The Future of Podcasting is Behind Us
Why all the chatter about the rosy future of podcasting after all these years? My hunch is that Serial did more than raise the visibilty of podcasting. It brought a compelling story with engaging characters to the podcast domain. In other words, Serial brought to podcasting the very qualities that made radio successful for over 80 years.
The Future of Podcasting Is…Radio?
Radio trained us in the rules of audio entertainment. It defined the shape of well-told stories and the sound of colorful characters such as Jack Armstrong, Captain Midnight, the Lone Ranger and Fibber McGee and Molly. (Even the newscasters had their own personalities. Listen to H. V. Kaltenborn, Edward R. Murrow or Graham McNamee. Good grief, their names had personality.)
An Imperative for the Future of Podcasting
Whether your podcast tells a narrative story, the way Serial does, or it focuses on interviews (Fresh Air) or commentary (Rush Limbaugh), podcasts are at their best when they bring us engaging characters who tell us interesting stories. Podcasting will succeed as a viable medium for entertainment, news or information, by taking everything that’s been good about radio and expanding and improving upon it. The future of podcasting is no more complicated than that. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to achieve. Are you doing your part? Do you
- choose guests with unique voices, points-of-view and personalities that grab the attention of your listeners?
- shape your content to tell a story instead of letting the content unfold in a rambling way?
- edit your content to keep your story moving forward?
- rely on your imagination and inner voice to guide you into the future rather than duplicating what’s already been done?
- practice and perfect your unique voice and style so that a listener can pick your podcast out of a crowd?
It’s up to us to take podcasting into the future…even when it means an occasional look backward