“We had joy we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.” Welcome to today’s earworm.
Seasons though are a thing in podcasting. When they work really well for shows that cover a particular theme in each season. Shows like Serial claim to have started the trend but seasons had been around for a long time before that. US Public Radio claims many firsts for which they are not entitled. They are an example of the homogenising effects of large players I discussed in a previous post, here. Do not be fooled by these people. Podcasting is a groundbreaking medium populated by self indulgent types as well as those changing the world.
The great advantage to seasons is refreshment of creative ideas. I discussed burn out here. Seasonality allows the producer to dive deeply into an aspect of their niche or even sub niche. A season can therefore be a sub-sub-niche. It works.
A year could look something like this: four x ten week seasons with three weeks off between each season. Ten weeks gives you time to dive deeply into a sub-sub-niche. So say a show on podcasting, perhaps. Season one could cover the prelaunch. All the decisions required before you start. Gear, recording space, topic, software, show art, registration on Apple Podcasts and so on.
Season Two could then cover the art of recording. From monologue episodes to interview techniques, roundtables and how these fit into the gear and recording space discussed in Season One. Season Three would dive into editing and post production. Covering tools, software, attitude and techniques. Season Four would then cover promotion and creativity.
You could call for feedback at each stage as you walk your listeners through the process. How are they going? What have they discovered that’s a better way of doing things? These questions and responses could form a summary episode at the end of each season.
The other advantage of seasonality is the ability to plan ahead. You can let your listeners know where you are going and in what direction your chunks of content will take them. Plans can be altered once you start, it’s your feed after all, but you can take your people with you.
I’m sure a history show would work well like this too. So a season covering the bare bones of a topic followed by seasons that take a deep dive into particular areas of the history. In fact I’m working on such a history show in this format at present. I won’t be hitting the podcatchers until December but the planning is underway.
Some shows are not so well suited to seasons and realising this means you don’t make that error. World Organic News reports on info from the previous week. Missing say, twelve weeks a year doesn’t feel right to me. I guess I could do it in seasons but I don’t for the reason of the word “news” in the title.
Choice of show name will also be part of the decision making process when starting a seasonal show. Give this some thought.
- Seasons are great for deep dives
- Seasons give you time to refresh
- Not every show is suited to seasons, think carefully.