Student podcasters create original series


Thomas Derry

Student podcasters like first-year transfer studies student Micah Walker say the production is time consuming but doesn’t cost much money.

Andrea Bridgett, Reporter

More than 2,000 listeners follow “Stoppage Time,” a two-year-old podcast by AACC student Joseph Angerome. Fellow student Micah Walker’s podcast, “At Least You’re Not Me,” has fewer fans.

To be exact, Walker’s podcast has only one follower.

That’s because Walker, a first-year transfer studies student, is still working out the kinks in his three-month-old podcast, so he has shared the link with only one person–his cousin.

Walker said it is important to “plan and also make sure you are determined” before doing a full-scale podcast launch.

Walker and Angerome, a first-year transfer studies student, are two of just a handful of AACC students who have created podcasts–and each one takes a different approach.

For example, Andrew Littin, a second-year film studies student who hosts a podcast called “Rock of Ages,” creates episodes lasting from 15 minutes to an hour, while Walker’s podcast runs a brief three to seven minutes per episode.

“There’s a lot of different formats [of podcasts] out there,” said Dan Baum, AACC’s executive director of strategic communications and host of the college’s podcast, “Redefine U.  “It might be a solo; it might be a story format.”

Baum said podcast hosts have many options when it comes to format, but timing is an important part of keeping the audience engaged.

“A number of years ago, the sweet spot seemed to be around 30 minutes … which really reflected the average [commuter] time,” Baum said. “What has changed, in COVID, is that people are doing other activities, whether it’s walking the dog … or working out … and that has grown. You now have a lot of long-format [podcasts], which could be 60 minutes or more.”

The student podcasters said it takes a lot of time but little money to produce a podcast.

“At times it might be time consuming,” Littin said. ”It may seem like nothing’s moving at all, but … at the end of the day it’s worth it because you’re creating what I essentially think is art.” 

Baum agreed it takes a lot of hard work to create a thoughtful and polished podcast.

“Students who are interested in doing a podcast would be well advised to spend some time on the pre-production,” Baum said. “You can accomplish a lot by putting a lot of effort into that front piece.”

Baum said pre-production, production and post-production are the three major parts of the podcasting process.

Still, Angerome said he is able to produce his podcast for little to no cost. 

“I got the microphone gifted to me … but besides that, it’s been free,” Angerome said. 

“I downloaded [recording software] OBS to record the audio, which is free,” Littin said. “I do have a microphone and I encourage everyone else … to have a microphone, too.”

Walker said he uses the voice-memo app on his phone to record episodes. 

Littin said it doesn’t cost anything to distribute his podcast. 

“You can do it pretty inexpensively with a variety of different free softwares in which you have minimal editing, you don’t try to do music and stuff like that,” Baum said. “To be perfectly honest, your phone, in all likelihood, records some pretty awesome audio. If you have some decent … airpods or something, that may be all you need.” 

Baum said podcasting is something that keeps evolving.

“People are putting these on YouTube, so there’s a video component now,” Baum said. “They’re calling it a podcast. But it’s really become this sort of hybrid video cast, almost like a talk show or a presentation. And they might have graphics with that. … I think students have a wide range.” 

Angerome said he would encourage all students who want to host a podcast to promote it on social media with some visuals. 

“It will start on TikTok and then it carries over [to Spotify],” Angerome said. “I think anything should try to be promoted on TikTok … honestly, just post anywhere you can.”

Littin said he was inspired to start “Rock of Ages” by another podcast called “1001 Album Club.

“In one of my spotify wrapped [playlists] I got a podcast recommendation and I just could not stop listening to it,” Littin said. “And I was like well, what if I did a podcast just like this?”

“I think what might be advice for students is to look at some of the [podcasts] that you admire, and you can sort-of model after that,” Baum said.

For Angerome, boredom during the COVID-19 lockdown led to “Stoppage Time.” 

“I was just, like, I’ll just play around and see what happens,” said Angerome, who spent time creating TIkTok videos to market his podcast. 

According to Triton Digital, in 2023 more than 5 million podcasts had approximately 70 million episodes globally. With more than 100 million active monthly listeners, the U.S. is the largest podcast market.

Baum said students want to jump on the bandwagon of podcasting because it’s an intriguing new form of media. 

On Walker’s podcast, he invites strangers to anonymously vent about their problems. He said he likes being able to say he has a podcast. 

On Littin’s podcast, he invites his theater friends to come on as guests and he introduces them to classic rock music.

“There’s a lot of different ways that you can tell a story, present information [and] share your point of view,” Baum said. “I think it creates some real opportunities … if [students] feel that they’re an entertainer [or] performer, this is a new medium for them to test out.”

Angerome said his favorite part about having a podcast has been practicing speaking to an audience. 

“Speaking to an audience that understands me and I don’t have to over explain stuff, I really like that, and just being able to reach out to a bigger community with shared interests,” Angerome said. 

Littin said hosting a podcast takes a lot of dedication, but pocasters should have fun doing it.

“If this interests you, give it a shot,” Baum said. “Just know that there’s going to be a little more effort and just be prepared to give it that effort. Give it your all.”