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The Podcast Industry In Podcast Form

The Podcast Industry In Podcast Form

Written By

Bryan Barletta

Know the Author

August 3, 2021

Brian Sherman, VP of Sales at A Million Ads joins me on the podcast this week to talk about the creative benefits of dynamic ad insertion. Don’t forget, we’re running a podcast listener study with Edison Research, so please listen to an episode and fill out the survey! (we need 75 more responses!)

At the end of November 2020, the team at Magellan AI and I released the Podscape, our take on the ever-popular maps that LUMA Partners provides for other advertising industries.

Our goal was to provide the best view possible of all the companies participating in the podcast industry, sandwiching them between Advertisers and Listeners to figure out exactly where they fit. We absolutely weren’t as comprehensive as we wanted to be with the first go, but have continued to update and refine it based on feedback from the industry players and to keep up with acquisitions. In fact, we just released a new update on, July 27th, 2021.

Since its release, the infographic has been downloaded thousands of times and has found its way into presentations and sales decks across the world. We’ve heard that companies in other countries are working on their own localized version focused on their country or region. Which is quite welcome, as people in other countries can provide a far better view of their own landscape than we can over here in the US.

And while we continue to grow the Podscape and adapt it to make sure that it helps everyone in this space chart exactly where they are or where to look, sometimes a logo just isn’t enough to understand the space. And sometimes the websites for those companies don’t answer our questions.

Every single week, more and more people join the podcast industry, and the truth is, we suck at onboarding. There is so much work out there that most of the time we’re spending more effort on HR and IT onboarding than we are catching people up to the industry or even their new company.

So today, I’m announcing the start of a new project, the Audio Podscape, a tool built in a podcast format specifically to help those new to the industry or new to companies in this space to get up to speed quickly and act as a reference for when they need to learn just a bit more about a company before hopping into a meeting.

Podscape in Podcast Form

Starting at the beginning always provides the most value, so I asked James Cridland of Podnews to help craft the first two episodes of the audio version of the Podscape to do just that.

The first episode is meant to tell the history of the podcasting industry, from its start to the current day. While some of you have been in this space since its inception, more of us haven’t, and fully grasping that story can give a significant bit of insight into how we can continue to improve it.

The second episode is focused on what’s happening right now. This will be updated quarterly to reflect the top news of the current year so far, as things are changing quickly. It’s a great way to make sure that the important topics aren’t missed as sometimes we’re all just too under the gun to read or listen to the daily edition of Podnews. Or worse yet, something important gets buried because something more sensational happens right afterward.

The subsequent episodes will be something a bit more like a reference tool. There are nearly 500 companies on the Podscape. A fascinating number have logos that don’t make clear what the company name is. And even the ones that do, their websites and press releases often aren’t helpful to new people trying to understand what the companies actually offer.

It’s my full-time job now to understand this space and truthfully, there are still some companies that confuse me. So I asked Jordan Harbinger for help crafting questions to pose to each company on the Podscape, for them to answer without any marketing bullshit, so that we can help clear things up.

  • What does your company do?
  • Who does it serve?
  • Why do people need what you do?
  • Why do you do it?
  • What makes your offering better than your competitors (without putting them down)?

The goal here is to create a clearly referenceable tool that anyone can use. Search the name of a company from the Podscape, and you can hear them directly answer those questions.

How To Get Involved

Assuming your company is listed on the Podscape (which you can inquire about here if you need to), simply provide a high-quality audio recording of someone on your team answering questions and send the audio file along with your name, company info, logo, and transcript of the audio to

Please do not exceed three minutes in your recording or it will be rejected. We want to keep this short and sweet.

From there, my podcast editor, Ian Powell, will combine me introducing your company and asking those questions with your responses. We’ll bundle all of it up and start uploading it to the new premium podcast feed which will be released in Q4 2021.

We’ll gladly take submissions at any time, with the goal of getting them live as quickly as we can, but we’ll only be accepting updates on the acquisition of a company or on a yearly basis due to the cost of editing all these episodes ourselves.

As James and I are putting considerable time, effort, and money into this, we’re going to be placing it behind a completely free premium feed, with the intention of providing this in exchange for signing up for Sounds Profitable and Podnews. If you’re already signed up, fantastic. If not, by downloading this feed you’ll be agreeing to receive the best podcasting news out there.

To help get you started on answering the questions, here are some examples from Sounds Profitable sponsors and advertisers who’ve submitted their responses.

Magellan AI
Ad Results Media
JAR Audio

Onward and Upward

In the future, I want to bring this project further. While this tells the history of podcasting, the current industry news, and better explanations of each company in the space, it lacks the history of your company and it also lacks showing off your technology.

Starting with my sponsors, I’ll be working on creating 30-60 minute episodes with their founders, to tell the story of their company. Where they started, their successes and failures, and where they’re going.

In my nine months working at Megaphone, I learned a lot, but I never got to hear the leadership team tell their story, from founding to when I joined the company. I got to read about it by searching for it before I took the role, but it never came up directly, even with our monthly all hands meetings. And I really would have liked to hear that from the people passionate enough to build the company I chose to work for.

For sponsors who want to keep this private, I am more than happy to create a custom version of this feed, with that company-specific episode, for internal use. And the same goes for podcast technology companies that would rather host the entire feed themselves for internal use than use an external company.

My goal is for this to become a fixture in the onboarding process of all new employees in the industry. To help every company in this space better equip their employees to succeed. Onboarding is tough enough when it’s for internal tools and processes, it can be overwhelming to catch people up on an entire industry.

So this is my way of trying to help.

New Sponsors

Sounds Profitable only exists thanks to the continued support of our sponsors. Each sponsor receives one hour of consulting per month as a way to say thanks. So today, I’d like to introduce you to our latest sponsors:

  • LoopMe leverages AI to optimize media delivery in real-time, driving measurable uplift for business outcomes and more effective advertising across online and offline marketing goals, including brand lift, purchase intent, consideration, foot traffic and sales.

Want to learn more about sponsorship? Hit reply!

Rel’s Recs

Arielle’s pick for this week is: Obscure History

Obscure History is a delightful podcast for many reasons. 1. Joshua Zubrick, the host, is honest and transparent about his process. The show started off as All The People Podcast and has taken a few pivots along the way, while staying consistently intriguing in content. Zubrick makes sure his listeners know what’s going on AND asks them how they’re liking the changes. It’s a living, breathing podcast. 2. Each episode is well-researched and follows a beautifully-written script that takes listeners on a journey. 3. When Joshua says “obscure,” he really means it. I recommend starting with the episode The Worst Olympic Event of All Time.

Market Insights – with ThoughtLeaders

Noam Yadin, Content and Social Media Manager at ThoughtLeaders joins me this week to share insight into current trends:

Simone Biles has had a difficult few days – competing on the biggest sports stage and having to leave the floor after competing, and not excelling, on the vault during the women’s team gymnastics final. Later on, Simone Biles explained that the mental stress drove her to abruptly withdraw from the competition. As can be seen by the ‘brands’ graph, brands did not miss out on this shocking event, especially BetterHelp – an online portal that provides direct-to-consumer access to mental health services.

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.