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All The Sounds Profitable That’s Fit To Print with Arielle & Evo

Evo Terra and Arielle Nissenblatt discuss all things Sounds Profitable. They go through SP’s recent announcements, content schedule, mission and vision, and more.

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Here’s our favorite idea from this conversation: like the podcast industry, Sounds Profitable is constantly evolving to fit the needs of the community that it serves.



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Arielle Nissenblatt: More than just podcast adtech and a newsletter, sounds Profitable is growing. That's what we're talking about on this week's episode of Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied with me, Arielle Nissenblatt.

Evo Terra: And me, Evo Terra, filling in for Bryan Barletta.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Advertisers and podcasters find the perfect ad placement at Libsyn's AdvertiseCast Marketplace. Enjoy huge inventory and full service. Get started at advertisecast. com.

Evo Terra: Special thanks to our sponsors for making Sounds Profitable possible. Check them out by going to soundsprofitable. com and clicking on their logos in the articles.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Hello, and welcome to the show. Arielle here and I've got Evo on the other side of my screen here. Hi, Evo.

Evo Terra: Hi, Arielle. Lovely to see you.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Lovely to see you, too. I have COVID. Can you tell in my voice?

Evo Terra: You're getting better. You're getting better.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah. Yeah. It's not terrible. I mean, but it's not good. Don't get COVID if you can avoid it. Evo is Sounds Profitable's head of content. He makes sure everything in the content department is running smoothly, which is increasingly becoming necessary as we've got a lot of content going on, which is what we're going to get into in just a moment.
Listeners, you may already know my voice, but refreshers are always fun. I'm Arielle and I run Sounds Profitable's social media. I also work with Bryan on This Year podcast. Today, Evo and I wanted to get together while Bryan is overseas at a podcast conference to discuss the state of everything Sounds Profitable, what we're making, why we're making it, how you can get involved and our goals for the podcast space.
Evo, how does that sound?

Evo Terra: Ambitious. But we will give it our level best effort.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I think we can handle it. I do.

Evo Terra: Probably so.

Arielle Nissenblatt: The way I envision this episode going is that you and I will ask each other questions. And the reason I think that this might be interesting for both you and for me and hopefully for the folks at home is because I think subscribers will know that Sounds Profitable has changed a lot since it was just Bryan yelling at the clouds, as he likes to say, in September of, I think, 2020. Yeah, September of 2020 was when he started it. And it has, obviously, changed a lot, brought on a lot of folks to help contribute to the weekly articles and many podcasts under the Sounds Profitable banner.
So we'll go through everything and we'll share how we're contributing to that, who else is contributing to that, and really anything else that goes with that. And I think a big part of it for me is Tom Webster's joining, Bryan Barletta is continuing his role as partner, and what does it all mean.

Evo Terra: The existential questions of why are we here. Great. So how do you want to start this?

Arielle Nissenblatt: Well, I've got a question for you. And it is, how and when did you first encounter Bryan and/ or Sounds Profitable? What was first for you? Chicken or egg, Bryan or Sounds Profitable?

Evo Terra: Definitely Bryan because it was in February of 2020 and Sounds Profitable did not exist based on the timeline that you just put forth. I met Bryan at Podcast Movement Evolutions, the very first one in Los Angeles. He was working for Megaphone at the time and he and I had a conversation and I immediately said, " Hey, this guy really knows what he's talking about when it comes to podcast advertising and ad tech. He's someone I need to get to know." And get to know him, I did.
And in fact, later on that summer, when he was no longer working at Megaphone, I was one of his first phone calls and he said, " What am I going to do?" And I said, " You're going to write a newsletter about podcast adtech because that needs to exist and you're the perfect guy to do it. And he said, " Okay." And here we are.

Arielle Nissenblatt: And what was your experience with podcast adtech before meeting Bryan?

Evo Terra: So my background is actually in advertising and marketing. I'd run digital advertising agencies for the last 20 years or so. So getting into podcast advertising was natural and I was working with a very large client. I won't say their name but rhymes with SAP. And they were spending a fair amount of money in podcast advertising. And we were using Megaphone, the company that Bran was working for, as our adtech platform to deliver the ads we were running.
So that was my first real deep foray into podcast advertising. And I thought this entire thing is screwed up. The digital advertising landscape is mature. It's got great robust tools. I can get lots of data. I can't get anything worthwhile from this podcast advertising tech. Why doesn't it work like digital? And then Bryan informed me within many ways why it's not the same thing as digital.

Arielle Nissenblatt: And he continues to inform us every week why it's not the same thing as digital and why we might be getting closer, but that's what this whole thing is about.

Evo Terra: So that brings up a good question, Arielle. How did you first encounter Mr. Bryan Barletta and Sounds Profitable?

Arielle Nissenblatt: Twitter. I, as you know, am extremely active, too active on Twitter. I have not spent day off of Twitter since, I think, 2017 when I started earbuds, miserable, but also it's good. It's given me a lot of opportunities. Anyway, lots of tangents. I was on Twitter and I think September of 2020, just after Sounds Profitable launched, I was living in Maine. I was doing the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies Audio Program. And I had just started at Squadcast and, as always, trying to keep up with everything going on in the podcast space.
So pretty much every time a new person or a new newsletter or a new podcast pops up about the world of podcasting, I love to sink my teeth into it, email that person and say, " Hello, tell me everything about you. Social Security card, family, everything. Why are you doing this? How can I be involved?" And so ...

Evo Terra: Right.

Arielle Nissenblatt: ... I think I subscribed to the newsletter, had no idea in practicality what podcast adtech was. But in theory, I knew what podcast adtech was. So I subscribed to the newsletter. Like I said before, we started recording. I'm not a big reader, so I did not read the newsletter at first but skimmed. I'm a big skimmer. It gets me in a lot of trouble actually because I'll often skim newsletters and emails and books, and then be like, " Hello, I need my questions answered." And people will be like, " Clearly, you didn't read this."
So that happens to me. But anyway, really enjoyed the headlines that I was reading from Bryan's newsletter, as well as when I did dive into some of the articles, I was impressed. And also learning a lot and becoming more familiar with what podcast adtech actually was.
Of course, as a podcast listener, I'm intimately aware of podcast advertising and how consumers interact with ads and how I interact with ads as a consumer but also as somebody who is very aware of the podcast advertising landscape. So it was starting to become interesting to me to listen to my friends talk about podcast ads and then to square that with what Bryan was writing about podcast adtech. So then I want to say summer of 2021, approximately a year ago, Bryan first approached me about working with Sounds Profitable and what that would look like. And what it ended up looking like was social media and the podcast and a few other things, which we'll get into very shortly.
But, yeah, that's how I first came across Bryan and Sounds Profitable. Ambitious guy.

Evo Terra: Very, very much. Yeah. I'm glad you said it was the headlines that really drew you in because-

Arielle Nissenblatt: That's you.

Evo Terra: Yeah, most of the headlines I write.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah, definitely big headlines. I really like the headlines and I really like the way that you break up the different sections within the newsletter is, obviously, something that is going to draw people in. And I imagine that's strategic as well.

Evo Terra: Yeah, yeah. It's all about making it approachable, something that's readable. So it's not just one giant block of text that people can really get into and really consume. So, great.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah. That's super important. I talk about that all the time on Twitter actually because I think a lot of the time, people have great ideas for tweets or information that they want to share via Twitter. And it's almost indigestible because it's shared in blocks of text. Whereas if you throw an emoji in there, throw a line break, just like that, you've made it more palatable for so many more eyes on the internet. It's pretty amazing.
So Evo, when did you first start working with Sounds Profitable?

Evo Terra: Pretty much as soon as I told Bryan he was going to write this newsletter, he said, " Okay, but I need an editor." And so I said, " I will do that because I want this thing to exist in the world." So I think I have edited every single article that's went out.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Wow.

Evo Terra: So if there's something terrible in there, you can blame me. I'm a very, very light editor. It's really more about making sure that what Bryan was trying to convey was actually what got out there and that's become ... Now, I don't even have to do that anymore because he's really nailed it on what the focus of it is down. So that's how I've started working. So it's been the beginning and effective, well, I guess by around the time this thing is going out there, it's going to be a lot more than that I'm going to be doing.
I'm going to be taking care of, well, all of the media aspects. So not just making sure the newsletter gets published on time but making sure that the narrated version, both in English and in Spanish, are published on time. Making sure that download goes out as is appropriate and also making sure that this podcast, Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied, goes out the way that it should. And then also cross- promotional efforts between those two and really trying to grow this little media empire that has suddenly cropped up on us. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm looking forward to it.

Arielle Nissenblatt: We started this conversation talking about podcast adtech, and now we've got Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied, which is this conversation right here, where Bryan mostly chats with people in the adtech space about advertising. How long should your ads be? What is dynamic ad insertion? What is dynamic content insertion? What is streaming ad insertion? I could go on all day. There's so many different terms and alphabet soup that goes on that we define. And we talk about how to use practically.
But then we also have The Download. We also have La Descarga. We also have the narrated articles. There's a lot going on. So how did it move from Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied, AKA the podcast, the newsletter about adtech, to the business of podcasting?

Evo Terra: I think like a lot of things, it's just a natural progression. We started out talking about podcast adtech for two reasons. One, Bryan was very knowledgeable and still is very knowledgeable about that topic. And two, no one else was. I mean, that's the fact. No one else was talking about this. There was podcast adtech. There were a lot of conversations happening internally about it, but no one was covering the news of podcast adtech. That piece of podcasting that lets the $ 2 billion in revenue flow into podcasting. No one was really talking about it.
If you weren't part of the industry, you just didn't know what was going on. So that's why we initially had the focus. So let's start with adtech for podcasting, but that's grown. And as we've grown and as the number of sponsors that we have grown, as the number of listeners have grown, as the number of readers to the newsletter has grown, it's time for us to expand beyond that.
And Bryan and I started working up against that real early. I think it was probably within two or three months. He wanted to talk about things that were more businessy, less adtechy. And I continued to force him back to say, " No, let's stay focused," right, because it's the idea of know who you are for and why they are there. And we are for people who want to know about the business of adtech and podcasting and that's what they are there for. So going too far afield was problematic, but we still wanted to cover more than that.
So rather than simply stay focused on just that narrow thing, which we will continue to keep a focus on that one, but it's no longer going to be our only focus. We want to reach outside of that because there's more room in the business side of podcasting that we can cover, not just with Bryan, but you mentioned now we have Tom Webster, who's joined as a partner of the team. Great. That's good information we have there.
We have Caila Litman doing her good data articles, which aren't really about advertising as much as they are about the data side of things. So that's why we're doing this new refocus on a larger piece, but still businessy, but still very much on the business side of podcasting.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Let's go through the different content arms that we've got going on. Basically, let's go through what you do on a day- to- day basis, on a week- to- week basis. We have this podcast which comes out every Sunday and is, like I said, usually a conversation between Bryan and somebody in the podcast adtech space. And then I join the show at the top of the show and at the bottom of the show to set up the interviews and then to break them down.
So what should you be listening for? And then what should your main takeaways be? And the reason I think I'm a good person to do that is because, like I said, I did not have experience in the adtech space beforehand. And I'm coming at it from the perspective of somebody who loves the podcast space, wants to understand the podcast space, and listens to a lot of podcasts, both from the production standpoint and from the consumer standpoint. So I feel like I have a good ear on the ground but then also from the industry because I work for Squadcast.

Evo Terra: You are the proxy for the audience.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah.

Evo Terra: That's your job on this show. You are what everybody else is thinking but needs to ask.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Why Bryan say that?

Evo Terra: Yeah, exactly right.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah. I'm the advocate for the people who cannot ask. Yeah. So that's one of our shows, comes out every Sunday. Then the articles come out every Tuesday. How do they get dreamt up?

Evo Terra: The articles are really the meat and potatoes of what Sounds Profitable is and how it started. I mean, it started out just as an article, a newsletter that Bryan wrote. We didn't even have an audio component to that until he realized he probably should be making a podcast so he can see what it's like because he'd never actually made a podcast before. So that's how we started doing the narrated versions.
But you asked the question of how are those birthed? So that's all, mostly, 99% of it is locked up with Bryan. He knows the topics he wants to cover. And he also reaches out to guests who are going to be covering topics as well. And so he'll figure out somebody who wants to hear from or he'll come up with a topic and an angle and he looks for the right person to be out there, and he solicits them and says, " Would you like to write an article about this? We'll share it on Sounds Profitable." And they put the whole deal together.
So ... And those are planned out. We're about a month out, usually, on articles. So if you're listening to this and you have something you think you'd like to contribute to the business of podcasting, pretty please, with sugar on it, do reach out. We are always looking for guest contributors. We usually feature a guest once a month but sometimes, well, more than that and sometimes less than that, depends on what information we want to put out on our own. So, yeah, that's how the newsletter/ articles happen.

Arielle Nissenblatt: We also respond to news, not quite in the news news, but if somebody tweets something or finds some gaff in the adtech world, then we might respond to that. So an issue with dynamic ad insertion or a weird visual ad that pops up or like, for example, a few months ago when Russia invaded Ukraine and then the cable news coverage showed an Applebee's turkey ad. We're obviously going to mention that because that's strange.

Evo Terra: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, we have our editorial planned out for usually a month in advance, like I said, but as you are noting, sometimes activities in the world causes to deviate away from that. And while there isn't often breaking news in the podcast advertising space, now that we're expanding to much more of the business of podcast space, I have a funny feeling we might see more interruptions because there are more breaking news, things that might happen that we really do want to cover, not necessarily breaking new style, but next week while it's still fresh in everyone's mind.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Also within the newsletter comes our partnership with ThoughtLeaders, our partnership with Magellan AI and our partnership with Podnews and our partnership with Yappa. And we also share a podcast recommendation from me. All of those things bring the newsletter together.

Evo Terra: And as you mentioned, there's a narrated version of each article. So that is done in the voice of the person who has written the article, which is sometimes fun, sometimes fun, because a lot of the people that we have guest write for us go, " Oh, I didn't realize I was going to have to also talk into a microphone."

Arielle Nissenblatt: Oh, I don't have a mic.

Evo Terra: Yeah. Yeah. So we have to solve that little problem because, again, we're a podcast first company. We're about the business of podcasting. We think it's important that a podcast version should be made available. So starting like this month, as you might have noticed, each time the newsletter publishes, we also have a little listen button up top. And also, you can just simply subscribe to Sounds Profitable: Narrated Articles and listen to it that way, if that's what you prefer to do.
On the flip side of that as well is our relationship with Veritone and the Spanish translation that we do. A lovely process that we basically take that article and we submit it to them and their system translates it with human people who actually do the rewriting of all of the content. And then magic gets applied because not only do we publish the newsletter in Spanish but also there is a voice. And if Bryan wrote the article, it is in Bryan's voice speaking Spanish, even though Bryan doesn't speak Spanish. Nonetheless, that is what goes out as a part of that newsletter as well. So it's there for listening or it's there for reading every time the newsletter goes.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Great for people like me who self- admit that they don't read.

Evo Terra: Exactly. Yeah. Some people like that. See, I'm much more the person who would rather read it first and then for really good stuff, I'll go through it and listen, but we want to make the content in the right format that anybody can enjoy.

Arielle Nissenblatt: So the narrated article now comes out on Tuesday along with the article.

Evo Terra: Yeah. They publish at the exact same time or within minutes of one another. So whatever you would like, they will all be there at the same time. We're making that our new statement. When we publish the article, the audio versions will be available as well.

Arielle Nissenblatt: And the next time that we have something that gets published in our weekly schedule is not until Friday.

Evo Terra: Yeah, that's when La Descarga and The Download, I apologize, my Spanish speakers, for me butchering the name. But that is our weekly roundup of the news that is important to people who work in the business of podcasting and we call it The Download.

Arielle Nissenblatt: And that is hosted by Shreya Sharma and Manuel Bedoya and Gabe Soto. And that's Manuela doing double time both English and Spanish. Very impressive.

Evo Terra: That show is a lot of fun. So my responsibility on that show is I help with the curation of stories. So during the week, Bryan and I and others are looking for important news stories. And when we find them, we put them together, and usually around noonish on Thursday, we have consolidated all of the things that we think are the most important news articles. Sometimes there's a lot of news and we are forced to cut it down because, look, we don't want people to listen much longer than around 10 minutes. That's the number that we've put in place for that.
So we will curate that list down to just the stories that make sense. It's usually four, five, maybe six stories that go in, in The Download each week. We then send those stories off to our fabulous content writer, Gavin Gaddis, who then writes up the script usually by Thursday evening. And then that is sent over to our talent whom you just mentioned previously, Manuela, Shreya, and Gabe for voicing.
Now, also Gabe does do double duty as well because Gabe takes what Gavin wrote and rewrites it in Spanish.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I didn't realize that.

Evo Terra: Gabe and Manuela are both native Spanish speakers. And so he takes Gavin's stories or the entire script that's Gavin has written for The Download and turns it into La Descarga, which then he and Manuela voice. And then they send the files over to me Friday morning. And it goes out by noon on Friday every day without fail, which is going to be a lot of fun when I'm traveling in Ireland in a couple of months. So I don't know how this is going to happen, but I'll figure something out.

Arielle Nissenblatt: If you are looking for more content from Sounds Profitable, we've got a lot going on. We also have our deep dives. Those are product discussions between Bryan and a product in the podcast space. So we've done deep dives with Triton, Adori, ThoughtLeaders, Claritas, Veritonic, RedCircle, Podverifi, Cavill, StreamGuys, Omni, Spreaker, AdsWizz, Triton, and Podscribe, and more to come. And those are videos and they're available at soundsprofitable. com. And then you just click on the deep dives tab.
And those are great if you're looking to learn more about products in the adtech space and, increasingly, it'll become products in the podcast space in general, not just adtech.

Evo Terra: Yeah, yeah. We want to expand that out to the same scope that we have currently, which is all about the business side of podcasting, but those deep dives are great because much like, Arielle, when you are acting as the proxy for the listener when we're recording an episode of Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied, Bryan is the proxy for the person who is looking to acquire this particular product.
So rather than just have a salesperson run down their thing and blow words by you that you don't actually understand, Bryan will stop them. Let's look at that again and also ask those tough critical questions that not everyone is comfortable in doing. So it is not an infomercial. It is very much a ... Well, it is a pitch. It is a pitch with someone who is your advocate in there asking the real hard questions to make sure that the tool does what it says on the box. Always important.

Arielle Nissenblatt: More content from us. We've also got the Podscape, which is in partnership with Magellan AI. And that is, if you are new to the space or you just need a refresher who owns who, who is related to who. So for example, do you know all of the companies that iHeartRadio owns? I bet you can't name them. There are so many. Do you know all of the podcasts that SiriusXM has acquired? I bet you don't because there's even more this week.
And so we keep track of all of that in the Podscape. And that's important for you if you work in the podcast space in general, and you want to be able to refer to the latest and greatest of who owns who and how that affects different relationships.
And then, of course, when Tom Webster joins us, we're going to have a whole new arm of Sounds Profitable, and that's going to be our research division. We'll have more information on that soon. And if you want a little bit of a sneak peek into that, I spoke with Tom Webster last episode of Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied. And he gave us a little bit of his vision into what he hopes to uncover, the studies that he hopes to look into, and the different demographics that he hopes to explore within the audio podcast space.

Evo Terra: Yeah. We have a lot of things that you know about. There's a lot of things that you don't know about. Heck, there's a lot of things that we don't know about as we are moving forward. We have a lot of plans on the plate. We've mentioned these products but, look, we're not done. We want to continue to produce more content, more sources of media. We've just barely scratched the surface on a lot of things that we can do, videos blowing up in this space. And we're just barely touching the video side.
We need to do more about that because it is an aspect of podcasting, which we've ignored for a very long time. So we will not continue to ignore that. We will actually get in there and start experimenting.
And I think that's one of the biggest things that I like about working with Sounds Profitable is we eat our own dog food. We're actually doing the things that make this happen. All the things we're talking about, we're deeply involved with. We are working through the tools. We're making sure this stuff actually happens. We're not just pontificating. Heck, I do that on my own with Podcast Pontifications. But with Sounds Profitable, this is real in the trenches, work that is being done with one single goal. And that is to make podcasting better. That's the whole reason Sounds Profitable, exists and why I'm excited to work even closer with it, not only through 2022 but beyond that.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Wow. Evo, thank you so much. That was such a nice way to tie it all up. And listeners, thank you for tuning into this episode. We just gave you a rundown of everything that Sounds Profitable has got going on, and we gave you a teaser as to what to expect in the future. So stay tuned and we are excited to serve this space and to serve you as creators, as producers, as publishers.
Hey, listeners, what do you think about the show? We want to hear from you. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. We're on Twitter @ SoundsProfNews, @ BryanBarletta, or @ arithisandthat or @ evoterra. And if you want to send us an email, that's podcast@ soundsprofitable. com.

Evo Terra: This show is recorded with squadcast. fm, the best place to record studio quality video and audio for content creators. We use Squadcast for every single interview and product deep dive. We encourage you to check it out, too. Go to squadcast. fm for a free seven- day trial and let us know what you think.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Do you want more from Sounds Profitable? As you know, we have two more podcasts that you can explore. The first up is Sounds Profitable: Narrated Articles and, next, The Download, our podcast about the business of podcasting. You can find links to them in the episode description.

Evo Terra: Thanks to you for listening to this episode of Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied with, for today at least, me, Evo Terra.

Arielle Nissenblatt: And me, Arielle Nissenblatt. Until next time.

Evo Terra: Cheers.
Are you green or am I green? I'm green.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I'm green.

Evo Terra: Oh, you're green. No, you're blue.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I'm green so that you do the Squadcast spot.

Evo Terra: All right. Well, you were green up top.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Oh, yeah, no, it got messed up.

Evo Terra: All right. So you're reading the green this time. I'm reading the blue. So, okay. Got it.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah. Yeah.

Evo Terra: Brad.

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