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Speeding Up Podcast

Speed Thrills and Speed Kills

I love the phrase “speed thrills.” We understand that phrase for roller coasters, but we also experience thrills when we get something faster than expected. Speed also kills. Working too fast produces errors and less depth of analysis or simmering — you can’t speed up a great soufflé.

Speeding Up PodcastSometimes speed in media is just downright nasty. TBS is speeding up Seinfeld reruns by more than 7% to squeeze 1 to 2 more minutes of commercials in the episodes. I don’t think cord-cutters are canning TBS because there are too few commercials. There is a proper amount of commercials for a 30-minute show. Adding 2 more minutes and speeding up the show will ruin the pacing, the tension and the artistry. Speed kills, and it is just not worth it.

Yet notice on your podcast player, there is the ability to speed up a podcast by 2 to 3 times, and this feature does not make chipmunks of the podcasters. People who listen to podcasts sped up are called “podfasters.” Some apps remove the dead space in podcasts (even between words) to wring out any silence and collapse the podcast by 10% to 15%.

I’m an avid podcast listener — you can’t read on a bike. And I find the sped-up version destroys the art of timing. It just doesn’t feel right, and I begin to listen to the speed more than words and meaning. In this case, speed kills again. I may get to listen to more podcasts, but what’s the point if I miss the artistry of the audio, the production values and the cadence of the words.

However, some researchers believe that podfasters are less likely to skip ads in the fast mode. Podcasts need sponsors and advertisers to survive, and advertisers need the audience to provide information about their products and services.

And so the debate continues: Speed thrills and speed kills. It’s finding the balance that is important in all things.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.