Why Podcast Quality Is So Important

May 4, 2020

Alison Osborne | January 2020

In December 2019, there were over 800,000 podcasts and over 30 million episodes - we know what you’re thinking; that's a lot of podcasts. So, naturally, there needs to be a discussion about quality. Not all podcasts are created equal, and long gone are the days where you could simply record an episode out of your garage. 

With endless podcasts available, if your podcast doesn’t fit the quality or standard of your rivals, listeners will move on. They are used to hearing top-notch quality, so your podcast needs to be competitive.  

Podcast listeners are highly educated and have higher household incomes. So if listeners are intelligent and used to the nicer things in life, as a podcaster, you need to deliver smart, high-quality content. Three key things to keep in mind:  

  1. Content Quality. Is your podcast actually valuable and relevant for listeners? Is it engaging and enticing? What makes you different from the other shows in your category? 
  2. Audio Quality. How does your series sound? Is the production value high? What are you recording off of? This is where an agency can come in to assist you in taking your series to the next level (shameless plug). 
  3. Consistency. Remember how your podcast will be perceived by audiences. If you want a loyal listener base, they expect you to deliver. Communicate with your audience about when your episodes are dropping so they know when to tune back in. 

A couple of our favourite ways to make sure your content quality is strong: 

  1. Interesting topics. If you keep the conversation around topics that you’re interested in, your passion for the subjects will show through the discussion. 
  2. Stories are key. Share lots of stories! Whether they’re stories from you or guests that come onto your series, listeners enjoy hearing engaging and interesting stories. 
  3. Actionable content. Create content that encourages listeners to continue the conversation or engage with your podcast community. This could be done by telling listeners to check out a specific hashtag that has a conversation going around it that listeners can participate in. 
  4. Maintain focus. Try to make sure you don’t get sidetracked too much with your content and conversations. Quickly going off on a tangent now and then is okay and can actually be very interesting, but consistently doing this can frustrate and confuse listeners. 
  5. Engaging guests. Bring entertaining and relevant guests onto your series. Make sure that you’re inviting relevant guests for the topics that you’re covering and they can provide value to your listeners. 
  6. Ask for opinions. Ask your listeners for their thoughts and opinions on the podcast. If you’re trying out new content or want to make some changes to the series, ask your listeners what they think. See what they like, don’t like, would add to the series to make it the best it can be for them. 

Overall, there’s a time and place for low quality, quick content. I’m all for that. But podcasting isn’t it. When you are engaging someone for a prolonged amount of time, you need to consider how they will receive it. 

Would you want to listen to 40 minutes of huffing, puffing, nonsense content? No, case in point.

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!