Podcasting In South Africa – JTP10

Posted by Musanete |08 Apr 16 | 0 comments


In this episode, I just talk about what my experience of podcasting in South Africa has been like over the last 8 months that I’ve been listening to podcasts and even podcasting myself.

In terms of structure, I’m just talking really 🙂 But there are a few observations I’ve made:

1. Podcasting in South Africa is mostly done by media companies

From radio to television, these big media companies are probably the biggest producers of “podcasts”. As a result, they aren’t hosted by individuals much. Yes the host of that show may be credited as the artist, but because their show is run by a media company, they don’t truly own that podcast.

Now, I wrote podcasts in inverted commas because there’s a real concern here about the true definition of a podcast. Having an RSS feed for iTunes and other directories means you can be technically classified as a podcast…but is taking something that was recorded for a different purpose, and then just providing a download via link or iTunes really  make  your show a podcast?

To find out, I asked Ray Ortega from @PodcastHelper on Twitter, if a radio program making their show available for download (even on iTunes) would be considered “podcasting”.

His response was: “in spirit, no…if they have a podcast ready RSS feed then technically yes, it would be a podcast. Just not a very good one 😉 ”

POW! That’s pretty painful! Yes, what the media companies are doing can be technically classified as podcasts, but they’re missing the true spirit of podcasting.

Ray went further to say: “For me, it’s just not as good as talking to your audience directly. Repurposed [material] is the leftovers. Not as genuine.”

BOOM! More shots fired! Gotta love the honest truth.

So yeah, there are a lot of these “podcasts” in South Africa, but they really miss the point of podcasting. For the most part, they’re just using this as another way to increase their numbers.

2. There isn’t much diversity in topics, as a result of #1

For the most part, podcasts revolve around news, or social commentary. This is something I’m not against really, but there’s just not much more than that.

I’ve come across one or two well done podcasts that talk about politics, or corruption in politics, but that’s just politics. Who isn’t talking about politics??

It’s rare to find anything on gaming (which I guess is better suited to Youtube, but not that many South African YouTubers are out there), or maybe popular things like inspirational topics, leadership, personal journeys… These are extremely rare.

This is really sad because podcasting lends itself to exactly this: diversity!

3. Very few podcasts in South Africa focus on teaching you about a topic

Using the “politics” example, you can find people talking about what happened in politics, and what those events may mean, but I’ve not found one podcast that actually teaches you about politics.

The definition of terms you will come across, the philosophies, the different approaches, the conservative vs liberal debate… That’s either poorly represented, or doesn’t exist.

And this isn’t just politics, it’s any topic! I’ve struggled to find people who will take their time and work through all the concepts and issues that affect a specific topic, in a way that actually educates the listener not only to the events in that sphere, but to being able to better navigate that topic for themselves.

So as much as I’ve nagged in this episode, there’s a real opportunity here to educate and bring a greater awareness to this platform of podcasting in South Africa. I believe it can impact people through making your message more personal and genuine because it has your voice attached to it.

Why not? Why not start by listening to more podcasts.

Why start your own podcast??

Don’t just think about it..

Do it!

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