How to Podcast Live: 5 Reasons, 4 Cautions – TAP042


On Air lighted signThis is the launch of a miniseries about live-podcasting. Before we get into the “how to podcast live” specifics, it’s best to answer why you should podcast live.

Five reasons for live-streaming your podcast

  1. Consistency and accountability
  2. Bonus experience and content for attendees
  3. Direct interaction with your listeners
  4. Community-building interaction among your listeners
  5. Improves your content

Why else do you think someone should live-podcast? What other benefits do you see?

Four cautions before your broadcast live

  1. Don’t neglect the rest of your audience.
  2. Don’t let the chatroom (or other technology) distract you.
  3. Not compatible on all mobile devices (but hear Ray Ortega’s review of Mixlr for audio-only streaming).
  4. It’s complicated to do for free. It takes money to make it easier.

How else would you caution live-podcasters? What have you seen done wrong, messed up yourself, or see me do wrong?

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  • Daniel M. Clark

    Is podcasting live still podcasting? Or is it the live streaming of the recording that will be a podcast? Or is it the live streaming of podcasting? If "podcasts" are, as Wikipedia defines them, "non-streamed webcast[s]", then are we looking at an evolution of the word "podcast" or "podcasting"?

    On the radio, morning hosts will do four hours of a show and at the end say "if you missed anything, today's show will be available as a podcast on the site later" – but what they're doing during the live show isn't podcasting.

    Is Leo right? Should we be calling them netcasts??? (I hope not lol)

    That said, I love doing stuff live, whatever it's called 😀

    • Daniel Lewis

      Daniel, that is an excellent point and I continually debate the correct term. The problem is correctness vs. recognizability. I think that "live podcasting" may be more immediate familiar to people, but I agree that it's actually oxymoronic.

      "Live-streaming a podcast" is better (as long as you remember that "podcast" is the overall designation of the show, not an individual episode), but still not quite accurate since a "podcast" is downloaded media syndicated through RSS.

      I initially liked the term "netcast" because it got away from the typical issue, "I don't have an iPod," and it better communicated that it was Internet media. But "netcasts" is not as easy to say as "podcasts," and I think "podcasts" is too far-spread to change the population now. I've been fighting "Mac vs. PC" terminology battles for a long time.

  • Scott Oakland

    Now that MixLr is out, I have gotten more excited about doing the live thing, and this is the second week in a row that I have done it. I was using TalkShoe just for the LIVE function, but that garnered 0 listeners. Now with MixLr I get 2 or 3 :) So I guess the trick is to get them to listen live. I have tried Tweeting and FB'ing it a few minutes before. I have a weekly podcast that has garnered around 25,000 downloads since last Sept. But what else can I do to get LIVE listeners?

    Scott Oakland

    • Daniel Lewis

      How to build a live audience from downloading and subscribing listeners is a great question, Scott! In short, you have to promote the live shows as a consistently scheduled event, and promote it within your podcast episodes, so your downloaders will hear it and mark their calendars.

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  • Brenton Nedjeljko Ilichich

    Hi Daniel (or anybody else who can answer this),
    I am from Australia and would like to start live-streaming podcasts. What I am interested in doing is commentating live Football matches in my lounge room straight off the television set. Is anyone aware of how great the lag time is, if any? Obviously if I am going to do this, it wouldn’t work if the audio was delayed by much.
    Any information here would be real handy. Thanks!

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      Hi, Brenton!

      Lag can be pretty bad for live commentary like that, especially since it would be illegal to restream what you’re watching. YouTube Live has 45–60-second lag, Ustream and Livestream are lower on desktops and longer on mobile devices. Audio-only streaming may be your better option because there’s far less information to process. So Mixlr’s lag is about 10–15 seconds.

      • Pedro Moorcraft

        Hey guys,

        Great to hear Mixlr mentioned on this discussion. I am their community manager and can report that we have had users with only 3 or 4 seconds of lag. We also have a large number of broadcasters doing live football comentary so I’m sure you’ll fit in like a glove. If you have any more questions or feedback feel free to email me at

      • Brenton Nedjeljko Ilichich

        Daniel thanks for your reply!

        My intention would be to only live stream audio. Could you reccomend a platform for live audio streaming only? Thanks Daniel :-)

        • Daniel J. Lewis

          Definitely! Use Mixlr.