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SP Profiles: Branded Podcasts w/ Dave Zohrob

Sounds Profitable gets to hear some of the best ideas and learn from the best researcher in the business. Unfortunately, that brilliance is sometimes overlooked because we're taught that what the company sells and the education they provide are too intertwined. It’s hard to sort out sales and marketing from universally valuable data.

So we want to highlight those bits of brilliance, and put a spotlight on these incredible ideas and excellent educational resources. This month we're talking with Dave Zohrob, CEO of Chartable, about an amazing study they did looking into Branded Podcasts.

Link to Dave's Study:

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Bryan: Hey, I'm Bryan Barletta with Sounds Profitable. We have a bunch of amazing sponsors and advertisers for the newsletter and the podcast, but sometimes a small blurb for an ad doesn't truly capture how awesome their product is and what it does. At Sounds Profitable. I really only work with companies that I believe in and that I want to collaborate with.

It's a real awesome opportunity for me to help grow this space. Hands-on and help them teach everyone in this space a little bit more about the industry and how the technology works. So I'm going to try and point a spotlight on those blurbs to make sure that you get a better idea of what they're talking about and why it's so valuable.

So this week we're talking to Dave, the CEO of chartable all about the research that his team has done into branded podcasts and why you need to know about it from start to finish.

(Transitions into interview) So Dave, thank you so much for joining me today. This is the first time that we're digging into something with the advertisers who support Sounds Profitable.

And I'm really excited because Chartable does such an amazing job at putting out all of this great information, basically all the time. And my job here is to kind of point a spotlight on it. Like there's some content that you put out before that has been great to write articles about, but other times there's stuff that would be fun for a conversation, but maybe not for that weekly article.

And so this is a chance for us to like, have a conversation focused on what you want to talk about and what you're seeing in the industry. So thanks for being here.

Dave: Thank you for having me, Bryan. Yeah, always awesome to chat with you. And of course we're big supporters of Sounds Profitable and recommend it to everyone we can possibly recommend it to, although they, many of them are already subscribers. (Laughter)

Right? So-

Bryan: I appreciate it.

Dave: So today I wanted to talk about the numbers that we've been seeing in terms of the branded podcasts. Right? So podcasts on behalf of businesses promoting something, it could be B to C. It could B to B. And this year, I've done a bunch of research on this, you know, obviously in a self-interested way I, we make and sell software.

I'm curious if I could make and sell software for folks that make branded podcasts. But more than that, I just kind of fell down the rabbit hole of businesses who are trying to promote themselves who have tried all the kind of standard stuff. They do paid advertising, they do paid search, they do Facebook ads, they do all kinds of other stuff.

They write blog posts, they have a whole con- you know, some of the bigger businesses have whole content teams that like churn out articles that are trying to target it at their keywords. And all those channels are just so swamped, right? It's like ads have gotten incredibly expensive on whatever platform you can think of.

Maybe besides podcasts. Obviously you should always advertise more on podcasts. The first page of Google for, I don't know if you've ever tried to buy anything recently, the first page of Google is just like completely optimized by content marketers. It's super hard to break in for new keywords. (Bryan agrees) And so any, you know, any smart marketer is thinking like, how do I get an edge?

And a lot of them are turning to podcasts. And there's a lot of great reasons for that. Obviously we're like podcast-true-believers here. So I don't need to talk about how great podcasts are. But I think from the marketers perspective, for folks who are like kind of new to creating audio, you know, that there's some challenges, right?

The topline numbers are not as big as like a blog post or like, you know, you pay for a bunch of reach on Facebook, you get a bid number to show your boss. But the difference is that like, you're getting incredible engagement from listeners. And usually it's like completely targeted, completely opt in.

And especially if you're selling something very specific, like enterprise AI software or CRM or something, or it could be something broad, like a fashion brand or something. You're getting deep deep engagement multiplied by a smaller number of people. And what we like to say, it's like small numbers, huge impact.

Right. And so-

Bryan: Yeah.

Dave: I think it's a huge trend that folks, you know, a lot of folks in the podcast industry are focused on ad supported business models. I think that's great. We love working with ad supported podcasts. We love working with advertisers, whereas there's this big thing that's happening. It's not new.

It's been happening for a long time, but it's a big trend. And I think we're just at the beginning of an explosion of branded content.

Yeah, ad

Bryan: tech

is one of those things that I like to emphasize that it's literally every single thing that helps you sell in, uh, in the industry. So I absolutely think that branded podcasts are ad tech.

I think that, you know, the hosting, the analytics and all of that lead into it, but you're so right. It's been real fun lately for me to search up opinions about ad tech or brand safety or anything else on the web, because what happens is you're right. The first two pages of Google results are paid for branded content.

That's been search optimized, and I get there. I don't know, what's worse lately? The press releases I continue to receive, or the content that I stumbling, but I'm gone in the first paragraph because while you got my click and you got my attention, your time on site sucks because this is new. Actual content.

It is a sink to get me to somewhere, to just shut up and pay somebody. And that doesn't fly in podcasting. Okay. So all of these great branded podcasts, the ones that have succeed it's here is the brand. And here is content that is valuable show. You will associate the value of that content with the brand.

Sometimes it's about it. Like bring back Bronco. It was really neat. It's about the story of it. Other times. It's just about the culture, right? The trader Joe's podcast. Yeah. And then even more like Pacific contents ones are the top of my mind. I think you did some work with them on this stuff, but they, um, they had the mortgage one, right.

Rocket mortgage, and yeah.

Work with all kinds of advertisers that are telling great stories, not just promoting their own stuff. Yeah. Because

you get like, I have so little time in my week to listen to something new. And so when I listened to it, I need to learn or be entertained. I don't need to be. The selling can be in the fact that I remember that customer.

I remember that client and then I'm stuck thinking about them. So that's, I think that's the novel aspect of podcasting and branded content and your spot. While we have a major search issue with the fact of how you find a podcast in Google search and all the apps and stuff, the content sticks it's valuable and it's not, over-saturated at least not


Yeah. I, you know, it'll take a few years. It probably will get super saturated. Right. But in the meantime, what we're seeing and, and, you know, in the industry, we call it branded podcasts. Right. But a lot of these people. They're just making a podcast for their business and they could be like a marketer on a team at a startup of like 20 or 50 people, or it could be, you know, maybe a huge white fortune 500 has like thousands of employees.

They might have dozens of podcasts. You know, those teams might be completely separate from each other. Right. People creating branded podcasts have the same problems that everyone else has. It's like, who's listening. How do they, how do they get there? How do they get more of those listeners? Right. What do they do?

Does it help my business? Right. And so that's, to me, we're kind of like DuckTales, like completely of ad tech, right? It's the same kinds of problems that. Everybody faces from the New York times sound up indie podcasts with five downloads. Everybody wants more listeners. Everybody wants to figure out how to acquire those listeners.

And then, you know, for anyone who's thinking about impact, like they want to know what happens afterwards. And for the branded contents, that's about. Okay. Our, my podcast listeners, do they, do they come back to my website and do something and or do they fill out a lead form or do they buy something? And this is exactly the same text.

And the reason that we, you know, charitable got to decide about this, it's the same tech that we would use for art. Okay. If I'm a mattress company, buy an Amazon. Um, podcasts. Do those people buy mattresses? It's the same thing, except that it's my business and my podcast. Right? Yep. I put out a great story about whatever it is, could be a mortgage, could be cars, could be anything, could be AI software.

Right. And do the people that download that show, do they come back to my website? Do they do something? Are they more engaged? Right. You know, kind of repurpose some of our existing tools and like build new tools for that specific case of like people creating brand that shows their, you know, their response so far has been good.

But I really think that more than that said more and more brands are going to be considering. Building their own audiences versus renting them from other networks. Yeah.

I agree with that. The self-made podcasts that internal to the business, or rather built by the business or for the business specifically is really valuable.

And we're also seeing licensing deals and things like that. Like let's say there's something even tangential. Uh, associated with your business that might be entertaining simply starting off the podcast with this podcast is brought to you by charitable, right? And then it's just like, find out all about how Caro likes cats, right.

And like, and then it's like, it's a podcast all about it's cats, but it's related to charitable and charitable put the endorsement on a, it creates a network and a brand obviously a little bit further off than attribution and analytics is sure. There's value in, in just builds. It wide, right? What's exciting.

What's entertaining. What's going to pull people into that style and there's so much room for it, whether it's built specifically for that, whether it's tangentially related to it, or even when, when people just get into the licensing, which is getting really exciting now, too, there was the sports podcast that was licensed for three years by a betting advertise.

Well awful that I don't remember this off the top of my

head, maybe a fan duel or something, but yeah.

And so that's like a neat idea too, right. Building and bringing in and taking content and pulling it in, not just buying one ad slot, not just testing it out for a month or two, but really making that podcast part of your business.

And so that's really cool. So you guys did a whole report. How about this, right? Yes.

Dave: Yeah. So, because I felt on the rabbit hole, I started saying, okay, well, how many branded podcasts are there? And it turns out that's like a harder question to answer than you might imagine. So what I ended up doing, because there's no white flag, somewhere in the RSS feed or on the practice that says, Hey, this is branded content.

What I ended up doing was grabbing. The top 100,000 companies out of Crunchbase, which is like a dataset of it's tech leaning, but there's all kinds of companies are in there, like including, you know, fortune 50 fortune five hundreds. I took those companies. And then I said, charitable, you know, one of the things we do is like track as many podcasts as we can growing their RSS feeds.

You know what I mean? Episodes, they release, et cetera, et cetera. And so I took the intersection of those two things. So I've got all these, you know, a hundred thousand crunches companies. Couple million RSS feeds like, Hey, do any of those lineup is a RSS feed on the company website? Or does the RSS feeds website point to that company, et cetera, et cetera.

You know, I had to massage the data a little bit like, uh, you know, for example, Wondery is listed in Crunchbase or wondering is shows branded content, you know? No, I mean, I'm sure they've made a brand of the show, but like, that's not what I'm trying to get out of here. I'm not trying to. Content created for content, you know, effort to sell advertising it's content created to promote a business or service.

Right. And so that left me with less. Um, around 8,300 at the branded podcasts as of earlier this year. Yeah. Which is a lot, way more than I thought. Yeah. And it goes all the way back to the first one. I could find it. And it's still at the fetus. So active is from bungee, which is a studio that made halo. So they started the podcast in 2006, talking about the development of halo and they haven't updated it.

And I'm, or five years, I think like, you know, maybe four or five years ago they stopped updating it, but that's pretty cool. And it's still there. Right. And I imagine. That big halo fan would go super deep, uh, digging back into those old episodes and saying like, what were they thinking? Like, you know, it's like basically 15 years ago now that they might start at this show, which is pretty incredible, you know?

So we're seeing more and more podcasts created every year, which I think is fascinating. And then we're seeing a different, like range of businesses create podcasts as well. So like historically, a lot of the consumer brands like inside trader Joe's is one of the examples we use. It's like a, it was in the.

Podcasts on apple for a long time long. And it's a show about trader Joe's and you know, what's happening is that trader Joe's people like customers are like spending hours with that brand, like loving the stories about what's happening behind the scenes and how they make their, you know, addictive snacks or whatever it is.

Right. And more and more businesses are seeing how that can work for them. Right. It's not an advertisement, it's a story. And more businesses are going to tell their stories that way versus. Just, I mean, and I think that to work comp in a complimentary way to renting an audience, but, you know, you're, you even rent an audience from, you know, a huge network like iHeart, for example, they have incredible reach.

You can do a programmatic buy and do a beta beta and host read by what, or you could sponsor a show for a number of seasons, but you can also compliment that for folks who really want to go deep with you. And tell a story and, uh, I think that's huge.

Bryan: I super do too. And it's so funny that like products and brands that I really care about now, you know, I spend a lot of time trying to learn about them, right?

Yeah. Number one, my wife's super country. I like to say she's my carbon neutral, right? Like I'm deep into ad tech. She's like the one saving the world out there, registering people to vote in everything. So she helps balance things out. That's why we dig in, but another is, I want to like learn the story right?

When they have a new product and I'm like excited for them. And I'm just like, ah, maybe this one's not for me, but I'm going to tell people about it. Like you, you, people identify and associate with. I don't think that that's necessarily the best thing, but it's not the worst thing, but there's cool stories, right.

At any day, anybody could be building something that becomes the next product we got. You have kids too. So that the nugget, I don't know if you've heard of that. It's this. Like a foam set to build like a ramp.

Dave: I've

Bryan: seen the CIA love it. I would kill the listening to a podcast about them because it's cut foam and fabric and they blew up real quick and they've had nothing but success.

It's always sold out. We got one and I love it, but like I would kill to learn their story. And that's where, you know, that's, what's interesting when one of the things I think we're going to be talking about is acquisition of lists. You think about like, Hey, it's me and Dave talking about, um, our opinions on movies, awesome.

Our audiences, the world, it means targeting. It's going to be expensive and really tough. And we're going to see more failure than success. But if it's, Hey, we make foam toys for kids. We make these awesome things for kids and it's, we're, we're real passionate about it. Your audience gets smaller. And so while acquisition might get more expensive in certain ways to think about.

You have a smaller pool and you have more chance of success. And so while you know me and you yelling about movies, we might want a million people listening, trader Joe's doesn't need a million people listening. They don't even need their whole audience, which is like captive, already buying. They're already excited about your own STO tote bag.

You know, they need the people who want to take it one step further that talk about it that are excited about it. And so it's just it's so I think branded podcasts are, are awesome and yeah.

Dave: 8,300, at least. And I'm sure I'm missing a bunch. Right? So there's like, I'm sure those Brendan podcasts that like exist primarily on a brand's website.

Right. And so like maybe I'm not capturing it cause I'm not crawling their RSS feed or something. And so I think. Uh, you know, people always talk about podcasts, being a great thing to like go super niche on, like, if you're telling a story, made sure it's like a super new story. I think when it comes down to, for example, like B2B, you're talking like the niche of a niche.

So I always bring up this example. One of our investors is, uh, runs a AI. And machine learning tools, companies. So it's tools for AI practitioners, right. They have a great podcast called gradient descent. Uh, it is for machine learning practitioners. Right. And so you can imagine the pool of that, that, that pool it's like, you know, there's probably a few thousand of those people, like in the U S or something, uh, but a good chunk of them actually listen to this show.

Right. Cause he's like doing like interesting interviews with, you know, folks in the field that are like advancing the field. Right. And you know, for them, you know, hitting, if they hit a couple thousand downloads on an episode, Awesome. Like that is like heading out of the park. And we designed a feature for B2B in particular where, you know, a lot of these folks are looking to.

Sell to what specific companies. Right? So, you know, account based marketing is a certain sales tactic where you're saying, okay, we are selling X kind of software. We need to reach companies that are like, IBM of all sizes or whatever it is. Right. And so we built this feature that shows you like which companies are listening to your podcast.

We don't know who it is, but it could be somebody at Facebook, somebody at IBM, or somebody within whatever your target set is. Right. If you're selling software to fashion companies, then it could be somebody at Louis Vuitton or whatever it is. Right. And so. Yeah, we built this tool and it's kind of like guided by these kinds of customers.

That's an emerging set of B2B marketers, who again, are like just looking to have a different tool or a different weapon, I guess, in there. Arms full box. I'm totally mixing them at a four here. You know what I'm saying? Yeah. People are always looking for an edge

Bryan: that people podcasts that have chartable integrated in it.

As a prefix URL are able to identify what companies some of the listeners are from.

Dave: What partnership, where you are doing that through a partnership with this company called Clearbit, they're a great provider of like enrichment data. So we're the first, um, you know, first, uh, application of that data to podcasting, right?

So this is like literally the first time we can find out which companies are listening to your show. And, uh, you know, it's not a, it's a paid feature, you know, we're excited about it. And again, we see this. Just another tool in the toolbox and a trend that's just going to be so right. And so we're looking at, what do you have this pool of creators?

And they're like basically business creators. So this is basically like a new kind of creators, like business creators, creating audio to promote their brand and to tell their story, I think is awesome. What I really like

Bryan: about that is that. Spend so much time in the podcast space explaining that the value of the IP address mostly relates to the household.

And so a partner like Clearbit probably does two things, really useful. One, three types of IP connections. We have household, we have business and we have cellular cellular all day long. I keep getting emails from people who are like, we can attach carrier data to it. And the second that actually happens, we'll talk more about it, but I'm like 13 years life.

Would that lie being told to me, but businesses,

Dave: right? I'm sure you get those phone calls. Funny. I explain it all the time. Yeah.

Bryan: But, uh, but the businesses side of it is really interesting because like most of the time we think, oh, well, you know, if they don't consistently download it at the business and that's really tough, there's a bunch of people.

It's not a household unit. We can't provide demographics, but this Clearbit value shows either one of two things, being able to associate a business connection. Chu the, the registration where the businesses back to a user profile. So when they're at home, you can connect them together or even more. So that business IP address is now valuable for this type of identification.

Dave: For sure. And that's the thing that's like when you're selling ads, like you're looking to get a certain CPM for your downloads and you want more downloads so that you'd get, you know, because that's how I get paid. But if you're selling like enterprise software, like a hundred thousand dollar a year contract value, it's not about getting, like you had said earlier in the show, it's not about getting a zillion downloads it's about in the right people and you can reach those right people and know you're reaching those right.

People then getting a single sale. Out of a years or two years worth of podcasting would pay for the

Bryan: exactly. Exactly. No. Yeah. Sounds profitable. Is podcast ad tech in podcasts and newsletter form, right? It's, it's a subset of the entirety of the industry and we're almost at 2000 downloads a month and that makes me happy.

Like that's such a cool and fun thing. But each one of those matter, right? Each one of those is someone who's going to respond to a survey or email me or follow up, and we're going to have a conversation we're going to grow this. And so even if you're. Couple hundred downloads a month, right. For, or per episode, probably better, like depends on what they convert into.

Right. If you have a software that's a hundred thousand dollars a year contract, right. How many people do you actually need to convert for the podcasts to be worthwhile? Probably two breaks even, or, or less, right? Yeah.

Dave: Yeah. Yeah. It's a totally different, you know, kind of return on investment kind of calculation than a traditional, like ad supported show.

Right. So, you know, that's why more folks are kind of looking at this, you know, the challenge has always been again, it's like same, same challenge everybody has. How do you know? So, you know, we, we've tried to, you know, use, use the data that we do have and use the tools that we do have to like, help them answer that question.

You're never going to have like perfect knowledge if they haven't listened to this podcast and they wouldn't have signed the a hundred K deal. I'm sorry. Like, you know, I'm not going to be able to tell you that, but at least we can give you a sense of like, you know, more of a sense of who you're reaching.

And are you, are you getting those like super simple. Downloads, right?

Bryan: Yeah. But neither is the billboard. Neither is the blog post. When those things are not like a direct click over, right.

Dave: Nobody really puts in their credit card to buy a hundred thousand dollar piece of stuff. Right. I mean, or if they do, please come to and you know, we got a really special version.


Bryan: man. But so, okay. So, uh, of the 8,300 active and active, you defined as was like three months, six. Oh,

Dave: just that the feed, the feed is still alive

Bryan: because I think that even a year or two old for a branded podcast is valuable contents, evergreen. Right? It's it's something to put in your signature. It's something for the salespeople to send, had guests.

That's why I started the deep dives. Right. We do these walkthroughs, like we're doing here with this audio where it's like, Hey someone. Yeah. Read the report. Someone can't go to the website because someone can't try it out. Like here's a leave behind it's one more way to engage those people that you were trying to interact with.


Dave: that's part of what we hear from like sales teams. You know, that often folks like who, you know, come and sign up for, you know, sign up for a demo or something, we'll say, Hey, I heard, I heard the podcast. I listened to the entire. Right. Yeah. And when a sales person hears that, they're like, you know, their ears perk up.

They're like, Hey, wait a second. So they start sending out the podcast as part of their like weed, you know, they're prospecting pipeline or whatever, right. Where they have like different drip emails that they send to people. And then the marketing team says, Hey, wait a second. We can repurpose this into a blood posts.

We can put audio gram on social media. We can do, you know, something on Instagram to put a clip of it in the newsletter. There's like so many different ways. You do this a lot too. It's like repurposing content and promoting it. And it, it all feeds into this, like, you know, building the brand. Right. And podcasts, I think are particularly good at that.

Um, because there's, you know, you have long form content, Asian then slice up and repurpose and a bunch of different media. Yeah.

Bryan: And the on-demand nature of it. Can't be overstated. I think that like we take for granted. How long a sales call can be. Right. And like, do you have lunch waiting for you? Do you have another, like a pile of emails coming through?

Right. Nobody is dedicated 100%. I'm literally talking to you on a teleprompter right now. And I have notifications from every single thing popping up. Just we can't get away from it. Right. And if I don't look yeah. Bone buzzes. So when I can listen to it in a podcast form, when I choose, when I want to engage with it, even if I don't listen to the whole thing, I am getting more value out of it.

So whether it is a hard sell or whether it is branded content, that makes me excited about the brand. Like having options is never bad, right? Determining that the all new way you're ever going to sell as a Steve commission comes into the meeting and sells them right then and there and has them sign.

It's not, it's not how it works.

Dave: Yeah. And I think that it comes back to this messaging, which I'm sure you have to talk about a lot in which I find myself talking about a lot is that like impressions are not like equal between different media. It's like somebody looking at your blog posts. It's not the same thing as listening to a podcast.

And somebody listening to podcasts is not the same thing. As I've seen it, ads scroll through a Facebook feed. They're just not the same. Right. And so, you know, as an industry, I think one of the challenges of podcast says that the top line now. Are lower, right? Yeah. But the difference is you multiply that number by a very different time of engagement.

And that applies to ad supported podcasts if, you know, to ad reads and, you know, and then like kind of what I would consider the ad-supported standard podcasts stuff that people talk about and it applies to brands. It's not the same thing. People are spending time. People choose to spend time. And that's what makes the medium so special.

So brands that like wean into that and create these kinds of special law informed things that are not just 30 minute advertisements. Yeah. They're actually like, and that's for exploration of something exciting or interesting about them or interviews with like, you know, amazing people in the field. I think, you know, sky's the limit.

I think we're going to see a lot more of this in the coming years and I'm excited about it. Yeah.

Bryan: So, okay. So we got, we got the charitable pixel on, on my branded podcasts. We put a lot of effort until we built it out. It is getting some downloads. What have you found have been the best ways to get more?

Like, does it deviate from standard advertising or do you approach

Dave: it any. Yeah. So, uh, if the goal is to increase listenership of the podcast. So the thing that we recommend the most is audio advertising and other podcasts. So like where do you find, or do you find more podcasts listeners? They are on other podcasts, right?

It sounds almost like a Yogi Berra, like self-referential thing, but it's true. And so what we see happening. You know, step one. And I should say, I should say this and repeat myself. If I haven't already, it's like, you have to make something great. That's worthless to me. Yes. Okay. And so you've already talked about that.

There's a lot of different sorts that can be told, but it bears repeating it. Shouldn't just be like one person in a room talking about advertisement forever. Like for 30 minutes, it should be telling these great stories. If you ha, if you have a great story and you know, that people are going to listen, that it's worth investing in.

Growing that audience, we always recommend podcasts advertising for that. There's a lot of people you can buy it from you too. You could trade with them. We could do a lot of different. But podcast listeners listen to podcasts. And so if you want to reach podcast, listeners, listen to them, you know, reach them where they are.

They're in their app, they're in apple podcasts, they're in Spotify, they're in overcast pocket cast, whatever you can reach them there and tell them about this amazing story you're going to tell. Right? And so we see folks investing in creating great stories and then investing in our marketing budget to grow the audience for them.

And number one should be, if it's not, should be audio. Right. Yeah, it could be programmatic. It could be baked in, you could do a trailer trailer dropping a feed trailer drops are really effective. They're really expensive because they're really effective. And you know, there's a lot of different ways to grow it.

And it's like pretty similar to grow. Well, it didn't add ad supported show, except that you want to be super targeted about who you're reaching, especially if you're in B2B. If you're in B to C you know, your targeting is probably pretty similar to the targeting for a brand for like, you know, a DTC brand, like trying to try and reach their customers that way.

And it's

Bryan: expensive for an episode drops specifically, a trailer draw is, um, does a trailer versus a full episode, tend to provide more value.

Dave: That's a really good question. I don't have the data off hand. Right. I think the thing that people run into here is that, you know, some podcasters and some networks are very familiar with the trailer dropper and episode drop, right.

Where, you know, and again, just to be clear, we're like talking about dropping an entire trailer, an entire episode into somebody else's feed to promote your show. And some, some folks are familiar with that and they're like, cool with it. Other folks that actually kind of like gives them pause, right?

They're like, wait a sec. Your episode in my feed. Right. But it works. I don't have the numbers between the two. Right. But like we see like much higher conversion rates for yeah. For drops, right? Because like, you're, you know, to talk about rent versus renting an audience versus building your own, you're renting that feeds audience for, you know, for that drop.

And some chunk of them are going to listen. And if they liked what they did. It's there in their podcast app, right? They'll say, well, I'm just going to go search for, it sounds profitable. It's right there. Right? So that pathway, the listener pathway to get into your show is much shorter than, you know, maybe they see an ad on Facebook, but they're on their desktop and they don't listen to their desktop.

So they think, oh, I better remember it, Alexa trap on my phone the next time. And then do they run out? Probably not. Right. And so, you know, the pathway is a little bit

Bryan: different. Yeah, no, but I liked that. I, I think that keeping people in the same ecosystem is really strong.

Dave: Yeah. And I think it's folks who are used to, and I'm sure you've talked about this before and run into this, like folks who are used to buying digital ads that are not that familiar with podcasts.

And a lot of marketers are creating this podcast as an experiment for their business. They think, oh, I'd really like to spend some money on social media ads. And if your work, it definitely can work and we have the tools to like help you measure that. But there's a bigger hurdle there, unless you really know what you're doing.

And you have like the targeting really spot on. It's just going to be harder to get the conversions that you're going to want. Yeah. I think

Bryan: that you're spot on with the fact that audio advertising leads to more audio engagement because people are already in that same environment. It's easy to search.

Yeah. The same thing. Understandably, I unlock my phone. My, if I'm playing a podcast, I'm probably still not on the podcast app. I'm in something else. I could go to their website. I could find out more, follow them on Twitter, whatever, but if I'm listening to a podcast, there's something about it that makes it easy to just search for that or click the episode.

And continue over. I think that anybody advertising about a podcast on other formats should ideally have a stronger core, right? A better website, a better social media. The podcast should be one of their outward media prongs and not their main thing, because I really think that it's. To advertise on social and display and video and streaming audio for a podcast.

Dave: It's tough. Yeah. I would feel the climb it's doable, but it's a tough,

Bryan: tough hill to climb. Not where I

Dave: would spend money. Right. But the good thing about like businesses that are creating these shows is that they often have an email newsletter already. Right. They often have social media already, so they can use their, or, you know, the channels that they've already built.

And not pay for them, just like use their existing audience and say, Hey, we've got a new show launching next week, come, you know, come to apple podcasts or wherever, download the trailer, subscribe, follow, I guess I should say. Uh, and you know, you can, can build on the audience you've already built because chances are, if you're selling stuff you've already been trying to reach your customers already.

This is probably not the first thing you've done. Right. And if it is. I think that's awesome. That's great. Uh, but it would be very unusual. Yeah.

Bryan: So what else did you find in the study? I mean, this is so great. The amount of them out there and the fact that it works very well to advertise in audio, to lead to more, you know, listeners, but what, what were the, the big things that you took away that really, really let you know that this was going to continue to get

Dave: bigger?

So I think that one of the things we're seeing is folks that are leaning into podcasts as marketing for their businesses are starting to create their own networks. So there are a couple of examples that come to mind. Uh, HubSpot has their own created shows and they also are creating a business focus network, Salesforce, which is, you know, coincidentally, a competitor to HubSpot and the wild ways.

Um, they have like a bunch of shows. So they've been making for a long time and they're getting super organized about it. Leveraging best practices across their entire like network of shows and treating it like a network and the differences that it's like, you know, it's similar to Wondery and that there's a bunch of shows, but it's like a B2B focused network, which I think is a new thing.

And we're going to see a lot more of that coming soon, you know? And that, that to me, shows that like people inside those orgs are seeing results and they're saying, Hey, there's a lot of potential here. What would happen if we, you know, hired up a little bit more and we like organize this team and like, really.

Very metrics oriented about this. They're going to see great results. And then you're going to see that playbook copied over and over again. Like just like, do you see the playbooks that I've worked for folks like wondering start getting copied across the industry? Yeah.

Bryan: And honestly, like having been a content marketer to some degree for, for a lot of what I've done, it sucks.

It sucks to sit there and just have to write something that you can't put a lot of personality in, but like you can't do on a podcast without personality. So if you're the person who gets to commission that or work on it, right, it's such a chance to be creative again, where you probably are a little bit more.

Confined with what you do. And I love that network idea. I think that's really valuable. I think that it's, it's really clear to show when it works, when one show works and then you can build another one off that show to take another aside view there, and then you can collaborate between. Yeah, just, I think that's powerful, very powerful, but it takes an investment and yeah, sometimes people don't want to hear that.

Like they don't want to hear it for a regular podcast when people say like, Hey, I made 10 episodes. When do I make money? And I say, well, when you treat this, like opening up a retail shop, like when you invest in it like a business, it

Dave: will pay you for your content marketing. You know, the business side that people are like, okay, I wrote a blog post.

Like, how come we don't have thousands of clicks on Google? That's like, well, that's just not how it works. Right. It's work. But one of the things I heard, one of our customers talk about is that like, you know, you're gonna start a podcast inside a company and you know, it's going to be tough to get people on board.

You have to fight to get that first season. Right now, the end of the first season, people are going to be like, uh, I don't know about this. Maybe it wasn't the best idea. We only got a few hundred downloads an episode. And if you keep investing and keep making great, great content and telling great stories by the end of the season, too, everyone's going to say, oh, it's a genius.

It's a genius idea. It was my idea. Right? Like everyone's going to be trying to like take cotton and take credit by the end of season two. But by the end of season one, you have to have that committed. To keep telling the story. Right? Yeah. And that, that I think is, you know, one of the, you had asked, like what, what makes me excited, you know, after doing all this research on this stuff, you see a lot of people making such and seasons and third seasons, fourth seasons, and that they're doing it because it's working.

Right. And so they've committed to making this stuff to it, to telling their company's story and to telling it an audio. And so I think that's. A huge sign for this, this chunk of the industry that has been people.

Bryan: My key takeaway from that is everybody listening on your first season. When you get a commission, just take credit and say, it's my idea and take the risk because people are going to keep investing in it.

You'll get that second season. And you were the first one to say it. So it's

Dave: yours. I, I think it is. I agree though. It does take a certain amount, like yeah. Well, at least right now, within a lot of these orders, somebody has to stand up and say, we should make a podcast. And I think it should be awesome. It shouldn't just be, you know, somebody who had reading a blood post out loud or whatever, like we should really commit and make something worth listening to.

And that's a risk, you know, that's a risk for a lot of people. But if you do it, and like Brian said, make sure you take, make sure you take the screenshots of the slack where you like actually suggested to you're going to be the hero. Right.

Bryan: But you got to compare it to him, other things, right? Like th this is like, what's really important is, you know, first off, like you have boots, right?

Like if you're a lot of B2B companies or a lot of companies out there, like you go to expos and you have. Take figure out how much, every dollar, every coffee you expense in everything that it costs to go to that event and then write that down and multiply across the year and then compare the number of people that you've had at the booth.

Right? Because you got to count that for metrics and see how it matches to the podcast, because one is, they were corralled in there and they might've stopped by because you had a sweet koozie and the other one is they chose to engage on their own time. So like, that's what, like a lot of the things I talk about is how profitable.

Exactly. Is it just like, it's just like, it's a different type of marketing. It's not it's it doesn't fit into all the other molds. I think another really important thing is, is like your brand. Doesn't always have to be front end. Right, right. Like it doesn't have to be like, you know, the main thing, the main image on the podcasts are please, actually probably don't do

Dave: that.

Don't put your logo. It's like the only thing, right? It's like, it's going to look like an act, right. There are so

Bryan: many creative ways let's do it. And there are so many amazing shops out there that can walk you through it or do it for you to make it a subtle and connected things. So there's no question that it's not associated, but like, it doesn't have to be the main focus.

You know, I guess the, the last thing is, don't forget about your company, right? Like I think about how many people work at a company and how many get to go to a conference and really see the people that are on or get to go to a sales meeting and see somebody present or marketing or anything. Right. Your content for your company.

Like hopefully people work at your company because they want to, maybe the pays and benefits are great, but like at the end of the day, like there are a lot, a lot of jobs out there. And so you want to work at place places you like, if there's a podcast about it, if you can explain to somebody what your company does or what your industry does by being like, yeah.

We put out this awesome podcast that I'm really proud of. It's a great way to advertise word of mouth, because I'm not going to tell anybody about the report that my company put out, because nobody's going to want to read it, but they'll want to listen to this podcast right here.

Dave: I've certainly had, um, folks say that they've listened to me on other podcasts or on charitable zone podcasts, which I think is a great sign that, you know, an interviewee is like doing their homework, right?

Yeah. But it's also putting your company out there. And it sticks around, you know, we have episodes from years ago, right. And I think the point about not putting your brand front and center, I think is super important and I'll, I'll call like one other trend up, which I didn't actually write up in this report that was more focused on commercial, but there are a lot of nonprofits now using audio to tell their stories.

And I think that is a trend that we're going to see more and more. There's been a lot of folks who have, you know, Uh, and I'm talking to like, uh, like charities essentially. Right? So, you know, I have a, uh, one specific example is my wife is a progressive strategy consultant. She worked with a client, a March of dimes to create a podcast about, you know, folks who are having trouble with, you know, conception of childbirth.

Right. And it's this, uh, three episode documentary called unspoken stories that came out a couple of years ago. It's evergreen. Right? You could go listen to it right now. It's a great show. You know, the download numbers, from what I understand, we're not like, you know, they're not in the bazillions range.

You are creating like the next doctor death you would want to see, but the response that have generated for their organization, from the people that listened and who have gone through, Hey, it's a subject that people have a hard time talking about. Anyway, you know, like it's, it's a tough subject, but be to like, have those.

Very personal stories related in audio in a well-produced way, just like drove the amount of flight emails that like the president and the March of dimes doc from this thing was like crazy. Right. So there's like, I think another trend that we're going to see is. Other, you know, not just businesses, but other organizations telling those stories through audio and not put in like, Hey, this is like X charity podcast, right at the front and center.

But telling stories, like not everybody has like crazy sad stories, like, uh, you know, like birth stories, but like, there's going to be plenty of stories, plenty of great stories to tell that would fit this medium. And so I'm looking forward to seeing, you know, more organizations, both commercial and non-profit, uh, take advantage of yeah.

Bryan: But that's also like a really good way to look at it too, because like March of dimes is a neat. It is very old. It's been around for a long time

Dave: and you just have to CR you don't,

Bryan: you don't think about it a lot. I mean, like, I, I, I have absolutely worked with them before, so I understand what they do, but like, for a lot of people it's out of sight out of mind.

And so hearing a podcast about a specific topic, that's either something that you can relate. Or something that you want to help with and dig in more and then finding that it's associated with a source that can let you do either. So you were educated about it. You got to hear stories entertaining is the general term fill in this.

And, but, um, but then it gives you a prompt to engage. Can you donate and help people like this? Or can you volunteer or are you someone like this? And that's, that's so powerful. I, I agree with you. I think we're going to see a lot more from nonprofits

Dave: like that. Right? It's a, it's a similar thing, right? So like, you know, in the ad supported world, you know, you're listening to a show and you hear an ad for a mattress.

Maybe you go buy the mattress and a branded content world, maybe like a B2B world, you are listening to a show about machine learning or AI or something, and you think, oh, I need this software to like help me in my practice and the nonprofit world, you hear an incredible story and you think, oh, wow. I'm motivated to take action, like donate or volunteer.

And these are all it's very similar things. It's, it's just like a different flavor of using audio to, to help inspire some kind of response. Did Headspace

Bryan: just come out with a podcast with Sesame street for children to help them? My son's three, no problems going to sleep, but he loves watching shorts before bed.

I absolutely, I'm going to start switching and trying that out. And it's something that it just keeps it in my mind. And when I log into Netflix and when I check out my podcast app, their name is there. Not only that, like now I get to think about them in other ways. And now when someone says, oh, meditation, I go, oh, Headspace, because it's super smart thing I hear about.

It's about getting interwoven into the person's identity and interests, right? It's not always about selling them. It's branded content. It's branding. It's not about a direct conversion immediately. It's about making sure that your message resonates with them. And that's so cool that you did all this

Dave: research.

Thanks, man. It's really thanks so much for having me on to talk about it. I like, obviously we're like podcast stands here, but I think that we're going to see a lot of like that Headspace, as example, as a great example, we're going to see more creativity applied to, you know, by businesses creating content, right?

And it's not just going to be more shows about a company. It's going to be all different kinds of organizations, creating all different formats, all different kinds of content. And it's going to be, it's going to be cool to see. Heck. Yeah.


Bryan: where can people find this report?

Dave: Uh, you can find it on the Chartable blog,

Awesome. B L O G. Okay. But

Bryan: for 25% off the free report

Dave: and it's not shit, just to be clear, it's not, which we get auto. Correct. Still has it still has trouble. So make sure it's chartable, but yeah,

Bryan: this was really fun. Thank you for kicking off this new series with me. And I'm really excited to dig in more with you on these throughout the year.

Dave: Yeah, thanks so much, Brian really appreciate you having me. Thank you.

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