5 Pet Peeves of Audio Drama Super Fans

Audio drama can be a wonderful form of media. The team here at Audio Theatre Central has shared info about many great series. However, even ...

Audio drama can be a wonderful form of media. The team here at Audio Theatre Central has shared info about many great series. However, even the best productions may have some issues that can annoy some super fans.

Here are 5 of those pet peeves:

#1: Audio Quality

There have been two instances where I purchased MP3s from two different fairly popular audio drama producers and I was disappointed to find that the files had below average sound quality. They sounded like they were over compressed like many Audible files are now. The audio quality was below even cassette tape standards: around 96 kbps.

Thankfully, this is not a common occurrence. It did, however, make me not want to buy any more digital downloads from them if I could help it. The CDs from those audio drama producers had better audio quality. I understand that MP3s are not always going to be as good as what you can put on a CD. However, that's still no excuse to give customers super low quality files that you would hear back in the early 2000s.

#2: Incomplete Metadata

If you are listening in a music app or podcast app, you would be hard pressed to find an audio drama or anything else without proper metadata: name of the production, track names, album art, year, etc. However, there have been many instances where I bought digital downloads that had little to none of those things. If my memory serves me right, there have been files that were named similar to this: name-of-story.mp3 and that was about it.

Although there are still fans that prefer having a CD library, many people own digital libraries. There is a lot of time involved in adding simple things like track numbers to make sure whatever device or library I play it in will play it properly. If you submit your MP3s to any digital store or streaming service, proper metadata is required for it to be released. The files for CDs need to properly labeled as well. Why can't the MP3s bought straight from the producers get the same treatment?

#3: Ads in Premium Content

I know a lot of audio dramas aired on the radio or released as a free podcast have advertisements playing during its runtime. I have no problem with that. However, it is an annoyance to buy a CD or digital download of those same shows and have ads in there as well. They may be promotional stuff about the audio dramas themselves or something loosely connected to it, but it still is irksome.

When I pay for something to own, I don't expect to have to skip 30 seconds or hit fast forward to get back to the story. If someone buys your product, it's probably because of an ad or word of mouth. If you include ads in your premium offerings, you're going to make someone think twice about purchasing your product again. It also detracts from the story being told.

#4: Membership Services

Since Adventures in Odyssey launched the AIO Club, other audio dramas have tried to make their own streaming services. There are at least 4 streaming services in the family-friendly space today. This is getting to be a bit tiresome. Unless you have a lot of content and/or have a big fanbase, there is not going to be a big demand to sign up for them. People already subscribe to so many other services nowadays. It's going to make it difficult for people, especially families, to pay for yet more content on a monthly basis.

What would be better if some shows would put their content on a shared service. That would make it easier for people to find more shows. Thankfully, there are some shows that are doing that with Dramafy. It's a nice start but I hope others will follow suit or create an all-Christian audio drama streaming service.

#5: Nomenclature/Terminology

Possibly the most frustrating aspect of audio drama releases is the categorization of them. Too many people think audio dramas are podcasts and vice versa. Other names given for this medium are audio fiction and audio adventures. It can get confusing when you try to describe audio drama to people. You may have to go through a few things of what audio drama is or is not. You can listen to episode 52 of ATC to help with that problem.

Podcasts are a distribution method; it is not a genre of art. A podcast can be a recording of a radio news broadcast, a talk show, audio from a video, or an audio drama. The way this term is thrown around so much (along with audiobooks) makes it difficult to introduce people to certain productions or the medium as a whole. If producers of audio drama would stick with the old standard of radio or audio drama, things would be a lot simpler.


With all this said, I still enjoy many audio dramas that have these issues. The items I mentioned don't detract from my enjoying the actual productions (at least not too much). However, if creators want to gain or maintain a professional reputation with fans, they should take a closer look at how they make and release productions. 

There is no malice towards any productions that have the problems I mentioned. I just love audio drama so much and analyze it a lot. I know the producers I have in mind with these pet peeves can do better and I want them to be even more successful than they are now. I hope that this post helps them and others to make even better audio dramas!

What are some problems that you have with current audio drama productions? How do you think they could be fixed? Let us know in the comments!

Austin Peachey is a die-hard reader and audio drama fan. He's run the Adventures in Odyssey Blog for over 12 years and has produced a few audio dramas of his own, including FaithFilled Stories. He's also helped work on the 2nd edition of The Official Guide to Odyssey and is a member of the Audio Drama Alliance.


Blog 3643500578774170218

Check out our radio station!

Sentry Password Protection Member Login
Member Login
Forgot? Show
Stay Logged In
My Profile
Javascript Required

Subscribe To The Show

Apple Podcasts



Subscribe via Email

RSS Feed

Top Posts

Recent Comments

Shop Our Affiliates