Stopping A Podcast

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There are some 450,000 podcasts on iTunes. Yup. Nearly half a million. Everyone and their grandmother has a podcast. In fact, there are so many people starting podcasts, there was a cartoon in the New Yorker not too long ago lampooning the podcast boom where one person says to another, “I’m thinking of stopping a podcast.” It could have been Megan Tan in that cartoon.

Megan started Millennial back in 2015. It was a passion project — recorded in her closet in Maine. She hoped it would launch her radio career. And it did just that. Millennial became wildly popular, with 400,000 downloads in her best month, she says.

But two-and-a-half years after starting, she not only thought about stopping a podcast, she did. After forty-seven episodes, she was done.

Megan’s story is both inspiring and a cautionary tale. If you’re thinking of starting podcast 450,001, especially if it’s a personal podcast, you should listen to this episode of HowSound first.

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  • Paul Cheall

    3.07.18

    Reply

    Just listened to Stopping A Podcast and it felt relevant to my own situation where for a period I used to record conversations with my elderly mum, knowing she would one day die and I’d probably use her memories in my podcast, whether it be her Wartime Recipes, Wartime memories (she was about 17 upwards) or other stuff. Was I ‘using’ her? Was it right?

    As I listened to Stopping A Podcast I realised that what set Megan off with her melancholy was mainly the sadness of her family home breaking up and my own situation was different. Just recently I had occasion to use my Mum’s voice in an episode talking about the little ships of Dunkirk in 1940, when thousands of troops were rescued from the shores of France and taken back to Britain.

    Every time I re-listen to my show I get a tear in my eye when I hear my Mum’s voice, and although there’s a tinge of sadness, it’s mixed in with pure pleasure at hearing her voice, combined with the unique dimension that her memory offers the episode. So any guilt I might have is undoubtedly assuaged by the fact that even in her final years (she’s 95) she’s making a great contribution to my work and I take immense pleasure from that. She’s also been immeasurably entertained at hearing her own voice!

  • Rob Rosenthal

    3.08.18

    Reply

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for listening and your note.

    I suspect you’re right. Losing the family home was a deeply emotional moment and it contributed to Megan’s over-all feelings about the podcast. The two are intertwined.

    However, I wouldn’t want to lose sight of her other points: Producing a podcast about your life every two weeks is trying because you’re documenting your life AND you’re producing a story about it. Hopefully a compelling one.

    On top of that were financial concerns plus her commitment to funders and a podcast network.

    That’s a lot. And, something worth considering when embarking on a “memoir” podcast, as Megan called it.

    Good luck with your interviews with your mom. They sound lovely and incredibly valuable to you both.

    Best,
    Rob

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