A new survey by Muck Rack shows the depth and hard work that podcasters put into their work. What can it teach a new podcaster?
Meet The Podcaster: A Jack Of All Trades More Focused On Downloads Than Revenue. – www.insideradio.com/podcastnewsdaily/meet-the-podcaster-a-jack-of-all-trades-more-focused-on-downloads-than-revenue/article_c57eb054-3746-11ec-9d7b-375673b2b410.html
Be sure to grab your guide to launching a podcast here: podcastingandplatforms.com/Questions
Welcome to Podcasting and Platforms. My name is Chris Spangle. Thank you so much for joining me here on the program. It is great to be with you today. And in that last episode, we talked a little bit about what the goals of a podcaster might be when they start their podcast. And there was a great article today in insideradio.com. In their podcast news daily newsletter, which is a great newsletter along with POD news and hot pod. Those are three good industry newsletter sites that you can join. And this article is titled meet the podcaster a jack of all trades more focused on downloads than revenue and it took a look across the end industry or whatever you want to call it the hobby space. It’s it’s done by muck. muck rack, yes muck rack, which is? Well, it’s a website that kind of investigates journalists. So if you see a weird byline and you want to go and see what what who’s this person, where do they work? Where do they work? What’s their background, Muck Rack is a great website to kind of help you gauge who a journalist is. And they did a survey on podcasters on their motivations. And the I’ll just read from the article, I think it’s really enlightening. And might you might see yourself in this.
“The typical podcast creator is a jack of all trades whose time is short as a majority say they are currently working on more than one show. That is the finding of a survey conducted by the public relations management platform Muck Rack. It finds that less than half (48%) of podcasters are dedicated to a single series. More than one in five (22%) said they are working on two shows, while nearly a third (30%) said they work on three or more. That comes despite only 37% of respondents report working full-time on podcasts.”
Which couple of takeaways from that? First, how awesome is it that 37% are working full time on podcasts. There is always like then this weird article out there that says oh pod you know, it’s all these people are quitting their jobs to become content creators, but only 1% of podcasts are actually monetized. And as somebody that makes a full time living doing podcasting, and I’m one of those 1% There’s hundreds of 1000s of podcasts, there’s two, 2 million podcasts. So that means that, listen, I was never good at math, but I think like 1% is like 200,000 people, right? So there’s 10s of 1000s of people making a full time living doing a podcast. That’s fantastic. You know, if if 1% of YouTube creators are full time, or are monetizing that, that’s fantastic. And if 1% Again, 1% seems to kind of be the magical number when it comes to content monetization. I only monetize 1% of my audience. Most people monetize about 1% of their audience. If out of all podcasting 1% of podcasts are being monetized. As more podcasts come into the space as more people start to listen to podcasting, more and more people will start to grow from income. So that’s fantastic.
The second thing is that I was surprised to see how many people are working on multiple podcasts. I have several podcasts that I work on. The main one is the Chris Spangle show. But I do the pat down I do podcasting and platforms I do Liberty explained the history of modern politics, I do several different shows. And that’s because I have a wide variety of interests. There’s an old saying in radio, where radio personalities are a mile wide and an inch deep. And I certainly identify with that I have a broad range of interests, not just in depth in one thing, I’m very curious about a lot of different things and like to talk about a lot a wide range of topics.
And, you know, I find people who can dig into a single subject and become an expert on one thing and have no curiosity about other things to be interesting people because I just don’t have that gene. But so I’m not totally surprised to hear that people are working on more than one show. But I was surprised to hear that many people have a lot of different shows. So the industry has grown up in many ways during the past several years, the article continues. But one of the things that remains the same with podcasting as early days is how creators are involved in multiple aspects of the show’s production. Among those surveyed three quarters said they were the show’s host, while nearly as many said they were also responsible for writing and editing, executive producing and marketing the podcast, Muck Racks takeaway is podcasters are quote masters of multitasking. Yeah, I mean, it is still a new industry. So there’s not a lot of income. I mean, I have an assistant producer that helps me do some editing on my shows and some other things and I have a couple people who helped me do research.
But the amount that I am able to pay other people, now, ads sold ads placed on a shows, you know, the host gets that revenue, right? That’s different than the amount that I am able to pay and and quote unquote employee or a 1099, or gig worker to do things is still spotty. And my revenue is fairly decent compared to a lot of podcasters. And it’s just not. We’re now getting to a place where you get a lot of pod podcast managers. So somebody like Lauren riton, who has a course for people that want to become podcast managers, that’s still brand new for people, the concept that you’d pay somebody 346 $700 a month to manage their podcast. That’s, that’s not pervasive yet, because this is still sort of seen as a hobbyist industry. But that is changing. And that is growing, and that is expanding. And I do consulting and grow. I help people launch podcasts, I help companies start podcast, and some of that can pay fairly well. But still there is there is not a lot of room for if you do a podcast, you are mostly doing most of the work, right. So if you are starting your podcast, listen to this thinking that you will, in six months time have somebody else doing the editing, you’re just hosting, you have somebody else doing the writing, the producing the guest booking, the marketing, the graphic design, I got bad news for you. That’s not typically how this works because it becomes a passion, a labor of love. And that’s sort of illustrated in the next paragraph of this.
“One reason for that ability to take initiative is that podcasters are an entrepreneurial crowd. Among those surveyed, two-thirds (68%) said they got into podcasting on their own. That compares to 20% that joined an existing show or 12% that was hired by a media company to work on a series.
Creating revenue is a lower priority in terms of goals for survey respondents, with most podcasters focusing on awareness and education (42%), or enjoyment and passion (28%) the report says. It shows about one in five (22%) list making money as their top goal.”
Podcasting is something you do you put in this work, not necessarily to make money but to make a difference to impact other people to build community around an idea or a concept or a product or a show. So when they asked what are your responsibilities for the podcasts you work on, they found that 76% said they will show hosts some of the other titles in descending order writer and editor. Writing is hugely important. In terms of producing a show I’ve got a stack of books here and articles a 22 page article that I need to highlight and write out an outline to produce a history episode. I read books all the time and then make outlines to to write out what I’m going to say. And then obviously you have to edit that. Executive producer, I don’t know why they would throw executive producer in there that’s sort of a nebulous concept maybe you’re an executive I maybe I’m an executive producer over the we’re libertarians podcast network and you know lend my voice sometimes to giving Brian Nichols and Caleb Franz, their guidance, but I don’t I don’t quite know what that title is in the podcasting world. But promos and marketing you know, building out the audiograms to help promote your podcast. Certainly a lot of people offering their services to do that these days booking guests, audio engineering and editing. Miscellaneous admin work voiceovers graphic design reporting on success was a weird one that I didn’t quite get. But the thing that people seem to do is they they’re like me, they want to engage in the content and the information and do the research and the writing and host it and book the guests and maybe do some promoting on their social media to market it. But they’re going to farm out the audio editing, the voiceovers, the graphic design and some of that other stuff.
Now, they write “As a result, getting more downloads is the metric by which most podcasters said they measure success (78%) – not generating revenue (37%). Paid subscribers (14%) is even less a measurement of success.”
So like I said last week, that that sometimes it’s nebulous in terms of what you determine is your success. And most people choose downloads here’s the numbers to prove what I was saying and that they the monetization typically will come last so how do you measure success when it comes to podcasting? MK racks survey found that 78% said downloads next 46% said listeners stream of starts. So it’s basically the same thing. 42% is social media engagement share engagement. And that’s absolutely true kind of that how many people are talking to you about the content that you’re producing? total time spent listening is a next total subscribers, which it’s really hard to figure out how many subscribers you have any more revenue, podcast rankings, ratings or reviews, website traffic, paid subscribers, podcast, mailing lists, subscriptions, things like MailChimp an email favorites, if you’re on a platform that offers favoriting, that particular podcast.
So yeah, I mean, it really comes down to downloads, how many people listening to your shows how many people measure success? And then kind of how what what do people say back to you about the particular content that you’re doing. So among some other findings of the survey, most podcasters are responsible for sourcing their own content 80%, and booking their own guests 80% that is in line with what many of you will be doing once you start your podcast, you will be doing the content, you have to be deeply familiar with the content, to talk about it. To talk about a subject with authority, you must have learned the subject. Trust me, I’ve sat down and done podcasts where someone else did the outline, I didn’t know what I was talking about. And you can tell, you can tell I am faking it, you can tell I don’t know what I’m talking about. And the listeners know it and they call you on it.
Trust me, you’ve got to learn with authority, what you’re talking about. Current events and news, media and culture are the leading source of input in from inspiration, excuse me, followed by ongoing areas of research and studies. So people tend to 61% tend to react to what they see, totally understand that that’s what I’ve done for a long time, followed by ongoing areas of research and studies. So you pick a topic, a topical podcast, like the history of Rome, or the history of Britain, and then do a podcast around that or the history of modern politics is that well, if and I are doing, but typically people kind of like, Ah.
I was training in a new producer. And she was asking me, how do you how do you know what you want to talk about? How do I come up with ideas? And I said, Well, if you’re talking to someone about something, and something inside of you, sparks a little thought of where did that come from? Then go look it up, write that down? If you hear someone say something, and it makes you mad, or you have a reaction to it, and you don’t know why you had an emotional reaction to it, write that down. William F. Buckley was asked by I believe George Will How did he come up with a two columns every week to write? And William F. Buckley says, I read the newspaper and I write what pisses me off. So, you know, many, I mean, how well does that fit so much of our political discourse, you write about what it makes you angry?
You know, this young producer that I was talking to she, she said her and her family were joking about Gary, and it’s crime issues. And she’s like, Why didn’t Why is Gary like this and went to research it and found out why it is like that. And she was like this as a show. And that’s exactly what it is. It’s just, it’s how stand up comedians write their material, it’s the things that you notice, that kind of are raised to the forefront of your attention, that you’re going to create content around. And so it is important for you to read a lot right now.
I’m kind of tapped out. I had a period where I had COVID. And then I moved, and my life is just kind of been chaotic, and I haven’t had time to read. And I’ve just been spending too much time on social media, which is like, you know, if eating candy is not health food, social media is kind of that deteriorating for your mind, in my opinion. Whereas reading magazines, books, having long conversations, deep conversations with friends and family, where your partner can be edifying and give you new ideas and spark new content. You need to do more of those things.
There’s this great comedian named Tim Wilson. And he was just brilliant. He just could open his mouth and was interesting. And after he passed, I just asked a friend of his I was like, why was he that way? And this person said, he never stopped reading. He never stopped. He was always listening to an audio book, a podcast, he was reading a book, he was reading a magazine. He was having a conversation with someone and he was inputting so much that he was outputting brilliance. And that is how podcasting works. I have not had any shows not had good shows in two months because I haven’t been putting the work and ingesting good information to react to to output.
I haven’t been sparking new ideas because I haven’t been reading you In my typical reading discipline because my life has kind of been upside down, and as I start to get back to reading now it’s starting to spark a little bit. Okay, I want to talk about this. This is interesting. I have this conversation about insurance with a friend, I want to do that podcast. And so you do shows on what kind of sparked your interest.
Now, in terms of reaching your audience, Twitter is the most popular platform or podcasters reach their audience. I have found it to be Facebook groups since the shutdown of my Facebook group earlier this year by Facebook over some Jeffrey Dahmer memes, where I posted a meme that said Jeffrey Dahmer, he was at five guys and he said, This doesn’t taste like five guys. That’s what got my Facebook group banned and lost those 2500 people. And the community just has not kind of been the same. You know, the patdown podcast has 15,000 People in its Facebook group, and it’s very tight knit community, a lot of pot pat down podcast, people connect with me on Instagram, a lot of libertarians contact me on Twitter. So it sort of it just depends on where you spend most of your time engaging and what you like to engage on. If you hate Twitter, don’t set up a Twitter and start engaging on there in a place you hate. Because you prefer Instagram work that channel.
The majority of respondents publish new episodes on a weekly cadence 48%. The survey is based on interviews with 594, professional podcasters, conducted from mainly September. So you can register for the webinar at the Muck Rack website, or you can go check out this article on inside radio.com. But lots of great insights. And I hope that it gives you an insight into your future as a podcaster and helps you kind of compare with what you’re doing. I had a conversation with a guy yesterday, who said Just tell me what is the perfect way for me to do this. Just give me the formula. And I said there is no right or wrong way. There’s lots of tools. There’s lots of tricks, it really depends on on how you want to do it. So he’s like, I want to use my my Android phone. And then we picked a solution for him that would help him get the best technical quality and make it easy on him to edit his podcast on his phone, which blows my mind that you can do that now. So there isn’t a wrong way to do it. The only wrong way to do podcasting is to not do it at all.
So get started today. Make sure you go check out the 18 questions you need to ask yourself before you start a podcast, find it at podcasting platforms.com With that, my name is Chris Spangle thank you so much again and we’ll see you again next Wednesday.