JCL Blog

Resisting Overproduction

Everyone with a DVR knows that there are only 40 minutes of content in every hour of TV.   When you hear the host say "Stay with us" or "We will be right back" or "We are taking a break" what comes to mind? These and other conventions from radio and TV, fade in and fade out music for example, are often viewed as signs of professionalism.  I propose they are overproduction and reduce the value of the experience.  Begging the viewer/listener to endure a commercial is a dead giveaway to old media does not seem fit our new media reality.

Here are three podcasts that I listen to that range from new media to old media.  How much content do you think there is in each one of these podcasts?  

The Advertising Show

Cranky Geeks

Rebooting the News

I admit, this is not really fair because Rebooting the News does not have any advertising at all -- so it is 100% content (and an amazing podcast).  Cranky Geeks would be next -- 3 short breaks for ads at one minute each -- but they are not that intrusive and I don't even hit the 2X button on my iPod.  27 minutes of content out of 30.  I am a big fan of John Dvorak.  I was following him before there even was a world wide web and I am still not tired of him.  I suspect that all of us are more than happy to sit through the adds -- just for John.  The advertising on Cranky Geeks works -- I use both Go Daddy, and SquareSpace because I want to do my part to keep Cranky Geeks going.  On The Advertising Show -- well you make your own determination, but I leave my iPod on 2x for as long as I can last -- and even then I rarely make it through the whole thing.  It has to be at least half filler and advertisements.

So if you are going to put ads in your podcast -- pick advertisers that will resonate with your audience -- and resist the pull of overproduction.

PS:  Ira Glass says "Stay with us" on This American Life -- and I just don't get that.  His content and production quality are legendary and he holds my attention the whole way through -- not sure why he says it.