• Brett McCallum

Does Podcast Quality Matter?

For the uninitiated, it is easy to get lost down the seemingly endless rabbit hole of how to produce high quality audio. You can spend hours researching if your microphone should be dynamic or cardioid, what bitrate you should be recording in, and what the best audio editing software is. With dozens of questions like this which all need an answer, one couldn’t be blamed for wondering if all of this is really worth it or not.

Despite how complex it can be to produce high-quality audio, it is essential to connecting with your audience. Below are seven reasons why you need the best quality podcast possible.

1. Remove the distraction

Most of us have been in this situation; you are trying to have a meeting or conversation with someone, but that awful light in the ceiling won’t stop humming. It’s more than just annoying, it can sometimes make it impossible to achieve anything at all. This is exactly what a bad quality podcast is like for your audience- constant pops, humming or tinny audio can muddy your message, and distract your audience.

2. Competition

There are currently over 700,000 active podcasts, with 29 million episodes available online. With this much consumer choice, good quality audio could be the difference between a listener sticking with you or switching over to something else.

3. Levelling and Mastering

Humans are very dynamic speakers, and it is common when speaking for the volume of your voice to drop and rise very quickly. While our ears naturally compensate for this face-to-face, Microphones are not as clever, and sometimes these changes in volume can result in listeners having to manually raise and lower their headphone volume while listening. The industry standard for correcting this is known as ‘compression’, which makes the overall volume more consistent. Having an editor to apply these kinds of effects can make all the difference to your audience, when the conversation is clear and comfortable for them to listen to.

4. Editing

Anyone who has recorded a podcast before is probably aware of how intimidating it can be. No matter how much you plan or prepare, there is always a comment or answer from the guest you weren’t expecting. Stammering from being thrown off, ‘Ums’ and ‘ahs’ and repeated sentences can all be removed through editing. Listeners will appreciate you being conscious of their time, and an edited podcast can flow better, make more sense, and lend a lot more Authority to the speaker.

5. Compression & File Format

File compression is the process of re-formatting your podcast, to remove unnecessary data and provide much more manageable file sizes. Your hard drive will thank you for this later! There are dozens of compression formats, and if this isn’t done properly it can affect the outcome of your final podcast quality. It is important to strike the perfect balance between better audio quality and smaller file sizes.

6. Spotify, iTunes & Other Hosting Platforms

Platforms such as Spotify and iTunes have quality assurance processes in place, and all podcasts submitted here require approval. A poorly made podcast which is difficult to hear is likely to not be accepted by these platforms, which will dramatically reduce the number of places your platform will be unavailable.

For more information, to get your podcast edited or start your own podcast from scratch, contact Podfire or HQGC today!

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