What happened to all these things that were supposed to change podcasting fundamentally? Where are the tech advancements that were supposed to usher in a brand new era for us?
Remember all the hype surrounding GTP-3, the machine learning, artificial intelligence, and deep learning algorithm that would generate text automatically, with the promise of better podcasts scripts with less effort? I know that some podcasters use GTP-3-powered tools for headline and social media copy generation. But beyond that, I don't hear much. Maybe it’s gone under my radar?
For the better part of a year, drop-in or social audio has been predicted to, if not replace podcasting, then at least be a viable option for podcasters who’d rather do a live show, more akin to radio than podcasting. But aside from a small handful of adherents, we’ve not really seen a mass migration to social audio. Maybe it’s still early?
Hype has long been a part of podcasting. I’ll spare you the history lesson from the early days and just take you back to 2014. I was keynoting at the first Podcast Movement and an audience member took exception to my message. There wasn’t a lot of innovation at the time, and I was calling it out in my standard less-than-delicate form. He suggested to me that companies like Stitcher would revolutionize how people listen to podcasts. And while Stitcher is certainly an active part of the podcasting ecosystem, I don’t think it revolutionized… anything.
Today, the breathless enthusiasm of tech-positive podcasters—of which I am a part of and have contributed greatly to—is on Podcasting 2.0 and the namespace changes they’re pushing forward, as purveyors of magic Descript. And yes, they and other organizations and individuals are doing some amazing things in podcasting which just might revolutionize podcasting, if we’re lucky.
But keep this in mind: most podcasters aren't going to use these tools or services; either because they can't or simply don’t want to.
In fact, most podcasters don't even know about these advances. The news might not have reached some, but many aren’t seeking out the news on tech advances. Why should they?
Most podcasters are quite happy with their own status quo, whatever that means for them. Their processes are working. They still see downloads. So why add in something new that, quite frankly, they don’t have any idea that they need?
Their Loss Is Our Gain
I’m not lamenting any of that. Largely because it’s reality, and reality cares not for anyone's lamentations. But also because this is good news for us more forward-thinking podcasters. For a couple of reasons.
First, it means we don’t have to trip over ourselves to be the first to try something. Oh, sure. There’s still some first-mover status that has internal and external benefits, which means there will always be competition among other early adopters. But we don’t have to rush to stay ahead of the masses, scrambling and shoe-horning new tech into our processes and disrupting our workflow else we be left behind.
History has shown us that no matter how cool and podcast-changing a technology is, it likely will not enjoy a super-fast adoption. So you really don’t have to worry about being left out in the cold if you take your time as you evaluate how to best integrate each new tool or service.
The second thing relates to the first. Being open and early to adopt new tools into our podcasting means we and our shows stand apart from the masses. Because most podcasters won't or can't be bothered to even look at the cool new thing, we reap all the benefits! Even if it takes us a little while to finally integrate the new cool tech, it’s one more thing we are doing better than the rest. It’ll help our episodes sound better, reach people more easily, or whatever the touted benefit is supposed to be. We’ll have it. And while some others will as well, the vast majority will not.
Take A Chill Pill On Podcast Tech
That’s my message, as I sit here in a temporary location mere steps from the Pacific Ocean where it’s much cooler than my normal desert dwelling: Chill out. Take a breath. Find some time to play around with the next new thing, but do it on your schedule. You have time, since the majority won’t look at it at all.
Speaking of time, we’re just about a week away from PodRevDay. It’s the 8th of every month (and not the first Wednesday like I said in the audio, because I’m dumb) and is a fantastic way for you to show and spread your love of the podcasts you listen to. Because you do listen to other podcasts, don’t you? I'm a recent convert to PodRevDay (which is why I get the date wrong every damned time) and I honestly think you should be on this train as well. So if you're not, go to PodRevDay.com to get more (and accurate) information on participating.
Finally, if you received any value from the thoughts and ideas I shared on today's program or any previous episodes, let tha value flow back to me by going to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra.
I shall be back tomorrow from beautiful San Diego with yet another Podcast Pontifications.