5 things to consider when starting a documentary podcast

HOW TO: With podcasting a relatively new, and surging, terrain for filmmakers, we look at 5 things to consider when starting a documentary podcast.
Steve Rickinson
Steve is the Communications Manager for Modern Times review. He is based in Amsterdam.
Published date: March 5, 2020
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A relatively new medium drawing inspiration from the traditional airwaves of radio, podcasting has seen something of a popularity surge, and profits, over the last half-decade. In fact, its more than a surge. In the U.S. alone, some 90 million people subscribe to podcasts, and their popularity has grown 120% between 2015 – 2019.

With such an increase in consumption, podcasting becoming a vital aspect of a brand’s success is inevitable. Long-form, accessible, and direct, podcasts offer media personalities, journalists, and filmmakers a relatively new and easy way to reach audiences, expand narratives, and take them further into realms where the camera, and its image, cannot go.

With that, is podcasting the wave of the future for documentary storytellers? Well, with the sheer volume of non-fiction content available in the podcasting world, perhaps it is. Whether it is true crime (like Serial), educational (TED Radio Hour) or investigative work (S-Town), there seems to be a host of formats and opportunities in this, the newest platform for content creation. But, despite its undersaturation (relative in terms of Youtube channels or blogs, for example), one doesn’t just turn the recorder on, upload, and acquire a successful podcasting career.

Here are a few points for those interested in starting a documentary podcast to consider prior to taking the dive:

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Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

Develop an interesting idea

Just like in any documentary content, podcasters, like filmmakers, must ask themselves if the topic …


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