19 Nocturne Blvd of and on for over a year now, and I expect at some point to have an initial review of that company.
But one thing that I have noticed 19 Nocturne and many other shows are bad about, is silence or rather spaces.
I'm not speaking about the silence within a scene. Those are difficult judgments and often change the tempo and tone of an audio drama.
Instead I'm speaking about a very simple fix of placing 2-3 seconds of silence as a space before commercial breaks.
We've all watched a particular compelling television show or movie on the TV only to be jarred by an abrupt cut to a television commercial. This not only slaps the viewer in the face of "remember this is just a story" but it also makes it much more difficult to set one's attention back into the story when the promo is over.
Some companies, (19 Nocturne and Icebox Radio come to mind) provide promos in between the acts of their plays. What makes the difference as to how effective they are is how they work their transitions. Icebox, for example often drops in a simple notifier "Icebox Radio will be right back..." reminder to help set expectations. Other companies fade the scene to silence for a couple of seconds to allow a smoother transition. Either way is much more preferable than launching into a completely different topic without any transitory splices.
Remember, your job is to keep your listeners hooked, not sell them products. If your promos take time out of the impact of your play by being just as brassy, you'll probably lose listeners as a result.
Use silence, and more importantly, spaces to your advantage. Leave a good two-three second silence between acts and a three to four second silence at the end of a particularly poignant show. Give listeners time to process your amazing works!