Podcasting. We’ve all heard about it, and maybe we’ve all had the chance to listen to a few, perhaps even develop a liking for some of the content creators that are out there. But podcasting has changed so much over the few years of its existence.
At one point podcasting was something that people started doing for fun, but since then they have become a way to make money. The idea of the podcast shifted to a more high-production content style, where episodes cost lots of money to produce.
The main issue with this sudden shift in the podcasting world is that independent creators aren’t able to keep up with the big media companies that can afford such luxuries.
Independent podcasters didn’t have the competition when they first started and had a few different platforms to play around and explore with. When the big companies like Spotify and Apple started getting into the podcast game independent podcasters were finding it more and more difficult to get any traction with their own content.
These companies tend to favor their own shows instead of bringing in outside influencers. They are banking on making money on content that they already own, leaving independent podcasters in the wind.
Is this the end of independent creators?
Obviously finding a footing in this new big wig world is something that has provided a challenge to independent creators, however there are a few weak spots in the new podcasting world that can prove to be helpful. However, there are also a few things that independent creators need to be wary of.
The first on your list of things to avoid is high-production costs. These companies that are proving to be irksome to independent podcaster have the money to burn, which can sometimes seem like a huge hinderance to other creators. Do not judge your podcast based on the amount of funds you put in to create them!
You also need to stay away from popular categories. This might sound counter-productive but these big media companies are focusing on highly sought-after content such as true crime, comedy, and news briefings. Find a niche podcast market that you can excel in and make it yours.
Finally, know your audience and try to connect with them by avoiding a broadcasting format to your content. Many podcasts are focusing on larger groups and are taking on a broadcasting tone to them, but that will sound out of place to smaller audiences!
We know that it sounds like independent creators will be obsolete, however we have some ways in which you can target the weak chinks in the armor of today’s big media podcast companies. Your biggest strength will be creating content that cannot be replicated, but there are things you can do to help you achieve this.
Informal, Transparent, Perfect!
Believe it or not, companies like Netflix spend upwards of $200M to create a popular season of their own show and yet people still spend their time scrolling through YouTube videos. This is because video platforms like YouTube (and Vine) is the perfect place to watch transparent and informal videos. We know it seems unlikely, but those transparent videos have a value to them that even the big media companies cannot replicate or compete with.
As an independent creator you need to learn to have the same raw audio feel that those videos have.
Find Your Niche and Thrive
As mentioned earlier, having a niche is what those big media companies struggle with because they are all about being the biggest that they can be.
However, in trying to become the biggest name in popular content they leave the niche markets completely open for the independent creators to take over! Avoid those big target audiences and focus on something that is a smaller niche and you are sure to do better! The best part is becoming big in a niche market gets your name out there, allowing you to venture into some of those other big areas with a following!
Be Wide In Your Focus
Those big media companies that we have been talking about have a big hurdle: they can’t talk about everything.
There is a concept known as the Overton Window which refers to topics that are politically acceptable to the mainstream population. Those big companies have a lot of things that they are not allowed to talk about or are not allowed to show a favor for. This gives independent creators a huge playing field of topics that they can tackle without any fear!
Try New Things
The big creators have their hands tied in a sense and are only allowed to really stick to things that they know and have perfected. We mentioned that they go after the widely popular topics and generally won’t stray from them.
While that gives you a plethora of niche markets to tackle it also gives you the ability to test out new areas. We highly suggest tackling a few different topics to see what brings you the most attention and remember that you don’t have to stick to just one subject!