Podcast Launch Lessons From Radio

As Podcasters, we can learn from Radio.  The good and the bad.


Obviously, Radio has been the masters of audio since KDKA received the first federal license and began broadcasting on November 2, 1920. Radio fills the airwaves with audio content 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can learn great interview techniques, show preparation, and focus on content and show management.

But that also includes the bad. The first big step into Podcasting includes self-promotion, especially when it comes to launching Episode 0.  There are a number of examples, workshops, and discussions in Podcast groups about how to launch.  In fact so many, it may be crippling. We convince ourselves that if we do it wrong, we’re missing our big chance to make that “big splash.”

Podcasters take note.  Any planning you do, and the implementation of that self-promotion plan for your podcast launch bests ANY launch of a Radio station’s new format.  Guaranteed.  I can tell you from experience (I was at seven format launches over my 35 years in Radio), Podcasters have the leg up when it comes to launching.

Granted, Radio may have a larger social media base and email database than you could ever accumulate.  But with a format change launch, they can’t tell anyone about it until it happens.

Why? Two main reasons.

One, the fear that the competitor Radio station across town will “tweak” their format (or steal their format completely) before their launch. Does that happen? Rarely. But it makes for a great fear factor to keep everything hush-hush.

Two, advertiser support.  A new format means a new listener base (obviously what the Radio station was airing before didn’t work, or they wouldn’t be changing format!).  And advertisers HATE change once their ad spend is in place.

So why compare a Radio station new format launch to a Podcaster Episode 0 launch?  Because we as Podcasters do a better job at it, and we need to recognize that we do. Whatever we do, as long as we do something. And not do what Radio does.

Here’s a video example of a recent format launch in Huntsville, Tennessee…


Yeah, if that was a Podcast launch, well, you know what the download numbers would look like.  Prepare, be prepared and launch your Podcast!

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. The Podcast consultants at Circle270Media have over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording, and Broadcasting. We strategically bring these strengths together with Podcasting. You can email Brett at podcasts@circle270media.com to talk more about your new or established business podcast.

About the author: Brett Johnson

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