What makes a podcast a hit?

Hear from BBC's Eli Sessions as he talks to Miranda Sawyer, radio and podcast critic with The Observer.

Podcast Part One: What's out there?

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In the first of a five-part series on podcasting, Miranda explains:

  • what makes podcasts distinct from radio programmes
  • how the role of the presenter is different from that on radio
  • the typical situation of the listener – on a commute, listening through headphones
  • how to create a different relationship between listener and programme-maker

Miranda describes the biggest genres in podcasting. She also highlights opportunities for aspiring podcasters to find great material and make an impact on the audience. 

"It can be tempting to think 'I’m going to make it intimate and casual and that means I don’t edit'. In fact it means you have to edit even more." – Miranda Sawyer, radio and podcast critic with The Observer

Extracts from the following series appear in the podcast:

  • The Allusionist – a podcast about language by Helen Zaltzman
  • The Gateway – an investigative podcast about an online spiritual guru

Other podcasts referred to by Miranda:     

  • 99% Invisible- a podcast about design
  • Love + Radio- “otherworldly-produced interviews… from the seedy to the sublime.”
  • Serial– a hugely successful podcast about true crime
  • My Dad Wrote a Porno– British comedy podcast with 100 million downloads
  • This American Life– weekly radio programme and podcast from National Public Radio (from which Serial was a spinoff)

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