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Keeping Your Podcast Distraction-Free
Episode 10116th March 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:13:30

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Evo Terra:

Sometimes the advancements we see in podcasting look pretty

Evo Terra:

small compared to the hype we see and hear about in other forms of media.

Evo Terra:

Would you be better jumping ship to try the Next Big Thing?

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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I love a good distraction, a meander, a cool new thing related to podcasting,

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or not, that I can spin a few cycles on.

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For me, it helps keep my brain from gunking up or getting stuck in a rut.

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Being on the bleeding edge keeps me energized really.

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Knowing that people turn to me for the "What's next?"

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I mean, that's, that's pretty cool.

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I'm not going to lie.

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And there are also tangible benefits from tinkering with the next new

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thing as soon as you can, like, you know, early movers status.

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It's also difficult to predict what's going to be, and

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what's not going to be, a hit.

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So I, personally, I tend to dabble in those new trends, if only for a short

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while, to see how they can further my own creativity as a podcaster.

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So, yes, I clearly love distractions and I think it's healthy for podcasters

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to explore new tools, technologies, and other nifty things that live

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on the periphery of podcasting.

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But don't get too distracted.

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Don't forget that what you're here for is podcasting.

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Don't get so distracted that you start to spend more time with that

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thing on the periphery than you are spending with your podcast.

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Now, a quick caveat for a moment here, not everyone who starts out

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as a podcaster stays a podcaster.

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There are many podcasters who, after engaging in a distraction on the edge of

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podcasting, have made a complete shift to what was a distraction and now it

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is their full-time creative endeavor.

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I know podcasters who've become successful writers.

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I know podcasters who've become successful YouTubers and Instagrammers.

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I know podcasters who've launched new products initially aimed at

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podcasting, but then they found greater success in a different

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industry and have pivoted totally.

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With that aside, keep in mind that podcasting is rather resilient and many

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of podcasting's purported disruptors have either fizzled out or remain

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not much more than a curiosity.

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And many new ones are poised to do just that.

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We're going to go through a few of these.

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Remember enhanced podcasting from back in 2006?

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Yeah, for the uninitiated, enhanced podcasting were, well, podcasts that had

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images added to the audio of an episode.

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If the listener was listening on a device that supported them and the

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podcaster had added the images to the audio file, a sort of slideshow

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with audio would be the result.

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Then of course, not surprisingly, that fizzled out, but it didn't die.

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I mean, today there are probably a dozen or so apps building on the idea,

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now adding video clips and polls and links and other outside things to the

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podcast into the enhanced version.

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It's a very cool idea, no doubt.

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And I'll even concede that there are some features in there that might make

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some podcast episodes more enjoyable.

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But enhanced podcasting, or whatever the developer's marketing team

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is calling it, it has thus far failed to become the dominant way

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podcasts are created or consumed.

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And while I never like to say never, it's never going to happen.

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I mean, the fact that listeners don't have to watch or engage with their

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device as they enjoy the content is one of podcasting's strongest features.

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Removing that effectively removes a leg on a chair.

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Things get wobbly.

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So, if you want to explore enhanced podcasting or whatever

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it is called today, sure.

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Have fun.

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Heck, you might even have an excellent use case that your audience may

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really appreciate when you do it.

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But that's always going to be an exception rather than a rule.

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And then there was the pivot to video.

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That has always been reported to be the next thing to replace podcasting.

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Just a quick trivia piece here, podcasting predates YouTube.

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And a quick fact, YouTube grew way, way faster than podcasting and rolled out

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viable monetization options right away.

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I mean, hell it became and remains the second largest search engine as

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much as that phrase makes me cringe.

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So it was no surprise that some podcasters started making video

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versions of their show way back then.

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Nor was it a surprise when lots of new services started cropping up to

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sell services to the podcasters who wanted to get their podcasts in video

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form, which, of course, led to the never-ending coverage of the eventual

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pivot to video that I've seen on and off for the last fifteen years.

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But that hasn't happened.

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I mean, sure, we have services like YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok

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that are there and larger than ever before, larger than podcasting even.

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Many podcasters create content and/or maintain presences on those platforms.

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I mean, as I said earlier, I know some podcasters who ditched their podcast in

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favor of one or more of those platforms.

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But that's not the norm.

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And more importantly, the pivot to video didn't happen and likely won't.

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Next, let's do social audio or drop in audio, live talk shows,

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but created, and also listened to exclusively on mobile devices.

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Now, the timing of social audio was rather fortuitous coinciding with the

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first wave of the pandemic back in 2020 when the lockdown had many of

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us craving some human interaction.

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And social audio apps gave us that.

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And we podcasters, already skilled at making engaging audio content, flocked

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to social apps like mad people, actually.

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Some of us going so far as to find ways to hook up our studios and actually push

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the sound into the drop-in social audio apps so that we sounded way better.

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In fact, some of them have gone so far as to record their entire

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podcasts on those services.

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And some are still doing that, I'm sure.

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But most aren't.

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Because producing a live show and producing a podcast are

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two very different things.

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And fans of one feel short-changed when a podcaster tries to do them both.

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But then again, some podcasters have found social audio as a very good way

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to grow an audience, get feedback from an audience, even extend their concepts

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that they discuss on their podcast.

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But, the predicted migration away from podcasting to social

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audio never materialized over any of its ongoing iterations.

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And it likely won't.

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Let's talk about virtual reality.

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Or augmented reality before that.

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Or sure, today, the Metaverse.

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None of this is new.

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I mean, sure, there's new money pouring into it.

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And yeah, advances in technology have happened, giving us faster

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processors, smaller components, or whatever else is necessary to

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make Second Life Part II a thing.

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And you know what, eventually, maybe it will be a thing.

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But as much as I'd love to have a heads up display or be able to check

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out for a few hours on a virtual beach in the tropics, none of that

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is going to replace podcasting.

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Not anytime soon.

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So yeah, enjoy the bleeding edge, get out there and explore, but don't make such

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a big bet on any of those distractions that you lose sight of your podcast.

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And with that, I shall be back directly with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Cheers!

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Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

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A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

Evo Terra:

podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

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transcript, both created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.