How Is Podcasting Different from Radio Broadcasting?

Brian Curee

You’re confident in front of the microphone. You know how to make people laugh, how to fill empty air space, and how to gracefully jockey with your co-hosts…but you’re curious about the popularity of podcasts. Would your radio audience follow you into a new medium? If you already have a radio show, why should you also have a podcast?

Podcasts offer a lot of possibilities for growing your audience and building deeper relationships with your listeners. There are a few key differences when it comes to the production process and the discoverability angle. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between the two before you make the leap into podcasting.

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Podcasts Offer More Time for Pre- and Post-Production 

If you’re ever felt rushed on the air, then you’ll appreciate the extra preparation time that podcasts allow. You can outline and research to your heart’s content. Even better, podcasts aren’t live so you can edit out any takes you don’t like. This can result in better quality audio and a more polished final product.

For people with a tendency to over-prepare, podcasting can sometimes be a struggle. You might find yourself researching or scripting your show to a degree that’s just not necessary. However, if you’re eager for the opportunity to create a more professional final product, then podcasting could be the way to go. 

Keep in mind that it’s not only about what you want to do. You also need to consider what your specific audience enjoys. Do they like your irreverent, casual style? Do they lean toward academic and somber? Do they appreciate the unpredictability of live conversations? Live radio shows offer a sense of urgency and excitement for listeners tuning in. Podcasts may be pre-recorded and edited, but that doesn’t take away from the delight they can give listeners.

You Can Go Deeper Into a Topic

The fast pace and various needs of radio broadcasting means that you’re often aiming for the lowest common denominator. You don’t typically have the chance to spend a lot of time on a topic because you have so many boxes to check, and there simply isn’t time. On top of all this, you need to ensure that you’re still engaging enough to capture (and keep) an audience of multitasking listeners tuned in.

With podcasts, you can dive deeper into a single topic. If you have a special interest in homeschooling or stories about second chances, for example, a podcast can allow you to talk about this topic in more depth than a radio broadcast. 

Think of it like this: Radio is about mass appeal whereas podcasts are about niche audiences. If you want to build a following around a specific topic, a spin-off podcast could be a great addition to your radio show.

Listeners Can Enjoy a Podcast Anytime, Anywhere

Rather than missing your radio show, your audience can stream your podcasts or download them for later listening. This allows them to connect with you at a time of their choosing. They could put on your podcast while doing the dishes, exercising, or on their commute. The subscription feature of most podcasting platforms means that your newest shows can be automatically uploaded into your listeners’ accounts. This anytime, anywhere functionality is a huge advantage that podcasts have over radio broadcasting.

Discoverability is also key here. With pre-recorded podcasts, you can build up an easily-accessible library of content. If you’ve got a specific niche, you can carve out a corner of the Internet for yourself. With the naturally limited nature of radio shows, it’s more difficult to build up this type of expertise. More importantly, it’s harder to search for radio shows. Podcasts can be specifically tagged and labeled so that your listeners can search for exactly what they want to hear. This increases discoverability, improves the user experience, and is a better investment overall because your podcast content is evergreen.

Build a Stronger Relationship

Finally, podcasts are naturally more intimate than radio shows. On the air, listeners know that you’re speaking to a live audience made up of thousands of people. But when they’re listening to a podcast, it feels far more intimate. They’ll get to know you and your station’s brand at a deeper level, which can lead to increased retention and station (brand) loyalty. So, how do you choose between starting up a podcast and taking a show to radio? The right choice depends on your audience engagement goals. If you’d like to talk more about podcast strategy, reach out to Killer Bee Marketing. We generate buzz for online and on-air shows and advise hosts on how to build their listener communities. Let’s help you grow your station’s brand on digital platforms!

Fail-Proof Foundation Formula for Podcasting

For all my radio friends who want to know where they should begin with podcasting, I would highly recommend checking out my friend Paul Adams’ video class. Seriously, it ridiculously affordable. Click the button below to learn more about “Master The Key To A Successful Podcast in Just 10 Days.”

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