At one point, independent podcasters podcasted for fun. These days, many seek 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 the shift in podcasting is that independent podcasters aren’t able to keep up with the big media companies.
More competition for independent podcasters
Many independent podcasters didn’t have the competition when they first started. Today, independent podcasters have more competition than ever.
Big media companies tend to favor their own shows when looking for inspiration for new podcast shows. They are banking on making money on content they already own, leaving independent podcasters in the wind.
Is this the end of independent podcast creators?
Obviously, finding a footing in this new big world is challenging to independent podcasters. However, there are a few weak spots in the new podcasting world that can prove to be helpful. And a few things that independent creators need to be wary of!
How independent podcasters can compete
The first on your list of things to avoid is high-production costs. Large companies that are proving to be irksome to independent podcasters have money to burn. Don’t judge your podcast based on the amount of funds or resources you put in to create it!
Next, stay away from popular categories. This might sound counter-productive, but 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 independent podcasters are focusing on larger groups and taking on a broadcasting tone. But this will sound out of place with smaller audiences!
We know that it sounds like independent creators will eventually be obsolete. However, there are some ways 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. Here are the things you can do to help you achieve this.
Informal and transparent podcasting
Believe it or not, companies like Netflix spend upwards of $200M to create a popular season of a show. Yet people still spend their time scrolling through YouTube videos. This is because video platforms like YouTube 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 big media companies cannot replicate or compete with.
As an independent creator you need to learn to have the same raw audio feel that such videos have.
Find your independent podcasting niche and thrive
As mentioned earlier, having a niche is something big media companies struggle. They are mostly about being the biggest that they can be.
However, in trying to become a big name, they leave niche markets open for the independent creators to take over! Avoid large target audiences and focus on a smaller niche and you are sure to secure listeners!
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. Those big companies have a lot of things that they are not allowed to talk about. This gives independent creators a huge playing field of topics that they can tackle without any fear!
Experiment with your independent podasting
The big creators have their hands tied and are only allowed to stick to things 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 suggest looking at a few different topics to see what brings you the most attention. Remember, you don’t have to stick to just one subject!