In preparation for next week’s series of demos on podcasts, I’ve downloaded likely more than I have in the last 10 months. The sheer number of them is turning out to be more staggering than I thought. Content varies, production quality varies, all according to typical distribution curves.
I am listening to a bunch flying on the plane from Austin back home to Phoenix, cringing while looking at the pretty clouds. Why cringing? I am listening to one that is supposed to be one in more than 100 of a series of tips in a particular subject (I am not specifying the feed as it really does not matter). I guess this one has some sort of following because there is a whole lot of upfront stuff that is hard to swallow as a first time listener.
Out of a podcast that is a shade over 10 minutes, it is nearly 4:47 before we get to the content. That is almost 50% intro fluff. We get cool hip music. We get an announcement from a sponsor. We get a long ramble about the tribulations of the podcaster’s job situation and efforts to make a change. We get some stats on how well this podcasts ranks are doing. We get zzzzzz….
Worse. There is almost 1:30 of closing music, more reminders about the URL for the show’s web site, etc. We end up with about 37% of the show being actual content.
And even more. Out of that sub four minute portion, about one minute are tips that refer to external sites, and the bulk of the rest are details about the value of one of the sites run by the podcaster!
Hey, it’s all about me! ME! M-E!
maybe if I was a frequent listener to this channel, all of this would be as important as getting a raft of clues about Lost, but c’mon- even a one hour TV show is only 30% full of commercials. If you are getting up to 50% of fluff before the content, 15% at the end, and swiss cheese in the middle, I think it is time to stop podcasting in front of a mirror.
Again, audio is an art. Maybe I no nothing about radio, the art of recording, etc, but my hunch is 63% of your content not being content is not the greatest design.
On the other hand, I am listening now to Willowcast, a podcast from an Omaha elementary school where kids make podcasts for kids- On a 13 minute cast, the content comes at 0:23 into the play. Well done, Willowcasters!