Internet broadcaster, Youth Network Leader and serial gamer Will Litchfield
I love podcasts. I’ve said it numerous times on this site before, and told you how to make your own. On the train back from an Arts Award residential, I got to talk to somebody who also loves podcasts, as is becoming increasingly successful through running his own.
Minimal coercion was required to get him on board for an on the record chat about how his own podcasting career started, and how he sees the future playing out.
How did you get into podcasting?
Will originally hosted a youth radio show, which was also released as podcast post transmission. From there he grew interested in podcasts, downloading other shows to listen to. Over time he grew interested in hosting his own show, presumably after leaving the radio station.
He asked his friends if they would be interested in producing their own podcast, which they were. The rest you could say, is history.
The first show was released in July 2011. Titled Frost Gaming, Will admits the sound quality was pretty bad [Note: wasn’t the actual word used] but they grew over time in both quality and content.
In fact, their diversification into new topics lead to the name change. Frost Gaming to Frost Media when they started branching out into different types of show content. Their roots in gaming discussion and reviews have been preserved in the new podcast, JMV (Just More Video Games).
What barriers of entry are there in podcasting?
Will and co. established their podcast by first piggybacking the popularity of another podcast. This was great for gaining mind share of their potential audience, but served to be a problem when they then had to persuade fans that their solo production was worthy of equal attention. Apparently there is a lot of ‘fanboyism’ in the podcasting world.
The other obvious barrier would be cost. Until recently, every host would contribute a small amount of money to go towards the hosting costs. The Frost Media team now have a show which runs on a subscription model, and have attracted the attention of Arts Award through their high quality productions. Subsequently, they have been given the contract for the Arts Award Voice Podcast, which goes towards paying the bills.
Something I’ve never encountered due to my podcast type, was the difficulty in attracting guests. People tend to be loyal to a particular podcast, and don’t like to guest on rival podcasts. This has since been alleviated by the fostering of a podcast community, which acts to reduce rivalry.
Do you believe that podcasts have a place in future society.
Will believes that podcasts have a definite long term place in society. Research suggests that most people listen to podcasts just before going to bed, although the versatility of podcasts means they can be enjoyed anywhere. It is this versatility which means there will always be an opportunity to enjoy a podcast, and so long as the content is interesting then people will listen.
Is the podcasting platform evolving?
“It is, we as a show have evolved over time. Our production quality has increased for definite. But more importantly our show is maturing and introducing elements of interactivity, specifically during the live shows, where we chat with the listeners while recording, changing the dynamic and keeping us on our toes.”
However, it is unlikely that the standard will change in the same way television or radio has. We have seen an incredible increase in the pace of technology advancements, but Will believes that there is nothing more that podcssting can do to evolve. Audio quality can increase, more people can switch to releasing ‘vodcasts’, but really, nothing will change.
“I feel the medium will remain fairly consistent for the foreseeable future.”
Audiofire, JMV and eventually Arts Award Voice podcast can all be found on iTunes.