I love the idea of podcasts but I seldom listen to them. The reason: I rarely come across podcasts that interest me. Oh, I know they exist, but the podcast universe is so big that finding something really compelling often feels like looking for a piece of onyx in a pile of coal. I suspect a lot of people feel the same way. This is one advantage radio has over podcasting. Go to your favorite station and you are instantly exposed to content of potential interest.
But that edge is shrinking. Stitcher, the podcast aggregator app, recently launched Smart Station, a feature that helps users find new podcasts based on their listening patterns. Wall Street Journal tech writer Katherine Boehret was almost gushy about Smart Station in her June 27th review.
“The Smart Station feature is a delight to use,” she wrote. “I listened to podcasts it suggested while I was commuting, exercising and cooking in my kitchen. As promised, the content in my Smart Station seemed to get more personalized the more I used it.”
Advances like Smart Station have the potential to turbo-charge podcast listening. Stations and shows that are not podcasting their material need to start today. Check out these tips from social media maven Stephanie Winans on how to make the most of those efforts.
Another thought: This is a great time for a host to launch a podcast focused on a subject not typically covered on his radio show. The host of a program dominated by politics who is deeply passionate about, say, the Civil War, Ska, vintage cars or the British Royal family, should consider harnessing his knowledge, passion and broadcast skills to create something of his own, something potentially profitable. Smart Station makes it easy for potential fans to find your content. Of course, it’s still up to the talent to create material so unique and entertaining that it earns a “thumbs up” and a permanent spot on the user’s podcast dial.