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Meet Your New Co-Host

Meet Your New Co-Host

Listen to the podcast version

Written By

Tom Webster

Know the Author

February 21, 2024

New on Sounds Profitable from Media Bodies founder Edward Fuller: South by Southwest is less than a month away, and it’s time to start prepping to make the most out of it. Catch Fuller’s new piece How to Maximize Your SXSW 2024 Experience as a Podcast Professional.

Confession time: solo podcasting has always been my Everest. Sure, I’ve lent my voice to our daily news podcast, The Download, and even this newsletter-turned-podcast. But those were scripted, safe. Venturing into the unscripted solo territory? That’s where I draw the line. Yet, there’s never been a better time to dive into it, thanks to a little help from our friend, AI—or as I affectionately call him, Chad.

AI’s not just about cold, hard data; it’s a goldmine of creativity. It digs up trends, story ideas, and cultural vibes we might miss on our own. This digital buddy can navigate the chaos of human thought, offering up a curated list of ideas ready for the taking. It’s not here to steal the show but to spotlight our creativity, making our wildest podcasting dreams a reality.

And when inspiration’s running low, AI’s like that life raft in a sea of creative drought (yep, I love my mixed metaphors). It’s here and now, ready with topic suggestions, narrative structures, or that gentle nudge towards a path less traveled. Imagine a brainstorming partner who’s always on, never sleeps, and is constantly brimming with fresh ideas.

AI As Your Co-Host

Picture this: your podcast evolving from a monologue to a dynamic, engaging conversation. AI jumps in not just with facts and jokes but with thought-provoking questions and perspectives that stir debate and captivate listeners. It’s like having a co-host who’s always in the know, ready to spice up your episodes with real-time trends, listener interactions, and a dash of unpredictability.

But don’t think of AI as your on-air co-host. It’s more like a behind-the-scenes guru, offering feedback, suggesting edits, and ensuring your content’s on point before it hits the airwaves. Ever had post-release jitters? Running your content by AI can squash those doubts, making your podcast as polished as it gets.

AI in podcasting goes beyond mimicking human chat; it’s about deepening conversations with insights that might not strike us immediately. Imagine diving into tech’s role in education and having AI chip in with the latest stats or sentiment analysis mid-discussion. It’s about adding a layer of depth and relevance that resonates with listeners, thanks to AI’s ability to pull in data and stories on the fly.

The Nitty-Gritty: AI in Action

Getting Started with AI Co-Hosting

  • Choose Your AI Partner Wisely: First things first, find an AI platform that feels like a good fit for your podcast’s vibe. There’s a bunch out there, from ones that can spit out episode ideas based on trending topics to those that can analyze your script for engagement hotspots. Want a tip? Look for platforms offering a trial period. This way, you can take them for a spin without committing your entire production budget.

  • Scriptwriting and Editing with AI: Once you’ve chosen your AI buddy, it’s time to put it to work. Stuck on your next episode’s script? Feed your AI some keywords related to your podcast’s theme, and let it suggest content outlines or even write draft scripts. Not all AI-generated suggestions will be gold, but they can spark ideas you might not have considered. And for editing, AI tools can highlight overused phrases or suggest where to add a joke or a dramatic pause for effect.

  • Dynamic Dialogue Creation: This is where the magic happens. Use AI to generate potential questions your listeners might have or to play devil’s advocate on topics you’re covering. It’s like having a brainstorming session with someone who has read everything on the internet—because, well, they kinda have. Record these prompts and your responses to simulate a conversation, or use them as a guide to keep your solo episodes more engaging.

  • Customize Content with AI Insights: Dive into AI-driven analytics to understand what your audience digs. AI can sift through comments, shares, and listens to suggest topics that are likely to resonate with your listeners. It’s like having a backstage pass to your audience’s collective brain.

  • Interactive Episodes: Ever thought about making your podcast interactive? AI can help you incorporate real-time listener questions or polls into your episodes. Some platforms allow listeners to submit questions via social media or your podcast’s website, which AI can then prioritize and serve up to you during recording. It’s a cool way to make your audience feel heard and part of the conversation.

  • Continuous Improvement: The beauty of AI is that it learns from feedback. Regularly review your podcast’s performance with your AI tools to fine-tune your content, style, and engagement strategies. It’s a cycle of improvement that keeps your podcast fresh and your audience coming back for more.

By embracing these practical steps, you’re not just using AI as a tool; you’re integrating a dynamic, ever-learning co-host into your podcasting journey. AI can bring a new level of depth, engagement, and polish to your podcast, making each episode a unique experience for your listeners. Remember, the goal isn’t to replace the human element that makes your podcast special—it’s to enhance it, ensuring your voice and your stories remain at the heart of every episode

The Play’s The Thing

In the end, it’s not about choosing sides between AI-assisted content and pure human creativity. It’s about using AI to elevate our stories, make our podcasts stand out, and connect with audiences on a deeper level. Whether it’s enhancing accessibility, streamlining production, or uncovering insights from listener data, AI is a tool at our fingertips, ready to transform our creative visions into reality.

Is there a future where AI outperforms us in everything? Maybe. But for now, our focus is on using AI to augment our creativity, not replace it. Think of AI as the stage and we’re the playwrights, directors, and actors, all rolled into one. This is our moment to take a bold stance on blending technology with artistry in podcasting.

So, here’s your invitation to experiment with AI in your next podcast production. You might find that AI doesn’t dilute your personal touch; it amplifies what makes your storytelling unique. As we evolve with the times, incorporating AI into our creative toolkit can add new dimensions to our narratives, enriching our podcasts with layers of color, texture, and depth. It’s time to explore the new horizons AI opens up for our podcasting adventures.

New Partners

Sounds Profitable exists thanks to the continued support of our amazing partners. Monthly consulting, free tickets to our quarterly events, partner-only webinars, and access to our 1,800+ person slack channel are all benefits of partnering Sounds Profitable.

  • Good Karma Brands is a media and marketing company that leverages the power of sports to build brands and connect with fans through audio, video, digital and events. GKB is a proud partner of ESPN, leading the business operations for ESPN Radio Network/Podcasts.

  • The Gernert Company is a full-service literary and podcast agency with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Want to learn more about partnership? Hit reply or send us an email!

About the author

Tom Webster is a Partner at Sounds Profitable, dedicated to setting the course for the future of the audio business. He is a 25-year veteran audio researcher and trusted advisor to the biggest companies in podcasting, and has dedicated his career to the advancement of podcasting for networks and individuals alike. He has been the co-author and driver behind some of audio’s most influential studies, from the Infinite Dial® series to Share of Ear® and the Podcast Consumer Tracker. Webster has led hundreds of audience research projects on six continents, for some of the most listened-to podcasts and syndicated radio shows in the world. He’s done a card trick for Paula Abdul, shared a martini with Tom Jones, and sold vinyl to Christopher Walken.

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