(By Ed Ryan) I have to be honest, I chuckle every time a new story about podcast burnout comes out. There have been quite a few lately. I chuckle not to be mean, I chuckle because I wonder what could possibly cause someone to burn out doing what amounts to a hobby they supposedly love to do.
For the record I host two weekly podcasts, Beach Talk Radio with my wife every Saturday morning, and Podcasting for Radio Dummies every Friday morning for the radio industry. Both are live, using Spreaker, and our Saturday show, also heard on The Florida Podcast Network, is broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube
I’ve never experienced podcast burnout. Sorry. I just don’t see how it’s even possible.
Podcast Hall-of-Famer Dave Jackson said to me at the NAB Show in Las Vegas that he never, ever misses The School of Podcasting. He’s never mentioned the word burnout to me in all the conversations we’ve had. His latest episode is number 666.
Correct me here if I’m wrong. Most (not all) podcasts are weekly, for one hour. Most podcasters are hosting shows about topics they love to talk about, and that they assume other people might want to hear about. So what’s the problem here? It’s not really that hard, is it?
Burnout appears to be such a big deal that The Podcasters Roundtable dedicated an entire show to the topic. I couldn’t listen.
I know podcasters don’t really want to hear about radio (well, some secretly hope their podcast will lead to a paying radio gig). Radio hosts have to prepare for five, maybe six, three- or four-hour shows every week. And, talk hosts, when they have no music to lean on to fill time, have to entertain even more. Radio hosts don’t complain about burnout.
The latest burnout article comes from the folks at DiscoverPods. Brendan Hutchins was gearing up to launch a political discussion podcast. He mapped out 10 episodes, created artwork and a website, social media accounts, and had a thousand followers before even launching. Then he apparently hit a wall. “The pressure to prepare, listen to other political podcasts, and stay up to date; the pressure to be ‘on’ and interesting while recording; the pressure to find time to record and edit the podcast; and the pressure of a possible backlash over my views, whether they were too liberal, or not liberal enough, or most likely both.”
Brendan also hosts a podcast called Bitrate with Mark Steadman. They recently loaded up a series of interview podcasts about, you guessed it, podcast burnout. “In the Burnout series of BitRate, we talked to the creator of award-winning podcast Sleep With Me, Drew Ackerman, Dan Misener from the producing powerhouse from Pacific Content, Jenna Spinelle from The McCourtney Institute for Democracy, writer Yuvi Zalkow, and podcast consultant Mathew Passy.”
Rush Limbaugh has been hammering out three compelling hours of entertaining talk radio, without guests, every day for 35 years. Surely we can all put out one hour every week without complaining about burnout.
This industry is too young and exciting to be burning out.
Ed Ryan is the Editorial Director of The Podcast Business Journal and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org