The length of a podcast intro or the necessity of it is one of those questions you only ponder if you are a podcast creator that is seeking to grow a large audience. This blog was created as a resource for aspiring giants and podcasting peers of mine. I don’t teach friends how to podcast but I love this community and would like to share what I have found, and who is doing cool things. I am even providing services through the collaboration of musicians and a graphic artist for podcast music and album art.
Podcasting is great because you can share information, news, and interest. A good podcast has an audience. A great podcast has a community. Like Speakers Corner in London, England’s Hyde Park, you can talk about anything. It is becoming easier to do every day. And so more people are trying it to augment their blogs with audio or start a podcast to do their thing.
I believe that there is even a slight “gold rush” frenzy going on where hopefuls want to cash in on the new medium (over ten years old as of 2016) . As with any new endeavor there are people seeking to cash in on it by creating schools, coaching sessions or webinars about it. All I can say about that is
Caveat Emptor. [Latin, Let the buyer beware.]
I asked my Podcast Mentor, that I have been gleaning from since the beginning like a pilot fish, Dave Jackson
from the SchoolofPodcasting.com
For me, I want the intro music to be 30 explaining what the show is about. Sixty seconds is a long time, and the point is to get to the good content. Maybe I’m just impatient. I had a custom jingle written for my show and it was 45 seconds and it seemed too long. Let your intro set the mood, set expectations, and then get out of the way.
And then I remembered that I knew a Englishman that was “The Man” in Europe, Mike Russell who’s Music Radio Creative was an authoritative source. Mike remembered me back and shared this great post about the subject.
Arguments For and Against Having a Podcast Intro
Some podcast hosts prefer to get right into the main content of their episodes without any bells and whistles to announce who they are and what they do. You could say that they have the maximum respect for their podcast listener’s time and understand that every moment they have with their audience is precious.
I am a a believer in having a podcast into (it must sound professional as an amateur production can have the reverse effect) in order to establish your podcast, tell your listener what to expect on the show, the music you use will become associated with your podcast, brand it and help to make it that much more memorable.
Podcast Intros – Dos and Dont’s
Here are 6 things to consider before making a podcast intro for your own show.
Choose The Right Music
Who will be listening to your podcast? Consider the audience.
Will the subject matter be light hearted or entertainment based and appeal to a young audience? If this is the case you may want to consider some up-beat poppy, jazzy or even cheesy music to start each episode. Also, think about your style, are you a fast paced talker or slow and deliberate? There’s no point in using a fast dance track if you speak slowly. It won’t sound right. If you’re doing a serious podcast or looking to appeal to professionals then perhaps some classical music would be a more apt choice. If it’s a movie podcast why not get an epic cinematic piece of music for your podcast?
Don’t Make Your Intros Too Long
30 seconds maximum as a rule for your introduction and be sure not to repeat yourself each time. Mix it up and change what you say and how you say it otherwise regular listeners will get bored! Why not have a ‘music bed’ introduction with space for you to talk about the podcast and tease content before a jingle or voice over kicks in? Keeping your podcast intro jingle a certain length will train you not to ramble on and on during your opening speech so that you can get right to the point.
I listen to podcasts with intros that are 2 or 3 minutes long and also include adverts and commercial plugs. This is a turn off or fast forward moment for me!
Do Tell Listeners What Your Podcast Is About
The start of your podcast is like a mini commercial. In radio it’s a rule that you always try and get your best demo tape material at the start of your audition as managers usually judge you and hire based on what they hear within the first 30 seconds. It’s the same with a podcast – the first 30 seconds of your podcast is a ‘demo’ to your potential listener – make it engaging and give potential new audience members reasons to stay hooked.
Don’t Use Your Own Voice On Podcast Intro Imaging
You’re the host of the podcast. It’ll sound strange if you introduce yourself! I always remember one of my pet peeves about working in commercial radio is that budgets to get an external voice over were often tight or non existent so they’d grab one of the on air talent to voice a commercial or promo. In my mind having your in-house air talent voicing ads or jingles sounds lazy and cheap. Hire an external voice to create your podcast ‘sound’. We negotiate fixed fees on all voice work at Music Radio Creative so that you don’t have to worry about finding a voice over talent and negotiating a fee.
Do Mention a Website or Call To Action
As I mentioned before, your podcast intro is like a mini promo for your podcast, what do you want the listener to do or remember? I always start the podcast by announcing, “this is Mike Russell from Music Radio Creatie dot com”. I deliberately tag on the dot com where I can so that any listener will remember the website address as well as the brand name. You could also use the intro to ask your listener to email you with feedback or a similar call to action.
Don’t Copy and Paste Intros
It’s tempting to pre-record content that you want to include in each podcast episode but don’t be tempted to copy and paste the same speil into multiple episodes. Listener’s ears will soon grow tired of the same old same old and they’ll probably end up repeating your intro verbatim (that is if they still listen to your intro!). Schedule important points and mentions that you want to get into each episode and talk about them in different ways and different parts of your podcast each time.
3 Podcast Intro Quick Tips
1 – Consider using theme music and sung jingles to make your podcast memorable and different to the rest.
2 – Include your podcast name and episode number at the start of each episode – many podcasters do this – it’s a great quick reference for any listener.
3 – Not sure what style of podcast intro to have? Ask your audience! You can run a free survey on SurveyMonkey. A great question to ask is “what radio station(s) do you like to listen to?” This will give you a great idea of the type of music and branding your potential listeners would like to hear.
Most of this information came from this original article and podcast from Mike and Isabella Russell at http://musicradiocreative.com