Today I’m thrilled to give a warm welcome to Rob Greenlee, one of the giants of the podcasting scene in the US.
I met Rob for a quick interview and he left me some tips on his inspiring background on podcasting. Read on!
How and when did you start working in the podcasting field?
Rob: My path towards a podcasts career started with me doing a radio show called “WebTalk World Radio Show” in a Seattle radio station, XM, CNET Radio and 15 other broadcast radio stations from 1999-2006. The show became a podcast on September 15th, 2004 as the first broadcast radio show in the world to begin podcasting. This started me on the journey towards working professionally in the Podcasting area beginning in 2005, for a venture funded mobile phone app development company called Melodeo “Mobilcast”. Melodeo built java apps for streaming music and podcasts for early smartphones on major wireless mobile carriers around the world. Then in early 2008, I started working at Microsoft on the Zune, Windows Phone, and Windows Media Center Podcasts catalog and platform as a content and business manager. In early 2014, I left Microsoft to join PodcastOne.com as Chief Technology Officer. Now I am the Head of Content at Spreaker and my journey continues.
How did you land at Spreaker?
Rob: Working for 10 years in the field of podcasting and building relationships with leaders in the space. I met Francesco Baschieri, the CEO of Spreaker, and started talking about the podcasting space with him. Then I left my prior position at PodcastOne and wanted to work on a large podcasting and streaming audio platform again. I expressed an interest in Spreaker and presented what I could do to help the company, then created a plan and timeline to start working there.
How has podcasting changed in the last few years?
Rob: The modern smartphone and ubiquitous wireless internet technology are the biggest changes or advancements in the continued and steady growth of podcasting. Video podcasting declined significantly when YouTube was launched. Crowd funding and ongoing direct audience financial support is growing. The content and advertising side has not changed very much since 2005.
Can you give us a prediction on podcasting’s future?
Rob: The future of podcasting is not going to be podcasting as a mostly downloadable medium. Over time podcasting as a name or technical definition of how listeners get primarily audio content will decline and the more modern name “on demand audio” streaming will lead the way forward. This is not to say that the downloading and storing of media files on our devices will totally disappear. Listeners will always have a need to listen to spoken word content when not connected to the internet, but those use cases will decline over time.
Mobile application technologies being integrated now in our future automobiles will have a huge impact on the consumption of streaming on demand audio experiences. We will also see a huge impact on discovery and consumption of on demand audio content by the development of smart agent technologies like Sir and Cortana. These mobile smart agents will recommend and know what types of on demand audio you love. They will make it easy for you to get access to playlists and show episodes when and where you like to listen.
Can you give our users 3 tips on how to improve their content creation process?
Rob: The core of creating great audio content is thinking about your listener first and then matching that identified need with your personal passion as a content creator. The magic of great audio content is telling a story, educating, speaking to one person and most of all being entertaining. The 3 more specific tips to focus on are:
1) Use a quality dynamic microphone with a mixer or attached microphone on your mobile phone or device.
2) Structure your show content and be consistent with it.
3) If it makes sense for your content, to obtain and integrate audience comments and engagement in your show.
Anything else you want to add before getting back to your daily routine?
Rob: I would just like to end by strongly encouraging everyone who is starting a new audio program or podcast to invest in it and really focus on professionally packaging your show. When I say professionally packaging your show, I mean to make your show cover art or logo art look colorful and add large, bold fonts. This art needs to sell your show by being very clear about what your show is about. The cover art is likely one of the first things a potential listener sees. Also remember that podcasts or on demand audio is a very personal and social medium. One of the key ways shows grow in audience is by fostering verbal link sharing via people, friends, and family. Good old face to face verbal sharing of information about your show is key to growth. The puzzle is to solve that puzzle and enable that viral effect. Now back to work. Thanks you for reading my thoughts here.
It has been a pleasure!