From the Editor’s Desk: Blab is dead; long live our new podcast!

In this month’s column, Editor-In-Chief Matt McGee talks about why we’re changing our weekly video show to an audio-only podcast.


There are probably countless articles on Marketing Land (and Search Engine Land) that encourage readers not to put all of their marketing eggs in one basket. And I know that message has been drilled home countless times over the years by speakers at our SMX conferences. Yet here we were a couple of weeks ago, scrambling to come up with a Plan B for our weekly Marketing Land Live video show after Blab closed its doors. It felt, at least immediately, like we had put all our eggs in the Blab basket, only to watch it be taken away without warning.

The dust has settled now, and we’ve found our Plan B: Marketing Land Live is now an audio-only podcast! We just made it official with last week’s episode, which was a great conversation about Google’s “intrusive interstitials” penalty, AdSense changes and more with Ginny Marvin, Barry Schwartz and me.

I invite you to subscribe to our podcast via iTunes, SoundCloud or Google Play Podcasts. Below, I’ll talk more about what to expect from our new podcast, but first I want to share some of the reasons behind our decision to eschew video like this.

Why we’re dropping video in favor of a podcast

In its Plan A as a live video show, Marketing Land Live was a success. As I wrote in this column in April, the show was gaining solid traction on Blab, with a few hundred viewers each week either watching live or viewing the replay at a later time. We had additional viewers watching the replays on YouTube. And we’d also figured out how to stream the Blab video to Facebook Live, which pushed viewership up into the low four figures. So when Blab closed its doors, there was plenty of justification to continue with Marketing Land Live as a video show. Here’s why we didn’t:

1.) We’d done one show using Google Hangouts On Air, but none of us were really thrilled with the idea of using that platform every week. Plus, Google had just announced that Hangouts On Air was being replaced by YouTube Live. Among the video platforms available, we didn’t find any suitable replacements for Blab that offered the same features, ease of use and group conversation.

2.) During the first few months of doing Marketing Land Live, we’d heard feedback from some of our viewers that it was difficult to set aside 30 to 60 minutes each week to watch a video — whether live or replay. It’s much more of an attention hog than a podcast, which you can listen to in your car, on the train or bus, at the gym or pretty much anywhere you go.

3.) Podcasting is on the rise. You’ve probably read some of the same articles I have about the growth in both the number of podcasts being produced and the number of people who listen to them. This Edison Research/Pew Research Center chart shows how the podcast audience has grown in the US.

4.) We’d already been uploading an audio-only version of Marketing Land Live for a couple months. In mid-June, we announced that the show could be enjoyed in audio-only format. We didn’t promote it heavily, since video was the focus, but it made the switch to audio easier, since we were already set up on iTunes, SoundCloud and Google Play.

So with all of that in mind, we made the decision to turn the video show into a podcast.

What to expect from our “new” podcast

Doing a podcast offers some flexibility that didn’t exist with video. We have a few ideas we plan to pursue.

1.) More outside guests. We’re using Skype to record the podcast, so it should be much easier to bring in guests. No need to have a video cam. No need to be dressed nicely and have our hair perfect. No need to be in a room with good lighting.

2.) More topical shows. We’ll still plan on talking about the big marketing news, but we plan to do more themed, topical shows like episode #20, when we spent the whole show talking about Amazon’s Prime Day results. This week’s podcast, in fact, has local search as its theme, and we have four guests joining me for that conversation.

3.) More episodes. We’re still planning to do Marketing Land Live weekly, but since it’s easy to get on Skype and have a quick conversation, I’d like to be able to push out additional podcasts — perhaps shorter in length — to talk about breaking news and important stories soon after they happen.

Those are some of our ideas. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast via iTunes, SoundCloud or Google Play Podcasts. Hopefully, you’ll have the same reaction as new listener Glen Kunene, who shared this great feedback with us on Twitter:

If you have ideas for Marketing Land Live, I’d love to hear them. Contact information is below.

From the Editor’s Desk is a monthly column where we talk directly with our readers about the work we do (and why we do it) on both Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. If you have a question or topic you’d like us to write about, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to tweet to me (@mattmcgee) or send me an email through this website. Use the contact page and choose my name from the dropdown menu.

Thanks again for reading!


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