Mobile Is Critical for Audio Podcasters: 3 Tips For Success

Heil PR40 MicrophoneI’ve had a few months under my belt now as an audio podcast producer and my two shows, The Movie Film Show and The Independent Entrepreneur, are off to a modest start. Bootstrapping these shows with almost no budget is not easy and the struggle to grow my audience has been, at times, frustrating.

But I’ve learned a lot so far about what works, and I’m sure there’s plenty more to do. Most importantly, I’m realizing the need to create mobile-friendly versions of my shows.

I’ve set up my shows on a WordPress Blog using Blubrry’s PowerPress plug-in, which is terrific. It’s saved me an enormous amount of development time and allowed me to focus on creating content. One of the services Blubrry provides is a measurement tool that shows how many downloads my shows have received, including what form people are downloading them.

I’ve produced twenty episodes of The Movie Film Show, and I finally have enough data to draw some conclusions. But first, the facts:

Few people listen on the Web. Only 7% listen through the Web site’s flash player tool. The rest are people downloading the shows through iTunes and on their mobile devices.  In fact, 53% of downloads come from applications like iTunes, and the remaining 40% are from mobile devices.

I was amazed at the number from mobile devices, especially considering I don’t currently have a mobile-friendly version of my shows.  It makes sense, though.  Audio podcasts are best listened to on the go, whether in the car or at the gym, and Smart Phones are a great way to grab such content while out and about.

I’ve concluded that enhancing the mobile experience is my top priority. Here are three action points I will begin to execute and want to share with my fellow audio-podcasters:

  1. Create a mobile-friendly site. If the current version of your site is mobile friendly, that’s great. But if you have things like a Flash player and what not, they will not work on devices like the iPhone.
  2. Create a ‘download MP3’ link for each show. Most mobile devices can download and play these files just fine. That means all listeners have to do is visit your URL and click on the latest show download link to listen. Get rid of any links or features that don’t work on a mobile device (like Flash players).
  3. Make sure the file size of your MP3s doesn’t exceed mobile download limits. Some ISPs, like AT&T, limit downloads on mobile to devices to files sizes less than 20 megabytes each. Make sure your shows are under that limit. If they are longer, split them into multiple files on the mobile version of your site, if possible.

Related Article: Why I Prefer Audio Podcasts