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The Disadvantages of Podcasts in Businesses

by Chris Miksen, Demand Media

Podcasts allow you to deliver an audio or video recording to people interested in your business. They can be an effective way to build brand awareness and to attract people to your products and services, but they also include a few downsides. From a failure to connect with certain people to finding yourself in legal trouble, the cons of podcasts may outweigh the pros.


Creating and editing a podcast is a time sink. Planning the direction of the podcast, thinking of a theme, writing the podcast itself and then creating it all takes time, to the tune of several hours. One podcast a week won't interfere too much with your business operations, but daily or multiple weekly podcasts may cause problems.

Target Audience

Podcasts can and do work for certain business by helping build the company's brand image and reaching out to consumers. However, not all businesses are positioned to connect with their target audience through podcasts. For example, a business that provides products for senior citizens is unlikely to see a noticeable impact by delivering podcasts. The business' target audience isn't as likely to use the Internet or know what podcasts are when compared with the younger generation.

Legal Trouble

It's natural to want to include music or video on your podcast, but doing so could land you in legal trouble. To add copyrighted music or video to your podcast, you must have permission from the owner of the song or video. Otherwise, you may be sued. This may not be a problem if you're handling all of the podcast duties, but if you pass the work onto another employee -- or worse, a group of employees -- someone may inadvertently include media that you're not allowed to use.

Connecting With People

A podcast needs to immediately grab a person's interest and then hold onto it. Depending on the content your podcasts, that's often easier said than done. Text is an effective source of content, because people can scan each section to find what they want and what interests them. That's more difficult to do with video. If you appear nervous or don't have a clear, engaging voice, it's much easier for a person to exit your podcast and go search for other content.

Search Engines

Unless people already know that your business has a website, it's difficult to drive people to your site and make them aware of your business with podcasts. Unlike written content that's easily searchable and something that you can rank for on a search engine, podcasts do not appear in the initial search engine results pages.

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