I was part of a panel discussion about how to profit from podcasts at the 2016 Storyology conference. Chatting with Heidi Pett (FBi Radio), Holly Wainright (Mamamia), and Alana Mahony (audioBoom), we questioned if it was too soon to be talking about this in Australia. But the market enthusiasm for podcast content and consistent growth in audience numbers indicates interesting times ahead.
My interest is mostly in independent podcasting and I think there are a few more steps before this can be financially viable in Australia. I’m a big fan of good content being the priority, so supporting producers develop their craft is essential. This is a big part of what Audiocraft is working towards. Once your content is rocking, building an audience becomes easier, but this is often the point where we get stuck…
The standards for podcast audiences are often linked to numbers and download figures coming out of the US, but given the population Australia, we can’t really compete with these. So perhaps it’s reframing the value of podcasts. If the focus was more about the quality of the production, a podcast’s niche and often highly devoted audience, and the unique bond the host has with that audience— then perhaps investors would be more receptive?
If producers can learn more about their audience (cue great analytics) and how to talk about them to potential sponsors, then maybe all the money biz isn’t so abstract. It’s going to be really interesting to see how these things develop in the coming years. It’s a great time for both content makers and listeners, who’ll hopefully be able to access more interesting local content.
I recently presented the creative practice component of my PhD at the International Radio Conference at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. I led a 90 minute listening session and discussion which featured my 2 part radio documentary Murder in a Small Town.
It was a slightly terrifying but incredibly valuable experience to listen to my audio work in a room full of people and receive feedback. It was also great to unpack some of the ideas I’m exploring in my research. After completing the creative practice component of my PhD I’m interested in a closer examination of the relationship between the producer/storyteller and subject/storyteller, how this shapes the documentary process, and in turn, the final documentary product. I feel very lucky to spend more time with these ideas and I’m looking forward to digging deeper over the coming years.
While I was overseas I also visited and interviewed Danish radio making legend Rikke Houd. This recording will contribute to a series of research interviews I’m collecting about the different experiences of radio producers who work with personal narratives in their documentary work. I’m drawing on Rikke’s award winning radio piece Woman on the Ice. There’s a particular sensitivity in this style of radio that I deeply admire, and I loved spending time with Rikke and learning more about her storytelling approaches.
I had a fabulous time at Make Nice, the first Australian un-conference for Creative Women in Sydney, June 2016.
It was great to hear from some incredible power house ladies doing amazing things in their creative industries. Some highlights for me were listening to design goddesses Leslie David (France) and Adi Goodrich (US) talking about how they keep pushing their creative boundaries. And we all had some serious fire in the belly after a panel discussion with Jess Scully, Elizabeth Weinberg, Suzy Tuxen, and Niccola Phillips (pictured below). Another favourite was the un-conferencing breakaway discussions which covered all the biz stuff. I led a round table discussion on not-gross networking, which was decidedly not gross, and extremely fun!
It was so good to have 2 full days to think about getting inspired, keeping inspired, and how to juggle the many hats you need to wear when you’re running your own creative thing. I’m already keeping my eyes peeled for future events!