My Prediction on Podcasting in Higher Education

Podcasting through the years

This trend is growing. According to the Pew Research Center, monthly listening has increased 15% since 2008 among adults and the number of podcasts available grow by leaps and bounds year over year. In his own research, Josh Morgan indicated the number of podcasts launched in 2015 was nearly double the amount launched the year prior, accounting for nearly one-third of all podcasts listed in iTunes at that time.

Source: Josh Morgan (The Plural of You). “Podcasts on iTunes” a.k.a. iTunes US Podcast Directory. Retrieved July-August 2015. Full article.
Source: Pew Research Center; Edison Research and Triton Digital, “The Infinite Dial 2017.”

Higher Education Plays Catchup

With any medium, higher education will anxiously look at this new space and ask, should we have a podcast? and some already have — myself included. There’s a lot to consider before jumping in, but this shouldn’t stop institutions from starting up or entering the podcasting world before competitors do.

Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

Ownership

One of the big problems with projects in higher education is that of ownership. Whose podcast is it? As a new communication medium it’s easy to assume that it would live within marketing or communications. But then it possibly becomes an external marketing initiative, and perhaps student life was hoping to reach students on campus. So, is it their podcast? I just hope it won’t turn into a meeting with five different divisions on campus.

The Evolution

I truly believe the ownership discussion will come after the ooh shiny period for many institutions. Much like institution’s first dive into Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, the department who is most interested in the platform will jump first (and then, likely, Communications will rush in to clean it up and put it on brand). Divisions that decide we need a podcast but don’t have the resources will likely toss the responsibility at students because they’re not quite sure how it all works, but their student was an extra in a high school band’s music video one time.

And Beyond

Once the higher education space has noticed podcasting as a valuable medium (and really, it’s not too far off considering the significant number of podcasts that have launched in 2017 alone), institutions will put more resources into its creation. Remember when social media was an “other duties as assigned” and now nearly all institutions have at least one Social Media Coordinator (or Director?) as part of their marketing teams? There’s no question in my mind that institutions will be hiring podcast producers within the next 5 years.

If you’re listening to a great higher education podcast, add it to the comments!

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Jackie Vetrano

Jackie Vetrano

211 Followers

Buffalo at heart. Voice of Jackie Watches Stuff Podcast. Cat’s nickname is Potato. Digital marketer. I run for beer and costumes.