Join us on this exciting episode of the second season of the Nootka Sound Podcast where we talk to Dave Keine, the Head of Product and Marketing at Podchaser. Podchaser is the biggest podcasting database and you can think of it as IMDB for the podcasting industry. We talk about how to grow your show with Podchaser, will the video format take over the audio only format and how to improve the quality of your show.
You can find this episode on YouTube:
[excerpt] Dave: So how do you get people, from like, just hearing about your podcast to actually being like subscribers and then evangelist for your podcast and one of those steps is to get them to follow your podcast. How do you get them from the first time they press play to, a research shoes that if somebody plays 3 episodes, they are going to listen to like 90% of future episodes.
[00:00:42] Nemanja: Hi guys, welcome to another episode of The Nootka Sound Podcast. I’m your host Nemanja. Today we have a very special guest with us, Mr. Dave Keine, Dave is the head of product and marketing at Podchaser, which is the biggest podcasting database in the world. Hi Dave, how are you doing? Welcome to the show.
[00:01:02] Dave: Hi, thanks for having me. I’m having a good day, what about you?
[00:01:05] Nemanja: Well, it’s kind of hot out here but you know, it’s going great.
[00:01:08] Dave: Getting into those dog days of summer.
[00:01:11] Nemanja: Ok, in case somebody doesn’t know what Podchaser is, you can think of it as Discogs in the UK or AllMusic in the USA and what it represents for the music industry or IMDB for the filming industry, so that’s basically Podchaser for the podcasting industry. Dave, can you tell us more about Podchaser and how it got started?
[00:01:31] Dave: Absolutely, so Podchaser got started in about 2016 – 2017, and the reason it was started was actually because our founder Bradley Davis was commuting a lot and it was listening to podcast and specifically he was listening to the Tim Ferriss show, which I don’t know if anybody has ever listened to it, but its usually like 2 hours long episodes and with experts out there and he basically had this problem of, he didn’t know if he was going to hit the play button, if it was going to be a good episode. And with ratings and reviews you had on Apple podcast, and they were just on the series level and they kind of had the same problem as Amazon where you just had 5 stars reviews everywhere. So, he envisioned, basically a service where you could rate and review actually individual episodes and that’s how Podchaser started. Started as a kind of an open down vote error if this episode is good or not and then have some trending charts from there. Since then, its grown into this more idealised version of kind of what you have mentioned with IMDB, to where people can come on, can leave ratings and reviews, but they can also do things like create their own playlist, like they can share with others. We also have credits, so you can see who the host of a podcast is, who the guest is, but also, all like the back credits, like who sound engineered this, who was the producer, the editor, so its kind of become a discovery tool but also, in a way, a resume tool for the people who are working in podcasting. All of that is to say that, really at our core, what our is mission is, is to help power discovery. So, there are bunch of different ways that people discover podcasts, it can be through, you know, people simply see what is popular, it can be through word of mouth, and it could be through kind of like what their friends are saying. So, we are like kind of putting all of that together into a nice discovery platform that everybody can come on and kind of find their next favourite podcast. On the other side of that, people often ask, how does Podchaser makes money? And the kind of goal of Podchaser is to, kind of use all of this information and database that we’ve gathered around podcasting, and you know, what is this podcast about, what are the tags, who’s int it, and use that to power, kind of professional services. So, we have a service called Podchaser pro, which allows PR agencies, marketing agencies to come on and kind of see, you know, what is the reach of a podcast, what is their demographics, how do I get in contact with them. And then we also have a services where we do guest placement and, I think, in the future, you know, we are a VC backed company, we are not specifically going into revenue, super hard right now, but in the future, I think you’ll see us roll out things like, maybe a jobs market place or extra analytics features for podcasters, so its not necessarily like an advertising revenue model, but its more so, like you know, just creating useful tools for podcasters and brands out there.
[00:04:39] Nemanja: That sounds very interesting and like the one thing that really got me interested is that you said you are going to work on, like the job market, would it be like the gig economy? Like the same kind you see on Fiverr or Upwork? Or is it something different?
[00:04:53] David: Yes, so this is kind of like a bit of a ways down our road map, but I think it extends from the idea that because we have credits, and anybody can come on and add credits through a moderation process for approval and accuracy. What that ends up being is you kind of have your own resume for everything you’ve done in podcasting and that can go for people who are behind the scenes, but it could also go for guests. Like you can go on to my Podchaser and you can see what I’ve produced, you can see every episode I’ve been a guest on, and you can click play right there. It is, in a sense, it’s kind of has become a little bit of a LinkedIn for podcasting, specifically. So, you just kind of fall that credit and again, this is probably a bit of ways down the road, people are already using Podchaser pages to apply for gigs or to get freelance opportunities out there, as well as to apply for, actually full-time employment at studios. We’ve seen it with people sharing like, hey this is everything I’ve done. Just one space, here’s the link. So, it doesn’t take to much of a leap to think that in the future, Podchaser could have a connection source for looking people who could be a guess, but they could also be somebody who can come on and make your show for you. So, again, its kind like a little of a ways down there, but it’s the kind of tools that we look out, when we look, like you know, how is Podchaser going to make money, its probably something like that. It may be even a free service, who knows, but yeah, stuff like that, where we can just benefit people, is really what we are after. Versus throw up a banner ad and walk away kind of situation.
[00:06:31] Nemanja: Yeah, that’s great. Ok, before we get into the technical stuff. Can you tell me how you ended up in podcasting? I mean, being the marketer in this industry, isn’t something I see a lot of people actually going for.
[00:06:43] David: Yeah. I used to work in advertising. Worked at an agency and we worked for some pretty high-profile brands, but I was on the digital side and the kind of bread and butter of the company was radio, right. And this is back in like the early 2010’s. So, podcasting was around, but podcasting wasn’t podcasting yet. For a long time while I was commuting there though, I was listening to podcasting and I kind of just didn’t make that connection like, hey, radio is basically podcasting and radio is going to die one day. So, around 2014 I actually had left that place and I think it was around the time of the start-up podcast with gimlet media, where he talks about creating a podcast company, where I was like, ok, there’s actually a business here, right? I think a lot of people felt that way when that came out. And I was working at a different agency and I just kind of took it as an opportunity to go and talk to everybody in the industry. I used my cloud as being an agency person to get pricing on whatever it cost to do ads on podcasts. I just listened to the credits of podcast and would email people back like, hey, you are a producer, I’ll love to get involved, can I borrow, like an hour of your time. And then just read everything I possibly could, right. Eventually that folded into I ended up going back to the other agency and leading there, kind of push to doing podcast ad sales. That was kind of the first natural thing, that evolved into, ok, we made the, we are doing ad sales, what if we actually make content? What if we make branded content? And so, we spend up a sister’s studio there and started creating podcast. After about a year and a half or so, I struck out on my own and created my own podcast studio and we created only a couple of shows, but we had about 2 million downloads in our first year. It was pretty successful, but I’ve been talking to the guys of Podchaser. I’ve actually being using Podchaser to help grow my own shows. And have been talking to them for a long time and they had an opportunity to hire a head of marketing, right. There’s no many opportunities where you get to work at a really existing up and coming start-up. So, it took a lot of, a lot of soul searching but 2 and a half years later is a pretty good decision that I made there and worked at marketing there, we oversaw a huge growth of the platform, and when you’re working in the start-up space, specially in the software space, you can of start to marry marketing with the actual product. Like, what’s on the website, what features that you are developing. So, around March of 2020, they came to me and were like, hey, you’ve been doing a good job on marketing, you also going to do product now. And so now, on top of marketing, I also oversee like our road map of what we are going to develop, new products that are coming out. All of that stuff. And it’s been a blast. We’ve grown like crazy, just since January, we’ve gotten like, from 8 full time employees, now we are well over 30. Exciting times, I think Podchaser is really poised to do some really good things in podcasting. So, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to come over here and it’s been great to just be a part of the next evolution of podcasting, for sure.
[00:10:06] Nemanja: Well, yeah, that’s awesome. I’m really glad you fell that way. Like specially I know people are kind of hesitant to start working for star up because there’s no much guaranties but, I sure you feel as if you found something that truly makes you happy and…
[00:10:20] David: Luckily, I went from my own star-up, to their star-up. So, it was nice to go from kind of working with a handful of people who were working on projects to working a team and kind of everybody pulling on the same side of that rope, which is nice.
[00:10:35] Nemanja: Ok, Podchaser is a community-based platform, meaning people get to submit info about their shows, so you guys make a lot of content management, or you let the community just do their own thig?
[00:10:46] David: Yeah, its actually kind of a two-sided thing and there’s two pieces of this. So one is, you know we are database, we want to have the data that powers discovery and the other part of it is, you know, how do we actually use that data to get in front of people, right. So, on the first bid, with how do we get our data, I would say it’s pretty evenly split. We are an outsourcing platform so anybody can come on and ad credits, ad tags, if you are a podcaster, you can add your podcast to custom categories that aren’t on other platforms and all of that stuff goes through moderation. And that’s really like the big powerful driver of Podchaser, is we kind of created almost a Wikipedia style service to where the people who uses us are the ones who are able to make Podchaser really great. On the other side of that, is, ok, we have all this data throwing there ratings and reviews. How do we get this to people? And for that we do take a really democratic approach. We have fashioned our ratings and reviews, kind of in the opposite light of an Apple podcast, where they don’t affect charts over there, they do on Podchaser. We also have what’s called an activity feed so if you leave a rating review, it gets shown to other people, including your followers but also on our popular feed. And then we do things like make it share and all that. So, at its core what we try to do, is to be a democratic platform. People come on, they leave a rating review, we treat that the same as if they left a rating review in another podcast that maybe, isn’t popular, so a lot of people in these days like us for that, because we are not picking teams. We are not meeting with networks on the side, to be like, hey, how do we get you the big jumbo throne on the home page. So, yeah, I don’t know if that explained or not, but we do try to let the community drive what they think its important. Because at the end of the day we are a few guys on the remote team. We don’t know what’s the best podcast out there, there’s kind of wisdom in the crowd, for sure.
[00:12:51] Nemanja: Yeah, well, you said it then, and if I may add, using Podchaser is free and is very easy to create an account and get started. So, if you’re housing a show or doing some production or editing work, I highly recommend checking out Podchaser. The biggest news we had recently, is that Apple rolled up their subscription program for podcast creators. Why do you think this is such a big deal and what effect you think this will have in the industry as a hole?
[00:13:19] David: It’s a good question. I think its subscriptions service, specifically with Apple, is solving a couple key things. Right, so, monetization has always been like one of the two big problems in podcasting. One is growth, some people call it discovery, but growth and monetization. So, the ability to be able to monetize your podcast if maybe a dozen have millions of views or if you don’t want to go hand in hand to an advertiser it just creates another revenue source for us, right. The other problem I think is trying to solve, it’s a bit of that growth thing. One of the reasons why networks have been so successful is they kind of act like a carousel and somebody can jump, they can start listening to one podcast and they user their on-air inventory to send it to other podcast in the network, so you can get this kind of fly wheel of people coming and trying out a podcast and try 5 other podcast and then you got them hooked, right. So, by doing their subscription feature and a big part of that is their channels feature, which is where they kind of group multiple podcasts together, I think they just trying to kind of narrow down that discovering mechanism, where if you get one person, maybe they stick around for multiple. The cynic in me, says its just one more thing that gets people to try to prefer one platform over another and there is a gigantic war going on. It may be a cold war, it could be a hot war, but the next kind of 5 to 8 years of podcasting will be a giant type of war between places like Apple and Spotify and Google and Amazon, just to see, you know, who can win the podcast platform wars. So, when you have a bunch of networks that are monetarily incentivized to use your platform and listeners who are using it because is a way to listen without ads, or because they actually subscribed to it, that all creates stickiness that’s going to help drive people, and I’m sure there’s going to be other platforms that do it as well and we are just going to get this giant tug war war and maybe somebody will win and end up with a stale mate, I don’t know.
[00:15:36] Nemanja: Yeah, that’s very well said. Obviously with YouTube being one of the most popular platforms out there, we have a significant rise in video podcast. You think this trend will continue to grow and do you think this format will overtake the audio-only format or will podcast remain in the audio-only domain?
[00:15:54] David: That’s a good question too. I think, first of, it should continue to grow, for sure. Podcasting, at the end of the day, is content and distribution, right. Its, you create something, and it gets out to people, so, we already been proving people listen to podcast on YouTube. They watch them but they also listen to them, like in the background, right. So, if you are a podcaster and you are not putting at least your audio on YouTube, you’re missing out, because you are not meting the listener where they are, right. Now, when it comes to the actual video part of it, I first tend to experience with this and I think it makes sense for some people, especially for like, larger shows, like a Joe Rogan or your moms’ basement where they can have a studio with cameras, and they actually have people who are recording all that. I did it and I’m not exaggerating, when I say, kind of like multiply the production process and timeline by like ten, because you can cover up so much in audio, right. It so a lot harder to cover it up in video, you kind of need multiple shots, resumes or however you want to do that. It also, you know, to do it well, it takes a lot of effort, right. I think one of the things that you can easily do, is fell that you need to rush into video, because Joe Rogan does it or because somebody else does it, and it can actually decrease the quality of your show in weird ways. Especially if you are a remote podcast, because it breaks the illusion of audio, which is, in audio, if your mic sounds good, like, that’s kind of it, like if you have good editing, your mic sounds good, the brain automatically fills in that, this is good podcast, this is professional, like they could be sitting right next to each other and all that, also if you throw up like a screen recorder of a sky and is pixelated, it breaks that illusion, so, I don’t know where I get out with that but, I think my conclusion is that, if you have a podcast, take ten seconds to just , like create a video file of your audio and put it out on YouTube. That’s going to, again, help you get discover in different places. It’s really no downside as long as you’re counting your analytics in a spreadsheet or something, but, when it comes to the video, I think it make sense if you have like a really, like high quality production. If you are in the same place if makes a lot of sense, but I can also, like don’t underestimate the time suck and production suck that its going to cost. So, it can kill you for sure, especially if you are a small independent team.
[00:18:30] Nemanja: Yeah, I totally agree with that. Like me being a sound engineer, I prefer the audio only podcast and then I see a lot of podcasts actually do that mistake, of you know, thinking and going big, with creating a big like YouTube production, and in the end it’s just a big waste of time and resources, because it takes a lot to get it right.
[00:18:50] David: Yeah, yeah, it does. One of the things is interesting about YouTube, that I think works better than anything else, so. There are couple companies out there that are trying to do podcasts clips. I haven’t seen it really take off yet, but it could, it still kind of in its see and see. YouTube does great with clips. If you have like a 5-to-10-minute section of your podcast, that, you know, it works really well, you can tap into the YouTube algorithm and you can kind of, you know, write that out. I think that’s one of the reasons why Joe Rogan became so big. Now, you don’t necessarily need a video for that. You can just put it out there as the audio only, maybe put in a couple of pictures or something. But if you are doing YouTube I will say, like I did this for a year and a half and thumbnails are everything. Inconsistency is everything. If you put something out on a reliable timeline, if you have a cool thumbnail, people are going to click, that’s what the algorithm really likes. And so, like, if you take a hiatus, it can screw you over, like you can go from being, hey, we get 100 000 per episode, to all a sudden its only getting shown to 5 000 people, or 5 00 people even. So, like, consistency is a key that reward.
[00:20:10] Nemanja: Yeah, yeah, that’s true and even for platforms outside of YouTube, like, for any other platform basically, like consistency is key. The more episodes you put out, the more reach the episodes will have.
[00:20:23] David: I agree. You mentioned something that I’ll be interested to hear what you think, as an audio, like zen master. You mentioned that audio-only, kind of really helps you make super high-quality productions. Like editing, and you know, story structure and all that. Can you talk a little bit about that, like, just how you see audio as, like, I guess, not to put words into your mouth, but kind of like a forgivable medium?
[00:20:49] Nemanja: Yeah, well, that’s an interesting question. But like the way I see it, is like, people aren’t used to listening, especially like today in our society people tend to, like, talk more than they actually listen and to me what kind of creates the magic is being in the moment and actually taking a moment to actually listen to what is going on. Because when you get that visual format, then you can lose out that listening part, because you are not focusing in the listening anymore, you are focusing on what your eyes are seeing, and that is like a big minus for me. And the essence is, basically, when you start creating video as well, you kind of lose out the audio, because you are not focusing on the audio anymore. And that’s like, to me, that’s why I got into podcasting, because audio is really important to me and I like listening to things and I like listening to people speak and I think It gives me a different perspective, when I focus in something they are saying instead of focussing on what they look like or what is their brand image or identity or something like that.
[00:21:54] David: Yeah, it’s kind of like the old trope of, maybe is true, I don’t know. Of blind people having their other senses heightened. Maybe that’s offensive in 2021, I apologize if it is. But when you are consumed with video and listening to the long form content, you don’t pay attention to it as much. And there’s a lot to be said for when there’s audio only and you’re listening to somebody’s voice. You can really hear the emotion, you can really hear what they are going after and you can hear kind of likes this little tiny breaks of confidence and different formulation of tough, kind of like when you are there, but all that stuff that you miss when maybe you are looking somebodies face. Not to say that video doesn’t give good context and body language is a huge thing, but audio-only does allows you to untap this like often hidden parts of human communication, which I think what it makes it so powerful for people, it´s super intimate.
[00:22:55] Nemanja: Yeah, yeah, so sure that’s what I wanted to say. Its that, its really intimate and like that’s something that’s a big difference in regard to like the mainstream media, where the media isn’t really intimate. And like in podcasting its really intimate. You get to hear people breathing and you get, I don’t know I just can’t just describe it, but its like, to me the audio-only podcast is very special. In my mind.
[00:23:19] David: Yeah, I agree.
[00:23:20] Nemanja: Ok. We are seeing more and more celebrities starting their podcasts. Why you think they have the need to start podcasting? Is it perhaps to express something that isn’t possible with the mainstream media, or is it just because everybody’s doing it as this point?
[00:23:35] David: Yeah. Both? I guess. A couple of things. I think, as podcasting has grown, the realisation among people who are business focused is that to create an actual like well-grounded campaign or focus on the market, you need to be in video, text, audio and maybe throw in their visuals, banners and stuff. So, it becomes a part of the tool set, to just get a message out there, right. So, a lot of these celebrities are driven by publicist, who are basically their personal advertisement agency, so it makes sense that they are bringing in there. That’s said. I think podcasting allows for something that celebrities have wanted for a long, long time, and that’s a little bit to be understood. So, they are, these are the people who are on tabloids, these are the people who everybody knows, and people write about them, but, like, they don’t actually know the person. So, the long form podcast, where the get to hang out, they get to express these views or provide perspective on the world view, or to have people on. I think that’s really attractive to, not only celebrities, but to everybody. Because everybody wants to get, you know, their word out there, right, and podcast allows you to do that in a way that, actually is, in a world full of click bait and sounds baits, it actually is like, a reasonable human to human connection. I would say that we saw on our sides, since we do credits, that Podchaser, last year, during the pandemic, like at the peak of it, we saw so many celebrities getting into podcasting. And I think a very strong driver was to that, was that podcasting is pandemic proof, in a sense. Its socially distancing complaint, like you and I are in different countries right now, its different times of day, I’ve never had to see, don’t have to wear a mask, I’m in my leaving room right now. The same thing occurs for celebrities. And they couldn’t go out there and make TV shows, or do stand up comedy, or anything. This was a way for them to do that. And then the listeners themselves, also can listen in their house, can listen on a walk. They are not getting together, you know, congregating some place to listen to someone. So, I think it’s a mixed of things, but really what podcasting itself as a very strong on demand audio medium, has really shown itself to be useful in quite a few different ways.
[00:26:15] Nemanja: Yeah, that makes sense. And we’ve already touch on this but, I’m interested in hearing you. Why do you think everybody is drown to this format? More and more people are launching their shows, more people are consuming podcasts than ever before. Is it the format, is there something special in the actual format or is it something totally different?
[00:26:35] David: I think its definitely a situation where the medium is the message and podcasting itself has allowed for humanity to kind of scratch at this itch that they may be fill and they are not getting satisfaction from, with other traditional media, and that really goes to, if you talk to anybody, it talks about how, like we don’t have proper discords these days, people yell at each other, watch cable news or something, especially hear in the states. And its people yelling, very surface level and angry there was this desire to get into actually, like thoughtful long form content. There’s also a little bit of a back lash of the traditional media. Everybody keeps saying that you know attention spans are going down, right. I don’t necessarily believe that’s true, but that desire to have quality time, interacting with an idea or a medium, its really attractive right, so, in a little bit of that, the on-demand audio, there’s no time limit, there’s no commercial breaks that we have to work around, we are all making this off as we go, has allowed for people to really get a lot out of podcasting. Now, on the other side is, like, podcasting started in 2004, right, and, it didn’t blow up until probably, I guess, 7 years ago, 5 or 6 years ago, so, we are so early on this and it’s just audio on demand, right, spoken word, but it can be so many different things, so, like we’ve seen people do audio drama that’s super highly produced, people do musicals, people do 3 hour long deep dives into history, seen people talked to people, panels , all that. There’s so much variety here and that means that maybe you don’t like that intimate nature. Well, here is a podcast which is just, you know, the daily news in under 10 minutes and that appeals to everybody. So, there’s definitely a situation where the message is the medium, podcasting allows for all of this stuff that we really innately need as humans, but then the other side is just like, variety. Anybody can get into this, anybody can do it really well, anybody can play with the format and that’s very freeing. Without the gate keepers of like a television network, there can be so much out there that’s gear towards your specific taste, and I think that’s what really appeals to people.
[00:29:07] Nemanja: Yeah, that’s so true, I mean, like in terms of our company Nootka sound, like, our biggest thing that I personally like of this, is not just the audio, is the message to the world and its basically that you said, that the medium of it is the message.
[00:29:22] David: Yeah
[00:29:24] Nemanja: Ok, here’s a question that I like to ask my guest occasionally, because we’ve been getting really interesting answers. What are the 3 more important skills a podcast host should have?
[00:29:34] David: The first one that pops out of my head, is curiosity. I think a podcast host needs to be very curious about its guest and about their topic, and that’s going to drive them forward. Number 2 that kind of goes into that, is understanding that there is a third person there. I´ve talked to Matt Whitman, who’s on a podcast called no dumb questions, with a guy named Destin Sandlin, Youtuber and they always talk about the third chair. Right, and then so, there are two very smart guys. Sometimes they have guests on, they are very smart too. And its really easy to just continue the conversation, right. What they do, that I think everybody should learn from, is they take the position, that there’s somebody sitting right next to them that maybe doesn’t know about what they are talking about. So, always thinking that there’s an audience member next to you, so that, hey, you and I maybe talking about, you know some high-level podcast thing, but not everybody who’s listening does. So, taking a step back and just being like, I know what this is, but can you explain it to me. Or just, you know, for the third chair, just so you know the context of this situation. That’s awesome and I don’t mean to take third chair, because I know that’s their name for their audience, but great concept. So that’s curiosity, remembering that there’s an audience member right next to you. 3 things. This is probably a cop out a little bit, but I think a host needs to be somebody who cares deeply about the content. So, they need to be somebody who is really constantly thinking, like, is this moving forward, how may I going to maybe edit this in post, am I asking all this, am I getting the full situation, am I making the episode that I want to make? And so, it takes a little bit of a split brain as your in there and you are being curious and you’re asking the questions, to also remember that you are constructing an actual show here, and so there are some things that you may want to hid. And sure, that preparation comes to that. And all that just, but I’ll be interest to know, just like, how do you approach hosting a podcast?
[00:31:48] Nemanja: Well, I don’t basically, like my deal is like, this is obviously the only show that I host and to be honest, at first I felt really uncomfortable, like standing behind a mic and I still feel that way to an extent, because, even though I’m a musician and I’ve used to do live shows and perform or even do sound engineering for live shows, I still get nervous whenever I need to record a podcast episode, because I don’t fell like a podcast host. I just feel like a person who is passionate about podcasting, and I want to talk about it. And I want, mostly I want to hear other people’s opinions and then I would kind of, you know, share my own toughs as well. So, that’s how I approach it.
[00:32:32] David: Yeah, I think you are doing a great job. One of the things I think you’ve done really well, is providing context in questions, as people ask questions, especially in an interview format. Its kind of tempting trying to go in two different directions, right. One is to ask very short quick questions, that allows somebody to expand on it. This is like, I don’t know if you are familiar, but there’s a guy over here named Larry King, he is a like a long interviewer and he kind of preach a simple interviewee like conversation, like, ask the big questions but asked them in a simple way. And that can often lead to just rehashing the same stuff. On the other side of that is to end up making kind of the whole podcast kind of being about you, because you are adding to much context to questions that you are really almost just asking to people to agree with you or not. Is like, I see it like this and this and this and then ten minutes later there’s a question and is like, what is that question actually mean. And in the middle which I think you’ve done a really good job, is just providing context for questions that would be how you have a conversation with somebody in person, right. Like, hey I’m thinking of this question, let me give you a little bit of background but I’ll be interested on knowing what you think and then, kind of that back and forth is really good, so, I don’t know where I’m going with that but, you are doing good dude.
[00:33:53] Nemanja: Thank you for those compliments. I totally get that, like, I mean, to help other people out like I always have questions prepared, I’m one of those guys that likes to script everything, so, especially because I not a native speaker, it kind of helps me have the questions prepared in advanced, but also if I hear something that, kind of tickles my imagination I just ask about it.
[00:34:16] David: Yeah. We did an article in which we talked to bunch of different podcasters, like, how they get comfortable behind the mic too, and one of the big things that people said, was, I write stuff down, even if I’m not going to read it. And I tough that was great, because they are preparing, they understand like, what needs to go into this, they are creating a question or even if like they are doing a scripted series, they are creating a script and they prepare for it, even if they don’t actually read it for datum out of the sheet or something, its in their head, is like, ok I almost going trough lines again and I tough that was great, because a lot of times people can come along and they can winged it and there’s a simple appeal to that. It does allow you to follow rabbits down the hole and follow your curiosity, but preparation, especially like written preparation is so key. Like, that can really make a podcast really sing.
[00:35:08] Nemanja: Yeah, in my experience, like, you have to be a good journalist to be a good podcast host. That’s what I kind of, whenever I tell my clients, you know when we are producing a show, I always tell them, you know, you need to do a lot of research before hand and if you don’t have the time or the energy, to do it hard, somebody, so either you do it or have somebody to do it, but the research needs to be done.
[00:35:29] Nemanja: Ok, so this is kind of a follow to the previous question. When you listen to a show, what are the qualities that draw you in and make you want to subscribe? Is it the pristine audio quality? Is it the host? Is it the topic? What is it?
[00:35:44] David: My taste has changed a lot. For a long time, this is probably still my default. I like pristine audio. Like, and not just pristine, but I like all fashioned radio lab, where is like, sound effects out, the wazoo, you have like super detailed like, what music is playing, what is the tone being conveyed, I liked hyper edited documentary style, like I’m a sucker for that. Radio lab 2012, like, that’s my jam. Right, but my taste has changed over the years, it kind of equated to like drinking beer. Like, if you like beer, eventually, you know, you are going to get into the craft bruiser and eventually you are going to get into like, just trying stuff because is weird and I’ve definitely seen that. There’s a podcast called Richards famous food podcast. Which is like a sound medley crazy, its basically if you took Radio lab and turn it into like Pee-wees playhouse kind of style podcast. And he just breaks the form, plays with the form. Super sound edited, ton of sound design and it’s just fun, right. And so that I’ll considered it the weird side of it. I do listen to a lot of long form conversations, news stuff. I would say audio quality and that doesn’t matter to me as much as base level audio quality. And to that I would say to podcasters out there who are listening, like, you probably are going to disagree with me because you are an audio file, but like, the distance from very bad to good enough, is pretty short. Like, you can go and get a pretty cheap microphone out of the internet, and you’ll sound good enough to keep around till I’m not annoyed. Know the level from good enough to awesome and great, is a lot larger and you can spend a lot of money to get there. But yeah, like the base level audio is kind of all that I ask for. If you have base level audio, that’s going to really help you like keep people around. And you can do that for a pretty cheap out there. Now when it comes around actual content on those, I did a presentation at podcast movement to talk about, like the podcast growth tunnel. So how do you get people, from like, just hearing about your podcast to actually being like subscribers and then evangelist for your podcast and one of those steps is to get them to follow your podcast. How do you get them from the first time they press play to, a research shoes that if somebody plays 3 episodes, they are going to listen to like 90% of future episodes. So how do you get them to stick around? And the biggest thing that I see that podcasters failed in this regards, is that they don’t realize that every single episode they make could be someone’s first time listening and, so, maybe they start their podcast with this long inside joke or inside story about who they are. They may start it with a ton of adds. They made start it with, you know, a preamble that has nothing to do with the actual value proposition, which is, if you have a podcast about a specific topic and someone hits play, they want to hear about that topic. They want to get something out of it, if you don’t immediately give them that value proposition, you’re basically wasting their time and they are going to go elsewhere. Its kind like if you go to an ice cream shop and you say, I like ice cream and they say, ok, but first let me tell you about milk. It just wouldn’t fulfil that value proposition, so, so yeah, if a podcast doesn’t fulfil that within the first, you know, two minutes of an episode, sometimes I’ll just go, alright, this isn’t worth it.
[00:39:25] Nemanja: Yeah, I totally get that. And to me, what I’ve noticed, that it kind of puts me off, whenever I get into a podcast. Is that people tend to give up over time. Like the more episodes they do the more quality goes done. And its like quantity over quality, which is kind of not ideal.
[00:39:43] David: Absolutely. The big thing to call it like pod fade, you are like 10 episodes in and then things to start get worse and worse and maybe you go form see a weekly show to every two weeks or once a month, to never again. Talking to podcasters, one of the things I think that really helps that out, is your motivation to do a podcast its probably never greater than when you decide to do a podcast. Like that very beginning part, and so, if you can map out, you know, what is this thing going to look out in 6 months, like, brainstorm, a whole bunch of topics ideas, come up with, what is the form of every show, but also, like, how I’m going to make every show. What is my process there, what are the steps I need to take to ensure my show is going to be good? All of that upfront planning, when you are, super, super, super motivated, is just going to pay dividends, because one day you are not going to be motivated and so, if you don’t have a plan at that point, you are just going to fail. So, really take that time upfront, to create that plan for you and then as you go, make sure you plan that, once every two months I’m going to do the same thing and plan the next ones and that’s going to just help you, do batches like that.
[00:41:02] Nemanja: Yeah, yeah. This goes back to what we were saying about consistency, but keep in mind that like, also mental help is important and its really easy to get brain out, so kind of, its ok to take a break now and again and the thing that will help you eventually, is to actually plan for those breaks and, I’m going to do 5 episodes and then I’m going to take a break for a week or two, ten I continue and that’s the way I see it.
[00:41:27] David: Absolutely, yeah, and I think you do a good job with this, with seasons. Right, you kind of playing out, hey I’m going to have a season, this is the end of the season. We are going to come back again, and I think that just kind of helps sect the expectations on you, right?
[00:41:43] Nemanja: Yeah, yeah. What would you recommend to somebody that is just starting off?
[00:41:46] David: Kind of thing it goes back to what we just said. Build your podcast on paper. Build your podcast on paper. What its going to be? Who is your audience? What tone do you want to do? What is your value proposition? And like, people coming to your podcast, because they need to learn something? Are they doing it to escape? They just doing it just, because, you know, they like you? What is that value proposition? Why are they hitting play? And that’s beyond why I want to listen, its what they are going to get out of it. Like, coming up with that, coming up with ideas, all that stuff. Building your podcast on paper is huge and in the other side of that is, do it. The hardest, scariest thing to do is to actually hit record. You can tie your self in knots for ever and ever. I mean, like I don’t like the sound of my voice, or I don’t have the right set up yet. Just do it and I think setting expectations for yourself, maybe like, hey I’m going to do this and I’m going to delete it. Like, I think Ernest Hemingway said the first draft of anything is bad. To paraphrase. So, yeah, like, maybe give yourself that safe space and just be like, hey, I’m going to record this, I’m going to delete it or I’m never going to publish it, but I just know that I need to get comfortable behind a mic. If maybe you are at home, you got your mic set up and your just like, alright I have 15 minutes, I’m just going to go to an article on the web, I’m going to look at it and I’m going to record myself reading that article. And then I’m going to try to paraphrase it of the top of my head. And just get comfortable recording. Being behind a mic is huge. But yeah, I guess that would be like my two things. Plan and the just jump to it at the same time.
[00:43:31] Nemanja: Ok, going back to Podchaser. We’ve already talked about this a little bit, but what are your next steps, what does the future hold for Podchaser?
[00:43:39] David: Yeah, we are all domination. Hahaha. No. Really, we are focused on powering that top of the tunnel, when it comes to podcast growth, and we want to get podcast in front of people. Right, that discovery mechanism. So, you are going to see that manifest in kind of different ways. One is in our discovery platform which is Podchaser.com, Is what people go to, then don’t have to be logged in to see anything on there. It’s a website not an App. What we are looking to do is really create that community. So, there are two ways for people to discover podcast right now. Even though Podchaser is a podcast discovery app, let’s be completely honest, first one is SEO, right. This is they go, and they Google I’m a Baseball fan. They Google best Baseball podcast; they click one of the top three links and they go, and they listen to one of those podcasts. That’s how they discover it. Or they search Shaquille O’Neil podcast appearances, and they go and see every interview his done and that’s what they do. So, we kind of have that lock down in Podchaser right now. Like you go make a list, is the most powerful thing you can do in podcasting, and you will be at the top of Google in a couple weeks. Your ad credits and its going to increase that kind of organic net. SEO, you got that. The other side is word of mouth. Is what does your friends like? what does your influencers like? what does you taste makers like? And for that, what we are looking to do is double down, on, we call community. So, getting those interaction points to where I can go on and I can say, you know, people I work with Bradley and co, like, hey, is this a good episode? or, hey I’m looking for a recommendation for something to listen to on a road trip. Can you send me those? Or, hey, I saw that you rate it this podcast five stars, what did you like about it? Or I notice in you review you mentioned this. So just kind of creating those connections points where people can talk. As well as for fans groups to come on and be like, hey, we are really big fans of my brother, my brother and me. Look at this could meme I made. And just kind of creating that community there. So, I think that’s probably or biggest push. Creating more of that interaction and on the other side of it too, is creating more opportunities for discovery, so we when you go and listen to an episode, being able to say, hey you liked this episode, here’s other ones that you might like. I think that’s all-important stuff. For the business at large, again, and just to be completely transparent. We are looking to create tools that allow brands and marketers to actually get into podcasting and leverage it. So, that helps everybody, that helps podcasters monetize, it helps bring in more money into podcasting, bring more attention to podcasting and it just helps everybody. Whether you have an audience of 1 00 people or 2 00 people or 2 million people. So, we are going to be continuing on building tools like that you are going to see build insights into, you know, what is this podcast. Demographics, but also, if you do well with this podcast, how else would you build a campaign in the ad space. So, that’s probably or two big initiatives is that discovery site and that site there are a lot of cool stuff in the future. We have over 12 million credits, like there’s a ton that you can do with credits. You can do, you know, transcripts that actually show who is talking. You can do a bunch of cool stuff there, like, you know simulate creators, all that.
[00:47:12] Nemanja: Yeah, can’t wait to see that. Good luck with all of that. So, if somebody wanted to check Podchaser where they can do so?
[00:47:19] David: Yeah. If you are a podcaster. Go to Podchaser.com/claim, like it’s a 100% free. What that does is, it allows you to take control of your podcast page, where the directory, so we pretty much have every single podcast already, but if you claim your podcast, you can go there and do things like create a vanity url, add your podcast to new discovery categories, add merch to your page, add links and all of that is just going to, one is going to help deliver your growth and monetization goals, but two, because we are a website and not an app, it’s all Googleable, and that just kind of increases your measure out there. So, if you are a podcaster, Podchaser.com/claim, go there. While you are there, check out Podchaser, if you are interested in Podcasts, craiglist, all that stuff, follow people. Its fun. I use it every single day and I would if I wasn’t working there, because is how I find podcast these days. Follow us in social media, we are @Podchaser everywhere. Twitter is probably where we are more active, I think that where we actually found each other. We post really stupid stuff. Feel free to post really stupid stuff at us and yeah. Like, that’s pretty much it. If anybody wants to get in contact with me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org we pride ourselves on talking to podcasters out there. If you have questions or anything at all, just tip me of and well do our best to answer those.
[00:48:44] Nemanja: Awesome. Well, David, thank you so much for being on the show. Its being really good to speak with you.
[00:48:50] David: Thank you. Dude, it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve really like hearing your perspective on everything to.
[00:48:54] Nemanja: Awesome.
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