In 2004, former MTV video jockey Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer created a program designed to read RSS feed and download audio files, leading them to launch the world’s first ever “podcast.”
Podcasts are a creative storytelling medium free for listeners to download that engages 62 million Americans weekly, with 40% of them being under the age of 24. Given that many American art museums wish to expand their relationship with young adult audiences, capitalizing on podcasting as a tool for engaging millennials is crucial to arts managers.
Museum managers use podcasting to create intimate encounters with their institution outside of museum walls. Additionally, they use the medium to create advocates out of their young adult audience by engaging them in their mission through audio.
I hear you, museums should use podcasts to attract young people, but isn’t it expensive to create a podcast? Not necessarily! There are several tools needed to create a podcast, but many of them are available at reasonable prices.
- Microphone — phone sound memo (free) handheld mic (min. $100)
- Laptop for editing, hosting, listing, promotion, and funding — Macbook ($1,200)
- Sound Editing Software — Audacity (free), GarageBand (free)
- Hosting Service stores the audio file on the web — Anchor (free), Libsyn ($5-$40/mo)
- Submit RSS Feed for Listing on Directories — Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play
- Promotion — Canva (free), SquareSpace ($12-$40/mo)
- Funding — Patreon (free to start)
Sidedoor, a podcast produced by the Smithsonian, is an excellent example of a museum using podcasting to reach young audiences by providing them with an inside look into the millions of secret objects stored in their vaults, an experience one cannot replicate with a physical visit to SI.
Want to bring millennials into your museum? Start a podcast.