#podcastday – Copenhagen delivered on inaugural podcast conference

The venue for the podcast conference, The Black Diamond in Copenhagen. Photo: Jeroen Pulles, CC BY 2.0.

Denmark: What a great day it was. We all agreed. Copenhagen drummed up sunny and warm Scandinavian weather and Radiodays Europe presented a spin-off conference on a subject that needed special attention. Cue the Podcast Day and an opportunity to learn, get inspired and look ahead to the future.

Here’s a few highlights from our favourite sessions and at the end of the article a few quotes from the Podcast Day we thought was useful to remember.

Speaker: Erik Diehn (CEO of Midroll/Earwolf/Stitcher, USA)
Theme: The U.S. Podcast Explosion: How it Happened, and What Happens Next

– A walkman and the need for English language content for an exchange student in Europe (himself) spawned the idea for what was to become his podcast business.
– Technology changed and Apple launched the iPod – already redundant – and later the smart phone.
– Podcasting not driven by bigger radio companies simply because they don’t have great spoken word content.
– In deciding on a podcast strategy look at smart phone adoption in your market. What OS is dominant. If it is iOS there is already a built-in podcast app. Are there any regulatory challenges? Can you use music?

Speaker: Helen Zaltzman (Answer me this! And The Allusionist/Radiotopia, UK)
Theme: Making Boring Things Not Boring

– You are competing with the entirety of the internet for their attention.
– Editing is essential – I don’t know why podcasters would think this media would be the only one not needing to edit.
– Capture attention immediately – Answer Me This podcast have a theme tune with comedic new lines of text in each episode, establishing the podcast, the presenters and what they are – all in 17 seconds.
– Secret to not being boring is to use yourself – are you curious and found out something new and exciting? Well, share it.

Speaker: Paula Szuchman (VP, on-Demand Content, WNYC Labs, USA)
Theme: Facts Out Loud: Adventures of a Journalist in Podcasting

– What every podcaster must do:
– Insist on a story – ask ‘what is the story’ not topic oriented. Characters, suprise or a twist? Story required to be compelling.
– Find the exception – man bites dog, rather than the other way around.
– Get out of the way – let the story speak and unfold.
– Have chutzpah – it means a ‘particular brand of tenacity’. Go far, beyond the call of duty and dig deep for the story.

Speakers: Pete Zezulka (Senior Planner across Radio, BBC, UK) and Elisabeth Lane (Research Manager for Multiplatform, BBC, UK)
Theme: What we Know About the Podcast Audience

– Podcasting is interesting and numbers show the BBC has had a 14 per cent increase on downloads over the last 12 months.
– UK podcast audience is about 4.5 million and growing.
– Podcasting have a bigger audience then a lot of radio stations.
– Podcasting reach younger listeners – younger than streaming, YouTube and on-demand. For some of the stations, the podcasts drops the average of the listener by as much as 10 years (BBC Radio 4)
– Podcasting is a solo listening activity, unlike radio.
– 65 per cent listen to the entire podcast and 22 per cent listen to all podcasts they download.

Speaker: Daniel Anstandig (CEO, Futuri Media, USA)
Theme: Turning Your Broadcast into On-Demand Success

– Consider visuals as an opportunity not an afterthought.
– Distribute to all platforms where you can drive audience growth and engagement.
– Speed matters. Publish your content while it’s hot. Don’t wait until you are off air.
– Local content is a podcast opportunity.
– Experiment, track, adapt, succeed.

Speaker: Jon Manel (Podcast Editor, BBC World Service, UK)
Theme: Radio and Podcasts, Reaching New Audiences

– Started podcasting in 2004 to reach people who couldn’t hear the radio broadcast. So any programme became a podcast – no re-edit or special concern. There has been progress and now the corporation has its own Podcast Editor.
– New podcast strategy: all podcasts to become podcasts in their own right. The BBC aim to transform their podcast collection. Going forward no programme will be published as a podcast as a catch-up service.


“Podcasts are the business of having uncomfortable conversations.”
Paula Szuchman (VP, on-Demand Content, WNYC Labs, USA)

“Podcasts sometimes seem to be the only genre thinking editing is unnecessary.”
Helen Zaltzman (Answer me this! And The Allusionist/Radiotopia, UK)

“Podcast listening match on-demand pattern for TV.”
Pete Zezulka (Senior Planner across Radio, BBC, UK)

“On demand first – never adapt podcast to broadcast.”
Caroline Bratt Pouron (Content Strategist, SR P3)

“Visuals is an opportunity not an afterthought.”
Daniel Anstandig (CEO, Futuri Media, USA)

“Content posted within 30 minutes of airing do 46 per cent better than average engagement.”
Daniel Anstandig (CEO, Futuri Media, USA)

“Radio stations aren’t gate keepers anymore.”
Brendan McDonald (Producer, WTF Podcast, USA)

“Finding & downloading is still new for people.”
Leslie Merklinger (Senior Director of Audio Innovation, CBC, Canada)

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