The podcasting space is noisy with chatter about scaling the ranks of iTunes [Update: Now called Apple Podcasts] and converting CPMs into cash.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but failing to look beyond financial gain and increased fame distorts what this medium is and can be.
We need different kinds of podcasts and podcasters
There is plenty of room for podcasts that make us think, tell stories, teach us interesting things, and inspire us to be better.
However, most podcasts like that cannot garner enough attention or find enough financial support to continue on their own. And for many, the idea of begging listeners to rate, review, and send them money would muddy their message.
We need audio artists.
We need audio storytellers.
We need audio educators.
We need audio visionaries.
We need podcasters who podcast with a passion for their message, even if only a few people hear them and they make no money.
Local artists, storytellers, educators, and visionaries
One podcast from OnTheGo.FM is Podcast Local. It’s a show about telling the stories of your community.
Local podcasters are talking with and hearing from neighbors, friends, business owners, and civic leaders. They are building up their community through podcasting.
But some of those communities are very small. Some of those podcasts will never make money. Most will never be considered “noteworthy” by others who have a narrow view of podcasting.
All of that is okay.
How local podcasters profit
The profit earned by local podcasters may be more valuable than that achieved by the famous and fortunate few.
Local podcasters are applying their knowledge, skills, and curiosity to gather stories from their community and tell those stories to their community and beyond.
Some local podcasters start with no audio experience! Instead, they follow their passion and pick up the skills and knowledge needed as they learn to tell the stories of their community.
Local podcasters are making a contribution to their community—perhaps changing their community as a result of their work.
And Podcast Local itself may never climb over S-Town, Gimlet, or other top-chart podcasts.
That’s okay, too.
My vision for Podcast Local
This podcast about local podcasting is designed to highlight what local podcasters are creating, help them communicate better if I can, and inspire them to do great work in their local communities.
Sure, we’ll talk about increasing the number of listeners and making money—occasionally.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But we will never allow that narrow view of podcasting to cause us to deprive the world of something good just because it doesn’t meet arbitrary standards of success.
Post updated April 30, 2017