Splice Studios, Singapore
Kenn Delbridge of Splice Studios has been in love with the art and science of sound since his early days in broadcasting and working with MTV. His studio is where ‘A Life in Travel’ is recorded and produced and, in this episode, we get behind the scenes of what makes a successful podcast as well as how travel has influenced his outlook on life and his profession.
In this episode:
Want to start a podcast? Here’s some advice
“The most important thing for people who want to do a podcast is to understand why. If a podcast is viewed as part of a marketing tool, then you have to say, ‘Well, why not just do a Facebook ad? Why not do traditional advertising? Why not do print?’ It has to be that your audience is in podcasts, and they want to hear you. As long as you commit to delivering something that's either entertaining or informative, and you do it in a nice narrative manner, then I think it's a win-win. And it's worth doing.”
What makes a successful podcast?
Storytelling & preparation
“It’s the storytelling…the preparation before the recording (is also important), almost everyone underestimates how much they need to prep… also, when you are in that interview – which I think you're very wise to let someone else do the recording – is you have to listen. Sometimes your guests will say something, which if you're just steamrolling away through, you will miss the subtlety.”
“We did something a while back, talking to some musicians. One guy told me that the big mistake that independent bands make is they make the album and then they just say, ‘Let's put it out into the world and what happens will happen’. His point was like, ‘No, that album is 25% of your overall budget, you need another 75% to market it to get it to people’, because there's just so much stuff out there. How do you get discovered? A podcast is another (similar) message.”
Tone of voice
“It’s the tone of voice, how you talk to your audience. There's an old saying that TV is one to many, but radio is one to one. It should feel like you're there as the third person in a conversation. I think you get that with experience as you know your audience. Most podcasts cannot be super generalist. If you try to be everything to all people, you'll be nothing to everyone…laser focus on what your audience wants is hyper critical.”
Being involved in A Life in Travel. What’s the experience been like?
“It's humanised travel for me in the sense that when you look at all those websites and you go to hotels, you perhaps perceive it as just a big industry. But ‘A Life in Travel’ has shown me there's a lot of people behind it who are really passionate about it, most people probably don't realise that. It is quite a small community of people who provide this hospitality and travel services and are very dedicated to it, but you never hear the stories. You're bringing the stories out.”
How has travel changed your life?
“It opened my horizons or understanding of what the world is. For the longest time, I lived and basically just wanted to be in urban cities. Since meeting my wife, I now have been brought to these places which aren't big bustling cities. It's sort of like, what life can be, has changed. You can just enjoy sitting on a train for seven hours, going through mountains and this sort of wonderful scenery. And that's an experience, which I think if I hadn't allowed that to happen, I'd probably be a different person.”
Note: This interview was recorded at the beginning of the year before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life. In the early days with more people working from home, Kenn said there was a drop in podcast downloads with the disappearance of the commute but as the crisis evolved, people did switch back to podcasts, looking for alternative sources of entertainment and information other than the perennial onslaught of depressing COVID-19 news. Recording equipment also sold out as podcasters were forced to record their episodes from home.
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