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Podcasts: How Professional Should They Sound?

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Podcasts are a growing internet phenomenon. I have discussed podcasts before along with some of their possibilities and potential uses.

As you know, podcasts are a means of publishing audio sound files to the internet and making them available for download to a device, like Apple’s iPod or an digital audio MP3 player, for later listening.

Any digital music recorder, or a computer with the appropriate software can download and play podcasts.

Podcasts can be accessed by subscribing to the podcast RSS feed.

In effect, the podcast download allows for time shifting for the convenience of the listener. Podcasts also work well for the sender, who is very often a blogger, just like you.

Podcasts are another means to use techology to spread ideas and information.

In a previous post, I described podcasts as being similar to creating an independent radio station.

The question then arises about how professional an image the podcast broadcast quality should convey.

Tyme White of Blog Tyme believes that podcasts should not be too professional sounding at all.

Tyme says of podcasts:

…some podcasts are starting to sound like radio. Very polished. The podcaster is reading copy. They don’t sound like their enjoying what they’re doing.

Those types of podcasts are losing their appeal to me. If I wanted to listen to polished sounded “news” then I would listen to the news or the radio.

I miss the spontaneous banter…

I can understand Tyme’s concerns.

Podcasts are much like their close cousin, the blog.

Blogs are not always the most professionally written websites on the internet, and neither should they all be that way. In fact, I support a very wide variety of blogging and writing styles.

Sameness is boring, and also much less effective at reaching the desired audience.

Your blog needs to stand out, not blend into the woodwork. Make your blog burst forth with colour and excitement.

A good blog is not a wallflower.

The same holds true for podcasts. Overall industry variety and and individual differentiation of product is essential.

With podcasts, there is definitely room for several different types and styles of audio production.

Some podcasts will be very rough, completely lacking in porfessional production values, similar to a home movie. As such, the directness and unfiltered honesty of these podcasts will always find a solid and welcoming audience.

Such grassroots sounding recordings might not appeal to everyone, and might lack much of a commercial market.

Many podcasts will become very professional in tone, and perhaps evolve into an alternative form of internet radio broadcast over time. In fact, some of the best podcasts can be used by existing internet radio stations as strong content.

Professionalism is also necessary for podcasters intending to market their content commercially to the public.

Other podcasts will be somewhere in between. More time will be taken in the professional editing and sound quality, but the freshness and spontaneity will be retained.

This hybrid might provide the best of both worlds, and is appears to be the type of podcast that is preferred by Tyme White.

That said, very professional sounding podcasts might be the only ones to achieve widespread mainstream listening audiences.

As with everything, knowing your product and market is essential.

Different markets require a different type of podcast.

Before you venture into large scale podcasting for widespread distribution, do your market research.

Take the time to learn the needs and desires of the listening audience and potential buyers and downloaders of your podcast content. Keep in mind that not all podcast styles and products are the choice of everyone.

Know your audience and your market.

Once you have determined your podcast niche, then you are ready to get those audio recordings developed.

In the meantime, keep talking and listening.

Reader Comments

Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

Check out Blog Business World for yourself.

Podcasts: How Professional Should They Sound?
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