The Quality-Quantity Tradeoff Dilemma

radio-cartoon featureFrom a nice review of Freakonomics Radio on Stitcher (a great podcast platform, BTW, if you don’t know it):

I wish I could listen to a new Freakonomics podcast everyday! Truly insightful, great narrative, thought provoking, and interesting topics…

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to fulfill the wishes of the first sentence while upholding the attributes of the second sentence. Sure, we could put out a daily podcast but it would be total crap.

Any ideas?

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  1. Eric says:

    I believe their are enough topics, and enough experts to fill the show with meaningful content, but it would require a large full time staff working around the clock reaching out to guests, recording, editting. I don’t know if listener support could sustain it.

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  2. anonymous says:

    Do more reruns of older episodes.

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    • pawnman says:

      It’s a podcast. There is LITERALLY no reason to do re-runs. Anyone who wants an older episode can just download the older episode.

      What if you did more FREAK-quently asked questions?

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  3. Irving Torres says:

    I think a great idea is to keep the weekly podcast as is but also release interesting/popular previous episodes via social media or e-mail. Another idea would be to engage with the audience a bit more by sharing interesting articles around the web or even other episodes from partner WNYC podcasts. Maybe it might also be a good idea to set up a ‘Freakonomics Radio X’ and model it after the ‘Ted X’ model where you could have people apply to release podcasts of equal merit on the off days.
    -Irving of

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    • plusECON says:

      I love your idea of TEDx style Freakonomics podcasts! As long as they’re vetted well and branded right (like just adding a ‘x’ so we know it’s not the ‘real’ podcast but could still be good), I think there’d be a lot of great submissions from all sorts of freakonomists.

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      • Irving Torres says:

        Thank you for the support. I really do believe this might be the way to go about it. I know there are a ton of curious minds out there willing to create interesting content. Freakonomics ‘X’ radio podcast…
        -Irving of

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  4. Quinn says:

    The most obvious answer I see to this question is defining what crap is. Just because you think it is crap does not mean it is crap to everyone. Also, if you posted a bunch of crap, could you still post some stuff that is not crap? Perhaps you could have show notes which indicated the level of crappyness.

    One solution would be multipart shows wish are shorter. You could break what you do right now into multiple parts and solve part of the problem right away. What that be crap?

    However, I think this is really just a supply and demand question. For example, if the Koch brothers paid you a $1,000,000 a show if you could pull off a non crappy show 5 days a week, could you do it? I mean for that amount of money, could you not hire a crap load of researchers? Perhaps you could even get technology to make someone else’s voice sound like yours so you would not have to record all the shows. And finally, repeats would help here as well. You already do that.

    Personally, I have a hard time listening to all the podcasts I want to listen to right now anyway. So, more postcasts from you might mean I would have to cut out someone else. I am sure something I listen must be crap in your eyes, but it is not to me.

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  5. MB says:

    Please don’t do re-runs and please don’t compromise on episode quality. You’re good where you are. 1/week with quality is enough. If someone needs more to listen to, there are other podcasts out there with 5 weekly podcasts, they’ll have something to listen to everyday. Check out TED Radio Hour for a start.

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  6. Ian says:

    I’d love daily too, but I’m happy with weekly for the sake of the quality. Two thoughts:

    I agree with reposting older episodes, especially for people like me who only started listening in the past little while.

    More “flow” content: to supplement your “stock” content such as podcasts, share interesting links, articles etc. that you find online that passes your own quality test. Things on topic that you read for fun and interest. I would trust it to be quality (and factually sound) if it came form you guys!

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    PS: more on “stock and flow” in content strategy

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  7. Greg says:

    I guess the problem really is how to put as much thought and work into a daily, or more frequent podcast schedule. So maybe do something used in many other industries, and outsource?

    Of course, I wouldn’t consider that a *true* freakonomics podcast, but a freakonomics approved podcast may have some value.

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  8. JaredTheGeek says:

    Its about engagement. As another poster stated. Interesting articles being shared through social media. There is also the Nerdist or TWiT way. Several shows with different hosts under the brand. There are many like minded people that may be doing terrific podcasts already and that synergy and cross promotion could be mutually beneficial.

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