Over the last couple of weeks there has been a resurgence of the snooker podcast – something that has definitely been missing from the sport’s media spectrum.
Of course, you may remember that several years ago myself and Fin Ruane hosted a series of podcasts with a medium degree of success.
With that experience in mind, I understand how difficult it is to, first, make the effort to record and edit the podcasts on a regular basis, before subsequently generating enough interest in them to warrant its continuance.
I’m not sure there’s a big coincidence that there have been six years in between David Hendon’s Snooker Scene podcast with magazine editor Clive Everton, mainly for those simple but understandable reasons outlined above.
In their first offering since 2009 the pair discuss, among other things, Fergal O’Brien and the lack of young Irish players emerging into the professional scene.
Previously, at the end of September Josh Robinson began his snooker podcast called Behind Baulk which featured an interview with Main Tour competitor Sean O’Sullivan.
It’s definitely a positive thing that there will now be regular podcasts on offer for us to listen to and enjoy but obviously their success is reliant on quality substance.
Personally, I feel that a podcast really needs more than two voices for it to remain interesting.
Listening to one or even two voices bouncing back and forth can become a bit repetitive and difficult to pay attention to – granted the charm of audio alone is that you can handily dip in and out as you please without ever really feeling the disturbance of having missed all that much.
Obviously, getting three or more people into the studio at the same time every fortnight could prove to be a bit of a headache but ideally what you want from these podcasts are debates, and there’s a better chance of that happening with more than two people involved.
Prerecorded or phone interviews and audio from archived footage would then be the most obvious substitute to break up the monotony, although any inclusion of the latter would probably be subject to copyright infringements.
What would you like to hear in podcasts?
It’s difficult to get the balance right but it’s great that snooker fans now at least have the option to tune in to some musings about the game and, just like buses, two have come along at once.
Hopefully they can both be successful and, if all else is lost, there’ll still be social media, Mr. Reliable, for farcical debates.
Hi, David. As someone who took a run at doing a snooker podcast a few years ago, I think it’s fantastic these new (and old) ones have come up, and the more the better.
I’m not sure if a quantity of voices is as important as a quantity of perspectives and sounds. Podcasters shouldn’t be afraid of recording in different environments – an office, the club (though, boy, keeping snooker shots from peaking on audio is a PAIN), a player’s dressing room, outside a venue, a cafe – to give interest through a sense of place. If someone really wants to stick with a studio environment, fair enough – have all your audio ducks in a row. There are plenty of sources to find out more about having a pro-sounding environment. (Remember the live snooker commentary on the WS streams? They could learn from some people.)
I also don’t think debate as such is as important as a conversation – two terms many in the media have mixed up lately. Chemistry among podcast hosts is waaaay harder to nail than it seems. But it can be done, and sometimes differing opinions can help. Perhaps more important than anything for me in a podcast, snooker or otherwise, is a passion and transparency for what’s being discussed. From Clive Everton down to a Chinese fan cheering along the red carpet, everyone’s got stories to tell and with podcasting, everyone has the ability to tell them. We don’t have to listen to them all, of course, but it’s great to have the choices.
Hi, Valerie. Thanks for the comment. Absolutely agree about recording in different environments. The key to good audio (radio) is a mixture of sounds. That’s basically what I was getting at in the post as well but didn’t deliver the message very well ha. If it’s just two people talking it’s going to get boring quicker, for me at least, regardless of whether the conversation is any good.
A mixture of all of the above is ideal but to do that needs a dedicated approach. The podcasts aren’t going to earn them any money so I can understand if the process of recording everything and then editing it together seems unnecessarily time costly. It’s a tricky one. But anyway, it’s good to have something out there for a start.