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Podfly Academy - Lesson 5 of 10 - Developing a Show Clock


Podfly Academy - Lesson 5 of 10 - Developing a Show Clock

Today we're looking at developing a show clock for your podcast. This is a page taken from the radio world. A show clock is a format or a structure that's put together every hour to indicate what advertising will take place, how long segments will be, and more.

You might be wondering why would I develop such a thing for a podcast. Well, there's a lot to be said for the reliability of format. Many listeners are looking for a podcast to be under a certain length. Have reliable segments that take place every week and that sense of dependability that comes with a show that's clearly produced. So let's start by diving in and seeing what a show clock looks like.

We have in front of us a traditional radio show clock. This is a great guide for producers, guests, posts, and more. This really helps us understand what is going to be happening and when, and for how long. Now with a podcast, we don't need something quite as structured as this because we don't have to stick to a clock. However, having this type of a format can really help us structure our show. Let's look at a couple of elements from here. The first being a disclaimer. In your case, you might not need a disclaimer for your podcast, but you might want a quick read of information in the first ten to twenty seconds of each and every program.

Following that we see a teaser. These are exactly what they sound like. Something to tease your listeners into the show and keep them listening for more. Following a teaser, you might have something called the drop. This can be a little piece of audio that segues you from the teaser to a commercial or from the teaser to your first segment. These little drops are handy, sound super professional, and really give that polished effect to your show.

At the end of the program, you might put another drop or a liner. It could be your sponsors, a call to action, or, in a podcast case, an outro. Now that we've looked at a traditional radio format, we can see how to apply it to our own podcasts. The intro and outro might be obvious and developing segments now makes a lot more sense. But for those who are looking for advertisements to put into their podcast, this is a great way to indicate to your sponsors when their ad is going to be played each and every week.

Let's take a look at a sample podcast show clock and how it might apply to you. We now have an example of a show clock we developed for a client at Podfly. This is really straight forward and a lot less complicated than that of the radio show clock. This particular client only wants to have two segments in their show. One of them being a long-form guest interview and the second being feedback, where they go through listener email and more.

So let's go one-by-one through each stage of the show clock so we can see how it's been constructed. Starting at the beginning of the hour for one minute we have the introduction to the program. This is the intro with the music and voice over work to introduce the program.

From the first minute to the third minute, we have the teaser and a quick sponsor read and also the host has in front of him or her the length of the segment to make sure they don't go too long. From the 3 minute mark to the three minute and 15 second mark we have a quick drop. That's that little bit of audio that's going to lead people into the first segment. After we segue with our drop, we have a long-form guest interview.

In the case of this podcast, it's about 20 minutes. Now remember, this is a podcast, we don't have to stick to that clock. If the segment is only 18 minutes or 22 minutes, it's no matter. The idea is to try and keep it within that 20 minute frame work so our podcast doesn't go too long.

At the end of the segment we can program in another drop. This serves as an audio segue into another segment. This segment happens to be feedback. For 5 minutes or more or less, they like to go through some of the email that comes in from some of their listeners. In addition, they'd like to do a quick little sponsor read and mention some people who made the show possible. For the last minute there's an outro. In this case, it's music with a voice over and a call to action to go back to the website. Subscribe on iTunes, follow them on Stitcher, and more.

Setting these up is really simple, but you'll see with this particular program, it's been setup to be only 30 minutes in length. Anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes is great and affording you that flexibility within segment one for example, gives you that chance to stay within that frame.

Let's not forget guys that this is still our show. We can format our podcast how ever we see fit. That's the beauty in independently producing our own content. However, there are a couple of considerations when we're thinking about our listeners. The majority of podcast listeners only want a show to be about 45 minutes in length. Anything over an hour you might be asking them for too much every given week.

In addition, having this format really makes you come off as a pro. People listen to your podcast on a regular basis because there is something about it that they can count on. Having a bit of a show clock and a format can keep your guests under control, keep you under control, and keep your listeners coming back for more.