I have interviewed a good amount of podcast creators and one of the questions I almost always ask is what part of podcasting they find most difficult. I would say 90% of them answer that some aspect post-production is the most tedious piece of beginning and continuing a show. It’s no wonder that our next industry leader, Jacob Bozarth with Resonate Recordings, has made a living helping shows handle post-production and ensuring their message is heard loud and clear. Jacob has been working in the podcasting industry since 2014 – when Resonate was founded – and listening long before that, and I had the pleasure of picking his brain on your behalf. You’re very welcome.
Jacob took a bit of a long road to get to podcasting, but once he abandoned his dream of being a rockstar, things really fell into place. He had earned his degree in recording audio from Middle Tennessee State University but had not been able to use it for a few years when he and a friend began recording demos for local bands and mastering a few churches’ service recordings. Not long into that side-business Jacob recognized the need for their services in the world of podcasting and began taking on podcasts as clients. “We come at it from a professional audio background. the mixing and mastering process is something unique to us that we’ve kind of built out for podcasting.”
Very early on in the history of Resonate Recordings, they switched to singularly working with podcasters and were doing well when they began working with Payne Lindsey from Up and Vanished. Working with such a huge show and one that opened the door to unique sound design used to tell a story meant that Resonate was getting a lot of exposure and experience all at once. That pushed Jacob to start asking, “How can we take this to the next level? It’s not just dialogue it’s music, it’s sound effects that have been recorded, it’s sound immersion that sounds like you’re there.” The way that sound design can be so vital to telling a story well had me wondering if beginning-to-end sound design was going to be in higher demand as podcasting grows.
Jacob was quick to make clear that talk shows, those that depend heavily on dialogue or report news and information through a single host, will always have a place. “Dialogue is king in our world,” he said, citing talk radio and its long-running success as proof. Though Jacob does not see high-level sound design necessarily becoming part of every podcast, he does see that its growth will impact quality standards. “I think like radio and like tv, the standards are going to be raised,” he explained. “You’re going to see more and more of a need for making sure your audio is mastered to that broadcast standard.” Everyone might not need professional audio technicians, but Jacob could speak to the growing number of people who are realizing they do need a podcast.
Resonate Recordings lists among its clients several businesses, including CitiBank, who use Resonate to create private podcasts for their employees. I hadn’t realized that companies were using podcasts to disseminate information and I asked if he thought they would become more of a norm for business. “Larger name companies are catching on and realizing that podcasting is a major and really important medium and they need to get on the bus as soon as possible if they don’t want to get left behind.” While some companies will be using the private shows for their own employees and others will join podcasting for the marketing opportunity, businesses aren’t the only ones catching on to the medium.
Everyone in podcasting is watching the movement of celebrities into the industry and wondering what it’s going to mean for the independent podcaster. While some say it’ll be beneficial and others worry the effects could be negative, Jacob said something that I had not thought of before. “The reality is that podcasting is a unique medium. So those larger players… they’re looking to us for expertise,” Jacob explained.
Even as celebrities and businesses from other mediums and spaces recognize podcasting as something they want to be a part of, they do not necessarily know how to podcast well and will need those who have experience to teach and guide them. Current podcasters are still the experts, still the creators, and still the ones with a level of authority within the medium. That fact means new arrivals are just one more chance to shape the industry and push it to new and exciting places.
The final thing Jacob said that he was excited about was just the growth of collaboration in the industry. Between reviews, databases, and shows, Jacob thinks that the way podcasting works together will shape its future. “That’s one thing we encourage our clients: to not view other podcasters as competitors but to view them as an ally.” Those allies are really important with so many people willing to help further those around them, and seeing where collaboration takes the industry as a whole is definitely something to look forward to.
More personally, Jacob and Resonate are really excited to make sure that podcasters have nothing standing between themselves in their audience, from basic audio quality to immersive music. Jacob is also excited to continue to educate those in podcasting so that they can make easy choices that help create clean, clear audio. So, if you want to learn more about who Jacob is working with and what they’re up to, check out Resonate Recordings.
This piece on Jacob Bozarth continues our new Industry Leaders series. We want to talk about the people who are pushing podcasting forward and hear what they think may be coming to podcasting as a whole. If you have suggestions for an interview or questions about the content, feel free to email me at email@example.com.