What is a Podcast?

What is a Podcast?

What is a Podcast?

By: Brandon Williams

Brent Axe is currently the talk show host of Afternoon Drive at ESPN Radio Syracuse and an audio and video engagement specialist at Syracuse.com

He is also a professor here at Newhouse and teaches a sports interviewing class.

Axe describes a podcast as an “on-demand audio experience.” 

Axe says you must decide what there’s a market for because there are a lot of podcasts out there. You want to be able to deliver something that is engaging and unique. If you choose a podcast area that a lot people are already doing, you have to think of ways to breakthrough and make yours stand out. He says if you want to have a successful podcast you must be consistent. “You’ve got to deliver a product that is consistent for people. The thing about podcasts is they build loyalty, they build audiences.”

You should be knowledgeable, passionate, know your audience and what they’re looking for. 

Doing a sports podcast can be difficult because the sports world moves so fast. If you want to be successful you need to make your podcast relevant in a sports world that is changing rapidly. 

You want to bring on engaging guest, someone who is an expert in their field, and entertaining.

“There is kind of an intimacy with a podcasts,” said Axe. “There’s a trust that’s there; If you can have a relationship with somebody, ask them to come on your podcast with you, they’ll trust you. They’ll be revealing. A big thing about podcasts is you want the conversation to be interesting and revealing and keep people there.”

When asked what advice he would give to students who are considering starting their own podcast, Axe said, “Do it!”

He says consistency, preparation and studying the field are key and recommends that students listen to as many podcasts as they can; and not only the successful or popular ones. 

“Take what’s out there, take the best of it and try and apply it to what you do,” said Axe.

He also says don’t be afraid to experiment or try things. 

Running a podcast can be fun but it also has its own challenges.

“When you do a podcast, you have to do a little bit of everything. You’re the talent, you’re the producer, you’re booking the people that you have on, you’re the audio technician,” said Axe.

He said his favorite thing about doing a podcast is that in the podcast-world there are no limits on what you do, as long as you make it entertaining and deliver what your audience is looking for.

His least favorite thing is that sometimes it is a struggle to find things to talk about it. 

He says, “You can get the podcast version of writers block sometimes, you can struggle with what you want to focus on you think your audience wants.” 

This is an instance where you might have to experiment.

He reiterated that anyone thinking about doing a podcast should just do it. Figure out where you think you can make a dent, what you think you are good at and what you can do consistently–find a podcast you enjoy doing. The only way you can learn is by doing it; so he encourages people to do it and not just think about.

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Brandon Williams

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