Column: How Michelle Obama is helping to feed the podcasting machine

More big names join the online broadcasts

Friday, 21st August 2020, 12:20 pm

Have you heard Michelle Obama’s new podcast?

The question came from Cara Forrester of Love Oor Lang Toun.

“The one with Barack is all about community.”

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We laugh. It’s glorious sunshine and we’re sitting, socially distanced like, outside the Cupcake Coffee Box in a post lockdown catch up talking the toun and reflections on lockdown.

The High Street is busy with a steady stream of people shopping and strolling with an intermittent coffee and cake stops. It’s gloriously normal and I’ve missed it.

One of the joys of being a podcaster and broadcaster is the recommendations sent my way from the steady sea of local and national creativity.

The latest music, books and laterally podcasts appear timeously on a virtual menu whenever I’m looking for a new source of entertainment ad inspiration. I have no desire to live any other way.

Michelle Obama is, however, a newbie to the podcast hosting scene.

The lawyer, author and former First Lady has entered the fray with an exclusive deal with Spotify.

The result is an educated and classy 40 minutes spent listening to the culmination of Becoming.

Michelle has positioned herself well. Spotify continue to fight Apple for domination of the hosting market following their exclusive deal with the divisive Joe Rogan who is clocking up new episodes at a rate of knots to pay for the cheque.

The celebrity podcaster is not a new phenomenon; however, it has gained traction during lockdown with Vicky Pattison on The Secret to Surviving Isolation and Tea with Twiggy making their debuts.

These recent newcomers the established. Under the Skin with Russell Brand had nearly 100 episodes before he signed an exclusive deal with subscription service Luminary.

And while a name may lead to a follow from a listener. What they are listening to is much more important.

And if you are creating content borne of passion and authenticity you will find your audience.

Colin Johnston, an experienced broadcaster, once offered me the best piece of advice I’ve heard in relation to programming content.

“It’s a machine and you need to keep feeding it.”

And he’s right, podcasts doesn’t just require a microphone and a snazzy set-up. You need authentic, original and interesting content to keep your audience’s attention and hour after hour and week after week this must be interesting, inspiring and intriguing.

Content is king and I’m curious and intrigued.

I wonder if Michelle Obama will keep feeding the machine.

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspapers - the Fife Free Press, Fife Herald, St Andrews Citizen and East Fife Mail.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

Allan Crow, Editor, Fife Free Press