The purpose of podcast editing
If you go online, mostly in Facebook groups about podcasting, you will occasionally find the sentiment expressed that editing a show is inauthentic or not worth their time.
Of course you may say to me, ‘Dave, you are a podcast editor, you’re biased’ and that’s a fair point, but the reason that I do what I do is that I believe in the importance of the work and understand that many people don’t have the time or inclination to get into the minute details of audio production.
I do podcast editing because I believe it’s important.
Podcasts as a growing medium
So while I have an interest in podcasts being edited the real reason is that while it’s known that podcasting is a growing medium a lot of that growth is being driven by big names getting into the space.
Conan O’Brien is a massive name in conventional media, but he recently retired from television. His podcast has been running for a while, but now his fans have no choice but to listen to his podcast or watch it on YouTube.
Many of these people may be new to podcasts and may now look for something else to try. And if they find your “raw and real” episode they’ll move on in seconds. Not only that, but a few of those experiences in a row may put them off podcasts as a medium so the only one they’ll listen to is Conan’s, or other big ticket shows that Conan will recommend. Other Team Coco or Earwolf shows.
While listening to his show may suggest that podcast editing isn’t a huge consideration, he has a team to prepare the show and make sure the audio is polished.
Editing as an easy tool to convert prospective listeners
As I’ve admitted, I do have a vested interest in encouraging podcast editing, but I will tell you know that it’s not that hard to do some basic editing to help you stand out from those ‘raw and ragged’ episodes.
I’m not here to tell people it’s a difficult job, it isn’t really hard if you want to do it yourself.
A bit of noise reduction, tightening up the timing and compression will get you 90% of the way to the big ticket professional shows on the big networks. And it will distinguish you from the dozens of badly done shows out there.
So use editing to stand out from the sea of sloppy work and bring you closer to the shows and creators that are the ones largely driving audience growth.
But isn’t ‘Content King?’
Well yes, of course content is what is important. But let me give you a scenario.
You go to the market to shop for dinner, you’ve seen a recent cookery show and are inspired to try something new.
So, you buy all the needed ingredients. Get home, put them all in a pot and put the stove on max. Leave everything until it smells cooked and serve it to someone. They try to be polite, but they tell you it’s not enjoyable.
What gives? The content was great right? Why isn’t the meal enjoyable?
Because the preparation is part of the experience. The content isn’t just the ingredients. Prepping and cooking the ingredients is just as important.
It’s important as a podcaster, or creator, to respect your audience. Or prospective audience. People clicking the link to your show won’t stick around if the experience is unpleasant. If you don’t respect them.
No matter how valuable or interesting your content is, if it is actively unpleasant or fatiguing to listen to, audiences will move on. They have a world of options available to them. Podcast editing and production will prevent this
So Podcast Editing is necessary
So I believe it’s true. While you don’t need to put in huge time and money, some basic editing will help you stand out from the crowd of worse sounding shows. And bring you closer to the large budget shows that are driving growth of the medium.