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Is podcasting starting to really break out in 2017? Is the overall category growth hitting some kind of inflection point?

echojason@gmail.com'

JASON LEMKIN

I’ve been shocked by the power & impact of our podcast.

In one year, we’ve (and by we, I mean Harry Stebbings) done 100+ podcasts and now get 50,000+ downloads a week.

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By shocked, I mean I’m constantly grabbed by people on the street and at events who tell me how important the podcast is to them.

And perhaps most importantly — I’m especially positively surprised by the quality of who listens to the SaaStr podcast. Many Unicorn CEOs and public company executives.

Our podcast is the most important thing we added to the SaaStr platform in 2016.

But …

My other learning is there is a large chicken-and-egg problem. There are way, way too many podcasts and I am not convinced search works at all. Our subscriber base was seeded by both heavy promotion on SaaStr.com, and also the fact that Harry also does TwentyVC on TechCrunch and otherwise.

And …

  • I am not convinced outsourcing podcasts (which many are doing now) will perform at all. There is too much noise. No one needs another inauthentic, by-the-numbers podcast.
  • I am not convinced a me-too podcast will work, unless you are using it to market to your own customer base. Even then, I am not sure.
  • You really need a steady stream of high-quality, brand name guests to make it work. Not every guest has to be a top brand, but you need enough.
  • You need a regular cadence. We do 2 a week. This is a lot harder than blogging, which you can do whenever you want. Also, no one is going to listen to your old podcasts. But people discover an old blog post all the time.
  • It’s a fair amount of work to get high production quality. The fully-burdened cost of producing 100 high-quality podcasts a year is not trivial.

So it’s harder than it looks I think.

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Published on March 21, 2017
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