This week we’ll be talking about Seasonal Podcasts. 12-24 episodes a year. For TV podcasts, it’s a reality. For other podcasters, it’s something you should think about to avoid podfade. We’ll talk about ramping up the show for the season, what you can do in the off-season, and other practices that help bring the audience back.
I’ll be in Los Angeles for Cinegear this week, and Orlando for Infocomm on June 12-14
New posts from Jill Thompson, Stef Potter
Question on my YouTube channel about VoiceMeeter Banana and microphones from Miguel Ramirez
Are Podcasters Influencers? Ad Week looks at the fine line between podcaster, and influencer. https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/podcasters-are-the-new-influencers-heres-how-to-leverage-them-in-your-strategies/
Congrats to Australian Podcaster of the Year – Associate Professor Siobhan McHugh https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6165646/major-award-for-top-uow-journalism-podcaster/
Podcasting in China is pretty different. But is it still podcasting, or Internet PPL Radio? https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/05/the-chinese-podcast-industry-isnt-really-podcasting-as-americans-think-of-it-but-it-is-fascinating/
Libsyn podcasts heading to Radio.com https://radioink.com/2019/05/28/entercom-expands-radio-com-podcast-library/
Let’s talk about our featured issue here. I got an email couple weeks ago asking about episodic podcasts. I’ve talked about episodic podcasting or seasonal podcasting before, because not everybody wants to do (a show) every single week, and there’s a lot of podcasters out there that say:
“You better do every single week. You gotta do it. No, you don’t have to do it.”
You do a podcast that fits you fits your lifestyle. Because you might have a nine to five job that takes a lot of precedence over this podcast. You might have a family that takes a lot of precedence over this podcast. You might have other things to do. And you’re trying to fit podcasting into there.
And the reality is not too many people create large episodic seasons. You have the weekly shows, like Samantha Bee, like John Oliver, like, you know, stuff like that. Even those shows, don’t do 52 weeks a year, but they’ll do they’ll do a high volume of shows. Like the Tonight Show and and Late Night with Stephen Colbert, which is five nights a week. And so they they do, they do just a ton of shows.
But they also have a lot of people helping them out. Jimmy Kimmel has a lot of people helping them out. One of them is a friend of mine. So and then you get to these other podcasts like the Adam Corolla podcast, like the, you know, the stuff, the stuff that’s on podcast, one stuff that’s on, you know, these big names that have these big shows, they are getting help from other people.
Sometimes they build their own studio, and they run their own equipment. And I give them props for that. But there are some podcasts where they simply walk into a room sit down in front of them, like have their topics either given to them to look over and strike through and say I’m going to do this not going to do this going to do this not going to do this. And or they put it together.
So there’s many different ways that it can be done.
Now there are certain examples on a seasonal podcast if you decide, okay, I want to do I want to I want to do a podcast for a TV show, like Game of Thrones, or Westworld. Maybe a Law and Order podcast as they’re entering the 21st season. These TV shows are usually anywhere from 10 to 20, four episodes a year.
You have 10 to 24 weeks to talk about a show.
And then you’ve got an offseason. Which is an you know, the remainder. So on a 24 episodic season, you have 28 weeks with no show. So what do you talk about? Do you re-look at season episodes? Do you try and create fan theories? You definitely can, you can definitely go past 24, you can definitely do 52 shows if you want.
But sometimes you just want to do the season, and be done.
I’m gonna get away from the TV show idea. Maybe you want to do 10 or 20 shows a year. In fact, my friend Norbert Davis just said, I’m getting back into creating media again. And he’s doing something different. He had a podcast called the totally cool tech podcast at one time. Now he’s got a thing called no makes, and he and he emailed me and he said, Dude, I don’t want to do this every single week. And it’s like, that’s all well and good, because you can do it. Not every single week. But how do you do it? Well, let’s let’s let’s go through a list of things that you want to think of when you create a seasonal show.
First of all, figure out how many episodes you’re going to do in the season. Good idea is to at least do to 12 to 24. Because then that’ll take up a good quarter of the year, quarter to half a year. And you can definitely do 12 episodes in the winter, and 12 episodes in the fall, just like they do with the TV show or anything like that. Or I can just drop them all at once like Netflix does. And have some people do some major binge listening, if you’ve got an episode, if you got something like Serial going on. Yeah, that would be kind of cool. But then also weekly, for next year, 10 weeks, you can definitely do that as well. But figure out what what you’re going to do.
Put down your time schedule as best as you can. And and maybe that might change every now and then think you know, even even TV shows, will put together a schedule. Okay, we’ll have a new episode this week, this week, this week in this week. And then a few weeks down the road, somebody says Oh, man, all the playoffs are going to be extended to game seven, and you might get bumped. So they say okay, well, let’s just move move the schedule down a couple weeks. So it’s definitely have a sliding scale, but have the idea of how many episodes you’re going to do. And then put the plan to it. But the plan to it. So the first thing I always tell people when it when it comes to episodic content like that, is to talk to your audience.
If you watch any of my shows like this, one thing I tell you is what my schedule is for the next week. Yeah, next few weeks. So I told you, I’m going to Los Angeles this weekend. But you know, next week, I’ll definitely have a show. In two weeks, I won’t have a show because I’ll be in I think it’s that’s what an infocomm is. And then you get the idea. I’m planting it thoughts in your head to say, okay, is it show this week, maybe not next week, john oliver. Watch last week, tonight’s great show. And at the end of the at the end of the episode, he says we’re off, we’ll be back in two weeks, if he’s got a break, or that’s the end of the season, we’ll see in a couple weeks, whatever. But he definitely direct your people into where your shows are going to be. And that way they can cut. And that’s the one really cool about taking a small break from your episodic from your your long form podcast, is there are some podcasts where people are like five or six episodes behind.
This gives them a chance to catch up. You want them to catch up, because if they get too far behind, they might drop off.
All right, a good contact list that does not spam. You know, if you’re collecting people’s emails, you know, go to a Facebook page or something like that. Just post to say, Hey, you know, this is this is the upcoming schedule for shows or, hey, gotta take a week off or I’m sick or you know, whatever. Keeping them in the loop. So you can talk to your audience. That’s the key right there. Some people frown upon ads, but I am I’m a proponent of throwing a few dollars behind your show. If you’ve got a seasonal episodic show, let’s go back to the TV thing, let’s say you know, Barry just finalized.
So there’s going to be another season of Barry. or that Ray Donovan’s coming up. So you want people to kind of know what’s going on. So you ramp things back up to you start talking to your audience, you say, Hey, I’m going to start the next Ray Donovan unofficial podcast episode. It’s coming up very soon tell all your friends and stuff like that, I create a maybe if you’re on Facebook with your group, maybe create a Facebook ad, and put like $20 on or something like that just kind of get some interest in around. Yeah, you don’t have the thousands of dollars that some of these big, big name studios have. But you know, even $100 can go a very long way to get new people into your show.
And that’s key right there.
You can also you can definitely do snippets, you know, like for instance, with, with how to podcast, this segment right here is going to be cut, and then it’s going to be put up on my YouTube channel. And now then, of course, that’s more of during the week, the same thing as as you go. But you can definitely create a clips. And then during the offseason, you can play it and said, Hey, we’re returning back on this date. So don’t forget, if you have some, if you have some knowledge on how to do that, in video, you can do that. If you put it on Facebook, and you just put in a line saying hey, the show returns back on the white 10th. Mark that on your calendars.
And then talk to your audience about it. So conventional TV and radio has been doing it for so many years. They know what they’re doing. And they get into the social space as well. So they know what they’re doing.
Just see what they’re doing. And see if you can, repeat it. Because why reinvent the wheel when there’s one down the street, you can get it for cheap.
Don’t “Gun and run” post. And that’s that’s one of the things that I find a lot of people like do. And it bothers me, especially when I have a community that I want to be very unique. And then somebody comes across and posts on this community copies and paste on another community copies and paste on another community, you’re not going to get first of all, you’re not going to get your answers. Because I’m on multiple communities, other people are going to be on on multiple communities. And if I feel a little bit annoyed with that tactic, other people are as well.
Whenever I post from community community, and I still have to ask the same question, I try to give the community their own post and work it from there and use it it’s kind of like, it’s kind of like getting those form emails where the, the, the program where puts in your name, forgets to put your name in or puts the wrong name and I just got one had the wrong name on it. It’s like Dude, if you’re not going to get my name, right, I’m not going to talk to you. Because I know this is a form letter.
So don’t gun and run posts, saying, Hey, I’m coming back July 10, with this show. Give those people a reason why. And that, that’s more of the fact of you know, getting involved in the community.
If somebody asks the question, definitely, yeah, I’m going to have my podcast, come back on July 10. Come watch it or come listen to it. and go from there. Plan for guest appearances, the same thing you can get on somebody else’s podcast and talk about your podcast. And when you’re coming back. That’s what the tonight show does. That’s what Graham Norton does. That’s what the whole idea of these talk shows, is to let people know that on July 10, you’ve got a podcast coming back.
So do it that way.
Once again, follow what TV and radio is doing, because they’ve done it. They know what they’re doing.
And then finally, continue, continue to talk with your audience. And you know, don’t spam them, but talk with them. If somebody asks a question, talk to them, don’t say, and by the way, July 10, my podcast comes back now.
You just basically get involved with them, they get involved with you. And then they’ll know that July 10, your podcast comes back. And they know that you’re going to be doing 12 or 24 episodes. In fact, if you’ve got a website, this is another thing you can do.
Create a page with the season and say, season 13 of this show, and have an episode list. You don’t have to have titles in it or anything like that. Give it when you know the dates that you’re going to do. And some people you know, if you go to IMDb, perfect example, go to IMDb, look up a show, go to the episodes, and then see the seasons. And it’s going to say season 12. And then the shows that are aired, it’s already it’s got links to them, the shows that have an error that they know of there, they’re going to tell you the dates that they’re going to air. And then of course the rest of the numbers are going to sometimes are going to be blank, because they don’t even know the title of the show yet, or working title. So do that on a website, just create season 16 of whatever podcast and then put down your episode number list. And then when you know that your dates, filling your dates as you go.
And I wouldn’t suggest doing it as a calendar. It’s great to do it as a calendar. And it’s great to have that as a side thing. But something that’s more concrete that somebody can just come up to a page, read a list, move on. I think that will work a lot better than putting up a calendar and saying look at this bunch of boxes. Is I know that annoys me a little bit. So anyway, to wrap this all up, you talk to your audience, let them know what’s going on.
Give them places that they can go to to find out, hey, when’s the next season going to start? July 10? Okay, perfect. I’m there. I’ll put it on my calendar. You can even have little links that says, add it to your calendar or you know, on geek is in the you know, I now have it where you can press a button. And it says Would you like to know when the next article shows up? Yeah. And you might have that on turned on on your computer, you might not.
But you know, when new articles show up, it comes up in this in the lower right hand corner and says, Hey, because he just posted a new article. Oh, see it. And, you know, give them give them the opportunity to get the information not for you to spam the information, talk to your audience, talk to your people, make sure that they’re very comfortable. And they understand that July 10 is when your podcast starts, or whatever date it is.