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iHeartRadio Podcast Channel - confusing, poorly executed

· By Keri Jones · 1.2 minutes to read

This article is at least a year old

I’m launching a local speech-only service within the next two years: so I’ve been listening to some of the new speech radio formats.

There are three podcast-only formats on broadcast radio in the USA, according to Podnews. I recorded and listened back to two of these iHeartRadio services. Here’s a telescoped recording of what I heard.

Jeez. They are so poorly executed. Who in their right minds would listen to a station where, each hour, a podcast is used as a filler and faded mid-sentence for ads?

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The news then fades in mid-story when the previous ad or promo has ended. A new podcast starts, plays for a few mins and then just stops for ads to appear. The podcast restarts. It’s hard to listen to. It’s confusing. It’s breathless and relentless. You don’t know what to expect or when.

Both KABQ and WSAN are similarly weakly programmed, without any sense of love, careful crafting or curation. And that’s taught me a lesson for my upcoming Alfred project.

Radio needs warmth, a connection and a human touch. When podcasts are aired you need to treat them (and the listener) with the respect you would afford speech radio segments. They need linking and they should be introduced and explained.

This was an interesting listen and a valuable lesson.

In the future, if you hear people talking about the 'podcast on the radio’ format failing to deliver, consider that it might not be the concept that is at fault. It’s possibly the way it’s carelessly automated.

This is a lightly edited Facebook post, reproduced with permission

Keri JonesKeri Jones set up Britain’s most successful local radio station, Radio Pembrokeshire, and the award-winning not-for-profit Radio Scilly. He is now preparing for the launch of a new UK community radio station in Shaftesbury, Dorset, called Alfred.

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