Marketers and content producers have been combating the short-attention span audience for years now. When it comes to an article, they need a catchy image or headline that forces the viewer to click without thinking. Television viewers tend to fast forward through commercials while watching a show. So, advertisers present an attention-getting device designed to instantaneous, or they will load up the ad with engaging visuals that MIGHT make a viewer stop forwarding and check out the spot. If you're producing a podcast, you should consider whether you're doing things that could cause a new listener to bail way too soon.
If said listener already has a player loaded with podcasts, you're going to have to convince them to add your show to their queue. If he/she is a picky podcast consumer, it might be even more challenging to keep them. Here are a few ways you can turn off a potentially new listener:
A REALLY LONG OR CONFUSING OPEN
Most seasoned podcast listeners have developed their own criteria in what draws them to a podcast. Couple that with a short attention span, and you have a very small window to prove to them that you're worthy of their time. So, it's best to have your introduction provide the listener with a short and clear show description.
If your podcast plays music for an extended period of time before anyone speaks, a new listener could bail before they hear a voice. If it's still a separate piece of audio that doesn't sound like a typical intro (like a string of clips), it can be confusing.
If you don't have an actual open to the show, get one made. You can use services like Fiverr and Pond5 for music and voices.
LOW QUALITY OR INCONSISTENT AUDIO
If you have a high-quality, professional sounding introduction followed by the sound of a voice that is low-quality, that creates an instant and jarring disconnect. If there are other people on the program, make sure their audio levels are consistent with one another. Don't make a new listener constantly adjust their volume in order to hear the quiet and the loud hosts. Take time to edit and normalize your audio.
NOT DISCUSSING YOUR TOPIC OR THEME
If you're interested in new listeners, then make a point to respect their time. If you tell them that your show is about comic books, don't spend the first 20 minutes talking about pizza or wrestling. Also, don't spend too much time trying to emulate a wacky morning radio crew where you're just chit-chatting about each other and laughing about random stuff. Get to the show topic at hand!
One way you can improve your chances of keeping new lsiteners is by taking time to listen to your shows. Pretend like you have nothing to do with your podcast, hit play and see if your mind wanders. If you find yourself getting anxious or zoning out...you clearly have things to work on.