Podcasts – an inevitable future?

Some time ago everyone was crazy about writing their diaries, later people turned to blogs, and finally YouTube. Recently, a new trend has arisen, which is podcasts. What are they and how to use them for promoting your event?

What are they?

The name “podcast” is a combinations of the words “broadcasting” and the handheld mp3 player “iPod”. Although podcasts can have both the audio and the video, they are often similar to radio shows made up of individual series. A podcast has a common theme and is broadcast regularly.

The podcast era began in 2000, and a few years later their popularity was soaring. Podcasts are especially popular in America where people commute long distances and use the travel time to consume useful or fun information. These shows are getting more popular in our country, too. It is estimated that around 36 percent of all Lithuanian internet users listen to podcasts.

How can podcasts be useful to you?

One of the first event organisers to use podcasts for their event promotion in Lithuania is the Vabalo filmai company that presented such shows as “Man gal magnio trūksta?” and the stand-ups #MantaiKurorte and #MantaiKieme.

“Our stars Mantas Katleris and Mantas Stonkus have started their own podcasts. For the time being, their podcasts are independent and they don’t advertise anything. So for now we don’t use the podcasts for direct promotion of events, but we will certainly do that in the future. I am a firm believer in the power of podcasts. Even if a podcast does not discuss an event directly, the popularity of its creator definitely helps to increase ticket sales,” confidently said Titas Motuzas, one of the event organisers at Vabalo filmai.

Podcasts open the door to large possibilities. It is difficult to affect people with direct advertising, but podcasts provide all the conditions to do that: not just by presenting the name, place and date of an event, but also by explaining its content and idea. Podcasts have even greater possibilities to present content than TV or radio shows, since podcasts are usually more flexible. “We can have a channel where we can talk about our even like we want, without any restrictions, limitations or obligations,” the event organiser said.

According to Mr Motuzas, the majority of podcast listeners are under 35 years old. Therefore, it is a great channel not only for those events that are focused on young people but also for those that seek to draw more of their attention – for example, concerts, operas, ballets, some performances, etc.

How to make a good podcast?

“The first ingredient is regularity. Podcast listeners want to find new episodes on a regular basis, at the same time. It is like a TV series for which you wait anxiously and get disappointed if it is not shown on the day you expected it to appear.

One show usually lasts 40 to 60 minutes. Good content is equally important – it should feel real and sincere. People can sense insincerity from a mile away. It’s a free channel for expressing your thoughts, ideas, views, and talking about what you like,” Mr Motuzas told.

Although a well-known name helps to attract the audience and keep a show popular, especially in the beginning, it does not guarantee anything. Before developing your podcast channel, you should think about who will be its host. It should be a person who has a unique view to life or an expert of a specific field who has a good sense of what is interesting to the audience. Obviously, he/she should speak clearly and have great interviewing skills, if the podcast is in the form of an interview.

Podcasts usually have one of these formats: a monologue on a certain topic or a dialogue with an invited guest. In the case of events, both ways can work.

“Is it worth creating your own podcast series? It depends on the event and the organiser. You probably shouldn’t do it, if it’s a one-person concert held a few times per year. But I certainly see podcasting potential for all the annual music festivals that touch upon different topics and have lots of guests. Also for theatres whose performances delve into various relevant themes, their actors and producers could really produce interesting content,” Mr Motuzas said.

One-time events should look for opportunities to appear on podcasts produced by others. The most popular podcasts have already attracted rather large audiences, so it’s a guaranteed attention – just get the podcast producer interested in your event and ideas and get his/her permission to include you in the show. You can find all the Lithuanian podcasts here: http://podcasts.lt/.

On which platforms should your podcast be available?

96 percent of Lithuanian podcast listeners look for podcasts on YouTube, and 16 percent on Spotify. But there are also other channels suitable for podcasts: SoundCloud, iTunes, Google Play, etc. If possible, you should try increasing the number of listeners by uploading your podcast on your website and social media.

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