This year, podcasting is 10 years old. I started in March of the next year, shortly after my son’s 7th birthday. I’ve seen a lot of stuff in these 10 years, and the last year or so i’ve been asking myself: “Is it really worth it?” Today as I stand at the crossroads of either continuing doing an occasional podcast, committing to a regular podcast as I once did, or just giving up completely on podcasting – I keep asking myself that same question. In the past 10 years, podcasting has gone from the new medium where you could “QYJ” or Quit Your Job, to where big corporations are “blocking” out the small indie podcasts who rarely get noticed.
My podcast is probably one of those indie podcasts which never got noticed. Sure, I probably could have promoted a hell of a lot more, got my name out there more, and busted my butt to get noticed like other podcasts did – but I felt that a music podcast wasn’t one which was going to go anywhere in the long run. My podcast has a lot of history though, i’ve interviewed bands/musicians that I never could have imagined, and also interviewed some lesser known artists, some who are no longer making music, and some who are still putting out great music today. Did they get a boost because they were on my podcast? Who knows. I don’t think they did, or I could have noticed more listeners. Which brings me to my next point, loyal listeners…
Listeners seem to want to be entertained, but as soon as you bore them, they move on. Sure, there are some loyal individuals out there, but not enough to make a small indie podcast into one that gets noticed. So what does one do to get more listeners? Again, the promotion machine needs to start up, work your butt off, and get noticed – you almost need to have a promotion budget to jump high enough to get over the big corporate podcasts. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
So where do I go from here? Do I continue? Do I try to make the climb up the podcasting mountain, but always be fearing that I’ll never make it to the heights I would like to reach? I’ve got a lot of thinking to do.
I may sound jaded at the moment, nearly 10 years of podcasting, of which I had about 4 years of live internet radio show experience – but still feel like I have not accomplished much at all. You’d probably be right, spent lots of money with the dream of an internet radio station making it big, only to realize that there really are very few loyal listeners to an internet radio station. In fact, the common public is still too attached to the corporate FM radio, it will take some “next big thing” comes along to pull people away from FM radio.
Podcasting is still extremely niche, even though there are easy ways to listen to it – people don’t want to change. Hell, the majority of my family and friends probably hasn’t listened to more than one or two of my podcasts – and I have over 500 episodes. Why is this? Because they’re still in the comfort of their FM world, not willing to venture into the “unknown” in fear they might miss out…
Again, these are my opinions – you’re welcome to share yours with me. I’m still thinking what my next steps are, each day I go another way – so might not make up my mind until it actually is my 10 year anniversary!! No worries though, i’ll keep putting out the 6-10 minute podcasts in the meantime, that is unless I decide to give that up too.. time will tell!!
Thanks for reading this far, again feel free to share your opinions with me.