The nature of podcasting is collaborative. We podcast into a niche. If we are in it for the long term we do. Even in the “podcasts about podcasting” niche, everyone has their own particular spin on the topic.
From gear specific shows to the more artistic view, these podcasts do not compete against each other but instead support one another. Each one speaks to the listeners interested in their particular approach. So the shows, whilst appearing to “compete” for audience share are actually looking for different people. Clearly there will be overlap and because podcasts are an “on demand” medium, it doesn’t matter if two shows release at the same time. Listeners will listen when they are ready. So don’t worry if there are already shows in your niche. Only you can do your show. It might sound like someone else’s but, baring plagiarism, it will have you as its driving energy. In the disability niche, very few organisations have seized the ground. Even if there’s an organisation in your geographical area their values, ethos and methodologies will be sufficiently different to ensure each show appeals to different listeners. If not, then maybe there’s room for synergies between the two outfits for the benefit of clients, staff and organisations.
On another level, I’ve always found other podcasters helpful to the point of embarrassment. Questions about gear, editing or even finding guests, if that’s your thing, will have other podcasters always trying to help. That’s been my experience and the experience of all other podcasters I’ve discussed this with. It is truly a medium of helpful, engaged, interesting people.
Now to the question of numbers.
Apple suggests there are about 2 million podcasts on their books. That sounds like a lot! Digging a little deeper, it turns out only 25% or thereabouts of these have produced a new episode in the last month. This drops the active number down to about 500,000. Compare this with the 7 million plus blogs out there and it turns out there’s plenty of space for new podcasts. This is especially so in unserved niches like promoting a disability organisation. Be that physical, intellectual or mental health sub niches, there is space. Most of the podcasts out there in those niches are from individuals describing their journeys and ways of being. So you see the sub niches can be split into smaller sub-sub-niches. The name doesn’t matter, the point is competition is more often than not an opportunity to collaborate or support. To build networks of like minded individuals, nonprofits and NDIS registered organisations.
A couple of years ago there was one show covering speed cubing, that is competitive Rubik cube activity. Now there’s three but I’m not one of them. I couldn’t possibly, in good conscience, waste my time on something of no interest to me. Those in the niche love the topic. Hence they can sustain their efforts.
The takeaway? Podcasting is a collaborative process. Especially if you’re using it to build your organisation’s brand. Remembering a brand is just an entity with an emotion attached. By involving all levels of your organisation in the show you build interconnections between the three areas of staff, clients and management. You could even produce a private RSS feed and use that to tell stories internally. Passing information across the organisation in a medium very few are using because they have yet to grasp the power of the spoken word. Podcasting is where basically decent people who like to help gather. There’s lots of space for new entrants and the world awaits your voice!
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