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Published On: Wed, Apr 13th, 2016

ConnectPal helps podcasters reach larger audiences – here’s how

On a cool October morning in 2014, radio journalist Sarah Koneing released the first episode of her podcast series “Serial”. The downloadable audio investigative journalism podcasts began examining a decade’s old murder case, involving Adnan Syed who had been convicted of killing ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999.

The premise of the podcast series was to find out if Syed had been wrongfully convicted of Lee’s murder. The National Public Radio (NPR) podcasts became an instant success, as thousands of people downloaded the episodes as they were posted. It can be said that the mass popularity of “Serial” significantly reignited interest in the now 15 year old medium.

Podcasts utilize the oldest storytelling mode known to humans: oral tradition. The ability to download podcast episodes and content and take it on the go turns a bus ride, a car trip or a workout into an opportunity to feed a primordial need: the need to be entertained, taught, and/or surprised.

While podcasts pay homage to the ancient form of storytelling, they are also infused with the technological ease we have grown so accustomed to. Podcasts haven’t reinvented the wheel — they simply use a form of media we are comfortable with, i.e. radio, and have enhanced it. Radio on demand, if you will.

Over the past 15 years, as listeners continue to flock to podcasts, demand for podcast content has increased.

photo Stephan Ridgway via wikimedia commons

photo Stephan Ridgway via wikimedia commons

“We’re seeing more people getting in the game of podcasting,” said Emily Condon, the production manager of “Serial.” “As people become more and more used to consuming media in transit, while they’re cooking, in various parts of their lives, it’s caught on,” Condon continues.

In the decade and a half since podcasts first emerged on the IPod, the ability to find, download and listen to podcasts has become much easier. This feature has allowed podcast audiences to not only grow, but also find unique listening experiences tailored precisely for them.

Fashion lovers can download podcasts from their favourite designers, sports enthusiasts can find podcasts from sports commentators and sporting experts they admire, etc. Podcasts, in short, provide niche content on demand.

Over years, content platforms have appeared centered around helping podcasters monetize their podcasts. Consider ConnectPal, for example, a content marketing site that allows artists, celebrities, musicians, and others to create their own ConnectPal pages. These artists can then upload content, like podcasts, to these ConnectPal pages and monetize this content.

Being able to turn podcasts into profit is important to podcasters, who often invest many hours and dollars into production equipment and editing software. ConnectPal not only gives them the opportunity to earn money, podcasters are also able to reach ConnectPal’s large community of industry professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs and celebrities.

By allowing creators control over pricing and content, ConnectPal offers a platform for intellectual property innovators to finally receive compensation for the work they post on the Internet.

The niche audiences that podcasts cater to are also an advertiser’s dream. “People really pay attention to the ads,” said Andy Bowers, podcasting guru at Slate. “That’s partly because they have to: The hosts are often right in your ear, and there’s no quick way to change the station, like on a radio.”

This creates a captive, engaged audience who through years of radio advertisements are conditioned to listen to and even respond favourably to radio commercials. In the two years since the “Serial” podcast went live, the number of new podcasters and available podcast content has only increased. Needless to say, that’s a trend that almost everyone expects will continue.

Guest Author: Don Menzel

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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