Evo Terra is a SquadCaster and the host of Podcast Pontifications podcast. On this episode of the SquadCast podcast, we’re featuring an episode of his show!
At SquadCast, we love showing off the podcast episodes and content recorded on our platform by incredible creators.
In this episode, Evo talks about building listener habits for your podcast that will help your listeners keep coming back for more. Evo writes, “Podcasting is like crack for your ears, many have said. Listen once, and they’re hooked for life, right? Well… wrong. What do we need to do—as podcasters and an industry—to help build listening habits? It’s a harsh reality that most people who listen to podcasts don’t keep listening to podcasts.”
Also In This Episode
- Evo Terra
- Podcast Pontifications
- A pre-roll ad from Human Values
- Get your podcast featured on the SquadCast podcast
- Learn more about SquadCast’s New Studio and Backstage
- Join our community
- Written and produced by Arielle Nissenblatt
- Mixed and designed by Vince Moreno Jr
- Artwork and logos by Alex Whedbee
- Music by Shawn Valles
- Hosted by Zach Moreno and Rock Felder
- Transcripts by Sabeena Singhani
ARON REUBEN KORNEY: Before we get to this episode of The SquadCast Podcast. We wanna tell you about another show we think you’ll enjoy, and it’s recorded on SquadCast.
LINDSAY HICKS: Hi, I’m Lindsay Hicks.
ARON: And I’m Aron Reuben Korney.
LINDSAY: And together we host Human Values, a comedy game show where we, our guests, and you, the listeners, debate what’s your price to do some absolutely bananas tasks.
ARON: So, if you wanna know how much Kel Mitchell would have to be paid to cook his meals with orange soda, or what Lindsay here has to be paid to have the world’s loudest pee stream, come play along.
LINDSAY: You can find Human Values wherever you get your podcasts. And come tell us your price at humanvaluespodcast.com.
ARON: And now onto the show.
EVO TERRA: Hi, and welcome to The SquadCast Podcast. You may or may not recognize my voice. I am Evo Terra, and yes, usually this show is hosted by both Zach and Rock, SquadCast co-founders. But today, ooh, lucky me. I am here because in a moment, you’re gonna hear an episode of my podcast, Podcast Pontifications. Now usually here on The SquadCast Podcast, Zach and Rock chat about some remote content production and share recommendations, disclosing product updates, and a whole lot more. And lately on this feed, you’ve been hearing a bunch of SquadCast recorded podcasts, and that’s because the SquadCast team loves showing off the amazing work that the SquadCast community is creating. Now that’s a little weird for me because my show is a solo show, and therefore I don’t use SquadCast to record me talking to myself every single week, but I do use SquadCast and highly recommend it for all of my clients that I work with. I’m a huge fan of the platform. Now on this episode of Podcast Pontifications, you’re gonna hear me talk about something we can do as podcasters to get people into the podcast listening habit. You may think you are already doing that, but I’m about to share with you some things that might make you rethink that. Because on Podcast Pontifications I talk about ways to make podcasting better, and hopefully you’ll enjoy this short episode of mine. So without any further ado, was there previous ado? let’s get into this episode of my show, Podcast Pontifications. Cheers!
EVO: Podcasting is like crack for your ears, many have said. Listen once, and they’re hooked for life. Right? Well, wrong. What do we need to do as podcasters, and as an industry to help build listening habits?
EVO: Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra. We talk a lot, heck, I’ve talked a lot about building the podcasting habit, but are we, as an industry, actually doing the things we need to do to actually help build that habit? Or is it just a bunch of talk? You see, the act of listening to a podcast does not in and of itself lend itself to the habitualization of podcast listening, or I should say not always, but come to think of it, not even most of the time. Edison’s infinite dial survey tells us that while most Americans over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast, 62%, according to their 2022 study, most haven’t listened in over a month. And less than half of those who say they’ve ever listened, have listened in the last week. So no. Exposing one’s ears to a podcast episode, the data show, does not instill the listening habit. Not to most people, at least. Well, why not? Well, two primary reasons, I think. One is the fault of the apps. And one is the fault of us, the podcasters. Let me first lay the blame at the feet of the app makers. And yes, I know I cast enough blame on their collective tootsies that they should all see a podiatrist, or a off, but I digress. Podcast listening app makers don’t do a good job of encouraging the listening habit, in my opinion. I’ll illustrate that by examining two services that do do an excellent job of imprinting habits on their users, Netflix and Amazon. When you finish a movie, or a series, on Netflix, the Netflix app asserts control almost immediately, offering up another series or a movie you might wanna watch. Now you might not wanna watch any of their recommendations they put forth, but that’s less important, and it’s not about their algorithm accurately predicting what show you wanna watch next. And more importantly though, it’s encouraging you to watch your next show. And note how aggressive Netflix is with that. I mean, as soon as the credits start to roll, those credits are relegated to a tiny picture, and a picture window in the lower right corner with the rest of your screen dedicated to getting you to choose another show. They know that people leave the theater when the lights come on and that people get up from their couches as soon as the credits roll. So they, Netflix, jump in. Ostensibly breaking into the content and encouraging what they, Netflix, wants, which is for you to choose another show to watch. Now, Amazon, at least on their Kindle ebook reader, does a similar thing. As soon as the end is reached in a book, Amazon takes over, interjecting a before you go note with some recommendations and other options. Options that Amazon wants you, the reader to take, they do that in place of the back matter of the book, equivalent to the credit roll or the end of a movie. That back matter’s still there. They didn’t get rid of it, but Amazon knows you very likely don’t wanna read that stuff and that they would very much like for you to select another book from their catalog. What would happen if podcast listening apps did this, choosing to inject, what are you going to listen to next messages, into your ears as soon as you are done listening to the main content. Either pausing or perhaps displacing the standard outro in an effort to get you to choose something else to listen to. Now that’s going to cause heart palpitations for some podcasters, “we don’t touch the episodes, that’s sacred ground,” say many podcast app developers and hosting companies. To which I say, “eh.” I mean, Netflix and Amazon have managed to pull it off. So while I agree, it will probably cause a massive outcry at first, dismissing the notion out of hand seems like a bad idea, but that also brings me to the second reason we’re not seeing this in podcasting, and that’s us. The podcasters. You see, it’s relatively simple for a Netflix to know when a movie is over or when the final episode of a series is complete. And it’s not a challenge for an Amazon to know when the end has been reached of the books. But that’s not so easy in podcasting, is it? For those who do produce serialized podcasts with the definite end, either at the show or the season level, most of us aren’t using the complete RSS tag. It’s probably not even something most podcast companies support, actually. And without that tag, how is an app to know when to jump in and start working on the listeners’ podcasting habit. And the bigger problem with that, unlike Netflix and Amazon, most podcasts, like the vast majority of podcasts, don’t have a natural endpoint. They’re ongoing. That is our challenge to figure out, right? Listening to that particular podcast is the habit the podcaster cares about. So any app that encourages someone to dump one ongoing podcast in favor of another show is probably going to quickly fall out of favor once those are putting their needs in front of the podcasters. So it’s a conundrum for sure, which is why this is another one of those episodes that doesn’t come with a solid way forward. Sometimes asking questions and surfacing potential issues is a good enough thing to do on its own. And I’d love to hear from you, on what ideas you have on how we can actually start building the podcast listening habit. Email me, would you? Evo@simpler.media, or tweet to me where I’m @ EvoTerra. And with that I shall be back next week. Well, maybe next week. Next week, I’m in Podcast Movement, and then I’m in Ireland for a couple of weeks. So who knows, but whatever soon with yet another Podcast Pontifications. Cheers.
FEMALE VOICE: Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra. He’s on a mission to make podcasting better. Links to everything mentioned in today’s episode are in the notes section of your podcast listening app. A written to be read article based on today’s episode is available at podcastpontifications.com, where you’ll also find a video version and a corrected transcript, both created by Allie press. Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media. Find out more at simpler.media.
Arielle Nissenblatt is SquadCast’s head of community and content. She’s obsessed with all things podcast-related and is the founder of EarBuds Podcast Collective, a podcast recommendation engine.