Events General

Interview: Josh Nielsen, Speaker at the Asia Pacific Podcast Conference

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Josh Nielsen is the founder of Zencastr – a podcasting production tool for quality conscious podcasters.  As an entrepreneur, audiophile, and podcast lover, he is currently directing his efforts into maximizing the sound quality of podcasts everywhere.

Josh has an interest in all things business, development, and marketing.  He has worked to help many companies build from the ground up, including time at the Techstars startup accelerator in Boulder, Colorado. While a native of the US, he has been living with his family and building his business in Christchurch, NZ for much of the past year.

Josh Nielsen will be one of the panelists at the Asia Pacific Podcast Conference on February 12th – 13th, and we’re sure he’ll share his vast experience on podcasting production and sound recording with us. Here’s the interview:

What do you think is the most common trouble new podcasters run into? And what do they have to do to prevent or fix it?

I think the hardest part for new podcasters is knowing where to start. There are so many skills involved in taking a single episode to completion. You need to be an audio engineer, web developer, charismatic personality, social media promoter, etc. It is easy to get overwhelmed and give up.
My recommendation is to not worry about it all at once. Take it one step at a time. Start by booking and recording your first interview. Then figure out what you need to do next. Once you get a couple of shows recorded it will motivate you to find out how to get them published and reach the ears of your listeners.

What will be the focal point of your panel during the conference?

I’ll be contributing to the Podcast Masterclass covering the practical steps needed to produce a podcast. It is aimed at up-skilling existing podcasters and getting new ones set to record and launch their first podcast.

In your opinion, how has podcasting changed in the last few years?

It has definitely grown in popularity. This is due to some highly professional and successful podcasts being produced, as well as the fact that more and more people are turning off the radio on their commute and playing a podcast with their mobile device.

I also think the bar has become a lot higher in terms of production value. If your podcast doesn’t sound great, people will leave to listen to something else and you may never know why. Learning the tools needed to up the quality of your production is becoming more and more important.

Can you give us a prediction on podcasting’s future?

The exodus from terrestrial radio to podcasting has only just started. You can expect the number of podcast listeners to continue to increase dramatically. You can also expect the number of podcasts to continue to grow as well. It is great that more and more people will be making their voice heard, but it also means more competition for those trying to reach the top.
I also think you will see more large and small businesses pick up podcasting as a marketing tool. Now that ad blocking is becoming so prevalent, they will be looking for better ways to reach their audience online. This provides an opportunity for podcast producers to provide services helping these businesses create their content.  This will likely lead to more advertising money being spent in the podcasting space as well.

What are, in your opinion, the three words that sum up what determines the success of a podcast?

  1. Great Content – Most podcasts are interview shows. Make sure you are getting top tier guests on your show and people will tune in to hear them. Prepare well in advance so you can ask your guest pertinent questions that will provide value to your listeners.
  2. Great Quality – Bad audio can annoy your guests into leaving. Make sure you don’t have lots of background noise and compression artifacts. You also want to make sure your levels between tracks are normalized so your audio isn’t quiet and then suddenly LOUD. Also watch your umms and ahhs. That can distract heavily from your message.
  3. Go Niche – This is particularly important if you are trying to monetize your show. In order to attract general advertising dollars you need 50,000+ downloads per episode. That is HARD to do. However, if you go niche, you can have a few as 5000 listeners and be able to attract advertising from niche businesses. Pick a niche with expensive products and create content that would interest prospective buyers.
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