Happy Birthday Earshot!

 

Exactly a year ago my professional offspring was born.  Earshot Strategies was conceived in passion and in the midst of a love affair…..with podcasting! In the past twelve months, I have proudly witnessed it develop from a fledgling to a lively and growing business.

Casting aside the metaphor, the seed of the idea for Earshot Strategies grew from hours of listening to the range of new, inventive and exciting programmes being produced in the US. Alongside others, I discovered the magic of podcasts from hearing exceptional programmes including, ‘Serial’, ‘Start-Up’ ‘Invisiblia’, ‘S-Town’ and many more. These programmes brought new life into the old medium of radio. They allowed mass audiences to hear original programmes on demand – whenever and wherever convenient.

Podcasts captured my imagination, as I also considered their further possibilities. They enable producers to make programmes on subjects and for audiences that had not previously been served.  Liberated from the constraints of transmission masts and broadcasting licenses, podcasts give a voice to the voiceless. They are the ‘audio campfire’ around which groups of listeners with common professional or personal interests can gather to hear and share ideas.

And so I decided to combine my years working in radio along with my experience in strategic communications to found a ‘podcast consultancy’, to help organizations make original, informative and entertaining programmes for niche audiences.

In the ensuing twelve months since Earshot was established I’ve seen the business develop and the world of podcasting continue its dizzying growth. I’ve been immersed in the world of online audio, as a producer, consultant, trainer and promoter. I’ve spoken to established programme makers, would-be producers, and a multitude of others who – like myself – are drawn to dynamic and creative world of podcasting.

In no particular order here are some of developments during which have caught my eye in the past year:

Beyond the points above, the main conclusion that I draw from the past twelve months of frenetic immersion in podcasts, is that they aren’t a fad and are here to stay as a major feature of the new media landscape.

Technology – both for the listener and the producer – means that they are easier than ever to access and to make. Unlike other media – blogs, videos etc. – they can be consumed on the go and don’t require our undivided attention. At the same time, audio is able to engage the brain unlike those other forms of communication, generating a strong bond between broadcaster and listener. This in turn translates into receptive and loyal audiences.

For Earshot Strategies this means a full year ahead of producing, listening, educating and learning. Twelve months from now, I hope to see the business developing further from its infancy so that it can stand even more firmly on its own two feet in the brave new world of podcasting.