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The New Sounds Profitable

The New Sounds Profitable

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Written By

Bryan Barletta

Know the Author

January 17, 2023

Over the holiday break, I spent a lot of time thinking about what Sounds Profitable should be in 2023. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on where podcasting is going, many of which align incredibly well with the points laid out by Spotify’s Max Cutler, so let’s not eat up any more of your time with predictions. Instead, let’s talk about what we’re going to do.

2023 is the year of advocacy at Sounds Profitable. 

Everything we do will be to build up and improve the podcast industry. Every research study we publish is built to be actionable, every article we write should spark action or solve problems, and every event that podcasting should be at we will be there to make it even more successful and valuable for the industry overall. We’ve managed to build a community of over 115 partners and 8,000 readers and we don’t take that lightly.

So let’s dive into how we’re going to do that.

New Team, New Look

I could not be more excited to announce the latest member of our team, Manuela Bedoya, as our Head of Operations. Tom and I have both had the pleasure of working with Manuela during her time at LWC Studios and as the co-host of our very own podcast The Download.

The growth we’ve seen at Sounds Profitable, and the opportunities we’ve had to expand really demand the leadership of someone incredibly organized and forward thinking to keep our existing projects going and enable us to expand into new ideas faster and more efficiently. Manuela is the sole reason we were able to pull off our packed Q4 2022 event and will be the reason you enjoy future SP events (virtual and in-person) and offerings. With Manuela joining Gavin Gaddis, Tom Webster, and I, the Sounds Profitable team is now four strong.

Hopefully you also have noticed the website and newsletter got a full redesign, and is also now completely ad-free. Tom and the team at GIF Design Studios have spent the last few months completely rebranding Sounds Profitable from the adtech blog it started as, to the podcast research and advocacy association it’s grown into. While I can’t personally promise you that I have matured, it has never been more important to us that what we present to all of you is professional and actionable, so that our content can continue to aid the industry and your business in growth and success..

Research 2.0

Just about one year ago this week, I approached Tom about joining Sounds Profitable. My pitch was simple: we need more bleeding edge research. We need the answers by tomorrow for questions being asked today. Tom had spent 18 years building up the foundation of research in podcasting, the type of work you could hang your hat on. But I truly believe we need something different, built by and for the people in the weeds, not just the people reporting on the industry. And I believe we fully realized that goal with our two major reports released in 2022, After These Messages (plus We’ll Be Right Back) and Safe and Sound.

It’s time to turn that dial to 11. For 2023, we are going to be expanding our research offerings to include new projects with partners like Coleman Insights, our brand-new research podcast, and more opportunities for our partners to share their insights and original research with you. 

But we are most excited to announce a new partner for our quarterly research series – we are delighted to be working in 2023 with the growing, expert team at Signal Hill Insights.

This is incredibly exciting for me to announce for so many reasons. Founder Jeff Vidler has been a major part of Sounds Profitable since its inception, and if you haven’t heard yet, Paul Riismandel, the man responsible for Midroll joining as Sounds Profitable’s first partner, has just recently joined as Chief Insights Officer. Jeff, Paul, and Tom working together as a team is simply unmatched in experience and wisdom in podcasting research. Together we’re committed to informing and supporting the growth of podcasting, and applying research methods of the highest integrity to earn and keep the trust of the entire podcast industry.

Events Expanded

We can now officially announce that the Sounds Profitable Podcast Business Leaders Summit for Q1 2023 will be held on Saturday, March 11th in Austin, TX, with support from The Roost, coinciding with the Podcast and Advertising track held at SXSW this year. 

We chose SXSW for our Q1 event because we truly believe that our industry needs to focus heavily on being in the major content, advertising, and marketing spaces that other media channels are in. It’s our goal for our summit to bring an even louder voice for podcasting to such an important event. Our quarterly events are free to attend for our partners and any brands or advertisers looking to grow their presence in podcasting. These four hour events center around the first public presentation of our latest research, a short townhall, and plenty of networking over food and drink.

But we’re not stopping at just our events. Tom and I know that we can provide added opportunities for our partners at every event we attend. At Podcast Movement Evolutions we’ll be unveiling the Sounds Profitable Business Lounge, a large space built out for semi-private meetings, with comfortable seating, a courtyard, along with snacks and coffee, right off of the expo hall. Each day we’ll hold a networking and insights session open to the public, to further grow the community and collaboration this industry needs to succeed. And, you’ll find us participating in Veritonic’s Audio Intelligence Summit in February and at Radio Days Europe in March.

Furthering Education

As I said last week, podcasting has made it. We’re mainstream now and are a real, notable channel. But that means we absolutely need to get smarter about the rest of the media and advertising ecosystem, while also educating and evangelizing our industry.

Our first step in accomplishing that goal is to expand The Download into our Thursday newsletter, thanks to the support of our partner Magellan AI. For the last year, The Download has been our weekly podcast covering everything those in the business of podcasting need to know in ten minutes or less. We focus heavily on the channels and industries outside of podcasting that have weight on what we do day to day, and highlight what you need to know to be more well rounded and educated on media and advertising at large. And now, you’ll get to choose to read it, or listen to it on our podcast feed hosted by ART19.

Our second step to further those goals is to partner with Marketecture, where I’ll be joining founder and adtech influencer Ari Paparo, along with other experts like Eric Seufert of Mobile Dev Memo to help break down the complex world of advertising technology. Their focus is to help you make better vendor decisions through in-depth interviews with CEOs and product leaders at leading platforms. And they’re doing all of this in collaboration with DigiDay.

Having the opportunity to be their podcast expert and amplify the reach of our industry is just as important to me as opening up your ability to learn about the major players in advertising and marketing. You can try Marketecture out for free, or sign-up directly (SOUNDSPROFITABLE3702 will get you 20% off)  or through your DigiDay+ membership to receive unlimited access.

Wrapping It Up

I speak for the entire team when I say that we are truly grateful for the opportunity that we have to positively impact the podcast industry, and we definitely don’t take it lightly. And we’re able to do it completely free thanks to the continued support of all our partners.

While it’s easy to succumb to the doom and gloom of the year, know that we’re here to offer you a helping hand, to reassess your situation (and the industry’s), and most importantly, to keep growing this space.

New Partners

Sounds Profitable exists thanks to the continued support of our amazing partners. Monthly consulting, free tickets to our quarterly events, partner-only webinars, and access to our 500+ person slack channel are all benefits of partnering Sounds Profitable.

  • Voxalyze is the company behind podcast visibility optimization and helps publishers track their shows' visibility, measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns in growing their audience.
  • ART19, an Amazon Music company, is an enterprise podcast hosting solution offering creators comprehensive publishing, distribution, and monetization tools

Want to learn more about partnership? Hit reply or send us an email!

About the author

Bryan Barletta (He/Him) is the founder of Sounds Profitable, and a widely-cited expert in adtech, sales, and monetization of podcasting. He founded Sounds Profitable in 2020 after a successful career working with some of the leading companies in advertising technology, including AdTheorent, Claritas, and Megaphone. Barletta helped to design some of the tools in use by podcast platforms today for attribution, measurement, and serving audio ads, and uses that expertise to help clients and sponsors get the most from their sales and advertising efforts. He founded Sounds Profitable initially as a platform to help educate persons working in the podcast industry about advertising and sales technology, but has since expanded the brand to become the industry’s premiere source for education, advocacy, and insights designed to grow the entire space. He is an avid gamer and father of two boys, neither of whom have their own podcast, yet.