10 Takeaways From Podcast Movement 2018

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Podcast Movement 2018 recently concluded in Philadelphia, and I wanted to share some of the incredible energy with you if you weren’t able to make the journey. When I think of how the radio business is seeking to participate in this booming phenomenon, and I consider our own Beasley initiative that we’re building, I can best describe it as scary, daunting, and exciting.

By the way, those same words describe how it felt being an on-air talent in wonderful New York City, which was the ultimate adrenaline rush. So it truly is a remarkable time in our business.

The audio business has never been so robust, and we all need to embrace the opportunities. Here are 10 takeaways from Podcast Movement 2018:

1. The appreciation of storytelling has never been more important.
We must never take powerful storytellers for granted, and we have to create an environment within our organization where new storytellers can be found.

2. We have to be students of the podcast landscape.
Just as we must be students of our radio craft, we have to study the great communicators of podcasting.

3. Independent thinking breeds creativity.
Industries frequently end up sticking to the same manner of thinking and losing sight of the importance of independence. Podcast Movement reminds us to be bold and independent.

4. Collaboration is vital to success.
Mark Ramsey said it brilliantly at his Jacobs Media “Broadcasters meet Podcasters” session: to be great at podcasting, you need to “pick amazing collaborators.”

5. Authenticity in your voice will be rewarded.
Podcasters understand authenticity, and we need to learn this during this audio renaissance.

6. Be inclusive of more voices.
The rules of engagement in podcasting are very different from the traditional radio business, and PM 2018 reminded me that there are many diverse voices that can be heard.

7. Promote the term “podcasting” to your audience.
I asked Elsie Escobar (I’m pictured with her here) what we as broadcasters could do to help her initiatives, and that was her request.

8. Cherish and grow your audience one by one.
When building our brands and engaging our audience, even in the traditional sense, we must never take them for granted.

9. Experiment.
Our traditional content business can’t take as many risks due to the fragility of business models, but in podcasting, we can experiment and learn.

10. Show up, and be excited!
Passion drives engagement, and the podcast movement should fuel us to creative brilliance.

More than one person I spoke with about Podcast Movement 2018 remarked that the contagious vibe of the community reminded them of the era when FM radio was born — and I couldn’t agree more!

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Programming for Beasley Media Group. He can be reached at buzz@bbgi.com

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