Mozilla Builders is a movement of people ready to #fixtheinternet.
This Slack discussion by Adrian, Linh and David occurred in hackernoon's official #slogging-beta channel, and has been edited for readability. Stay tuned for more infor on slogging (slack blogging) in the upcoming weeks.
Why 50% of podcasters fail. Here's how we fix this
I find it hard to filter through the noise and find quality podcasts (search functionality on apple, where i listen to most podcasts, is not perfect).
There are three main problems in podcasting. The Big 3. Discovery, engagement and monetization.
I started my post in 2019 after I realized there was a lack of representation and stories about underrepresented founders in startups.
It was a great experience. I powered through my first season with no issue, gained some loyal listeners and then I realized I had a big problem.
It's hard to power through a whole season. Building an audience is something that takes so much consistency. Discovery can have great lag times. Often times things like day 412 can get as much audience as days 1-100 combined.
With all that said, there are technical solutions to podcast discovery, such as making every word in the audio file searchable text.
There was a huge wall between me and my listeners. I had no idea whom they were. For such an intimate medium. All I had were basic analytics from hosting providers. Who was listening? Why do they tune in? Do they have questions? There was no feedback loop built into he 2 major platforms; Apple and Spotify.
Which leads to the real problem. Engagement. It was up to thee creator at this point to try and connect with their audience. Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and all other platforms were employed to achieve this connection.
With less than 10% of your followers ever seeing your content, creating new visual and written content daily to "feed" the algorithms, and doing this across multiple platforms resulted in so much more work of podcasters. All the platforms had one major flaw. They were not designed for audio - The primary medium the creator is best suited for.
Here comes the churn.
All of this engagement spread thin along with the weekly schedule of creating regular podcast episodes, is unsustainable.
I spoke with Dozens of creators once I realized this was an issue. Why did I care? Because I really enjoyed listening and creating in this medium and was in it for the long haul. Which means I will always face this problem.
Across the board, the most important words used by creators were feedback and engagement. More so over monetization or growth. Weird. Why? I thought money and growth will be top on the list of wants.
No not really. What they wanted was to build strong relationships with their listeners. Which is as human as it gets. Podcasting like most creative mediums is driven by passion. Passionate subject matter experts sharing knowledge and stories.
Most of the industry, over 90% is made of Indie creators. Creators with mostly full time jobs in other fields and with less time and resources to sustain the social media upkeep of discovering and engaging their listeners.
So to summarize the issues:
To tackle this issue i had to create a solution that satisfied 3 criteria.
That was the North star that brought us to
I really liked how SoundCloud timestamped all the comments. I always thought that function is something Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, Google, every other podcast player should do too. I like how VoiceBlasts is doing audio comments, timestamping those could also be cool way to see what portion of the content is creating the engagement.
The average song is 5 mins long Vs Blast is 60 seconds. most come in at 45 secs. The commenting comes in after the blast. because you can't listen and speak at the same time
Adrian (www.voiceblasts.fm) how do you think podcast discovery can be improved? from afar it feels like discover is happening on the social networks, and then the podcast players host the experience. Spotify and Apple have done a lot of things to try and win the discovery moment of a new podcast, but imho, its mostly ineffective.
The number 1 vehicle for podcast growth is actually Word of Mouth, then social. If FB, IG or TW integrated RSS feeds and added podcasts into their feeds then that would be an explosion for the podcast industry. That will not happen for obvious reasons.
A social graph that is built on podcast listeners, relationships with shows and with each other driven by interests would be the next logical step. Very hard as Apple own over 65% of market share and Spotify with about 15.
Most importantly people need a shorter form of podcasts to quickly " discover and test the waters with new shows"
That's one of the reasons why it's so heavy on WOM. Because we trust our friends with recommendations and will happily invest an hour trying out a new show.
That's where VB comes into play. We're trying to bridge that gap and focus on people discovery then content.
Hmm that makes sense. It's how i've heard of most podcasts. How do they measure word of mouth volume? Our phones listening to us??
That's funny. I don't think it can be measured. Same issue with podcast ads. Very hard to capture it's value
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