In January I told you “Podcast Discovery Is A Problem (For Consumers) But It’s Not a Company.” That post ended with a brief tease
Oh, and I do think podcast discovery is problem for CREATORS and there are some interesting business models there, but that’s another post
Well, this isn’t a full next post on Creator-Side Discovery Tools, perhaps more of an amuse bouche. The NYTimes has a titan of a show called The Daily, one of the most popular news pods. For those unfamiliar it’s a ~20 minute interview between host Michael Barbaro and the author/journalist of a day’s lead story from the paper. Then there’s five minutes at the end of top headlines but I’m told lots of people drop off for those (I do).
Since if you’re a newspaper, eventually all roads lead back to text (philosophically and culturally if not literally), it makes perfect sense to read that The Daily is now experimenting with episode transcripts. Designer Dalit Shalom writes
What makes podcasts so special, also renders them inconvenient: they can only be heard. … Over the past few months, we’ve been experimenting with ways to make our audio content more accessible to readers.
And it’s not just a flat file document, although even that would be an improvement over a no-transcript world
In future releases, we are planning to build in functionality that allows readers to click on a line in the transcript and be taken to that segment of the audio. We are also exploring ways that our readers might share specific clips of the podcast on social media.
Yes! Shareable, embeddable transcripts with links to timed audio!
Why do I believe every major podcast should be taking the trouble and cost of creating transcripts for their creations, even if it’s just text without timestamps?
- Makes sharing key passages/quotes so much easier on social
- Gives additional SEO data to the pod URL, which hopefully turns into evergreen search traffic, especially for mid/longtail queries
- Is an additional piece of content to provide related links, show notes, promotional material — a newsletter sign-up. Especially if these promotional links can be dynamically updated across all your episodes’ transcripts, you might have a interesting marketing tool to slot into any current campaigns.
Platforms serving podcast creators (such as Anchor and RadioPublic), are all thinking about how to give podcast creators assets they can use to help promote their pod to their community. Transcripts are a great step in this direction and I’m excited to see NYTimes leading the way.