Do you host a podcast? Are you looking for a way to spice up your episodes? Then you might want to try the latest trend — live podcasts. Unlike traditional podcasts, listeners can tune in and interact with you, in real time. And live podcasts mean no editing or post-production, just spontaneous, raw content.
What are the benefits of a live podcast and what do you need to create your own? Read on to find out!
What is a live podcast?
A live podcast is an audio show that you stream live to an audience who are listening in real time, which means you can directly interact with them. In contrast, a regular podcast is a pre-recorded (and often edited) audio show that is published on demand, which listeners can access whenever they want.
You can also use video during your live podcasts. Video podcasts can increase listener engagement through the use of visual elements such as body language, facial expressions and graphics. In addition, they give the audience the feeling of being in the room while recording or talking.
Why do a live podcast?
Live podcasting is a good strategy when you want to connect with your audience on a more personal level. If you need more convincing, here are the key benefits of hosting a live podcast:
It can build a stronger community
By bringing your listeners together in person, you can create a sense of community and strengthen the bond between you and your audience. When listeners tune in to a live podcast, they feel like they're a part of something special, sharing a unique experience with like-minded individuals.
It can generate revenue
Live podcasts can be a profitable venture. You can charge for tickets to an event, sell merchandise, or create exclusive content for attendees. It's a great way to monetize your podcast and earn extra cash.
It allows interaction with your audience in real time
When you host a live podcast, you can communicate with your audience simultaneously. You can answer questions live and gain a better understanding of your listeners.
It allows collaboration with others
You can easily collaborate with other podcasters, influencers or experts in your field. You can invite them to join you on stage or as a guest and create a unique and interesting show that your audience will love.
It takes less time to produce
While we all know video is important, creating polished, edited content takes work. But you can make a live podcast without video and still create a great product, saving you hours in preparation, production and even post-production.
A live podcast is unedited and spontaneous, which can give you a sense of excitement and your viewers a sense of inclusion that's hard to beat.
Types of live podcasts
Live podcasts come in many different types and formats, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. Before you broadcast your first live episode, explore these formats to decide which ones best suit your goals.
Panel shows are popular in live podcasting, allowing listeners to tune in and participate in real-time discussions with a group of hosts or guests. These shows can cover various topics, from politics and current events to pop culture and entertainment.
One example is "The Daily Zeitgeist," hosted by comedians Jack O'Brien and Miles Gray. It covers pop culture and politics and features a rotating panel of guests offering their own unique perspectives.
Q&A sessions allow your audience to get to know you and your guests on a deeper level and for the hosts and guests to engage with their listeners.
Hosts and guests may answer questions about their personal lives, their experiences with podcasting, or any other topic the audience is interested in.
Interviews are a classic type of live podcasting, allowing hosts to sit down with guests and have in-depth conversations.
Comedy shows are a fun and entertaining type of live podcasting that allows comedians to showcase their talents and connect with their audience in real time.
These shows typically feature comedians performing stand-up routines, improv games or engaging in humorous discussions.
Here, hosts and guests can share personal stories with their audience in real time. These shows typically feature a mix of pre-recorded and live storytelling, providing listeners with a unique and intimate experience.
One example of a fascinating live storytelling podcast is "The Moth," a nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of storytelling. It features people sharing true personal stories in front of a live audience, often with a theme such as "Love Hurts" or "My Hero."
These live podcasts combine different elements, such as music, comedy, interviews and more.
You and your guests may perform different acts, and the show may have a loose structure or format. Doing a variety show can allow you to experiment with different types of entertainment in one show.
How to start a live podcast
1. Choose your software for live podcasting
Software for a live podcast should have audio recording and editing features as well as live streaming functionality. Having to use one app for streaming and a separate one for audio editing is clunky and makes it tough to stay organized.
Restream Studio has all the features you need to create a professional-looking live podcast. You can multistream to your favorite platforms but you can also customize your show with your branding, add guests by simply sending them a link and download the recording of your live show to edit and publish on podcasting platforms later.
Make a professional live podcast using Restream Studio’s features:
- Live episode recordings are saved and downloadable as soon as the show is over
- Live streaming integration with social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Multistreaming (broadcasting on more than one platform simultaneously)
- Recording quality of at least 44.1 kHz audio resolution (but 48 kHz is better)
- Echo cancellation, noise suppression and stereo sound
- If you want to add video, have resolution quality of at least 720p (but 1080p is better)
- Customization features for adding logos, graphics and other branding if you include video
- Playing local video or audio files to serve as an intro, outro, transition or sponsored message
- Compatible with more than one camera if you have an in-studio co-host or guest
- Secure and easy way to add guests or interviewees to the live show
- Cloud storage for your recordings
- Downloading your show as an MP4 or MP3 file, with split-track recording available
- Technical support to help you troubleshoot issues easily
- Live chat management features if you want to incorporate audience participation
2. Set up your podcasting equipment
Starting a live podcast does not require much investment in your equipment. Here is the basic setup that you need to get started.
Podcasts are all about sound. So if you have bad audio, your audience won't tune into your show — no matter how interesting your content is. You can easily get studio-quality sound by investing in a good microphone.
You can choose USB or XLR microphones. USB is a simpler and more affordable option. USB microphones are generally easier to set up and use, making them a good choice for beginners or those who want to podcast on a budget. However, they may not offer the same audio quality or control level as an XLR microphone.
Pop filter and headphones
Pop filters or “pop shields” provide protection against the popping sounds that everyone usually makes when speaking. It can serve as a barrier between you and the microphone and catch all the “plosive” sounds (like p’s and b’s) before they can make it to the microphone diaphragm.
Headphones can help you clearly hear your audio sounds. They are also good for reducing audio bleed and echo noise. Wired headphones usually have more advantages than wireless headphones, as they don’t rely on a battery.
Camera (if you want to include video)
If you add the visual element to your live podcast streaming, good image quality is important. We recommend using a high-resolution camera to ensure your audience can see you and any guests or co-hosts clearly. Look for a camera with a resolution of at least 1080p or higher and a USB or HDMI port.
Mobile device or computer
Whether it's a PC, laptop or tablet, you'll need a computer to stream your live podcast.
3. Create a script for your podcast content
Everyone writes their podcast plans on paper, even world-famous podcasters. A script is especially important if you’re hosting a live podcast, as it happens in real time and you can’t re-record or edit it. Scripts are also useful if you want to reduce excessive rambling or pauses and make the podcast process as smooth as possible.
4. Choose a time
When broadcasting your live podcast, deciding on the time is important. Research the time of day you’ll get the largest audience and the time zones they live in. Consider the type of content you create and your audience's lifestyle, and make decisions accordingly.
Here’s a brief overview of popular social media platforms and their peak audience time:
- YouTube — weekends from 12 pm to 2 pm
- Facebook — Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 pm to 4 pm
- Twitch — all days from 1 am to 9 am
Live podcasts are the perfect choice if you want to engage your listeners and connect with them on a personal level. The live format offers opportunities to build a stronger community, collaborate with others, and even monitize your content. Getting started is easy — all you need is a USB microphone, audio recording software and your computer. Let your voice be heard!