A face and a mind for audio: Why Richard Palmer ‘gave up on modelling’ and turned to podcasting

Former Editor & Content Director

Triton Digital’s director of APAC market development, Richard Palmer, jokes that in another life, he could have been a model. One thing he’s deadly serious about though, is the power of audio – whether it’s demonstrated by his rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Tit Willow’, or by educating the market about podcast distribution, advertising and measurement. Here, he speaks to Vivienne Kelly about having a face, and a mind, for audio.

VK: Describe your job in one word:

RP: Amazing!

I’ve been fortunate to work in the audio industry since I was 14 years old. Every day I have the opportunity to help publishers create, distribute and monetise amazing audio content. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

VK: If you could make a podcast about anything, what would it be?

RP: This will sound a little nerdy, but I’m a massive fan of home automation with nine smart speakers and even an iron that I can switch on remotely. I’ve always thought about creating a podcast more for the smart home industry than a consumer that dives deeper into the technology.

I’m not sure how many downloads it would get, but I’m sure there’s an audience out there somewhere.

VK: What is the biggest mistake you see in podcasting?

RP: Probably someone making a podcast about home automation technology. All jokes aside, podcasts that go way too long and the quality of the audio. The biggest turn off for me is hearing poor audio.

VK: What’s your prediction for where the industry will be in five years?

RP: Audio already plays a significant role in the way that people search, consume and communicate. The industry has a huge opportunity to build or make available their content for search by ensuring it’s searchable, tagged and accessible in short form.

VK: What advice would you give to somebody looking to work in podcasting?

RP: You don’t need the best equipment or excellent production skills – start small, continually evolve your ideas, and keep pushing when you feel like giving up. It’ll be worth it in the long run.

Also, don’t be afraid to contact podcast publishers and networks to see what jobs they have available or how you can get your foot in the door with their company. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

VK: What is the best part of your role?

RP: Helping shape the industry with my fellow members on the IAB Audio Council and seeing clients successfully grow their content and businesses. Nothing makes me happier than jumping into the analytics and seeing 200% or 300% increases in downloads month on month.

VK: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

RP: Not having enough hours in the day to help educate the market on the benefits of podcast distribution, advertising and measurement.

VK: What about the wider industry, what challenges is it facing?

RP: From an advertising perspective, it’s helping brands, and advertisers better understand the advantages of dynamic ad insertion to deliver relevant, targeted and meaningful advertising to consumers. From a content perspective, it’s how the industry is going to evolve and in which direction. Is it walled gardens or free content with ad-funded models? I know in Australia that we have some of the best people, content, and technology the world offers, driving the industry forward.

VK: What’s something about you that might surprise people?

RP: I’m not a bad singer and can belt out quite a good version of ‘Tit Willow’ by Gilbert and Sullivan.

If you ever get a chance, feel free to ask, and I shall be more than happy to serenade you. But I’ll need a few drinks first to help with the nerves.

VK: If you weren’t in podcasting, what do you think you’d be doing?

RP: I’ve always wanted to be a model, but I’m reminded constantly by friends and family that I have the voice and a face for radio, so I don’t think I would move too far away from the audio space.

Entries for Radio Today’s Podcast Awards with LiSTNR are now open. Categories span podcast executive leader of the year, host or presenter of the year, branded podcast of the year and podcast company of the year. Late entries are open now until July 4. More information is available here.


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