How Covid-19 May Change Podcasting Forever with Tom Webster

How Covid-19 May Change Podcasting Forever with Tom Webster
How Covid-19 May Change Podcasting Forever with Tom Webster

Jun 25 2020 | 00:35:35

Episode June 25, 2020 00:35:35

Hosted By

Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

There’s no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has changed many of our lives, and for some aspects of our lives this may be a permanent change.

Our guest on Audience this week is Tom Webster from Edison Research, the company behind the industry-leading Infinite Dial survey.

In an earlier episode we recapped some of the biggest takeaways from the 2020 Infinite Dial survey, and thought we HAD to have Tom on the podcast to talk through some more of his interpretations of the data there, and what has changed since that time. The fact is that many of the lifestyle changes that we and our audiences have seen as a result of Coronavirus are here to stay and things won’t be returning back to “normal”.

Here are some of the hard facts about listener behaviors as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Commutes to work or school have gone down – this is the #1 way and place that people listen to podcasts.
  • Following external analytic tools like Podtrac and Chartable are great for Downloads, but may not tell the whole story from talking to actual listeners. Their behaviors are changing in different ways.
  • Listening on smart speakers like Amazon Alexa has increased substantially as people are listening to podcasts in groups and at their homes.
  • Initially, there was a big movement to news-based podcasts, but as the news overload settled in there was a movement away from it.

Tom likens the disruption caused by Covid to a snow globe where once you shake it up the “snowflakes” of our lives go up in the air and sometimes don’t settle back down where they came from originally. That’s the theme that we’re following as we go forward with our shows.

But in many ways, the open question is: what will stay the same and what will be permanently changed. And largely this question remains unanswered.

Changes In Listener Patterns

A question we can ask ourselves to help our audience better understand where our podcast can live into their lives is where and when will our listeners tune into our shows. Thinking about traditional radio always having a time and place that people listened, many of us can think about framing our shows the same way. Your show could be “The show to listen to on your Saturday morning walk”. This engrains this behavior in your listeners minds and behaviors.

As the industry saw the biggest change in behavior around podcast advertising at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic this medium is coming back already, but in a different way.

How Advertising Is Changing

Many advertisers and media buyers are moving to more “safe” forms of advertising. For some media buyers and sponsors the need to have more established media through which to advertise and reach audiences may increase. Things like Google Adwords and Facebook ads where more data is available around the targeting of the audiences that your ads are targeting may be a more “sure bet” for companies trying to spread the word about their brand.

What Affects Is Spotify Having On The Industry

We discuss the move of the Joe Rogan show to Spotify. As Rogan had significant listenership on YouTube that channel could be one of the places that he could lose a portion of his audience. But, the upside of gaining access to an entirely new distribution channel in the Spotify platform is a huge benefit.

In general for listeners the move of The Joe Rogan show to Spotify could give one less reason for audience members to pick up a conventional podcasting app like Apple Podcasts or Overcast.

The other thing that may be a bigger impact is on the data that the Spotify platform has on its listeners and that availability to advertisers. Knowing the location, age, gender, and other demographics about listeners could mean more targeted and better-aligned ads served to listeners than could be available through traditional RSS based open platforms.

Spotify is far and away this biggest growth engine of the younger demographics both in the US and abroad. As the popularity of the platform increases an even bigger growth of people finding podcasts for the first time may occur. This is because it is not “just” a podcasting platform, it’s a place where people listen to music and other types of audio.

Tom shares his insights and looks into his crystal ball around both the existing direct response advertising that already happens in podcasts as well as the membership and paid subscription model where listeners directly support shows.

The future of models like Patreon and other similar models is yet to be determined but as the movement to online communities and connectedness continues it reasons that these types of avenues will continue to gain acceptance.

Connect With Tom

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:06 Hello, and welcome back to the audience podcast. I'm your host Craig Hewitt from Costos. In this episode, I'm joined by Tom Webster from Triton digital Triton. Digital runs the annual infinite dial survey in the U S that is really the landmark survey to give quantitative data around kind of the state of podcasting. What type of shows people are listening to, what ages, what demographics, and kind of where podcasting is going. Every year, we covered some of the results of the us infinite dial survey earlier this year in a previous podcast. But in this episode, Tom and I talked through what impacts coronavirus and the COVID pandemic has had on podcasting, as well as some of the lasting effects that he thinks that this change in many of our lives will have on podcasting, on advertising and on our listeners behaviors. As they pretend to our shows, Tom is really a great resource to kind of get a different lens and perspective on podcasting than many of us have in our daily podcasting lives. So I hope you enjoyed this episode with Tom Webster from Triton digital. Speaker 2 01:13 So Tom, I listened in on the infinite dial survey earlier this year. Uh, and then I think for a lot of us, we were in the midst of our worlds getting kind of turned upside down by Corona virus. And I think that's a kind of apropos place to start. The discussion a bit is kind of from that time in March with the infinite dial survey, talking about kind of online audio or podcast consumption and patterns, what you all have seen in terms of the data from the industry, changing with quarantine and confinement and coronavirus, what a rich topic. Craig, I have to tell you because it's not because you know, nothing is monolithic in looking at media or even looking at media research. I mean, you know, things are always in constant churn and when we all started kind of locking down into quarantine, there were some people saying, well, this is going to be great for podcasts listening, because we're all going to be home with nothing else to do, but listen to podcasts and way back at the beginning of March or middle of March, I guess I, I challenged that because a couple of things were going to happen. Speaker 2 02:15 Number one, our commutes were going to go away. Number two, we're going to be working at home, but our habits are going to be very, very different. Now we're going to have people around us. And a lot of people like to listen to podcasts with earbuds in, and if you're now home working with your significant other, or for many of us with children, since we're all homeschool teachers, now that podcast time was going to get cut into, right. I think that's only natural. And I think the analogy that I like to use any time, there's a disruption like this, some kind of discontinuous historical event, you know, a Superstorm or, or, or a global pandemic. The media consumption is like a snow globe and this will shake it up and the flakes will settle and they're going to settle in different places. And some of those flakes are not going to go back to where they were and some of them are going to, but I'll pause there. Speaker 2 03:06 I mean, we have absolutely seen some differences in consumption patterns and even in content types, I'll touch on the, maybe the few things that I've seen and kind of get your impression as to whether they're accurate or not. And we could riff on this a bit, but you know, you've heard listenership data from places like pod track down in the 20% range for the shows that they track maybe. And from a content perspective, you've seen a lot more kind of news style shows coming out and maybe shorter episodes, people wanting to, like you're saying, consume that information, but they have less time. So they want really concise and actionable information, particularly around kind of what's going on in all of our lives right now. Is that kind of accurate on those two fronts? Do you feel yeah. You know, entities like pod track and some of the other charts that track the downloads of participating companies, they, I think they only tell part of the story. Speaker 2 04:00 Um, you know, we at Edison, we have a quarterly product called the podcast consumer tracker, and we're literally interviewing podcast listeners every single day. It's a, a large sample, a large scale study of what people are actually listening to as opposed to downloads. And what we saw in terms of reach the reach of podcasting and the kind of consumption was indeed a dip at the beginning. And, you know, for the first few weeks of the pandemic everybody's habits got appended. Nobody knew what to do. We all thought we were going to learn French. We all thought we would watch everything on Netflix. And, you know, those things were true for a little while and then over the period of three or four weeks, and it was sort of staggered out as different States had their own timelines for, for quarantine things in terms of general consumption began to snap back. Speaker 2 04:50 But what's interesting to me are that snapback has sort of been differential in a lot of ways, you know, again, because we're not commuting anymore the times in which we listen to podcasts have changed. And I think there's more, well, I know there's more smart speaker consumption. And so, you know, for those Americans that own a smart speaker, the types of content that are particularly well suited to that, well, branded skills, shorter pieces of content, I think I've done fairly well. I think you've seen that in some of what NPR has done. For instance, I think they've capitalized on that fairly well. And then there've been some, some interesting content variables over the course of this. At the very beginning, there was a real flight to news, and you could look at the number and say, overall news consumption was up, but that masked a lot of churn underneath the surface. Speaker 2 05:36 And what you saw underneath the surface of that was a group of people who were just sort of nuts about news. They wanted to know everything they could. And then there was another group of people that ran away from it because it's just bad. And so all of that sort of evened out into, uh, some gains for news. And then the only thing that really sort of declined early on, but even that's come back is sports. And certainly the month of March and part of April, we're very tough on sports and sports podcasts, but, you know, you've had the NFL draft, you've had, uh, the last dance you've had any number of events and to paraphrase Jeff Goldbloom in Jurassic park sports, we'll find a way and it's, it's sort of come roaring back in, in a lot of ways. So, but the interesting thing to me, Craig, is what habits are going to stick when things go back to some semblance of where they were before and what habits are not going to stick. Speaker 2 06:29 And I think that's an open question. Yeah, that was something I'd love to get your take on is, you know, which of those snowflakes are going to go back to where they were before and what you're going to land on our noses as we go forward from here. That's a really good question. The commute is of course, a variable. And we do see the percentage of Americans who listen to podcasts in their vehicle is higher than the percentage of Americans who have sort of an integrated, you know, in-dash entertainment and information system. So people are finding a way to listen to podcasts. You know, whether that's through a USB connection or Bluetooth, or God forbid wearing headphones while you're driving, don't do that. But, you know, as, as people have gotten, I think hooked on new podcasts, they may want to continue listening to those podcasts. Speaker 2 07:15 And that may take the place of, um, that may be in the car that may be at lunch break, who knows, you know, I think one of the things that we tracked for instance, early on during the course of the quarantine, there was a bit of a decline in audio book consumption. Cause we also track audio books and pretty much any kind of audio. And once we sort of broke that down with some survey research and a little bit of a qualitative, that kind of made sense to us because audio books, more than any other kind of medium are sort of a medium for me, time, that time that no one else has any demands on you. And what we learned during the quarantine was that even though we're not going to work, the demands on us are enormous. And the pressure to sort of always be at work and always be a parent. Speaker 2 07:59 And all of these things actually meant a decline in me time. And I think that will apply to the podcasts maybe that we have considered me time or guilty pleasure. And one thing that's kind of interesting about listening to podcasts that I think that the quarantine has done, which may stick going forward is I think there's been increased co listening or multiple people listening to a podcast at the same time. One of the things that we've researched in the past for our clients at Pandora, we've researched co listening to Pandora because I think there's an assumption that if you're listening to a streaming audio service, that you're listening to it in your headphones. But what we learned was that for every one stream of Pandora, there were 1.4 listeners to that stream. And I think you probably could have made the assumption before the quarantine that for every download of a podcast, there was one human. Speaker 2 08:52 But I know certainly in my household with, you know, my wife and home with me and kids, we are listening to things as a family or as a couple more than we used to. And those are some habits that I think will stick going forward. And those are different kinds of podcasts, different content types, all of which is to say that things are not going to go back exactly the way that they were. And I'm not a huge forecaster. And I'd like to think of myself as a reliable describer of the present, but things are not going to go back exactly what they were. And I think the smart podcast producers and kind of show runners will take a hard look at what things are going to look like when we go back to work, how they are different and design content to fit the new boxes that are going to be available for us to put content in. Speaker 1 09:38 Yeah. I can echo the, uh, that the kind of sentiment about multiple listeners to podcasts. There's a lot of story pirates going on in my house right now with my two young kids. And it's true. They love it and they want to listen to it all the time. And I can't imagine that changing when, you know, quote life goes back to normal, uh, hopefully here in a few weeks. So yeah, I don't, I guess I don't know what the answer is. Nobody knows what the answer is, but that is the question we should be asking ourselves is as this all on wines, what kind of lessons can we take away from what we're seeing now of the kind of consumption pattern changes of our listeners. And as that is that situation changes again, what can we prepare ourselves and our shows for us to kind of meet what they're looking for in the future? Speaker 2 10:26 Yeah. And I think it's, you know, some of that's marketing, some of that is messaging. And I think one thing that is not going to go back completely the way that it was before, I don't think as many of us are going to be commuting as often as we used to be. Even when things sort of go back there, there are seismic shifts in real estate and office working that are occurring all across the country right now. And some of that is going to stick. And so I think it's going to be important in the marketing and sort of packaging and messaging and contextual relevance of a podcast to be messaging exactly how, when and where I'm supposed to listen to it and why that's a value to me. Because as I said before, I think we have seen throughout the course of this, that being quarantined at home does not mean all of a sudden we have 20 hours a day to devote to media. It actually means the opposite. And so knowing that, you know, how do you message that, you know what, this is a good time to listen to our show. It will fit into this part of your day. We know many of you are working at home. Why not take this break during this opportunity actually give, I mean, radio has done that for years. Radio has done sort of appointment listening and appointment marketing like that for decades. And I think podcasting has to get smarter. One of the Nazi Speaker 1 11:44 Using kind of negative impacts of kind of decreased listenership is that advertising and advertisers have been negatively affected by coronavirus Speaker 2 11:54 On the whole, I guess, with kind of this transition out of the phase that we're currently in with changing in consumption patterns and types of shows and things like that. What do you see for kind of podcast advertising in general? You know, maybe kind of through the end of the year, well, it's already picking up, we know that from our clients. I think what you will see throughout most of 2020 is a, a bit of a flight to safety. And if you're a brand advertiser that has historically been a major buyer of broadcast media, television, and radio, you may retreat to that a little bit. You know, having said that all of those are way down, but if you are someone who is accustomed to buying podcasts and you know, that ranges from the whole raft of direct response advertisers that have supported the medium for so many years to the kind of newer segment of brand advertisers that have discovered just how powerful podcast advertising can be. Speaker 2 12:50 In some ways that's going to be a flight to safety then because, you know, you know, you know that you're going to be able to buy brand safety. You know, that you're going to be able to buy premium results. We do a lot of brand lift research for, uh, for various brands that advertise on podcasts. So there may be people kind of retreating to their corners a little bit as opposed to spreading their money all over the place. But in some ways I think that's going to be good for podcasting, especially in the medium term. And then I think it all kind of roars back again next year. I haven't heard it this year, but certainly heard it the last couple of years that, you know, podcasting is, is at its peak and that we've seen the heyday of podcasting. I very much don't believe that maybe it's just to make myself sleep well at night, but I would love to hear kind of your thoughts on where are you thinking? Speaker 2 13:38 I know you said you're not a great predictor, but maybe, maybe even looking at kind of where, you know, we've come from and where you think we are in this kind of life cycle of the medium in general. Well, I'll say two things about that, Craig, first of all, anytime I read, anytime you see an article that we're at peak podcasting, a unicorn, Gore's a puppy. I swear. I mean, we are at about maybe a million total podcasts extant in the history of the universe last year alone in the United States, there were over a million self published books and that's a lot of crap, you know what I mean? So I think if we're at peak podcasts, then we were probably at peak book sometime between, you know, Dickens and a falconer. Maybe I guess we probably hit that a long time ago. Having said that though, I will, I will say this. Speaker 2 14:27 I think what is going to have to happen in the podcast space is that the podcast space is going to have to morph. It's going to have to change, evolve and adapt. And much of what we may think of is a podcast three years from now is not necessarily what we would have thought a podcast was three years ago. And there's a lot of received wisdom in this space about what does and what doesn't constitute a podcast. But the facts of the matter are that many of the biggest podcasts in America are that big because they're on YouTube and are that big because they're on Spotify and on a whole host of platforms where they're technically not podcasts at all. And so what I prefer to think of is that, you know, we are in the middle of a Renaissance of spoken word, audio content, and you can get hung up on the podcast version of that. Speaker 2 15:18 Or you can focus on doing a great show and the podcast is simply the downloadable RSS formatted version of that show. But the secret to success is to think of yourselves as great spoken word, audio content, and to be able to put that and package that wherever people's earballs are. And in many cases, that's not going to be on a dedicated podcast client. So, you know, have we reached peak podcasts? No, but having said that in order to continue to grow the medium, I think we have to think beyond the medium, do you see many shows have a kind of near term negative effect when they go to make that transition? So for instance, there'll be people listening to this that do not have their podcasts on YouTube, or have not done full transcriptions of their podcast to put them on their own WordPress site or something like that. Speaker 2 16:09 Have you seen people doing that and kind of diluting their audience or kind of alienating their core fan base or anything like that? Anything that folks listening is saying, well, I need to kind of adapt and get my show ready for kind of what's coming. Anything that they should really be aware of as they're going through that process. No, I think the smartest thing you can do is to make content that suits the medium, where it's distributed. I've often said this and I've, I think I've said this for two years in a row. Now during my keynotes at podcast movement, every time I hear on a podcast, subscribe to us on iTunes or subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts, it's like a cry for help. Because one thing we know from our research is that many, many people are listening to podcasts on Spotify. Speaker 2 16:53 Well, you don't subscribe to a podcast on Spotify. Many, many people are watching podcasts on YouTube. It's why Rogan is by far the biggest show in America. Well, that's not what you do there either, right? You can just say click below and subscribe to my channel. It's a very easy tweak to make the content suit, the platform that it's being distributed on. We would see a lot better results than this kind of subscribed to us on this laundry list of podcast apps. You sort of have to be where be where the people are, because the real secret to all of this is that the content producer is not in control and never has been in control. The audience is always in control. And you know, you may find some, you know, if you have a show that's been around a while and you put your show on YouTube, maybe there'll be some cranky listeners. Speaker 2 17:37 I don't know. Maybe they don't love you as much as you think they do, who take exception to that. But, uh, ultimately your goal is to serve an audience. And if you have an audience that wants to consume your product on SoundCloud, or they want to consume it on YouTube, or they want it on Instagram, which is increasingly a bigger platform for podcasts, then you're not living up to your potential by not being there. Yeah. We always say to, to kind of go to where your audience already is, you know, taking down one more barrier to, to them tuning into your show, if that means subscribing or following or whatever it is. It's not your decision where your podcast should live. It's theirs of where they want to consume your content. Yeah. We kind of talked about, uh, you know, Spotify and Joe Rogan. I would love to get, get, uh, your take on the acquisition and kind of what it means for the industry. It's been a couple of weeks at this point, since the deal was announced, I'd love to kind of hear your take on it. I've written a few things about this and I've seen some, some pretty breathless, spicy, hot takes about this Craig about, you know, it's the death of the podcast industry and, and all kinds of things. Um, it's not money or religion or politics, so we can talk about it though, right? Speaker 2 18:45 I mean, well, I mean, so just sort of looking at this from the top down, I mean the Joe Rogan show in our podcast, consumer tracker study is the number one podcast in America. And it's not even close with the total population. And if you look at men only number two is way in the rear view mirror of the Joe Rogan show. So we are, you know, we are talking about an exception to any rule that you might float around. It is a ginormous show. And I think I've seen comparisons to when Howard stern went to satellites and, and those kinds of things. But I think you can compare Joe Rogan, the interviewer to Howard stern, the interviewer. Yes, but the business situation, you cannot compare whatsoever because in terms of, of what Rogan is going to have access to Rogan is now going to have access to a new global distribution channel. Speaker 2 19:31 That's going to be new to him because he was not on Spotify before and a truly global distribution channel, which of course satellite radio was not. And I think in the short term, he's absolutely going to lose some listeners. I mean, the YouTube part of that could be an enormous hit in the short run. There's no question about that. I do think he has the opportunity to rebuild and get back to those levels again, just for, in terms of global distribution, because I think many of the things that he talks about are of global interest a and B he's very good at what he does. Like when people ask me how to Joe Rogan gets so big, I'm like, well, he's actually really good at what he does. He's actually able to sustain a two or three hour interview with an interesting person and you're into it. Speaker 2 20:14 And that by the way, is a skill of, of uncommon rarity. So let's get our heads around that. But I will say this though, about what it means for the podcast industry in general, it does two things that I think people should be aware of. Number one, it provides for some people, for some people, maybe one less reason to go to a podcast client, the Apple podcast app, or pocket casts. It gives them one less reason to do that. And you know, that's something to think about. And again, that's more about making sure that you're aware that people are. And if we start to see people, we already see Spotify as a very strong number two client for podcasts in America. And we may see further migration. So again, it's sort of up to you to be where the people are, but from an advertising standpoint, the one thing that Spotify and the other streaming platforms give you, they give you kind of far better metrics in terms of who listened to the show and who is this person who listened and how can we target that person? Speaker 2 21:13 How can we get attribution for our advertising? Because Spotify has a closed system. It has access to that data in ways that content producers don't typically have when they're using, you know, just the Apple podcast app or even YouTube for that matter. So that is, I think, appealing to advertisers. So it's important. I think for the podcast industry to continue to innovate metrics, to continue to innovate ways to not invade people's privacy, but provide safety and security, because I can tell you the number one thing that every media buyer and every agency person who buys podcasts, they all have the same goal don't get fired. Nobody wants to get fired and being able to put your medium in a way that you can track how it's doing, put your money in a medium that allows you to track how it's doing compared to putting it into a medium that doesn't quite allow you to track as well, how it's doing that could again be a flight to safety for a media buyer. So there are all kinds of ramifications here, but ultimately it's good to see money poured into the space. Money poured into the space, brings interest, brings attention, brings more money and brings investment into content, which is what's going to make the medium grow. And my God, that was a long answer. Yeah, no, Speaker 1 22:26 That was great. I absolutely agreed that for me, the kind of one thing that this Shirley does is brings legitimacy to a lot of what podcasting does, you know, a hundred million dollars is no small chunk of, of change and, you know, call the deal what you will. I think it's, it's an enormous investment in media and in a person and a brand by a very established player. So I think that, that for me, that's the best part of it, uh, for, you know, a participant of the industry. And I think for all the content creators out there, it says, you know, Hey, I could do that too. You know, maybe, maybe not like, maybe we're no one's going to be the next Joe Rogan, but I think it all gives us hope that on some level that our show can be successful to some magnitude like that. I would love to get your impression on this question of Spotify being or to what extent is Spotify kind of a representative sample of most shows audiences. And by that, I mean, this podcast is on Spotify. We get X number of downloads. If I were able to kind of infer things about the listener behavior of an episode, you know, playback duration and time of day and things like that. Do you think that transfers over to most of the other of my show Speaker 2 23:46 Or is it maybe not always, I'll say two things about Spotify and I'll, I'll be clear here. They're, they're a client of ours. Number one, they attract a younger listener, but you know, that's a, that's sort of a double sided sword because number one, they attract a younger listener, but number two, Spotify single handedly has grown podcasting in the 12 to 34 demographic. And we have ample evidence of that because podcasting used to be really primarily centered 25 to 44, even 35 to 49 in this country. And the fastest growing demographics in podcasting for the past two years have been 12 to 34. And we have ample evidence that it's because Spotify has promoted podcasts in their platform to their younger audience. So, you know, yes, no, that if you're looking at your data from Spotify, it's, you know, maybe a younger audience than, than the audience that you're getting in another platform, but it's also helping you grow that audience. Speaker 2 24:41 But the other thing I will say is that whether you view that as a detriment or a positive, you at least know it because you can get that data from Spotify from an advertiser's perspective, you touched on the fact that, you know, people might be advertisers might be kind of going to a platform like Spotify, where they can get more data and be more sure of things on the kind of rest of the open platform, you know, Apple podcast, Stitcher and Google, and all the million, third party apps like overcast that pull mostly from Apple, that kind of transparency doesn't exist. And you mentioned privacy. I know that that's probably the reason a lot of these platforms don't report more of that data back to either us as hosting platforms or to our customers who are the content creators. Do you see that being forced to happen? Speaker 2 25:32 If a platform like Spotify does provide that for these other platforms to stay competitive? Well it's Spotify is going to put pressure on things for sure. You know, I'm not a, I'm not a huge lover of the level of detail of attribution and targeting that advertisers have gotten accustomed to from things like Facebook and Google. We have been given access to an enormously, I'll use a positive word, rich dataset of customer data, but I don't actually feel that positively about it. To be honest, I think we've given up something, the problem is making people not want something that they are used to getting. And if you're a digital buyer and you're used to getting that from Facebook and Google, it's really hard for podcast networks to make those buyers unwanted that data. So that that's difficult. I think it's going to vary based on the advertiser. Speaker 2 26:22 I mean, I think if you're a national insurance brand and you are carpet bombing, not just podcasting, but every other broadcast medium with brand advertising, then the difference of a percentage point here and there, it means a lot of money, right? And so you're going to push for that data because that level of optimization at that scale is going to make a big difference. But having said that if you are a maker of aftermarket car parts or synthetic motor oil, you don't need any of that stuff. Just advertise on car cast. I mean, a podcast is self targeting and a lot of ways without requiring all of that. So, um, I'm hopeful that podcasts will continue to advocate for their listeners rights and their listeners privacy. I think both forms of buying are going to persist. And to this day, the number one source of revenue for podcasting remains direct response advertising. Speaker 2 27:15 And that has never had that level of data. It just works. And you look at the kind of top companies in that like ad results and Verizon one and add large, their secret sauce are these giant spreadsheets of what podcasts deliver best for what types of products, for what types of listeners, so that they have that data. It's just not at the level of intrusiveness that a Facebook and Google provide getting into kind of the future of advertising. But, but for us, we kind of look at the ways people can go and look at advertising from a content creator perspective is to approach a, an ad platform like a megaphone or an, a cast or one of these companies where you go, they have the sponsors, they do dynamic ad insertion, and that's injected into your podcast. The other option is you doing the kind of hard work yourself to, to reach out to brands and companies that you think are a good alignment to you, your message, and what your audience is looking for, broker those you're yourself, and, you know, read the ads and insert them kind of manually into your shows on a more static basis of those two methods of advertising, which do you see kind of proliferating more, I would say, not to the Joe Rogan level of shows, but more to the beginner, intermediate podcaster, you know, into the, in the next couple of years. Speaker 2 28:37 Well, the one thing I would hope is not to have to make a choice. I think ideally podcasting is going to survive and thrive by having a diverse revenue model and multiple sources of income, multiple streams of income. I don't think we've scratched the surface yet on direct listener support. For instance, I don't think we have scratched the surface yet on a compelling subscription offering. Cause I continue to believe that there that a subscription offering could work. I mean, 10 years ago, people would tell you that they would never pay extra for this content or that content or pay X amount a month. And today we are all subscribing to multiple extra sources of subscription content. You know, just look at your own subscriptions. It's probably Netflix. It could be Hulu is probably Disney plus that's like a tax on parents. Right. Probably, but even, I mean the New York times, all of that stuff. Speaker 2 29:30 Right? So like, so that behavior changed in the space of about five years. And I think that podcasting will be healthy when it supports and encourages and is sustained multiple sources of revenue so that I don't really want to get too much in the weeds on that. I mean, I think we've seen with, uh, Radiotopia, for example, Radiotopia is DNA is entirely based on direct listener support and yes, those shows do sell ads and, and underwriting and things like that. But they're in fact proof that that's a sustainable model that Patrion models see as a potentially sustainable model. So my answer to all of that is yes. And yeah, I think we agree. I mean, we see very few shows monetized strictly in one medium, not just ads, not just membership, not just Patrion. Uh, but most of the shows that are monetized well are a bit of everything. Speaker 2 30:24 And we've, we've kind of heard that from other folks on the show here. I hate to ask almost kind of as content creators, what kinds of things as you see, kind of the landscape evolving, should we be aware of so that we are in the best kind of position possible to help keep our shows successful and kind of ready for, for what our audience is looking for? What kind of stuff do you, do you see? Or what question should we be asking ourselves? I guess? Well, I think the thing to be most aware of in podcasting is that there are now some very large players in podcasting, some very large media entities in podcasting and what they are going to do to sort of take up oxygen in that space. And many of them are our clients is nothing nefarious. It's a no strong arm tactics. Speaker 2 31:15 They're not going to squat on your real estate. What they are going to do is research and audience gets to know that audience and provide the content that that audience wants. And I think podcasting came and I was there at the very beginning. I've been involved in this medium, uh, really since 2005 is a band of pirates. And you know, you have a lot of podcasters who are like, look, I'm doing the show. This is the show I want to hear. I hear from people that they love it. You know, of course those are the people that are going to write or call in and I'm just, you know, damn the torpedoes, I'm just doing this show and that's going to be effective to a point with a kind of a self selected audience. But what you're going to increasingly see are you're going to be competing with podcasts that just know more about their audience than you do. Speaker 2 31:59 And so take every opportunity you can with open-mindedness and humility and produce an entertainment that is centered on your audience and not centered on you. And it's, you know, you can produce an entertainment that is centered on you. If you are a particularly famous or interesting person, many of us are not. So always, always, always put your audience first because they are ultimately in control. And with the boundaries of, you know, podcasting used to be kind of sequestered and it's neat little box, right? Whether that was on iTunes or in the Apple podcast app or some other it's in its neat little box. But now that podcasting has sort of leaked all over the place, your competition, you know, if you're doing a podcast on mechanical engineering, your competition is not another podcast on mechanical engineering. It's, what's new on Netflix, right? It's, it's a whole host of things that you have to consider. Speaker 2 32:54 How are you going to stay relevant than that? And I'm, I'm suggesting that you can, but you have to be observant and curious and believe to your core that you don't know everything about your audience. I'm sitting here nodding, as you're saying this, thinking back to our conversation with Jack reciter where, I mean, he just did a ton of audience research and got feedback on his show directly from his audience. And I think still does, even though he's a hugely successful podcaster at this point. And I think that's a lesson for all of us, is that even kind of, once you get some degree of traction, maybe that, that feedback in that audience polling and that iterative process becomes even more important to further kind of hone in on providing exactly what our audience is looking for. And for me, I think this is like an easy thing to do badly, but a really hard thing to do really, really well. Speaker 2 33:45 And like you said, be really open and honest with yourself about how well you're doing this. It's easy to say, yeah, I listened to my audience and I'm creating what they want. But I think a lot of us lie to ourselves to an extent about the degree to which we do that a hundred percent. And I think at building a relationship with an audience is it's a courtship and you are not going to get to home plate on the first date. And that's what I see a lot of people try to do with their outreach methods and things like that. You know, focus on step-by-step little value exchanges. What little thing can I get people to get this one little piece of information not please take my 20 minute survey? What are the sort of little micro transactions where you're providing some value, people are sharing a little bit so that you're continually, you know, to, to abuse my baseball analogies, just continually getting to first base over and over and over and, and building that courtship. Speaker 2 34:41 I think the people that will give you the, that sort of depth of information and relationship and connection with the show right away are not typical. And they're not really representative of your, of your normal listener, Tom, this is really awesome. Thank you so much for sharing so much like awesome insight with us here about kind of the industry and where you see it going and what we've been through recently for folks that want to kind of check out more about what you guys do and get access to the research. Where's the best place Edison is where are all of our published research lies? Best place to reach me is on Twitter. I'm on Twitter at Webby 2001, which made sense back in the AOL days. And I also have a newsletter about podcasting and the audio industry. That's at Tom Webster dot <inaudible> dot com, which is called. I hear things.

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