Most people love a good podcast. They make the drive home feel shorter and the mindless house chores seem less of a bore. You can listen to an entire true crime documentary, enjoy a comedy standup, and keep up with the latest trends in any subject you like.
Podcasts sure are handy, but most of them are also lengthy. This is just fine for some, but we're in a time where two seconds is too long for a website to load and a 5-second ad feels like an eternity. We're an impatient people, and sometimes we can't mentally sit through a podcast that drags on for an hour until it starts to get to the point.
To cater to our short attention spans and satisfy our craving for bite-sized knowledge, a new kind of audio delivery has surfaced: micro-casting.
What is micro-casting and why it matters
Micro-casting is essentially a concentrated shot of information that is niche-specific and will give you exactly what came for in just a minute or two.
To give you the 101 on why micro-casts are the new podcasts, VOICE poked Daniel Hill on Twitter. Daniel is a social-media-savvy entrepreneur dedicated to teaching people how to build a following on Instagram. Aside from imparting wisdom via videos and podcasts, he also has a popular, 2-minute Alexa Flash Briefing where he discusses daily news, explains Instagram features, and answers common questions.
We asked Daniel to kindly explain the reasoning behind micro-casting, why podcasters should pay attention, and where you can go to find out more.
VOICE: Let's start from the top. How did you end up in micro-casting?
Daniel Hill: I have a long-form podcast (typically 15 - 25 minutes) about Instagram where I interview experts, but I noticed listeners start dropping off after the 12-15 minute mark. It also takes me too long to record an interview, edit it, type show notes, add an intro/outro, post it, make social media posts out of it, etc. That's a full time job right there.
I got very involved with Instagram Stories back in 2016, and in 2018 I realized micro-casting was very similar— disposable daily content that did not need to be perfect. I searched the Amazon skills store and although there were many social media Flash Briefings, there were none strictly about Instagram. So I approached Instagram and requested their permission to make one.
In your experience, what do think listeners find the most attractive about micro-casts?
It's all about time and attention. Teachers are taught to educate students in 8 - 10 minute blocks of time because that's how long TV shows have before commercial breaks. Contrast that with podcasts, which can be various lengths - some 30 minutes, some over an hour! People don't always have the time or the attention span for episodes that are very long, so going shorter and more impactful is always better.
Does this mean everyone should start turning their podcasts into a series of micro-casts instead?
Micro-casts should be a way to have daily posts, but ultimately, for more in-depth pieces like interviews, listeners can find the long-form version of the podcast.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs and marketing teams who think micro-casting is just a fad?
Everything is a fad. But right now, consumers are buying smart speakers and the marketplace is extremely sparse. It's a chance to build a very engaged audience of daily listeners very quickly before the general population has caught on and it gets crowded.
You'll be on a fascinating panel at VOICE about Micro-casting vs. Podcasting. Who should be in the audience and why?
Any podcaster or person who wants to build an audience should be there. This is a huge opportunity to build a new audience of people who are searching for small clips of information in a way they can easily digest as they go about their daily lives. They only need to say "Alexa, tell me the news" as part of their daily routine while driving or cooking and you will have daily access to their attention.
Ask Daniel Hill at VOICE Summit
If you want to know more about the benefits of micro-casting and have your own questions for Daniel, you can meet him at VOICE—the world's largest voice tech event! He'll be joined with some of the top leading entrepreneurs in the industry, so you'll have plenty of people to meet and add to your network.