While The Daily is one of the most listened-to podcasts in the world, with approximately four million daily downloads, its success story is full of lessons. 

In this blog post, we decrypt the interview conducted by INA – the French National Audiovisual Institue, with Clare Toeniskoetter, The Daily’s senior producer. We want to highlight some of the keys to success for your podcast and give you ways to start your show or improve your creative methods, thanks to the expertise of LiLiCAST.




I. The Daily & its success 🚀


What is the Daily? 

The show found its starting point in February 2017 and is still today in the top 5 most listened podcasts on Spotify. There are over 1500 episodes produced, addressing current events in roughly 30 minutes. The journalistic work backed by the New York Times and the podcast’s political news format make it a must for English-speaking listeners. The show also performs well internationally. 

What is its success? 

The Daily’s success is four million daily downloads, twice as many as in early 2020. This number is significant in terms of audience since the podcast has a discussion format and usually takes the time to analyze a news item in 25-30 minutes. It’s not a short podcast. 

When you look up the show on Apple Podcasts, you’ll notice that The Daily has an excellent rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, proving the program’s quality. Innovative journalism in a world where “the way we inform ourselves is changing” – as said in the INA article, is at the core of The Daily’s success. Though, how do you get to a podcast with such impact?

What are the podcast’s keys to success?

Through the article written by INA, we discover the keys to success when creating a podcast. Here are the ones we remember:

– The New York Times editorial quality and its journalists

The Daily’s success is no surprise. Most episodes are an interview with a member of the newspapers’ editorial staff, discussing a news story they have covered. Knowing the achievement of the organization and its recent digital transformation, one can make a clear link between the podcast’s success, the organization’s strategy, and the skills of its editorial staff.

– An effective format

As said in its name, The Daily comprises day-to-day episodes from Monday to Friday. Perfect to offer a 30-minute news dose that fits everyday travel and transportation.

– The planning of the episodes, the script made beforehand 

We’re getting into what’s most interesting for us. Clare Toeniskotter quotes: “We try to plan as much as possible, at least five days in advance, including for major news events.” This planning gives them quite a bit of leeway in creating their episodes. On top of that, the team making the podcast structures each upcoming interview. They write down the script of the interview, both questions and answers.

– The team’s adaptability

The INA article describes that the podcast team schedules its episodes but “adapts to the news.” The team adapts if it plans to do more ambitious episodes or some involving work done over several days. On top of that, the podcast has two presenters who effectively share the job and allow for a good rotation of episodes, even if something unexpected happens.

– A team organization, collaborative and effective creation 

The Daily requires going fast. We observe a robust collaborative organization, with a large editorial team of nearly 40 people, rotating according to the episodes and periods. This fast-growing and now international team uses Google Hangouts to work, from brainstorming to recording.

– The sound signature

We want to point out one last element of success, which is obviously the sound signature, The Daily’s audio branding. The show first used third-party sound banks and today has its composers. The article highlights the importance of jingles and energetic but also “neutral” themes so that the melodies do not trigger specific emotions, as the podcast is indeed a news show.


II. LiLiCAST has been designed to allow the same creation process 💡

These keys to success illustrate an effective process ad hoc when producing a podcast. Adopting them will save time while maximizing the impact of the content. LiLiCAST was designed to follow this kind of process. Structuring the script, being efficient when recording, adding your audio signature, etc., we allow everyone with something to say to do so in the quickest and most impactful way possible.

Structure your script

Scripting your episode is crucial to creating quality content alone or as a team. Whether it is a text to be read or notes, writing down allows you to structure your thoughts. In the case of a podcast with an interview format like The Daily, scripting makes you prepared and able to guide the guest. That’s why the first step in creating an episode on LiLiCAST is to prepare the script. Throw all your ideas into content cards, and reorganize them. You can use the cards for scripting your episode by structuring it and playing with your text. Cutting it up, modifying it, highlighting key elements… everything is designed to make the best possible storyline.


Record several takes and keep the best one

“The recording usually lasts between 90 minutes and two hours, for an episode of 25 to 30 minutes. We sometimes repeat questions several times to have the best possible answer with the most interesting details of the pre-interview,” explains Clare Toeniskoetter in the INA article. It is rather convenient to select the best audio takes when recording. That’s why with LiLiCAST’s card-based recording, you can take several takes and keep the best one.

Working remotely

The COVID-19 crisis has consolidated and favored remote working. The Daily’s organization is international, with teams in California, London, and Berlin. When you use LiLiCAST, you have access to LiLiCALL. This tool allows you to create a call room and record your podcasts and interviews remotely. How convenient is that?


In conclusion

Podcast creators gain experience over time. To create a quality podcast, you must learn from your mistakes, maintain your content, and, most importantly, understand your audience. Yet, the right gestures to prepare your episodes can be learned from the start and will save you time.

Learning the right gestures also means choosing the right work tool! We can’t guarantee the same success as The Daily, but we can help you! LiLiCAST offers an innovative way to produce content. You start by scripting your episode, dividing it into “content cards.” It’s so easy. Then record as you want, in audio or video, directly or by importing your files. LiLiCAST allows you to create your content 8x faster than other production processes.

Discover the INA article.