Before I go any further, let me briefly explain what Podcross is – it is a rudimentary platform I have set up to help independent podcast producers connect and enable them to easily cross promote their shows.
But why this, now?
Podcasting has been sculpted by the incremental increases in popularity over the past twenty years or so. As more and more people have come to discover the joys of the podcast – the free-to-download-and-listen medium – the more the podcasting landscape has become like a traditional industry, with money being made from advertisers and consumers to venture capitalist taking punts and investing in the ‘next big thing’.
This maturing of the podcast economy is largely seen as a positive move and I agree… to a point. “Finally”, one muses, “when one thinks of podcasts one does not think of two middle-aged white men, who think they’re funny, sitting around a MacBook recording their ‘banter’ in a splurge of self-indulgence”. No, that was 2002 podcasting. Today is different. We have real studios hosting shows made by real professionals. Today is ‘How I Built This’ by NPR, today is ‘Teacher’s Pet’ from The Australian, today is ‘Uncover: Escaping NXIVM’ from CBC. Of course, there’s a long way to go before podcast content fully matures into a truly reflective and encompassing format, however, the industry, as a whole, is moving ever-more swiftly in the right direction.
But as the awareness of podcasting is increasing, as is the amount of quality shows made by independent producers who have honed their craft and taken advantage of the low barriers to entry in order to become ‘a podcaster’. As more money is being pumped into podcasting – Spotify hoovering up Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast, Luminary building a paywall around content, Acast building up a network of shows around a commercial team – the rising tide is not lifting all boats. Increasingly, there is building pressure for independent shows to raise their own awareness without the help of a network. The responsibility for promotion lies squarely on them.
The idea of Podcross is to bring some solidarity to the independent podcast scene. Cross promotion – that is to advertise your podcast on another podcast – is seen as one of the best ways to increase awareness and a subscriber base. Podcross is rudimentary in its design. However, the idea is fundamentally sound. Once the producer has filled in their details on the landing page, he/she can then browse other entries from other producers using the Glide app or, the original Google Spreadsheet database.
Within the app, users may find it particularly useful to use the ‘search function’ for appropriate shows that they could approach for possible collaborations. Do you produce a Business podcast and want to collaborate with other Business shows? Simply search ‘Business’ into the Glide app and it will return a list of podcasts that include the term ‘Business’ along with the details of the show and contact details for each entry.
It’s an experiment at this stage but hopefully one that will gain traction. Working in the world of podcasting is exciting. However, it is also important to remember the foundation on which this world has been built. Independent podcast producers are the life blood of the medium and hopefully Podcross can help them connect, promote and grow so they can stick around for many years to come.