Why Colleges & Universities Are Podcasting
The Rise of Podcasting in Academia
04.22.19 | Podcasting | By: Matt Hubbard
Growth and More Growth
The rise of podcasting in the last 3 years has been nothing short of remarkable. Just in the last year over 17 million more people in the U.S. are aware of podcasting than in 2018. Over 14 million more people have become weekly podcast listeners in the U.S. then there were in 2018. Nearly half of the U.S. population listens to a podcast regularly. Last year it was more like one in four people. Plenty of research has shown us why and how the growth of podcasting has exploded in the last few years, but what seems to be most interesting is the wide variety of organizations and institutions now leveraging podcasting to aid in their growth and impact in public life as an extension of their overall marketing strategy.
A New Frontier
At Resonate we have noticed a massive revolution in the university sector. More and more universities are leveraging podcasting as a resource for their institution both as an internal resource, and external brand building. Many of our current clients, such as the University of Notre Dame, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Brown University are utilizing podcasting in a variety of different ways. Whether it be the distribution of institutional research, internal communication between departments, building an academic network or as a means to greater market the vision and identity of a university, podcasting has shown to be a highly effective medium.
Streaming, Podcasting and your University.
But, why specifically podcasting? If an institution is seeking to further build the brand of the university or market to prospective students, why wouldn’t they purchase an ad on your favorite radio station or television network? Well, people aren’t listening to the radio. People are listening to podcasts. Many people aren’t even watching television at all but are increasingly ditching their cable packages for streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. This is truly significant. Streaming has completely shifted the digital media landscape and the entertainment industry is reeling. This massive digital migration has given the academic community unique insight into the new way we now approach digital media, and beckons for a new way that your University engages its audience.
Approaching Digital Media Differently
Podcasting’s on-demand consumption has perfectly allowed for an easily personalized and customizable content library. This technology has now built this habit in our minds so these aspects unique to podcasting have now become an expectation for us as we approach digital media. In a sense, podcasting is not only an additional possibility to media distribution but is arguably the base-line standard for it. Podcasts are uniquely specific, yet easily accessible so people are actively looking for content to consume regularly. Any sort of podcast that listeners could dream of are all widely available, free and the endless hours of content is sitting in their pocket on their iPhone. This has resulted in a perfect storm in opportunity to provide hungry consumers the content they are craving, and the academic world is noticing.
Give Me Something I Can Eat
Academics are increasingly realizing that even through a wide distribution of content through books, articles and reports, they are still limited in reaching the very target market they are seeking to engage and influence. This results in content swirling around in a vacuum that’s only interacted with by the people already convinced of that content’s relevancy. Universities are content machines, and it’s important to diversify the way that content is distributed. Many Americans feel detached from topics and issues in academia, and podcasting brings that content into their everyday lives. Making content easily accessible and tangible through podcasting has proven to be the most effective medium in which academic content is consumed.
Structure a Narrative
However, it is important to understand that just simply sharing your content through this new medium is not enough. While the content itself is important, the delivery is just as crucial. At its core podcasting is story telling so it is important to structure your conversation or monologue in a way that is compelling. Whether you seeking to distribute your research or build the brand of your university, consider how you might best engage your audience through narrative. Although podcasting is primarily an audio product, your show can be a very visual medium. Successful podcasts effectively structure their show in a way that first introduces the story, builds the story, has an exciting climax and then resolves in a way that is tangible to listeners leaving them on the edge of their seat. A great example of this is one of the most successful academic podcasts out, Hardcore History. In this show, host, Dan Carlin, presents some of the most compelling scenes in history in a way that grips audiences’ episode after episode. He simply accomplishes this by structuring his content in a way that is clear, straightforward and exciting. Simply taking the time to structure your podcast in a way that is objectively good story-telling will result in captivating narratives that will keep listeners coming back for more.
Help Me Obi-Wan!
Many folks interested in starting a podcast usually decide against it for several reasons. There are dozens of misconceptions that podcasting requires thousands of dollars on complicated audio equipment, a degree in audio engineering in order to operate said equipment, hundreds of hours in post-production to actually have an episode people want to listen to and even more time marketing the podcast. The list seems to be overwhelming, but all of these preconceived notions are simply not true.
An Easier Way to Podcast
Here at Resonate we want to help! Resonate Recordings is more than a podcast production company; we are a collective of audio professionals and branding creatives who are motivated to make podcasting easy for our clients. We are trained and educated to use innovative technologies to help create quality podcasts that represent your unique creative expression, so it will resonate with your listeners.
We bring together an amazing team of audio engineers and branding creatives, allowing you instant access to the most talented and competent podcasting partner in this industry. Resonate Recordings is an easier way to podcast.
By: Matt Hubbard
Matt earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boyce College in Louisville, KY. Matt first became passionate about the recording arts in high school and he has worked as both an artist and producer. He has toured with prominent indie artists and continues to gig in the Louisville music scene. A podcast addict, Matt’s job is to help podcasters choose the best production services to fit their unique needs.