode is the most that I would recommend. Your listeners won’t mind listening to a reasonable amount of ads if they enjoy your show in your content. They know you need to make some money on it to keep bringing them good content. In this case, the radio show had two different audio ads every quarter hour. It ended up being eight ads throughout the entire show and that’s just too much for an hour-long podcast. The reality is that we don’t recommend hour-long podcast from most hosts. If you’re doing more work than you need to do, if you’re spending an hour waiting on the phone and recording this and doing all that and also figuring out how to keep it segmented so you can stop whatever you’re talking within fifteen minutes. I couldn’t do it. My thoughts are continuing. It’s also a little harder and to be more structured as well. You’re working harder on your show to begin with.
At every break in the actual content of the show, there are not only two ads but there is then an announcer from the radio show company announcing, “We’ll be right back after these messages to this show on the Bold Brave Media Network.” Every quarter hour, they’re again pushing their own platform and that gets very annoying. The reality is they would have taken probably a good ten or twelve minutes out of the show if you took out all the extra stuff that wasn’t the real content. If you’re new to our show and this is the first time that you’ve listened to Feed Your Brand, I want to point out that our goal with everything that we do and everything that we point out here is to make sure that you, as the host and as the brand retains your authority, it doesn’t go to a network. It doesn’t go to iTunes. It doesn’t go to YouTube. It doesn’t go to Facebook. It doesn’t go to places that are not giving you the names and email addresses of your subscribers. We want it to go back to you at the end of the day. That’s our ultimate goal here. Everything we say is looking at business practices and hosting practices that do that and how this is in violation of those practices that we put on our platform, that we recommend for all of you here on the show.
To that point, the iTunes listing for all the shows that are syndicated as a podcast by this radio network have listed in the subtitle of the show that it is their network. It says the name of the show and that they’re the author, which they’re not. The author is the host of the show. They shared with me their contract with the radio show company and they have full rights to all the content. They didn’t sign it away. This offer actually owns the content, but they would have you believe in the iTunes listing that they don’t. There are some exceptions to this. Companies like Gimlet Media, for instance, they are paying the host. They’re paying for the production of the show. They’re paying for all of that. You’re not paying them. In that case, they own the IP and they should be the listed host because they’re paying for all of that. Keep in mind that radio shows where you pay them do not fall into this world.
In your iTunes listing, and this is on a lot of different podcast platforms, there is a link to the official website for the show that you can click. It takes you to a browser and takes you to the website for the show. What they’ve done, because they syndicated the show and they’re in control of the iTunes listing, is they have put a link to their website to information about that radio show on their network, not the website of the actual host who owns the show. It does to the page for that host on their platform, but it would tell you nothing about iTunes. It tells you to, “Come to our radio network and listen at this day and time.” What they’re doing is what we say a lot. They’re stealing your authority. They are taking advantage of you and the content you’re creating. They’re sending you to their website and they’re benefiting from it more than you are.Even if the producers were promoting themselves more than you, they should at least be doing a good job to make sure you're being heard. Click To Tweet
I want to recap so that we’re kept up with where we are. Sound quality is one. Time commitment and breaking it up in time is another one. Multiple ads for the network and for sponsors that may not have anything to do with your audience and your show. The host and author name that is listed or the artist’s name because that’s actually how it is in iTunes that’s listed is the network and not you. There are a couple more things that are very important. The title of every episode is listed as the name of the show in the episode number and then sometimes nothing else. Every title except for the episode number looks exactly the same. You have no idea what the title or the unique aspect of the show is. Sometimes on some of them, they have a little bit of a description of or a name in the title beyond just the name of the show and the episode number. The way most apps and iTunes and different platforms display titles, you only get so many characters that get displayed.
Even if there is what I would call a suffix here of a unique title name in the title, it’s truncated and cut off. You can’t even see it. That’s just a bad titling technique. They should always be having the title be unique to every episode. When people at a glance looking at a list and say, “I might want to listen to that one.” This just looks all the same. This is also something we have a whole episode about this as well, about titling your episodes within iTunes. We don’t recommend numbering because there’s already a number to the side of iTunes and because it starts at number one, no matter what. Let’s say if you’re on Episode 102, the one on the side that iTunes is listening because it’s in reverse order, it’s confusing to them. You can change your iTunes listing to actually have the newest one up top or the oldest one up top. If you have the newest one up top, it’s not episode one but it’s the first in the list. That’s the newest one.
It confuses people. We recommend taking numbers out and besides, why waste the characters because there’s very little that shows here? We don’t put any of the like we used to have WTFFF?! and then we’d have a number. We’ve taken that out of everyone so that we can just go straight into show titles. We maximize the amount of title that’s showing and the amount of words that show and the amount that gets searchable by iTunes search engine. We want to make that happen. That’s critical. Another thing that’s important to the search engine within iTunes and all the podcast platforms is the actual description of your episode. What we found looking at this show coming from the BBM Network is that more than half the shows have absolutely no show description.
The interesting one here too is that the ones that have no show description have no listens either. They have no popularity. The popularity rank in iTunes to the side of every episode, all the ones that have a popularity ranking have some episode description. The ones that have no description there, they have no popularity. It means they’re not getting listened to. This is rookie stuff. This is baseline stuff. Any podcast producer worth anything producing your show for you, syndicating it to you, to all the different podcasts channels should know better than to not have unique titles that are descriptive of what the episode’s about, and to not have full descriptions at a minimum. Even if they were promoting themselves more than you, they should at least be doing a good job to make sure you’re being heard.
What it seems to me though is that this is how the feed works on their own blogs, on their own system, because they have so many shows. They put the show name and all of this stuff within it and that they have all of that and that they’ve just re-syndicated that same feed without creating a podcast unique feed, which is required because podcast listeners are different than radio listeners. We want to make sure that you as hosts get the credit. You have to have full of maximum value and attract as many listeners as possible off of each one of the directory listings you’re listed in or syndicated into, depending on the terminology you use. It’s very disappointing to see people who think, “I’m a podcast host.” They also did not share with this host any of their statistics from wherever their podcast feed is being syndicated from. They had no control and no visibility to it. No wonder because they’re not getting a lot of plays. I’m sure they don’t want to share that they’re not getting a lot as a podcast.
When we investigated further, they’re using a free service to syndicate it. When you use one of those free services, you don’t get statistics with it so they don’t even get it anyway. It’s certainly not meaningful statistics. You get maybe some, but they’re very ultrabasic. It’s so disappointing. I’m so frustrated when this happens that I want to share this with all of you. You’re spending time and money. That’s our big thing is we want to make sure that the time and money and energy you’re putting into your show, you’re getting back out in value. When that’s not happening, then that’s just so frustrating for you. The other thing I want to mention is usually you see also the exact same show art that is used on your show, which is great for radio when you have a ton of hosts. They’re trying to advertise the different times that they might be showing you not so good on podcast cover art though. That’s also doing a disservice. It wouldn’t take much to have different cover art that you syndicate. It’s not that expensive, that difficult.Make sure that you're getting back in value the time, money, and energy you're putting into your show. Click To Tweet
The example here is the cover art for this show says Mondays at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. Nobody who’s listening to a podcast cares one bit about that. They’re obviously listening as a podcast. They’re going to listen when and where they want. Having that on your cover art is a waste. It’s big and bold and it’s taking up space so that you don’t get a highlight of who this person is and what their show is about. I don’t know if this is going to be a popular episode or not. It’s meant to be a public service announcement for podcasters to beware of these radio networks and understand that they’re in it for themselves, not for you. That’s so opposite to what podcasting is all about. It should be benefiting you and benefiting your audience, the message you want to bring to the world, helping you get that out to be heard and help serve others. It’s not being done very well a lot of times what we’re seeing from these radio networks.
We don’t often do a call to action, but I think that we should here. If you have a radio show, if you are concerned that you’re falling into this trap, if you’re not sure, we’re going to invite you to come to Podetize.com/Inquiry and book a time with Tom. He’ll review your show. He’ll check your stats. He’ll do everything and look through this for you because you’re spending a lot of money and time and energy. We want to make sure you’re getting the most effective value from that. I’d be happy to talk to any of you that have questions about this. Get to know our listeners and what else you’d like to listen to while you’re on the call with us. That’s a little different.
We haven’t actually published that booking link before on the show because the home for this show is because the show is Feed Your Brand, the website is FeedYourBrand.co, but my booking calendar is through our other site, Podetize.com. There are no sales here. This is in service to you. If you have questions, if you want to have your show evaluated, if you want to go through that, please book a time. We are happy to take calls. Thank you so much. I hope a lot of you will take advantage of that offer. It does come from a place of service and integrity. I hope you come to believe that even if you don’t know me yet, but you will see. You can reach out to us other ways if you have comments on social media anywhere, @FeedYourBrand. You can also find this episode is among all others at FeedYourBrand.co. Thanks, everyone.
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