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Audible Stops Making Audio NYT + 4 more stories on The Download for January 14th, 2022

This is The Download from Sounds Profitable, the most important business news from the world of podcasting, I'm Bryan Barletta.

And I'm Evo Terra. Today; Audible moves away from daily news digests, Audioboom's profit soars, how podcast advertising needs to write its own future, and two more pieces you don't want to miss. Let's get started.

In GeekWire, Todd Bishop reports that Audible will stop making and distributing their audio digest versions of The New York Times, a service they had been providing since 1999. Additionally, Audible's audio digest versions of The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal will also be halted.

Quoting from the piece:

"The audio programs, which were available as a perk for Audible members, had been around for more than two decades in some cases. The decision to discontinue the digests reflects the growing number of daily news podcasts, and the rise of other services offering human-narrated audio of newspaper and magazine stories.

Responding to GeekWire’s inquiry about the move, an Audible spokesperson provided copies of emails alerting listeners to the change. The messages directed listeners to the lineup of podcasts on Audible, and specifically recommended NPR’s Up First as “another way to get your news fix.”

Audible and Amazon Music added podcasts in 2020. The New York Times is testing a new audio product of its own. The Times acquired Audm, which offers human-narrated stories from a variety of publications, in 2020."

More proof-positive that podcasting is not just a disruptive force in journalism, but a valuable type of media in its own right. One that subscribers are eager to add to their media consumption diet.

On Saturday, January 9th 2022, four mobile sports betting apps, including FanDuel and DraftKings, went live in New York state, with five more on the way, according to Neal Freyman of Morning Brew. In the four years since the Supreme Court ruled on legal sports betting, half the states in the US now allow sports betting, and twenty states support mobile sports betting specifically.

Industries like sports betting and cannabis benefit from geotargeting to states where they’re legally approved and aligning with contextually relevant content; two things that podcasting does exceptionally well. As podcasting continues to grow its programmatic advertising opportunities, expect to see these categories leading the charts.

Brad Hill from RainNews has a breakdown of Audioboom's financial report for 2021. A report that showed increased revenues of over 125% for the company that produces, monetizes, and distributes podcasts. That's a big increase that looks all the more impressive when you learn that Audioboom's growth more than doubled the IAB's tracking of the overall industry growth.

Audioboom's growth seemed to hit on all cylinders, with increases in total impressions, advertisers serviced, and even a big jump in effective CPM.

CEO Stuart Last reports that his company already havs $45 million on the books for this year, with a “strong set” of new shows is in development as they try to ride that train through 2022 and beyond.

Tom Webster of Edison Research penned a great article where he looks at the massive shift in spoken-word audio consumption since 2014 to podcasting and from where? You guessed it: radio.

As with every issue Tom writes in his newsletter, I Hear Things, this one is as entertaining to read as it is educational, and I highly encourage you to give it a read.

Quoting near the end of the issue:

"My point here is not to "celebrate" the growth of podcasting in spoken word. It's to take notice of just how much ground commercial radio has to podcasters who have done nothing more than add back in all the colors spoken word audio can paint with. Podcasting's surge isn't only about being an on-demand medium. It's about innovation. It's about taking risks. It's about closing the pool for renovations when it's easier to stick with the swimmers you have.ceded

Again, this one is really worth your time to read, and for remembering that the way to succeed with spoken word content is to not only appeal to your audience, but those who might become your audience.

And finally, It's not every day that an ad agency writes an opinion piece, but Dan Granger from Oxford Road has done so. And wow, is it an opinion that will probably ring in your ears for some time.In the piece, Dan presents seven key initiatives that would, in his opinion, demonstrably expand and optimize the podcast industry in 2022. You should read the article—we've linked to it in the episode details—to get his full take on each, but here's a quick rundown:

  1. A joint effort among the top podcast networks to create standard disclosures for ads
  2. Making category exclusivity a standard for host-read ads
  3. Networks to stop forcing "combo" buys that contain unwanted inventory
  4. Local media publishers joining forces to create their own regional podcast networks
  5. Facebook leveraging its advertising toolset to benefit podcasters on the social network
  6. Airchecks and transcripts become standard
  7. And the podcast Industry finally getting serious about brand safety

Dan goes into detail on each one of these needed initiatives, painting a picture of a future in which podcast advertising finally becomes a multi-billion dollar industry.

And that was The Download, from Sounds Profitable! I know we went through these fast, so be sure to check out the links to every article mentioned, right in your podcast listening app. And thanks for sticking with us on this grand experiment to give you the best stories you might have missed from this week. I'm Bryan Barletta.

I'm Evo Terra. Thanks for joining us. Robot?

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