Issue #213

Re-thinking podcast norms

In case you hadn’t seen yet, I have recently relaunched the Coffee Break Blogging podcast. As such, I’ve been revisiting and revising my internal workflows for the show.

After all, I’m all about leverage and simplicity. A content strategy that is difficult to keep up with isn’t a good content strategy.

One of the things I was pondering is… THE INTRO.

Now, in the past, Coffee Break Blogging had a pre-recorded intro. We would tack it on there (along with an outro) on every episode. While we kept editing very basic, it was still this repetitive thing to put it on there every time.

But, then I got to thinking…

Is it really necessary?

One thing I know from all my time in the business is that there are a lot of things that people just do. Almost out of habit. Because it is considered normal and they see everybody else do it.

They might not ever question whether it makes much sense, but they will just do it in another case of “follow the leader”. After all, if the “big guys” do it, it must be right.

You see a lot of it in the world of podcasting.

For instance, you see most shows copying the same exact interview format. They all watched John Lee Dumas knock it out of the park with that model and suddenly everybody wants to copy the EOFire model.

Or, how you see everybody (including me for awhile) put abbreviations and show numbers right on the beginning of their show title. I mean, that title of the episode is the headline. It is SUPER important! Yet, people are taking the most valuable spot in the headline – the beginning – and doing something like “CBB150”. Whuh? I notice now that iTunes does it differently and is encouraging people not to insert episode numbers into the title – and that’s a good thing.

Anyway…

I got to thinking about the intros.

Everybody seems to want to get some intro for their podcasts that sounds like a radio show. They hire somebody to record it, or maybe they cheap out and go to Fiverr. Either way, it is considered normal that you have to get an intro to make your show official.

But, why?

I listen to podcasts. Personally, I find intros to be totally unnecessary. It is a waste of time because I hear the exact same intro, every time. It is basically dead air. I much prefer is the host of the show just launches into the content. And very often, I find myself hitting the 15-second skip function a few times in order to skip all the useless chatter so I can get to the good stuff.

Obviously, any show host needs to do a quick intro, but it feels more personal when the host does it directly as part of the experience rather than me listening to some jingle for the umpteenth time.

When I asked people on Facebook about it, a majority of people agreed with me. They looked at the podcast intro as unnecessary filler. One guy called them annoying. Some said they like it, but I think they were talking more of their opinion of “best practices”.

So…

Do we need a podcast intro? Like, is it actually necessary? Or, has it become a tradition that we do because it is standard practice?

For me? I’m choosing to skip.

I want the podcast to be a personal experience between myself and the listener… me just jumping in and delivering something actionable they can do. You guys listen for the content… not to hear some weird jingle I paid a dude to record for me in a funny voice. 😉

Sometimes…

… it is OK to question the status quo.

– David

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