As a radio news veteran and the founding news chief with a digital audio startup, I’m delighted to hear so many people and organizations embracing podcasting.
But — and I’ll keep this short — please stop chasing away your listeners:
Don’t begin your podcast with long theme music, your show’s name, its episode number, an underwriting message or an ad.
Instead, begin with your most interesting, engaging and relevant words. Give your listeners a reason to stick around.
In doing so, you ultimately render an even greater service to your advertisers and underwriters. Because your listeners become more likely to hear multiple sponsorship messages.
(Bonus points for not beginning with “Hey. How ya doin’?” Get to the point.)
You can hear the rationale — the data underlying this advice — in this recording of my lecture to graduate students at Northwestern University.