When Die Hard 2 came out all those years ago, one of the wonderful things it did was skip the opening credits and just got straight into it.
Opening credits though are still very much the norm, and although they can occasionally be a key part of the experience (eg James Bond credits) usually they are just annoying. Who wouldn’t choose to skip the credits if they were given the choice?
Podcasts it seem are a similar situation. Most podcasts insist on having opening (and closing) jingles/credits/annoyances.
There’s a few wonderful exceptions – Exponent and The Talk Show come to mind – but for the main shows have 30 seconds (or more!) of time-wasting self promotion that has everyone either enduring or frantically skipping through (I’m definitely the latter).
Why do podcasts have these jingles/credits? Perhaps a first impression of an episode with a professional sounding jingle will improve the perception it gives. But I doubt it. And it definitely wears off quickly if you hear it every episode. It adds no value to the listener.
I’m fine with a closing call-to-action or a request to leave a review. But to waste 30 seconds of a listener’s time with (usually) terrible stock music and annoying voiceover is a strange practice. And yet almost everyone does it. Why?
I’d love it if a popular podcast tested this. They’d create a new podcast that had exactly the same content but without the jingle/intro/outro. And they simply let listeners decide. I’d bet a cap full of cash that most listeners would switch over to the intro free version in a heartbeat.
Or would they? When Ian and I were starting HubShots one of the things I felt strongly about was having no intro. I wonder if it is has helped us or hindered us?