Podcast Discovery Tools: Here Come The Transcripts

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

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

And it’s not just a flat file document, although even that would be an improvement over a no-transcript world

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?

  1. Makes sharing key passages/quotes so much easier on social
  2. Gives additional SEO data to the pod URL, which hopefully turns into evergreen search traffic, especially for mid/longtail queries
  3. 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.

You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .

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