The podcastphere It is a virtual meeting point in which small communities of speakers and listeners are grouped around themes as varied as ice cream flavors are there to debate, learn and enjoy them. And they do it for the love of art. In fact, most issuers have a profession beyond the podcasting and they develop the programs in their free time. Thus, this radio phenomenon of almost 20 years of age not only shines by presenting an immensity of themes on demand that can be heard at any time, but also by the tempting, easy and economical that turns out to be podcaster amateur starting from scratch.
The costs of the material needed to enter this practice vary from zero euros to the amount one is willing to spend. The only essential elements are: a computer with an Internet connection, a microphone, a recording program and an editing program, a broadcasting platform and, as the podcasters, an interesting topic.
The theme, the more specialized, the better
"To do podcast, the first thing you have to have is something to talk about," says Gregorio Urquía, director of Histocast, a podcast specializing in military history with about 45,000 listeners per program. "And much better if you choose something that you master, be it your profession, or be a geek on that subject, as is our case," adds the podcaster. Focusing on a thematic niche and being a specialist in it helps to retain the audience, who wants to hear "someone who knows a lot about a specific topic," explains the history expert.
Some programs do not follow a defined thematic line, as in the case of Why Podcast. "When I started I wanted to do something varied and fun … like a collage", Says its head, Jorge Marín. Although he enjoys his program, he recognizes that reaching new listeners and building loyalty is the biggest cost, "because who likes an episode does not have to like the next one", he explains. In this way, after six years of program, its average number of listeners per episode remains between 1,500 and 1,600. "If I had them all in front of me, it would seem like a lot of people," he jokes, "but specialized themed podcasts tend to move with larger numbers," he concludes.
Recording: a micro and little else
The investment in the microphone can determine the quality of the sound, something "fundamental to retain listeners", comments Jorge Marín, "because if the audio is not good, there are more chances that they leave the program before stopping to listen to the content", highlights Some listeners, however, "make the effort and stay if the content is of good quality," says Gregorio Urquía.
Depending on the budget of each one and the seriousness of their intentions as podcaster You can use microphones of higher or lower price. Most amateurs begin to record with the one that comes with the mobile phone or with the one that integrates the own laptop, "or they buy one of less than five euros in the Chinese", Says Marín. A trick so that the lack of specialized material does not affect the quality too much is to record inside the car, since it is an isolated space with curved and padded walls that absorb noise and avoid echoes.
The only essential elements are: a computer with an Internet connection, a microphone, a recording program and an editing program, a broadcast platform and a topic to talk about
The usual thing is to acquire, little by little, a higher quality recording material "to pamper the people who listen and not to leave", explains Jorge Marín. At that time, microphones of between 60 and 150 euros can be purchased at electronics stores. They tend to be a table, but there are people who prefer to record with a headset microphone to be able to walk around the room while they are talking, says Urquía, "although this depends on the manias of each one", he jokes.
Some podcaster who work together are forced to record remotely, as in the case of the HistoCast team, "because everyone lives in a city," explains the person responsible for the program. For this, in addition to USB microphones, which prevent the entry of noise into analogue mass, they use communication and recording programs such as TeamSpeak 3. The latter allow, among other things, to keep the microphones muted and, when one of the podcaster starts talking, detects the decibels and activates its micro, eliminating the ambient noise that surrounds the participants who are not talking. Skype is the program that is usually used to record calls when podcasting online with more people. As well, Hangouts or Zencastr, which performs and calls through your browser and records them separately, "then sending to the director of the call all the files to synchronize them", explains José David Delpueyo, podcaster known as Sunne for his program The Sunnecracy.
If the management of the technological elements gives problems, there are tutorials and courses, such as those taught by the Podcast Association, which pretend to "avoid podcaster amateur the setbacks that we all had when we started and that can focus on the content ", explains Iván Alexis, president of the association and podcaster known as 'treki23'. To be a member, you just have to enter the website and register. It has a cost of 20 euros per year "and offers courses, lectures, talks and other help to learn speech techniques, use of material such as mixers, recording programs, editing, hosting… ", explains the person in charge.
Edition and diffusion
It is possible to do podcast of very good quality with cheap microphones "because later we use editing tools that level us the sound and clean us possible background noises", assures José David Delpueyo. Some, free and free software, such as Audacity, that has the advantage of being free, different people can access a podcast and edit it, something important if you work as a team. Marin, for his part, recommends moving to Audition after exhausting all possibilities with Audacity, "because it has more functions". The Podcast Association also provides training to use these and other editing programs, although you can usually learn intuitively to perform the basic functions: cut, move and paste.
Once the podcast has been recorded and edited, the next step is to choose the platform -or platforms- where it will be broadcast to reach the audience. According to José David Delpueyo, the files can be posted on a personal or team website, but to reach more people it is essential to upload them to specialized platforms. The most outstanding are Spreaker, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and iVoox, which has been crowned for years as the king of podcaster: "If you have a program in Spanish and do not upload it to iVoox, you should make it look", jokes the person in charge of Porqué Podcast. According to Urquía, it is advisable to be present on different platforms "because it gives the user the freedom to choose which one they prefer and, if a server goes down, they have an alternative to hear us", explains the history specialist.
Making money is another league
The phenomenon podcasting still has not found a source of benefits clear and stable, and "it would be too optimistic to say the opposite, because you can, but very few people achieve it", regrets José David Delpueyo. It is usual, however, to acquire enough income to pay for the expenses generated by the electronic material, documentation, some trips … This is the case of HistoCast, which highlights the crowdfunding and advertising as the ways of possible income nowadays "so that this activity does not suppose an economic load to them", comments his director.
A key requirement to get sponsorships in the podcast is to treat a very specific theme to strengthen, thus, a community of listeners interested in this topic. "The advertising system starts to attract attention to these companies," says Javier Fernández, vice president of the association and podcaster known as 'Mahjong', "because it will reach far fewer people than, say, an ad on television, but will only reach potential buyers," he explains.
– Jorge Marín, Porqué Podcast: You can play with the listeners, make specials from time to time, drop clues about the theme of the next episode … You have to pamper the audience, even propose that they decide the following theme, yes , without leaving your project.
– Javier Fernández, vice president of the Podcast Association: Podcasts are mainly heard in two ways: with mobile and headphones, or driving. Before hanging them on the Internet, it is okay to put on your helmets or get in the car and listen to them as listeners are going to do it to put you on their skin and check that the sound is adequate.
– Gregorio Urquía, director of HistoCast: "To those who take a lot of turns and do not decide to start, they stop being so prepared and recorded. The first podcasts may not go very well, but you have to keep moving forward and learning. Some time later they can listen and learn from their own mistakes. "
– José David Delpueyo, alias 'Sunne': "Do not do it for money, listen to other podcasts, make sure you have a clean sound and something to tell without wandering to eternity. Also, having a regular periodicity, never eat in front of a microphone and away liquids from the hardware. But above all, enjoy, transmit good vibes and have personality: better a natural laugh than a forced 'gag'. If they do that, the statistics will not matter to them, because they will have a friendly public and they will feel very good about what they are doing. "