Live Podcast 101 : How to do a Live Podcast

If you’re a business or an individual, the internet can provide you immense reach. For a podcaster, reach is one of their end goals. Typically, podcasters record and edit their recordings before finally publishing them as an episode on a fixed date. It has its own upsides, like listeners can listen to a bit, and then either listen to it in its entirety or download it to listen later on. Replies can come later on(if they do).

One of the upsides of live podcasting is the engagement. With going live while podcasting, you’re giving your listeners chance to engage with you in real time. On the other hand, you won’t be able to edit it in the real time, but you can always record and upload it after editing.

Benefits of doing Live Podcast :

1. Real-time engagement

As I said, in live podcasts, listeners can talk with you, leave their feedback anytime. They have the ability to express their reaction to the show. You can also respond to them then and there.

Although the majority of the podcast hosts don’t have the ability to go live stream, there are platforms that allow you to do it. The challenge isn’t to find such a platform, but rather to find a solid fan base that joins you once you’re life.

Listeners love when podcaster takes their name or responds to them from inside the podcast. Because the podcaster is often someone they look up to. Someone that they’d like to get in touch with.

This is the kind of bond that you need between you and your target listeners. You want to work in a way that they don’t feel left out. At the end of the day, your show is for them, to either inspire, inform or entertain them.

2. Word of the mouth promotion

If your show is live, it will be easy for your listeners to extend it to other people. When you’re doing a live podcast and the listeners like it, they’ll share it with their friends. Especially if you do an episode where you answer their questions or something similar that involves you talking with your listeners.

Since you’re providing the ability to chat in real-time, it becomes intimate and real-time. When your audience knows you’re going to be live, they’ll be interested to tune in and talk.

Over the time, the count of your listeners will increase, due to which you can get sponsors.

3. Fresh concept

Live podcasting is still a bit new as compared to typical podcasts. You can produce them as special live feed once a month, week or whatever works for you. With this method, you’ll be able to provide a unique experience to your listeners. Your listeners will also drop in some ideas consistently on what to talk about.

You would get a ton of ideas directly from your listeners. These ideas are what your target audience or your fan base wants you to talk about.

Services that allow you to live stream

There are a bunch of ways that you can do live streaming. Below mentioned are some services that will allow you to host your podcast live.

Spreker When compared to other podcasting hosts, spreaker also offers live audio streaming capability. You can kickstart or execute your idea even with their free account. You can do things such as chat on the live stream, export, distribute your episodes, analyze how you’re doing and much more. The only drawback is that they allow a tiny air time of 15 minutes per session. I feel like the limit has been set only to annoy the podcasters to pay. You’d typically require this time to wait for your audience to join. The limit can be removed by paying for an upgrade that costs $4.99 per month at minimum.

Mixlr This provider doesn’t cost a lot. For a fee of $99 per year, you can host your live episodes. The interface is easy to use. All you need to do is purchase and install it on your desktop or smartphone. They allow unlimited listeners, live chats and much more.

Facebook – One of my personal favorites when it comes to live podcasting. Facebook introduced its live audio feature that allowed people to go live without video. You’re getting a chance to stream live on social media. People can access your podcast right from facebook without paying any fee. The company is also testing the live audio feature with players like BBC world services.

Any live streaming service works in a similar manner. You register an account, create your podcast channel/page. There onwards, you have to work on driving your listeners to that page.

Hardware required for Live Podcast

You don’t need a special set of equipment. I’ve used USB microphones that worked perfectly fine. Make sure that you have a headset and your microphone has a live output jack to plug in your headphones.

Don’t plug in your microphone to a speaker. The whole audio experience will be ruined by the noise of CPU fan or audio noises from random accessories and interference. Also, do consider spending on a pop filter, which will let you offer an even smooth voice.

Hosting for your live podcast

Although you’ll be hosting your show live, you’d still want a recorded copy that you can publish elsewhere in order to have an RSS feed for iTunes and other podcasting directories. The easiest way to achieve that is to purchase a custom domain, and hosting. You can install WordPress, and Simple Podcasting plugin that lets you create feeds for iTunes and other directories.

Keep in mind that hosting videos can take a lot of hosting space.

Running your live show

If you’re going to host the podcast on your own, or with a bunch of guests in the same space, there are a bunch of methods you can run your live show without any major costs. Instead of doing a top 10 list, I’ll list some best ones.

Mixlr.com – If you’re planning for an audio-only live podcast, I’ll suggest mixlr.com, which is a cross-platform and easy to set up broadcasting application. They provide it free of charge, and you can get a built-in the chatroom as well. The platform is intended to stream music, thereby the quality is excellent, you can also download your past episodes in order to edit them offline and upload on a different podcast feed. Things can’t go simpler than this.

Twitch – If you want to do a solo video broadcast, twitch is the most popular and best option available. You’ll need some software to live stream, but it is worth it since the platform is free. You can also download your broadcasts using the twitch downloader tool.

If you have multiple hosts that are in different locations, things get complicated. Mixlr does allow multi-host audio broadcast, but you’d need to pipe your skype audio into a single channel.

This applies only to audio broadcasts. Video broadcast with multiple hosts is simple due to Google’s hangouts on air. If you aren’t aware yet, Hangouts is a very powerful video conferencing system from Google. Hangout on air lets you host the hangout live on youtube.

After your Hangout is over, it will remain online as a normal youtube video.

You can start live streaming at any time. The background tasks are handled perfectly by youtube. You can get the saved video from the account of the person that started the hangout. The only downside is their lack of proper chatroom. However, it is covered by Youtube’s auto-refreshing comments.

Format

Things aren’t only about software and hardware. If you don’t have a strong lead host or a proper structure, it will kill your live stream despite you having a ton of traffic. You can use Google docs in order to edit in collaboration with other hosts. You can figure out which part will be handled by whom, timings and rest of the presentation things.

If you have multiple hosts, it is a struggle to keep the show moving, fill in gaps, and slide between stories.

Erwin Cooper
 

a sound and video production expert who blogs about gadgets & accessories to help you select perfect equipment. The site is supported by commissions I receive from Amazon, please purchase items via my affiliate links to support me and this blog.

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