We Need To Rethink How We Counsume Podcasts!


March 20, 2015 by johnnyseifertradio

After the brilliant Radio Days Europe (RDE15) conference in Milan I was left feeling inspired by Denmark and how they use Snapchat as a big part of their social media for radio stations. Therefore, on Wednesday morning when I woke up in S(m)elly Oak at 05:00 by the bin men and the students coming back from ‘Stupid Tuesday’ I was already smiling and excited to go back to my old university, Birmingham City, where I graduated last year (with a First Class Honours in Media and Communications Radio).


This week I attended the #RethinkMedia Conference in Birmingham to celebrate the media that we already have and look to the ways of improving it in the future. In 2015 2.5 Billion of us are on smartphones growing to 4.5 Billion next year. Because of this, smart phones have adapted in recent years to have lots of apps for us to interact and engage with us:




Frank Golding, Ex Director of Google stated that we consume 2700 articles worth of news a day. We have done this through being in the fifth generation of media production and consumption. As producers we are making sure content can be interacted with on phones, shared on social clouds, provide data and lead to revenue. But I worry that radio producers are investing too much time into the production of audio creating one hour podcasts and not enough time into the consumption of the audio’s social media cloud as seen below:



Podcast Lengths Are Too Long

When I was driving up to Birmingham I downloaded various podcasts to listen to as I fancied hearing speech rather than a music playlist on my Ipod. However, every podcast I downloaded such as ‘Answer Me This’, ‘Invisibilia’ and ‘Freakonomics’ were all fourty minutes to an hour long and my mind gets distracted as no one in today’s multi-technological world can focus that long. For example, the Serial podcast was amazing and I can tell you Adnan Syed is not guilty, the phone box did not exist outside the superstore in Baltimore and Hannah is suspicious but I could not always focus on the story as my mind drifted:

This is apparently why:



I really admire podcasts such as Ted Talks as well as the recent ‘Love In Recovery’ podcasts on BBC Radio 4 for having talks that are fifteen minutes long. Radio Futurologist James Cridland, Media Info, spoke at the conference about a new initiative the BBC are doing where you can choose the length of the podcast you listen to being either ten,eleven or twelve minutes long to suit your needs. We have already seen that Breakfast shows across the radio board are loosing listeners as listeners opt into sites such as Youtube, Spotify, AudioBoom and Podcasts on their way to work to suit their listeners needs and feel engaged in the morning. I am the same, I love listening to a podcast on the way to work as it starts my brain working. For example, today I listened to the Invisibilia podcast about what is a thought and how can we control them.

What Needs To Happen
An app needs to be developed where short 10-15 minutes podcasts can be made into a playlist form as we already do with songs:

For a thirty minute drive to work you could listen to succinct podcasts that do not ramble and where the points are made and justified through the podcast. When I made a documentary on the Holocaust (Three times nominated at the SRA/MMA’s), I made a fifty minute documentary. However, since then I have made it into a twenty eight minute documentary which has added a lot more power to the audio. Engagement is key to the success of the consumption of a product. Ralph Rivera from BBC Future Media said the internet needs to be thought of first:



The smaller the podcasts the more you can focus on a key idea and elevate that via multi-platforms. That is ONE IDEA WITH THREE PARTS TO IT, Youtube Vloggers Hannah Witton, Lilly Pebbles and Anna Gardner spoke at the conference about how they use social media:



There is no point talking about six issues in a podcast where the listener is going to loose interest or is playing around on their phone engaging in apps such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram and not actually listening to you. We have all heard the saying a photo can speak a thousand words. Make that picture stand out, give it a different treatment on Instagram then what you would do on Twitter for example. If you create a short podcast that has an idea that can be remembered afterwards and shared on social media in different ways then you are onto a winner. During Answer Me This episode 309 Olly Mann and Helen Zaltzman spoke about baked beans in baths which led to listeners engaging by creating memes and photoshopping their faces in different baked bean scenarios:




I have given you the facts of the issues and told you some truths of how I have been effected by podcasts but it is for you to make the stories:



So what do you think of my proposal? Should we have 10-15 minute podcasts on one topic only with three key ideas?


Comment below or tweet me @johnnyseifert

Here is what journalist Richard Horsman has to say:


2 thoughts on “We Need To Rethink How We Counsume Podcasts!

  1. […] Was Radio 1 being interactive or just broadcasting on a podcast platform? I have dicussed how we need to rethink how we consume audio here […]


  2. […] You can read about the event and what I learnt in my blog that I posted in March here which I related to podcasts: https://johnnyseifertradio.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/rethinkmedia15-short-form-podcasts/ […]


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