Now that podcasting is solidly in the mainstream of popular culture, and now that there are so many tremendous podcasts out there, a lot of podcasters are beginning to look for that next edge to develop & grow their audience. One good option could be to create a podcast network. Here, we’ll briefly explain what that means and give some ideas on how to do it.
What is a podcast network and why should you build one?
Think about old-school broadcast TV networks: it’s a collection of shows that are cross-promoted, and they share overhead costs among other things. A podcast network is quite similar. A podcast network is a collection of podcasts that have decided to group themselves together in order to make cross-promotion easier, as well as possibly sharing production and overhead costs.
Why should you build a podcast network? Because your listeners are having trouble finding podcasts. We all know that podcast discovery is a big issue, and there are plenty of companies (cough)google(cough) spending plenty of resources to make that easier. One way you can make it easier is by making a podcast network. Putting together a group of shows that could potentially grow each others’ audiences through cross promotion is kind of a no-brainer. But it’s not all that easy with the tools that are currently available.
How do you build a podcast network?
Like most things, there’s the human side and the technical side. On the human side, you need to seek out and/or create podcasts that are in some way related. It could be that the podcast “on air” talent is the same. It could be that the subject matter is similar, or at least somewhat related. It could be that the audience demographics or interests are very similar. So, when you are creating your podcast network and approaching other podcasters to join forces, have a plan and a pitch as to why those other podcasters should join you. Help them understand what’s in it for them with things like revenue and cost sharing, cross promotion, etc.
On the technical side, it’s honestly not that easy right now. You can cobble together a working podcast network with some existing tools. Our CEO, Todd Cochrane, recently spoke with two podcasters who had just launched their brand new podcast network… after 3-4 months worth of work designing & coding. He mentioned to them that PowerPress is actually robust enough that you could create a network with it and in fact many have. And if you’re a Blubrry customer, our real live humans in customer support would be happy to get you up and running. Also—and we don’t usually tip our hat like this—we have something pretty big in store for later this year: Blubrry is putting the finishing touches on a Podcast Network Plugin for WordPress which will make it ridiculously easy to set up and maintain your own podcast network. We noticed that more and more of us are creating podcast networks, we have it nailed with publishing, but we wanted to make it easy to showcase a network. So what we have in the pipeline is going to extend the tools we have today. That’s how we got started way back in 2008, actually. We were podcasting, but the tools were lacking, so we built PowerPress. And hosting. And stats. Be sure to stay tuned for pricing and availability.
Podcast networks are definitely here to stay, and you might benefit from creating or joining one. But it’s still a bit tricky, on the technical side of things, to get one set up. But keep you eyes peeled for our upcoming podcast network plugin to be released.