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The power of podcasts: clement and strict views

Thoughts on the power of podcasts. For our Discutafel podcast, niche & personality is king. What’s your choice?

180904 Online Radio Awards Michiel Veenstra

After my visit to a cross media café, last Fall, I draw some conclusions on podcasting.


  • For me and our podcast, niche & personality is king.
  • The public won’t listen to a show which doesn’t affect them.
  • ‘Canned’ radio is a beautiful invention. But it’s completely different from an intimate podcast.

Podcasting in The Netherlands

In The Netherlands, podcasts are perhaps not as popular yet as in the UK, or elsewhere in the world. Or things go differently, I don’t know.
I’d like to share some of my Dutch experiences and ideas with you.
Please feel free to give your remarks on my blogs!

Power of podcasts

Topic of the media café was: podcasting and online radio. Here, the passionate DJ and podcaster Michiel Veenstra described podcasting as personal, close to the listener and specialized. In short: as a craft.
Personally, I think this is the power of podcasts. ‘Podcasting is very intimate’ and ’It should add something new’, said Veenstra.
He himself makes a podcast about … Disney. And through this Dutch podcast ‘D-tales’ he reaches the ultimate connection with the niche listener.

Oude radio, van ver vóór de podcast!

Clement and strict views on podcasting

Wim Eikelboom of NPO Radio 1 talked about two trends in ‘podcast country’: the clement and strict views. A short explanation. The Dutch words ‘rekkelijk’ (clement) and ‘precies’ (strict) refer to disputes in Protestantism. Eikelboom used to work for a Christian broadcaster.


People with ‘strict’ views see podcasts as a genre of great stories.
As a podcast maker and audio producer I sympathise with this mindset: I want to bring added value for my client (and his customer). In concept and content. That content can, and may, be very specialised. Because our client or listener wants to make the difference! That’s the power of podcasts for me.


According to mr. Eikelboom, people with more ‘clement’ views see podcasting as just another way of making radio.
At some point, I agree. Being able to listen to a national radio show at a chosen time, that’s useful for me as a listener.

Take popular Dutch radio programmes which are broadcasted in the evening. Some of these shows have more listeners next morning, as a podcast. Commuters are stuck in traffic jams and they listen on demand. Which means: as a producer you invest once and reach twice as much public.

Listener experience

But listener relationship is much thinner than the D-tales intimacy. Sometimes producers don’t even bother to remove the hourly news and weather forecast from the show. This makes the listening experience poor. It creates an alienating effect. Because I could be listening to this show days later. Or even weeks.
‘Canned’ radio is a beautiful invention. But it’s completely different from an intimate podcast.

DJ at work during online radio event.

Find the exception

Annick van der Leeuw (BNR Newsradio) had some tips for us, podcasters:

  • Think about your story. Everything is a story.
  • Find the exception. If it’s common knowledge you’re talking about, why should one bother to spend his scarce free time on listening to your broadcast?
  • Show that you are human, have fun, keep that little cough of yours in the edited show.
  • Have the courage. Be bold, sometimes. Your public won’t listen to a show which doesn’t affect him.

How about your podcast?

For our Discutafel podcast, niche & personality is king. What’s your choice? Canned radio or craft? Are you ‘rekkelijk’ or ‘precies’? If you are a producer, what’s the added value of your podcast for the listener? Please drop me a note.

Top photo: Dutch podcaster Michiel Veenstra (right) at a podcast award event.

This is an edited version of my earlier article in Dutch about podcasting as a marketing tool for businesses.

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