There are many things you need to consider when you launch your first podcast, but one of the most important things to consider is the recording service you use. Common streaming services include Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom, but the problem with these applications is that they don’t provide the sound quality that a podcast requires. These streaming services use as little bandwidth as possible, so the sound quality isn’t always great. A big reason for this is the sound travels through multiple servers before hitting your computer.
In addition, streaming services are designed to be light on bandwidth to keep you in your virtual meeting even if your Wi-Fi is barely existent. On the other hand, recording software is designed to capture the best sound (and video) possible, but it’s more taxing on your bandwidth. The solution? Have very good Wi-Fi or even better, connect via an Ethernet cable.
Sound quality and recording services
Which recording software should you use, and why is sound quality so important for your podcast?
Let’s start with sound quality. According to Stories and Strategies, the percentage of a podcast episode that the average person will listen to is about 90 per cent. That’s an astounding statistic. While we hope that you’ll read all of this article, the truth is that the average consumption rate will be lower than 90 per cent. In response to podcast ads, conversion rates are often in the three per cent to five per cent range, which again, is startlingly high.
Why are conversion rates so high?
It’s because podcasts rely on echoic learning versus iconic learning. According to Ethos3, echoic learning happens when we receive auditory input. Think of it as temporary storage. For instance, if you’re distracted or disinterested while someone is telling you a story, you can probably recall the last thing the person said, but not much before that. That’s your echoic memory. However, as defined by testbook, iconic learning happens through the visual summarization of images and diagrams. Echoic memory retention tends to be higher than iconic memory, which is why podcast retention rates are higher. People remember what they hear and have a greater chance of acting on the information.
Sound quality counts here. Podcast listening is a deeply personal experience and rich, sound quality lends to the development of that echoic memory. Podcasts are the most intimate form of communication next to one-on-one communication. You want your listener to feel like the only person in the world that matters and to forget that they’re listening to a podcast. This means that the better your audience can hear your podcast, the greater the chance that they will continue to tune in, retain the information and act on your calls to action.
You’re probably asking yourself what application you should use to ensure your podcast has kick-butt audio. We recommend using Riverside FM or Squadcast FM. These two applications aren’t designed for streaming. Rather, they’re designed to produce high-quality WAV files for audio and 1080p High Definition Video, so that your podcasts and video interviews look and sound like they were recorded in a million-dollar studio.
Riverside FM says that WAV files objectively have better quality than an MP3 file and provide more true and accurate audio clips. In addition, while you still have to connect to these applications via the Internet, they use your local server, so the sound quality isn’t affected by going through multiple servers. This lets you produce high-quality sound for your podcast in order to create something very personal for your audience.
BONUS: If you want to go live on LinkedIn or Facebook, Riverside FM also offers this option.
What’s the cost?
Riverside FM offers a variety of pricing packages that range from free to customized quotes. Squadcast FM is also budget-friendly and offers plans starting from $20 USD/month, as well as customized quotes.
Additional sound tips
Once you decide which application to use to record your podcast, don’t forget about these additional interview tips from Stories and Strategies to ensure that your sound quality is outstanding:
- Use a computer and not your phone.
- Use an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi.
- Ensure you’re using the CHROME browser.
- Ensure you’re using headphones and that they’re wired (not Bluetooth).
- Don’t use a headset or laptop mic (they’re not meant for podcasts). Instead, use an XLR or USB microphone. Laptop mics leave hollow sound, and headset mics are great for conference calls, but don’t produce good sound quality.
- Turn off Outlook, all computer applications and your cell phone.
- Don’t record near air conditioners, fans, open windows…or fish tanks.
- Ensure no one else enters the room (including pets).
- Test your internet connection beforehand. We recommend using Twilio WebRTC Diagnostics (does not download anything).
- Declutter everything directly in front of you, above you and to the left/right of you, but don’t worry about off-screen. Rooms filled with clutter are great for sound. We suggest using pillows, blankets or anything that absorbs vibration.
Teamwork makes your podcast work!