What’s your story? Podcast producers, fans are all ears

Step up to the mic: There are more than 1.5 million podcasts in the world. Arthur Germain thinks it's time your company's thought leaders had one, too.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

In a world where podcasts – now 1.5 million globally, featuring some 34 million episodes – are Short Attention Span Theater’s undisputed main attraction, the challenge is clear for entrepreneurs and other bootstrappers eager to get in the game: Record them cheaply, engineer them professionally, promote them well.

Enter the Huntington-based Communication Strategy Group , a circa-2005 multimedia agency that broke into the podcast business about 18 months ago with its Brandtelling suite of marketing services, and is now branching out with BrandStoryCasting, a vertical lunge targeting rookie podcasters.

BrandStoryCasting will apply everything the agency has learned over the last year-plus – Brandtelling has produced dozens of client podcasts, according to CSG founder and “chief brandteller” Arthur Germain, while augmenting its technological capabilities – to help the uninitiated develop, record, edit and distribute quality shows.

That’s not wholly unique; professional podcasting services abound. But BrandStoryCasting breaks the mold with topflight tech, tested and mastered during the Brandtelling shakedown – dedicated Voice Over Internet Protocols and site-specific Waveform Audio Files permitting crystal-clear connections and remote recordings, all finished off by post-production services that accomplish digitally what traditionally required a full studio.

Arthur Germain: Sounds good.

Germain acknowledged quality issues with podcasts based on recordings from certain online audio and video platforms – including the “Zoom jitter,” wherein network congestion, “timing drift” and other digital dilemmas cause shaky sound and picture disruptions.

But “that doesn’t happen” with BrandStoryCasting, which licenses WAV and VoIP technology from Utah-based social media software specialist Zencastr.

“The quality of these podcasts is always very high,” Germain told Innovate LI. “We’re using a service that allows us to record real-time on a VoIP line and record high-quality WAV files locally for each person.

“Then we upload them to the cloud, where we engineer the music and do the voiceovers and make other edits.”

Also setting BrandStoryCasting apart is its go-to-market strategy. In addition to entrepreneurs and other media-savvy business owners, the spinoff is positioning itself as a resource to business associations and even other marketing agencies that are looking to offer podcasting services to their members and clients, but don’t have Brandtelling’s running start or BrandStoryCasting’s refined technical acumen.

“We wanted to be able to offer podcasting not only for ourselves and our clients, but for other agencies that might want to offer it as a service,” Germain said. “We felt that breaking it out from [the Brandtelling suite] would be more appealing to other agencies.”

The Communication Strategy Group founder, who hosts his own business development- focused podcast, cast BrandStoryCasting as a tool for “building new audiences,” particularly for companies “trying to promote their own thought leadership.” New technological advances may be added later – including livestreamed podcasts, high-quality video podcasts and access to a wider range of recorded soundbites, such as a bit from a presidential address or a line of cinematic dialogue – but that will be “based on demand,” the innovator added.

For now, BrandStoryCasting offers a quality onramp  to those new to the medium, from pre-production – narrowing down topics, selecting intro music – to “linear editing” to post-production services that include distribution to Apple, Google and other popular podcast platforms.

“We are excited to introduce BrandStoryCasting to enable business podcasters, as well as the agencies and associations that serve them, with a way to quickly and easily create their own podcasts,” Germain said. “This is an affordable, high-quality, high-fidelity podcasting-as-a-service web-based solution.”

BrandStoryCasting

What’s it? All-on-one remote podcast productions with a professional finish
Brought to you by: Arthur Germain and friends at Huntington’s Communication Strategy Group
Status: Adding steadily to the global pile of 1.5 million podcasts, and counting