Podcasters For Hire

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 20, 2005

We’ve all heard podcasts by amateurs. The voice crackles. There are awkward pauses, ums and ahs. It’s long been known that these broadcasts, which can be listened to on a PC or an iPod, are produced by amateurs.

Or are they? BBC now offers its own podcasts. CBS.com is actively looking for someone to interview CBS stars for a podcast. Many other, unaffiliated podcasts promise to become professional quality, too.

One of my favorite geek news sites, TheInquirer.net, has hired a company called Podcast Voices to do its broadcasts. Basically, Podcast Voices’ professional readers will read the podcast and make it sound no less professional than BBC’s podcast. Independent, amateur podcasters are starting to contract for such services, too.

Indeed, Podcast Voices is not the only start-up trying to build a sound business on improving the quality of amateur broadcasts. A slew of start-ups and individuals, some of them listed on voice-over online marketplace Voice123.com, are offering voice, podcast editing and other services.

Clearly, they are responding to popular demand.

What I am wondering about is, Why are amateur podcasters willing to pay someone to read their podcasts? According to this article, a professional will charge $183 an hour to read your podcast.

I suspect that podcasting has a vanity factor similar to that of vanity publishing. Tons of people dream of writing a book, and they are willing to pay to have it published. The same might hold true with podcasts: Lots of people who've always dreamed of being on the radio have finally gotten their chance to produce radio programs that sound good.

If this argument holds water, podcast services could turn into a big business.

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Reader Comments

Nicole Simon

September 21, 2005 04:58 AM

I would not describe this to 'be a podcast' but 'distributed as a podcast' if it is just a redistribution of content.

Often we do hear about "podcast" which are just alternate distributions of material - and the more radio-like a content is, the more it appeals to the masses as in 'just that time shifted audio thing'.

Yes a market, yes, part of podcasting, but companies should not be misled that the only thing they need to do to jump on this 'cool new trend' is hire some voices and then also 'podcast'. It might backfire.

Which of course is a market also. But you bring up the right point with the self-publishing business - *that* is really a huge market.

[Times like these make me feel sorry that my moral values are holding me back to take advantage by such people through offering such services, one really could make a fortune out of it. Then again - no, not really. I also would have to deal with the "content" :)]

Charlotte Web

September 22, 2005 10:30 AM

This is a great idea, and no different from engaging a public relations firm; in fact, it seems like a natural complement to PR firms to add podcast production to their list of services.

Michael

December 1, 2005 09:48 PM

The "geek" podcasters (like myself) do their own editing. Unlike the example listed in this article.

I think businesses that would use recording or editing services may lack in-house skills.

I also agree with Charlotte that podcasting as an add-on to a PR promotion is a great service for those without in-house skills.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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