PODCASTING: How To Safeguard Your Podcast From Podfading – The 13 Ps Of Startup Podcasting

By Wangari V.A.L. I February 18, 2024 I 7 – 9 minutes read

“What is that in thine hand” (Exodus 4:2). It is especially crucial for independent podcasters to watch for podfade. Unlike with the first show, with podfading, there is no “pomp” at the end. Stakeholders are impacted.

IMAGE: BML Hosts Events With Creators and Industry Innovators/ Courtesy

Are you a creative procrastinator? Then, approach as this is for you. Nevertheless, life still gets in the way, even for most of us. Sometimes leaving us with flickering recollections of individuals we’ve lost touch with, shadows of masterpieces, and glimpses of sunrises we haven’t risen to.

Your artistic creations are often safely tucked away somewhere they shouldn’t be. The unfinished book chapter saved in the computer folder. A line or two more to add to that 200-page handwritten poem book. The nameless wonder of a work of art silently beckoning as it hangs in the gallery workshop. Or the upcoming instalment of the podcast you still haven’t got round to release two months after the episode recording.

We constantly have to rearrange our priorities as new events in life arise. A new project, a new baby, a new relationship, a new country, or a new neighbourhood. There is an infinite list of when we simply can’t keep up with everything. Including who to keep and who not to. What to do and what not to do, and so on. 

The Rise of the Podcasting Trend

Rural or urban based, electrified or not, internet connected or not, affluent or of modest means, radio is quite accessible, adding to its popularity. The variety of on-air languages on radio appeals to listeners. TV, newspapers, magazines, and other mediums have their own reach.

An audio format that is riding the high crest of the digital wave is podcasting. You can join a podcast recording that is held in a virtual space “anytime” on the host platform, schedule for the live broadcast, or choose to replay the title that you want. 

Podcasting has many of the advantages of radio plus its potential for more individualised touch. Unlike marketing and PR agencies or corporations, independent creators are the driving force behind podcast startups. Podcasts rely on the capacities of the startup host. So they need to be laser-focused in terms of; talent and skills, money, hunches and relationships, and they often run on a passionometer.

Proper integration of podcasting means trust building, positive profile, and staying top of mind. A strategy to secure future clients for businesses. This is a strategy for viral beneficiary engagement. Thus potential impact testimonials that are donor appealing in the case of nonprofits. Coaches, therapists, healers, consultants, and educators are examples of professionals that can create authority and strong, profitable relationships leading to new clientele and income streams.

Whereas for business startups, three (3) is the magic number—new companies aim to survive past their third birthday year. In the podcast industry, seven (7) is the magic number—moving past episode seven. Podfading, also referred to as to podfade, is a phenomenon that affects podcasters worldwide.

IMAGE: Micropod #ANAKATA, A Bluebird Podcast/2024

Airwaves Beyond the Seventh Podcast

When a podcast suddenly stops releasing new episodes, this is a  characteristic known as podfading. A slow downtrend could occur, releasing fewer episodes until ceasing altogether. Unlike with the first show, with podfading, there is no “pomp” at the end. 90 days without a new episode is a siren signal to podfading.

Stakeholders are impacted. From the listeners, advertisers, sponsors, and even the presenters. Synonyms to “burnout.” It is especially crucial for independent podcasters to watch for podfade. Yet, a podcast may be designed to fade.

Consider micropod #ANAKATA scheduled for 40 episodes as a micropod of the Bluebird podcast – A Return To Women’s Wisdom. The podcast is on a mission of sharing voices of women in the vocations of leadership. Forestpods with 400 indigenous medicinal and commercial fruiting trees are planted with each series, growing at nature’s pace. 

It will obviously have completed and met its objectives after 40 episodes, with 400 trees planted. It is finished! The micropod can “fade off” from releasing fresh episodes. The voices of the celebrated women will continue to resound over the airwaves, inspiring generations of women. 

Reaching up to the seventh podcast episode is almost like seeing a “smoke signal” on top of the podcast mountain. It is highly likely you are on track to approaching the 70th, 700th, and more episodes. Otherwise, the smoke disappears as it blends with and drifts off. Becoming an invisible part of the wind. 

Podcasters can prevent the podfade by adopting these 13 Ps of startup podcasting. A lot depends on you. Thus the 13 Ps form a good suite to guide you as you trot, jog, and as start taking the sprinting lane.

The 13 Ps of Startup Podcasting

Process, payout, party, programming, prenups, promotion,platform, property, pauses, psyche, perpetuity, patience, and purpose are the thirteen Ps. 

  1. Process is associated with the systems. When creating a gold standard certification application, this is your podcast’s A-Z.  
  2. Payout is related to financial considerations and monetization and that goes into keeping the lights on. Money doesn’t say much; the proof is in the numbers. 
  3. Party relates to the relationships you have as the Chief of Party (CoP). Who else is with you and on what terms? 
  4. Programming is the structure of how you work, crucial for productivity as the podcast is one among your other activities. From scheduling, recording, publishing, and planning of the content. 
  5. Prenups relating to parameters of the relationship and is possibly the most disregarded; yet is a must have if you are co-hosting. The podcast prenup or prenuptial agreement specifies the terms pertaining to the “baby at hand” – the podcast.
  6. Promotion relates to visibility, engagement and discoverability; as someone once remarked, “build and they will come.” You may do both (certainly need to) by use of channels or platforms in person, on social media, and in the digital wake. 
  7. Platform is a red flag zone to always read the fine print since your podcast relies on devices, digital platforms and technologies, most of which you did not build. Ensure that you always own your podcast and if you do not, take off – unless that’s your plan. Ouch! Does the platform that hosts it own the material of your podcast? 
  8. Property relates to intellectual property and IP rights framework, plus aspects of the podcast assets. Do you have your digital assets inventory and how they are secured? Have you registered for copyright protection of the unique aspects of your works? What infringements could occur and associated liabilities? Where do you find help?
  9. Pauses it is healthy to fit in your mega plan with scheduled stops such as a break which is appropriate following a series or a few episodes, or take a vacation. Planning and automations can help you make the pauses and returns smooth and almost unnoticeable to listeners.
  10. Psyche pertains to asking oneself questions about the health of your surroundings, passionometer, and life’s spark. Keep interrogating your being; never stop challenging who you are.
  11. Perpetuity is yes loving your craft ‘forever’ while aware that transition planning is part of life. What would be the next phases? Do you intend to hold on indefinitely, sell, or get into a joint venture?
  12. Patience is more than a virtue. It’s a prayer. They say it makes sense to have faith, still be dedicated to developing your understanding of the nuances of the trade as you go. It drains your soul hanging on the edge of the cliff, watching (more so imagining) others are cruising on. 
  13. Purpose is foundational as it answers the most important question ‘what is your why? The heartbeat, expression of the values, and is the most significant. Who do you help? To put it plainly, how does your expression improve our planet, you, me, her, and him? Start here.

The 7 Wellness Tips bonus: We can learn to cultivate the resources and capacities inside of us. The time for the undertakers is still not here. There are caretakers who are ideal for you; they offer suitable support, guidance, and private, tender, and nourishing care. This is the basis of this unique segment as a bonus with the 7 wellness tips. 

  1. The healthy self is the source of your next creation, the manifestation of your abilities, aptitudes, and motivation. 
  2. Ask, ‘nihow, nafeel how? Guard your health by practising self-care, such as drinking plenty of water to hydrate, eating a balanced diet for the nutrients, exercising, and spending time in well-aired spaces. 
  3. Curve out solo time for reading, writing, journaling, praying, and meditation. Decide to be happy which is cultured by deliberate acts of kindness, gratefulness, and uplifting companionships.
  4. Pay attention to potential stressors. Your emotional needs for safety, love, and boundaries and your emotional resilience. Your mental health, and your ability to cope. 
  5. Though it oscillates, shines brightly, and sometimes even goes dim, creativity never goes out; the light within is still there. 
  6. Therefore, be aware of the pressures to reach out for the pleasures of psychedelics, artificial boosters, stimulants, and inducers, or to self-medicate. These impair your ability to focus, so resist the want to do so. The grip of addictions is often only a drop away. 
  7. Your listening for your biopsychosocial- spiritual health is your responsibility first. Reaching out is what self-love would do when you are jaded, tripping, and are unable to will yourself back to a healthy place.

Expanding Community of Podcasters

By spreading value, breaking through silos, and extending tentacles into new domains, an industry grows. As a startup podcast, networking with other podcasters is advisable, to continue honing your craft. Even for the older ones to continue developing. There are tons of materials and resources available online. 

Is there a community gathering scheduled in your locale? Participate and discuss important discoveries from your podcast. Whether it’s about social justice, education, careers, fashion or sports. Or antique collecting, wellness, entertainment, health, money, the environment, or politics, your podcast is a valuable resource for the community. Even if just for the laughs, to help listeners relieve the unseen inner self and exercise the obvious tensions in the face muscles. 

It’s worth establishing connections with innovative communities, events, and platforms that promote the industry. For inspiration, the challenge, and capturing trends. Remember that your podcast is special. Deserving of support and needs to be refuelled and catalysed by you.

Since a 20-minute podcast is only a recording away, organisations like colleges and universities, public social halls run by the government, and other private players can work with local podcasters. To support the talent that is emerging across the nation by offering basic equipment, recording studios and shared community gathering and learning spaces.

For instance, in Kenya, Baraza Media Lab (BML) is on a mission of reshaping the Kenya media and creative industry. This by pushing boundaries and driving innovation. BML uses their facility to host events relating to podcasting. 

The yearly Africa Media Festival (AMF) hosted in February, is a convergence of professionals from Africa and throughout the world. Including academics, media firms, funders, trainers, innovators, and creators. In 2023 where US-based PRX hosted a podcast hackathon, the AMF had over 650 delegates. The AMF 2024 themed “What’s next for African media?” will feature related workshops facilitated with DW Akademie and Afripods.

What’s in your heart? These 13 Ps plus the bonus wellness tips are for you if you’ve ever been a creative procrastinator or if you simply need to start your startup podcast SMARTER. Cheers for podrising past the seventh episode. My friend, I’m already listening for your eighth episode! Happy startup podcasting

Keywords: #Podcasting; #Podfading; Podfade; 13 Ps of Startup Podcasting; #innovation;


CREDIT: This piece may be reproduced in whole or part, with acknowledgment to the authors. Just drop a link in the comments section to let us know where we’re trending.

Reposted: For activating minds at The writer Wangari V.A.L. is an Innovations Specialist; promotes collaborative practices, writes about society, and is in new media design. Learn more.

DISCLAIMER/ALERT: The content is for general information only.


ABOUT WANGARI V.A.L. is curator Bluebird podcast – A Return To Women’s Wisdom. The podcast is on a mission of sharing voices of women in spiritual emergence in the vocations of leadership.

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