As I shared on ChurchMag, podcast listeners represent a huge audience.  Since I wrote that post last year, the number of Americans who listen to podcasts at least monthly has increased from 15% to 21%.  Weekly podcast listeners consume an average of five shows per week, with 8% of listeners consuming 11 or more shows week in and week out.

I’m a huge podcast fan for a number of reasons.

  • I receive fresh content every couple of days.
  • The content is generally short enough to listen to on a commute to/from a meeting.
  • I can curate the content that I am most interested in.
  • I can listen to content that appeals to my diverse interests.

How I find and evaluate new podcasts

Given the overwhelming number of podcasts out in the wild (Libsyn alone hosts 28,000 shows), finding quality content can be a challenge. Podcasting takes a lot of work to produce, and I’ve seen publishers burn out quickly.

How to find new podcasts

  • The biggest factor is that it has been recommended from someone I know and trust — either the host of a podcast I subscribe to or someone who knows me well.  Looking for inspiration?  View an up-to-date list of my favorite podcasts here.
  • I occasionally solicit recommendations from networks of peers, then listen to a trial episode from the most promising recommendations.
  • Last in order of importance, sometimes I just search the podcast directory for a topic or personality I’m interested in.

How to evaluate podcasts

  • I review previous episodes and find one that looks interesting, then listen to that episode as a “trial.”
  • As I listen, I evaluate content based on a few criteria:
    • Is the content immediately actionable, inspiring, or entertaining?
    • Is the content actually useful (rather than serving as an extended infomercial for the hosts services or containing excessive sponsored content)
    • Do I like the host? Some podcasts have great content, but I can’t stand the host’s personality or voice. Gary Vee is a brilliant marketer, but I find him totally obnoxious to listen to for an hour at a time.

After being subscribed to a podcast for a while, if I find myself skipping a lot of episodes because I’ve lost interest or the content is no longer relevant to my life or work, I’ll unsubscribe.

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