The Idea of Podcast “Seasons”

The idea of podcast “seasons” seems to be gaining steam across the web. Much like television, the idea is that a set number of episodes are considered a “season” which is then followed by a break of some amount of time, and then the next season. This new season could encompass a format or personnel change as well.

We have done 156 episodes of the Hippo Podamus podcast and when we started back in 20111 the idea of podcasts seasons was very new. Now that it seems more common it’s something I wish we had done.

First off, it would be nice to have a bit of a break from doing the show every week. Sometimes you just aren’t feeling it or there are not topics that are particularly worth talking about2. Having that built-in break helps not just the hosts, but the audience, since they know that a break is coming and when it’s coming.

Format change is another factor. We have changed formats multiple times over the lifespan of the podcast. We actually came full circle back to the original idea of one topic per show, but split it over two shows a week instead of just one. So far the feedback has been mostly positive, and it’s much easier to get a single show out.

But having these breaks would create the opportunity to try these changes at more regular intervals, instead of just randomly.

Podcast seasons don’t add a huge advantage to the listener, at least not existing listeners. They do provide a good starting point for new listeners who come in later and want to get into the flow of the show without starting from the beginning. The only benefit to current listeners would be the opportunity to catch up during breaks, or to jump ahead to the next season if they fall too far behind.

It seems like it would be hard to do this with the Hippo Podamus at this point. If we started it tomorrow, would we just consider the first 156 episodes season 1? Would we go back and try to determine logical breaks for previous seasons, count those up and start at whatever number came next?

If I could do it all over again I would definitely have a break in February right after the Super Bowl. Probably 2–3 weeks off. Then maybe even repeat that in late July/early August. That would mean two seasons per year, each encompassing about 5.5 months. This would give some time to tweak formats and try some new things out.

  1. Crazy that it’s been that long []
  2. February is a particularly hard month for us since it’s a bit of downtime for our favorite sports, it’s a bad month for movies and even with the modern TV schedule there are not a lot of finales around this time. []