Stars in Your Ears: The harsh realities of podcasting

When creating a new podcast, be prepared to manage your expectations

Award-winning comedian and impressionist Jess Robinson brought joy and laughter to audiences worldwide when she decided to launch the Stars in Your Ears podcast in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic. The elaborately-produced show combined elements of original music featuring her “fabulous live band” and a masterclass with Robinson teaching celebrity guests how to do the impressions that fans have admired her for since performing in Britain’s Got Talent 2012.

Now Robinson is facing the realities of what it’s like to sustain a production at this level while being financially independent. In the latest episode of PodPod, she opens up on what she’s learned from this experience and how she wants to move forward. Robinson, alongside the show’s producer Jo Walker, spoke to PodPod host Rhianna Dhillon as well as Matt Hill and Andrea Fox about funding a podcast as an independent creator, why awards don’t always equate to engagement, and the importance of building a sustainable model.


Key Takeaways

Have a clear idea of who your podcast’s target audience is 

 “Quite a lot of my audience that I’ve built up over the years… might be between 50 and 70 and a lot of them are not podcast listeners,” said Robinson. “... they just don’t quite understand what it is and why it’s not on the radio or whatever, so that was quite hard… I don’t think I realised what a tiny little minnow in a massive sea I was.” 

You need to be able to put up content regularly to build an audience

“In terms of numbers, I don't think it ever particularly has got to that point yet that we wanted, where it's making money - or even just has the amount of listeners that we wanted to get or the following that we wanted to get - which is sort of disappointing,” said Robinson. “... the amount of hours that go into making one episode… it is so different to just sitting at a microphone for an hour a week or maybe getting three or four episodes done in a day, it's just so impossible to do that. I think one of the things that I have definitely learned is that you have to be putting content out there every single week to have a regular following.” 

Find a sustainable model that will not lead to burn-out

“We're trying to find a way to work around how do you make something sustainable and keep the silliness that we found and we love and we think is the heart and soul of Stars In Your Ears but we need to make it more sustainable so that we're not spending hours and hours; I don't wanna say losing money cause that's harsh, but it is a lot of work for time that we're not getting paid,” said Walker. 

Read the full transcript


Last night a podcast saved my life

Getting heard: How to boost your podcast with PR and marketing

Most podcasts have small audiences - and that’s OK

My Dad Wrote A Porno: Knowing the right time to end your podcast

Stars In Your Ears - Auddy

The Horne Section Podcast on acast

The Guilty Feminist – The comedy podcast hosted by Deborah Frances-White


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