Episode 37 of the Richard Dally podcast where I bring you a UK perspective on the latest news and developments from the world of podcasting and Internet Radio.
On the show this week – improving your podcast interview questions, making the most of podcast and radio interviews, Apple announces changes to iTunes and BBC Sounds is looking for a new Hopepunk podcast.
Websites and articles mentioned in the show:
9 Great Podcast Interview Questions to Ask Your Next Guest – https://wavve.co/9-great-podcast-interview-questions-to-ask-your-next-guest/
18 Interview Questions for Music Artists – https://www.richarddally.com/18-interview-questions-for-music-artists
Radio DJs, What’s Your Pre- and Post-Interview Digital Routine? – https://jacobsmedia.com/radio-djs-whats-your-pre-and-post-interview-digital-routine/
Musicians: Getting The Most Out Of A Podcast Interview – https://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2019/06/getting-the-most-out-of-a-podcast-interview.html
Hotpod Newsletter – https://hotpodnews.com/
New and changed Apple Podcasts categories – https://podnews.net/article/apple-changed-podcast-categories-2019
BBC Sounds wants “blockbuster” drama podcasts – https://www.prolificnorth.co.uk/news/broadcasting-news/2019/06/bbc-sounds-wants-blockbuster-drama-podcasts
Improving your podcast interview questions, Apple announces changes to iTunes and BBC Sounds is looking for a new Hopepunk podcast.
Welcome to episode 37. I’m your host Richard Dally. Each week I curate and discuss the latest news in podcasting and Internet Radio with a focus on the smaller podcaster, radio host and DJ.
I think it’s fair to say that quite a large percentage of podcasts are interview-based shows of one form or another. And please don’t tune out if you are a radio broadcaster, this segment will apply to you to if you ever have guests on your shows.
It’s often said that beginner podcasters tend to be drawn to this type of show as they perceive it to be easier than putting together a solo show. Solo shows put the emphasis on the host to come up with both the topic and all of the content, while, in theory at least, with a guest you can ask a few simple questions and allow them to talk for most of the episode.
Of course, it turns out it’s not that simple!
First, you have to find guests willing to come on to your show – this can be easy or hard depending on your topic and how well you are known in your particular niche. What are you offering your guest in return for their time?
Interview shows require more technical stuff in place to capture the recording – there is software out there to make it easier but I see many more posts on in podcasting FaceBook groups seeking help with recording issues related to interviews than I ever do about solo shows.
There is plenty of guidance out there about how to record interviews so what I want to talk about today is more about how to improve the content of those interviews.
Anyone who hosts an interview podcast will have had guests on where it felt like you where pulling teeth to get anything interesting out of them. So was it the guest’s fault? Probably not.
The key to a good interview is the questions that the host asks.
So what prompted me to discuss this topic? Well, this week I’ve read two articles about interviewing guests.
One is from Wavve, a company that allows podcasters to create short excerpts of their shows to post as videos on social platforms. The Wavve article suggests 9 Great Podcast Interview Questions.
The second article comes from Jacobs Media and is titled Radio DJs, What’s Your Pre- and Post-Interview Digital Routine?
The Wavve article points out that you have probably worked quite hard to get your guest to appear on your podcast because you think they have something important and valuable to offer your audience. You now need to ask your guest the right questions to allow them deliver that value.
I’ll let you read the article to learn what Wavve suggest as good questions to get your guest to open up and pass on their knowledge to your audience. You can find a link to the article in the show notes for this episode at www.richarddally.com/37 but my favourite question is “Who are the three people who have been the most influential to you?”
Obviously, you can tailor your questions to your particular topic or adapt according to time but there are some interesting podcasts that ask the same questions to every guest – it provides a structure to the episodes that can work well. Even where a host uses different questions, a common thing I see is the ‘quick fire’ round – usually at the end of the podcast, where all guests get asked the same questions – typically off-topic, such as “Mac or PC”, “Dog or Cat” etc. These are a great way to learn a little more about the guest and provide an interesting exit to the episode.
If you happen to be interviewing musicians on your podcast or radio show then I do have a post on my website with some suggested questions. I’ll put a link in the show-notes.
The Jacobs Media article takes a look at how you can get more content out of an interview with a guest. Some of the suggestions will apply more easily to face-to-face interviews – whether in a radio studio, on location or a home but they should all be able to help you improve your podcast and radio interviews.
The article breaks the topic down into things to do before and after the actual interview.
Before the interview you might consider taking photos, recording videos and having the guest record a station ID, jingle or shout out. For a podcast this might be a testimonial – you’ve probably heard Pat Flynn use these on his show.
After the interview you can take the assets you have created and use them on social – photos could be added to blog posts about the interview, videos can be cut into segments for use on Instagram or Facebook and the audio content of the videos, as well as the interview can also be segmented into audiograms to promote the show.
This type of micro-content can greatly expand the reach of the show itself. Finally, don’t forget to tag the guest when posting content and also ask them if they would like any of the material to use themselves.
Before we leave this topic, I actually came across a third article about interviews that I think is worth mentioning. This time it is aimed at musicians who might be invited to appear as podcast guests.
Written by Cait Macmahon as a guest post on the Hypebot blog, this piece discusses how to prepare for an interview, what to do during the interview, including some useful reminders about getting the best from a microphone, and making the most of publicity opportunities after the podcast is live.
This is well worth a read for anyone who might be a guest on a podcast themselves. Again, you can find the link to the article in the show-notes for this episode.
At their annual Worldwide Developers Conference last week, Apple announced that they are planning to move away from their long-standing iTunes product. iTunes has been around since 2003. Pretty much every podcaster and DJ will be familiar with iTunes as will anyone who has had an iPod or iPhone.
The next version of the Mac Operating System will replace iTunes with three distinct applications: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV.
It’s likely that most of the original iTunes features will remain in the new Apple Music app so hopefully that means you can still using it for MP3 tagging as well as ripping CDs – if those are things you use iTunes for now.
The Apple Podcasts app will have better search capabilities supported by automated transcripts of shows. There are also going to be a number of changes to podcast categories. New categories are being introduced, such as Fiction and True Crime. Other categories will be renamed or go away. There will be lots of changes to sub-categories too.
Nick Quah from the Hotpod newsletter makes an interesting point on how adding new categories and sub-categories has the potential to encourage new podcasts to be created specifically to make use of them, particular in genres and sub-genres that might be seen as being underserved currently.
On that theme, BBC Sounds in the UK has said it is looking for blockbuster audio drama podcasts, “to rival the Avengers”. They want to get in on a new storytelling trend called “hopepunk.” Apparently this is about having detailed, diverse characters, who aren’t afraid to be fighting for something, choosing hope even when things are bad.
If you want to read more about the changes to categories, I suggest heading over to the www.podnews.net blog where James Cridland has explored and documented the changes in detail.