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COLUMN: Listen to Central Michigan Life podcasts

Soundcheck hosts Andrew Mullin (left) and Michael Livingston (right) pose for a photo.

It’s common for me to stay up late the night before a recording day. I'll rehearse an opening statement or fill a document with notes, anything I can do to make the episode flow as smoothly and intelligently as possible. But after every last word and final thank you to the editor, I wonder if my voice will ever reach anyone. 

Central Michigan Life has been producing student podcasts since 2014, four years before I arrived at Central Michigan University and I was invited to co-host my own. For the time CM Life podcasts have been around, their audience size does not do them justice. 

Students should take time out of their day to check out a student podcast. At the end of each episode, the listener is guaranteed to be entertained, informed and more connected to their university. 

The future is bright for podcasting. The long-form, episodic format allows listeners to tune in whenever they want. NPR reported that their podcast network viewership rose from 5.4 million in 2017 to 7.1 million in 2018. 

I got lucky that my podcast pertains to one of my biggest personality traits, my love of music. However, this doesn’t make recording an episode any easier. Even if I’m familiar with the episode's topic, it doesn’t stop me from doing a deep dive into a band, performer or genre to make sure everything I say is factual. 

This dedication to making the platform educational appears on all other podcasts sponsored by CM Life. A great deal of thought and research goes into each episode. Not to mention the tedious work by multimedia editors after recording. 

Despite the amount of work and planning that goes into a podcast the hosts, editors and guests have little to show for it. Averaging in about zero to two plays on SoundCloud, CM Life podcasts are in drastic need of an audience. 

Engaging with student media has benefits of its own. 

With a larger audience, the shows will become more interactive. Students will be able to give input on how the podcasts are structured, the topics that are discussed and possibly guest star on their favorite show. 

“Now for anyone who’s curious… well, for all five of our listeners...” 

Those are words I hear at least once a week from my faithful co-host as he speaks anxiously into the drooping microphone. 

Someday soon I hope to hear those words for the last time. One day I hope to speak into the microphone with full confidence, knowing that on the other side is an audience of curious people.