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Acast Buys Podchaser & 6 other stories for July 21, 2022

Acast Buys Podchaser & 6 other stories for July 21, 2022

The Download

Season 0 • Episode 31

This week on The Download: Acast buys Podchaser, PodcastOne strikes out on their own, SiriusXM and Comscore expand their deal, Disney’s integrating with The Trade Desk , and Podnews caught 240 spam emails.

This Monday Podnews started off the work week with a big announcement: Acast is acquiring Podchaser in a $34 million dollar deal. 

“Podchaser, which will continue to operate as a separate brand and independent business, was founded in 2016 and is home to the leading global podcast database, covering more than 4.5 million podcasts and more than 1.7 billion data points — including hundreds of thousands of ratings and reviews, and the advertisers of the world’s top 5,000 podcasts. This unique, proprietary data — which will also remain open to all — spans and powers the entire open podcast ecosystem, and is used by listeners, podcasters, advertisers and industry professionals.”

Podchaser has created strong integrations with hosting platforms to receive data, exported data to podcast apps and hosting platforms, and has a competitive intelligence tool built to enable publishers and buyers alike to improve their revenue streams.

General industry sentiment of Acast currently is a bit lukewarm unless you’re actively working with them as a publisher or a buyer. As previously reported, Acast has—or at least had— a marketing strategy involving unrelenting spam emails encouraging podcasters to switch to their services. With mass emails to RadioPublic users and their siloed relationships with partners like Patreon, it’s hard for some podcasters to give this deal the benefit of the doubt.

We’re very happy for our sponsor Podchaser, and the entire team there, and truly hope the independent nature is maintained. We still question the comfort of existing and new integrated partners providing data to a competitor.

Last Friday LiveOne issued a press release announcing that their company PodcastOne, having just raised 8.1 million in funding, is looking to separate and become an independent company.

“PodcastOne is the leading advertiser-supported on-demand digital podcast company, offering a 360-degree solution for both content creators and advertisers, including content development, brand integration and distribution. Acquired by LiveOne in 2020, PodcastOne has had more than 2.1 billion downloads a year since its acquisition, across the more than 350 weekly episodes it distributes.”

Their talent stable includes names like Jordan Harbinger, Adam Carolla, and T-Pain. In the press release PodcastOne president Kit Gray said:

“The podcasting business has exploded over the past five years and PodcastOne is one of the largest independent podcast companies in the world. The company is one of only two independent podcasting publishers in the top 10 of Podtrac’s list of Top Publishers. We believe that by trading as a separate public company, PodcastOne will have the opportunity to access the public capital markets as well as be better positioned to both acquire podcast platforms and attract significant podcast talent.”

PodcastOne offers its own self-built platform and operates as an ad sales network for its publishers. It’s weathered a lot of storms in podcasting and investment like this during a recession shows confidence in the ability for them to stand on their own. It will be interesting to see how their products and services come to market faster, and who they cater toward. Much like the acquisition last story, this announcement shows podcasting deals aren’t going stale.

Last Thursday SiriusXM and Comscore announced the expansion of their collaborative agreement to bring predictive audience targeting to podcasts. This new expanded agreement will bring Comscore Predictive Audiences to both AdzWizz and SXM Media clients. General Manager of Comscore activation services Rachel Grant said:

“With podcast consumption skyrocketing and the regulatory environment still very fluid, it’s critical to give advertisers the ability to develop privacy-forward and future-proof audience targeting on podcasts”

Prior to this AdsWizz was already working with Comscore for their contextual targeting based off of keywords for the Podscribe tool (not to be confused with the company Podscribe). The new deal expands into a targetable dataset for those buying through Adswizz programmatic offerings, either as a buyer using their demand side platform to buy anywhere in podcast programmatic, or buying directly into their open marketplace Podwave.

The continued highlighting of it being privacy-first is a bit misleading. AdsWizz is still providing the IP address to match off of, which we at Sounds Profitable do not find to be an issue.

That Comscore has built a new dataset not built on cookies is a step towards the aforementioned future-proofing. The dataset looks to come from Comscore opted-in panels, which is different from universal ID solutions looking to match first party data. While podcasting is always probabilistic matching – as it’s based on IP address – this is also probabilistic targeting.

It’s neat to see Comscore focusing a bit more on podcasting while many other major data partners are snoozing on it.

In a rare twist we only have one article posted on a Tuesday for you this week. Last Tuesday AdExchanger’s James Hercher published “Disney Integrates With The Trade Desk And UID2 In Pursuit Of Better Addressability.”

“This new integration with The Trade Desk, which was born from recent meetings in Cannes, will accelerate Disney’s ambition to automate and target more of its overall pool of data, Barnes said. Advertisers will be able to more effectively find their audiences across Disney inventory and the added precision should help improve ROI and post-campaign results.”

Disney is a major player in podcasting, both directly and through partnerships. So much of what Disney does today uses programmatic for efficiency’s sake. A company of that size can’t easily do manual IO’s for every cookie-cutter campaign. As Disney continues to invest and grow their podcast offerings creates synergy with the majority of podcast SSPs being configured to purchase from The Trade Desk. There’s  real potential for further increase in podcasting programmatic as the industry takes care of the small discrepancies and differences that stand in the way of podcasting as a main advertising channel.

While the article is worth engaging with on its own merits, script writer Gavin Gaddis wishes to spotlight the piece’s cartoon of Toy Story stars Buzz and Woody selling ads with the caption ‘to automation and beyond.’

Three months ago Podnews editor James Cridland laid a trap to learn more about the methods and companies using shady tactics to cold-call podcasters via email. On Wednesday he published the results in “the podcast industry’s biggest spammer.”

“In May 2022, we amended Podnews’s podcast RSS feed to produce a near infinite amount of trackable email addresses as a kind of spamtrap. We wanted to discover who was scraping our RSS feed for emails; what user agent they were using, when they scraped it, what tag they scraped it from, and whether the messages were legal under the FCC’s rules (the so-called CAN-SPAM Act).”

Cridland’s honeypot strategy attracted 240 emails over the three month period. Some fall within the boundaries of CAN-SPAM, some seem pointed in their lack of transparency.

The specific companies involved are not necessarily important to the overall story. Podcasting needs good governance as growth continues and the industry constantly redefines what constitutes ‘normal’ business practices. It’s on those within the industry to make podcasting better through what’s considered an acceptable marketing strategy. It’s perfectly legal to scrape email addresses from RSS feed tags and send them unsolicited emails as long as they follow loose FCC and other governmental regulatory rules. In an industry growing as fast and consistently as podcasting one has to question if it has a place for an antiquated cold-calling strategy perfected in the late 90s.

Finally, it’s time for our semi-regular roundup of articles we’re calling Quick Hits. These are articles that didn’t quite make the cut for today’s episode, but are still worth including in your weekend reading. This week’s two Quick Hits are

The Most Important Things We’ve Learned About Making Successful Podcasts with Brands by Dan Misener. Misener, formerly Director of Audience Development at Pacific Content, provides a great list of learnings on his way out the door. One of the greatest minds at Pacific, Misener has been skilled at breaking down complex data and making it accessible to the masses. His heart has always been focused on growing all of podcasting and Sounds Profitable fully supports him in whatever he’s doing next. We know it’ll have an impact.

And secondly: a press release from Pushkin media: Pushkin Industries Expands Production Capacity With Acquisition of Creative Podcast Company Transmitter Media. Here we have yet another example of a podcast production company growing to the point they need to buy another podcast production company.


Bryan Barletta: How do podcasts and audio stories get covered in the press, and what do reporters look for when being pitched stories?

Arielle Nissenblatt: That's what we're talking about today on Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied, with me, Arielle Nissenblatt.

Bryan Barletta: And me, Bryan Barletta.

Arielle Nissenblatt: We are supported by Podscribe. Podscribe is the essential tool to verify your podcast and YouTube ads run correctly. Audit a campaign for no cost today at

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

Arielle Nissenblatt: Bryan, it's been a while. How are you?

Bryan Barletta: I'm great. I'm great. Yeah, it's crazy how much of our voice conversation comes from actually talking on the podcast, recording before and after, and all that. We text and are on Slack constantly, but this is actually the first time we've been face to face or on a voice call since maybe-

Arielle Nissenblatt: May?

Bryan Barletta: Yeah, maybe.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I think that's true.

Bryan Barletta: That's wild.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I think that's true.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah. Well, I'm doing great. It's crazy. Bridger, our youngest, will be one this Saturday.

Arielle Nissenblatt: No.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah.

Arielle Nissenblatt: That's nuts.

Bryan Barletta: And then Theo turns four on August 8th. So I am up to my neck in pre-assembling foam lightsabers so that we can have the coolest kids' birthday party in 100-degree weather in Texas.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Man. It's the coldest summer of the rest of our lives, Bryan.

Bryan Barletta: That's scary. What about you? You were traveling all over the world for a bit, right?

Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah, I was in Spain until yesterday. It was so hot. Let me tell you. I tried to ignore it. I tried to be like, no, it's no big deal. It's fine to travel here during July, but it was 110 degrees every day. It was a lot.

Bryan Barletta: That's hotter than it is here.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Yeah, it was a lot.

Bryan Barletta: Wow.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I'm drained.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah, I would say so.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I really did not have a chance to listen to podcasts while I'm gone, so-

Bryan Barletta: No.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I'm sad to be back because I am not any longer traveling the streets of Europe, but I'm glad to be back on my routine of listening to podcasts.

Bryan Barletta: I think that's so funny, because our listening habits are so different. To me, I find something that's painfully old and I binge it until I'm caught up completely, and then I forget about it and go back and forth. And you like the shuffle. You like what's next, the new episodes, juggling a bunch of them at once.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Yes.

Bryan Barletta: I couldn't find anything, and I started listening to Mission to Zyxx, which is super old, and I'm loving it. But it's just like there's so much content that I don't have to think about it. I want to listen to something right now, I just press play. And you, you're like, "I've got to see what's new, what's interesting."

Arielle Nissenblatt: I like to keep up. Yeah.

Bryan Barletta: "I've got to download something." You do. I am so far behind. I have no idea what's going on at all.

Arielle Nissenblatt: But then it's also like the daily news shows, that's how I get my news. So I was just out of the loop for two weeks while I was abroad.

Bryan Barletta: That's tough.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Back now.

Bryan Barletta: That's tough. I'll give a plug. The team at Crooked Media sent me their What a Day coffee and mug, and so I have been listening to that in the morning again-

Arielle Nissenblatt: Pretty nice.

Bryan Barletta: ... while drinking the coffee. The coffee was pretty solid. The mug is awesome. My wife has stolen that from me. I'm never going to see that back.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I love a swag bag. If anybody wants to send us swag bags, just let us know.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah, absolutely. Shoot us a message on Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever. We love swag. We will talk all about it, which segues into some of the things we want to-

Arielle Nissenblatt: Totally.

Bryan Barletta: ... talk about with some Podcast Movement and stuff like that. As I love advertising, if you give me comfortable hats, shirts, shoes, whatever, something cool that is actually comfortable, I'll wear it. I guarantee you the Buzzsprout T-shirt will be in my rotation because that one, with all the words that look like-

Arielle Nissenblatt: Headphones.

Bryan Barletta: ... headphones and a microphone, is one of my favorite T-shirts. The amount of other people in the industry that I catch wearing that on calls, even competitors, is my favorite thing. So if you have cool merch and you want free advertising, I 100% will wear it.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I have a really nice Descript shirt. Look, I'll shout it from the rooftops all day long when you give me good swag. Good swag is worth it.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah, absolutely. It's just got to be comfortable. I just want nice T-shirts. That's it. Well, we've got Podcast Movement coming up, which is amazing, because the entire team there is so well put together, took an idea that I pitched them about doing the first day that Tuesday as a sponsor-only summit for Sounds Profitable. And they just said, "Yeah, absolutely. We got your back." It's wild. Disney is going to provide breakfast-

Arielle Nissenblatt: Wat?

Bryan Barletta: And one of the snack sessions. Yeah. Wondery is picking up the other two.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I am expecting Mickey Mouse pancakes if that's the case.

Bryan Barletta: They did specifically say to see if they could Disneyfy the breakfast. If there's not a character signing, I'm going to be real disappointed. But it's so awesome. We got a panel on measurement. We got a panel on programmatic and we got a panel on video. And then we're going to end things with an open session for our research so that everybody who's at Podcast Movement at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, as long as you have a ticket to Podcast Movement can come see our latest research, which is our Q3 research on host red versus announcer red. And really what we're trying to prove out is that creative execution is the most important thing. And that who is saying it is second to that. So we're really excited to get those results back, put that together, present it live, streamed for the people who can't be there, downloadable same day. And we're working really hard to get both the captions in English and captions in Spanish translation of the document as close to the same week as possible so that we can provide more accessibility options for people who want that.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I also just want to touch on The Creators webinar that took place last month. You want to just give a quick rundown on where people can find that and what the main takeaways are.

Bryan Barletta: Yes, It's still in our, like a toolbar right now, as we're revamping the site, it basically says who of the US population has ever created a podcast. And that means from what we're doing right now on the microphone side to the editing and production that Evo and team do. There's so many different aspects of it. And we learn a little bit more about who's creating podcasts. This was a killer report. We're so excited to have such great sponsors, help make us happen. And we've decided that we're going to do it every single year now and have expanded the questions that we're asking Edison to field every quarter so that we can get even more data and research about it.
So this will be a yearly series from Sounds Profitable. Again, you can download it at It's just tons of amazing data. And if you use that in a deck and you get funding or land a client or anything like that, please let us know. We're really building these specifically for people to benefit from without having to fund the research themselves. The big companies are helping us make sure this message is out there and make it accessible to all of you to better yourselves.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Just a quick plug for our two other podcasts. We've got The Download and La Descarga, both are our weekly podcasts about the business of podcasting hosted in English and Spanish. So if you have missed the week's news and you want to catch up real quick, please feel free to check out The Download and La Descarga in Espanol.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah. I love this show. Arielle is amazing as a cohost. I'm pretty okay, I think up here, but The Download, I think is the best piece of audio that we put out at Sounds Profitable because-

Arielle Nissenblatt: It is really well done.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah. It's quick and to the point. It helps everybody catch up and it makes sure that you're not falling behind on any of the critical things related to the business of podcasting, not just what's happening in podcasting, which has been really exciting. So please, please check it out.

Arielle Nissenblatt: And a note that for the past few weeks on this show, you've been listening to reruns of our podcast episodes that we think are really worth checking out a second time. So thank you for tuning in for those, thank you to everybody who has tagged us on social, that you've re-listened and gotten something out of those episodes. We are currently in the midst of recording a bunch of new episodes for this show. So you will get new content from here on out. I'm not going to promise every single week, but there will be a lot of new content coming your way. So stay tuned, Bryan and Arielle are back at it. And yeah, it was just a little summer slump.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah. I mean, we're evaluating it. I think we're going to move to every other week for Adtech Applied because Tom and I are kicking off a Sounds Profitable Unplugged, which is another benefit for our sponsors. So basically we're going to take feedback from them and questions and topics that we think we need to dig a little bit deeper in, what research has been released recently, what research we're working on, what we think people need to know today that we can't get across necessarily in this show, The Download or in the newsletter. And so just a little bit more intimate there.
Sponsors will be part of a live version of that, which they'll be able to do Q&A at the end, but then we're going to package it up, the recorded version. And I think it's going to be our first step into putting something on video, as well as audio for our podcast. I think it'll probably be in this feed and we're going to move things around to make sure that nobody misses out, but we have tons more content coming out. But as a small team, it's our goal to make sure that we don't miss deadlines. And we missed a few. So, thanks for your patience.

Arielle Nissenblatt: So today on the show, in a minute, you will hear a conversation between Bryan and Alyssa Meyers, who is a reporter at Marketing Brew, which is the marketing arm of the daily newsletter, the Morning Brew. Here is what I think you should listen for. How did Alyssa get her start reporting on this beat? Why does she enjoy covering podcast and audio-related stories? And how should the podcast world go about pitching Alyssa and other reporters like her on stories related to audio and podcasting and advertising in general for the podcast space?

Bryan Barletta: Here is a great conversation between me and Alyssa Meyers of Marketing Brew, one of the must read newsletters if you are working in advertising, podcasting, anything related to the marketing business.
So Alyssa, I'm so pumped to have you on here because we've had a chance to work together in so many different capacities since you were at Morning Consult. And now you're at Marketing Brew, a part of Morning Brew. I just love everything that you put out. The Download, our now Thursday podcast, you're probably one of the most featured contributors on that because everything that you're writing in Marketing Brew seems to be focusing heavily about podcasting and audio, and it's making it accessible and palatable to a much bigger audience than what we're doing with Sounds Profitable. So I'm pumped to have you here. Thank you for joining us.

Alyssa Meyers: Yeah. Thanks for having me. I'm so honored to be on. I'm a big fan of The Download and it's always fun to hear you guys talk about my stuff. So it's been great working with you for the past few years.

Bryan Barletta: How did you get into covering this type of media?

Alyssa Meyers: Yeah, it was kind of by accident, honestly. I moved to New York in 2019 to take a fellowship at Business Insider on their media and advertising reporting team. It was sort of my first job in digital media, my first time covering advertising. Before then, I was doing newspaper reporting. When I joined the team there, I was kind of new, young. I was just going to be there for six months. So my editor asked me to trial run the podcast beat basically. He was like, "Do you listen to podcasts? Are you into this?" I had listened to a few of the big ones, Serial, S-Town, the ones that everyone was listening to back then. But I said, "Sure, I'd be happy to give it a try." I started covering the industry, met some really great people. Everyone was really enthusiastic and generous with their time and sort of showing me the ropes.
So I did that for six months, went on to cover marketing more generally after that for two years at Morning Consult, but I always kind of kept my eye on the podcast and audio space as a passion project for my job there. When I was interviewing for my role at Marketing Brew, now, my editors asked me, we're covering X, Y, Z, "What else do you think we should cover? What do you want your beat to be?" And I said, "Please let me try out this podcast audio thing. I think it would be a good fit for us." And everyone at Marketing Brew has been really supportive of it so far.

Bryan Barletta: That's so exciting to hear because I look at the stuff that you put out there and we spend a good amount of time talking every month and you come to me and you say, "I have these questions. I'm not sure if I understand it." And every time you present it to me, I'm like, "No, you got it." And I think I learned something about someone else I should be talking to from talking to you, like you get this stuff that we're covering in Sounds Profitable on a very similar level to me and to the people that I'm trying to talk to. And you're presenting it in probably a more palatable way. I'm getting better at breaking it down and making it accessible, but I know I'm talking to people directly working in that industry. You're taking these topics, these adtech, these business, these technology topics that are niche in podcasting, and you're breaking them down. That's different than just covering S-Town and Serial and all those things. How did you get that focus? Where's your tech background from?

Alyssa Meyers: I think I'm just naturally curious about that sort of thing. It's definitely more of an advertising background than a tech background and really just in school educationally. I've never really worked in advertising professionally. It was one of my majors in college, but professionally, I was always more focused on reporting and journalism, but had kind of a side passion for learning about advertising and for doing that sort of work. So when I found out that there was this opportunity to cover the advertising industry in general, I was really excited about that.
Podcasting, like I said, I kind of just fell into it, but I think the audio and podcast advertising space is so exciting for me to cover, because like I said, I'm just curious about this stuff. There's not a lot of answers out there. There's not a lot of people covering it. Hopefully the reason why I have been able to hopefully break it down for some people is, I think it's made easier for me because I'm answering these questions for myself as well. When I reach out to you and I say, "I'm trying to understand this. Is it a story?" Usually that's where my work come comes from is I have a question, I want to learn about something, and I am betting and hoping that my readers want to learn the same thing.

Bryan Barletta: Well, let's dive into two sides of that, that obviously saying, "Hey, I'm from Marketing Brew," opens up a few more doors, but even when you reach out to people, how easy is it to get a question answered? Obviously you have to find out who specifically to ask that to or what company. Is it easy to find the right company or the right person? And then when you reach out to them, what's the success rate? Are they responsive? Are they giving with their time to really break it down for you?

Alyssa Meyers: That is an awesome question. I think, in terms of the success rate, you're right. Saying I'm from Morning Brew, I'm from Marketing Brew, obviously lots of people want to talk. I've had a lot of experience with that before. I've worked at big name publications and I've worked with smaller publications and I started out working at my college newspaper. So I know a lot about what it's like to be on the other side of that when no one knows the name of your publication and you really have to rely on pitching yourself and making that connection on your own, which I think is super valuable. So I have a good success rate in getting people to respond and to get on the phone. I think the harder part is what you mentioned, finding the right people. A lot of times when I'm writing about podcast, adtech, topics like that, it's so niche.

Bryan Barletta: It's pretty niche.

Alyssa Meyers: People do want to talk, but they're pretty niche. Yeah. So there aren't a lot of people, even sometimes in the podcast industry who actually have very deep understandings sometimes of the topics that I want to write about. I think a lot of the podcast stories that we see covered so far, because it's new to a lot of reporters and to people who are general or more about the content, pretty surface level. And when I want to dive deeper, that's when it gets hard to find the right person to talk. So I get a lot of people on the record and everyone, majority of people, so giving with their time, they want to help me. A lot of people in this industry are really smart, but when you get into these really niche topics, you really only do have a handful of people, like yourself, Bryan-

Bryan Barletta: Oh, thank you.

Alyssa Meyers: Who are qualified to show you the ropes and really get into it and explain all the ins and outs.

Bryan Barletta: I think that's a big thing that I discovered too. I mean, when I left Megaphone, it was very interesting that all these people I wanted to learn from, I'd reach out to them and they'd say, "Well, I want to learn from you too." Because the truth is, is I think we have an industry full of people who are experts at their company. And for such an open industry, well, with the open RSS and the frameworks that we all believe we're following on this, a lot of Kool-Aid. I think there's a lot of people who are experts at one company and not experts at podcasting. And it's very easy to confuse the two things.
So yeah, if you need a specific quote from a company on what they're doing or why they think it's great, no problem there, even down to the technical detail, but on how it interfaces with all the podcasting, people aren't talking and communicating well enough for people to really know their peer positioning outside of what they're personally reading. Sometimes we're not great as an industry catching up on these things, which then brings me to my next question. I mean, Marketing Brew is a can't miss newsletter for me. I've met you, I've met Ryan, so many great writers on there. Even stuff that's not directly related to podcasts, I find myself digging into. What's been the response of the podcast beat for Marketing Brew?

Alyssa Meyers: I think it's been great so far. It's a little hard to tell, honestly, which is in part a good thing. We're still kind of a smallish, scrappy-ish company. So we're not like this big media giant that's tracking all the time or clicks and stats like that. That's not, I don't think what really drives our team. We want to create good, fun content that we like to write and report on. So it's a lot of word-of-mouth feedback, things like that. But from the podcast community and, I think from readers at large, I oftentimes write about topics outside of podcasting too, because we are a small team and we all cover a little bit of everything.
But I've heard a lot of interest, I think from people in podcasting, they are excited just to see podcasting being reported on regularly in a somewhat mainstream business publication. And people who are not directly in the podcast industry, I've found that they're curious about it and they do touch podcasting more than they might think. I've talked with a lot of people at PR agencies and their agency has their own podcast or they listen to a lot of business podcasts or maybe they have clients. If you're at an ad agency, you have clients who sometimes ask you about audio. So I think I've heard feedback that there's curiosity in the advertising industry more broadly about what's going on with audio and podcast advertising.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah. As a fellow small podcast in the same scope of Marketing Brew... No, you guys are huge. I mean, it's neat that you got that small mindset, but I mean, Marketing Brew is a big, great distribution. Can somebody reply back? Like if I hit reply and I say like, "Alyssa, I love this piece." Does it get sent to you?

Alyssa Meyers: You can, yeah. You can reply to our emails. And we've got a social team and editorial assistance and folks like that who are very dedicated to going through the inbox. So we oftentimes do see reader feedback. And me, and I know my teammates too, we get people reaching out to us all the time in our inboxes. Our emails are very public on Twitter, things like that. So yeah, definitely more positive feedback than complaints. Although every publication is going to get some of those too, but I think we're pretty lucky on that front.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah. I'll make sure that your contact info is in the episode detail so people can reach out to you, because I think that would be great. I think if you are working in the podcasting space and you have something interesting to share or well-rounded information, Alyssa's always looking for contacts. My favorite thing is being able to introduce Alyssa to new people. So hopefully all of you there can reach out if there's something you want to talk about.
My last big question for you is, you've been an avid listener of podcasting. You've covered it from the consumer view. You've covered it from the advertising view and now you're getting really deep into it. What do you think that we can expect to see this year in podcasting? What's something either you're looking forward to, what's something that you're a little bit fearful of, or what's something that you're hopeful that it's going to get fixed or changed or improved?

Alyssa Meyers: Yeah. That's a great question. I love that question. It's kind of the backbone of all of my reporting so far, that's what I'm trying to figure out and what I'm trying to tell people in my stories. Like you said, I focus a lot on the advertising aspect of podcasting. So ads in podcasts and also marketing of your own podcast, that's something I've kind of been looking into a little bit more. And I think on both those fronts, something I'm very curious to see this year and in coming years is how podcast advertising, whether that be brands that are advertising in podcasts or a podcast promoting themselves, how this world kind of figures out how to better interact with other marketing channels.
I'm curious about podcasts promoting themselves on billboards. I know that cross promoting in podcast networks, it's the go to, but I would love to see more networks trying to branch out from that. It's the safe play, but what if you do something like a billboard or an out-of-home campaign or can we find a way to better promote audio content on social media, which is hard because that's so based on visuals. So things like that, I'm curious to see. Even, like I said, the ads in podcasts too, I know a lot of times podcast hosts have massive followings on social media, on Instagram, on whatever platform. And it seems like there's maybe more opportunity to tap into those other platforms alongside a podcast ad. If the podcast audio advertising industry at large could kind of figure out how to play in that space, I know it's hard, I know different agencies handle the audio budget and the social budget, but that is just, I think kind of one example of something that's an obstacle right now that I think maybe we can work around or overcome in the next year or so.

Bryan Barletta: I think we're going to see a lot of cool stuff there and I'm excited about it because I think that me and you work really well hand in hand here, because I'm pushing people to dig into these things more and you are shining a spotlight on it and highlighting the success, the failures, the improvements, the lessons that people are having to an audience full of people who are ultimately marketers or are interested in marketing and are from multiple channels. So it's just, it's so fun to have the ability to interact with you on all these things, because even little bits of our conversation that we have bleed into my articles, and it's fun seeing the stuff that you're covering, highlight these things that we both know the industry needs to go forward.
I think you get the opportunity to ask so many people, their opinions and thoughts and feelings about things in this space. And I want to continue to shine that spotlight on you, because I think that you have a great perspective. And that was killer to hear about advertising and growth. And I agree with you, that's going to be the big thing that really helps us hit these IAB projections on revenue for this year and next year. So I'm excited to see it covered in Marketing Brew. And I'm excited to hear more of your thoughts too, on all this stuff.

Alyssa Meyers: Yeah. Same to you. I love our conversations. And you're right, it's so helpful in my reporting. You also mentioned something I love about this job, which is, I get to ask such smart people in this industry, all the questions I want. It's one of the reasons I love covering podcasting. I think podcast execs, even all the way up to the top of the biggest companies have been, like I said, generous with their time, kind to me in the past two years in a way I know that reporters who cover finance or tech or whatever, it's not always the same story. I have such great stories of when I was first covering this industry and I was 20 or 21 and new to the world and big podcast execs would kind of sit me down and walk me through the basics off the record, seemingly without an agenda, which is just, it's nice. It's something I will never forget.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Lovely conversation, Bryan. Alyssa is awesome. I've met her a few times in person at Pod People Events in New York. So shout out to Alyssa and shout out to Pod People and to Gran Torino, which is a restaurant in Brooklyn that we always go to.

Bryan Barletta: Ooh. Yeah, she's just such a genuinely nice person. It feels like she'll take a conversation with basically anybody in the podcast space and she's a great connector too, gives awesome feedback, asks really interesting questions, and really just wants to elevate the space. I am very, very happy to know her and to become better friends with her too.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Here are some of my takeaways. First up is that there aren't that many people covering this beat. So Alyssa is definitely somebody to know and definitely somebody to be in touch with on Twitter and on LinkedIn, and also to be a source for. Alyssa is looking for people who have expertise. She mentioned in your conversation that there are people who are well versed in their product when it comes to adtech and podcasting, but they aren't so well versed in how their product fits into the larger podcast space. So if you are somebody who knows where your product or your business fits into the larger space, you are going to be very valuable for Alyssa. And that's a big opportunity for you to offer yourself as a source and possibly to get coverage. You never know.

Bryan Barletta: I'd really push a lot of people in the podcasting industry on the backend side of it, on the product management side, on the account management, any of these aspects, if you think you understand what's going on here and you want to reach out, I mean, some of you are going to have to get it cleared with your company first, but I think we should pursue that. There are so many cool people behind the scenes that don't get any attention or light of day and someone else is speaking for them that can't get as in the weeds, where Alyssa can take that in the weeds and make it palatable to a general audience. And so I really encourage all of you to consider if you have something to contribute to someone like Alyssa and feel free to reach out and then figure out if that works for your company's PR and marketing approach.

Arielle Nissenblatt: I was glad you asked this next question about how Morning Brew/Marketing Brew finds the podcast beat. Because I, as a podcast nerd, as an advocate for the podcast space, I'm always curious about whether people's investments are working out in podcasting. And so when you said, how are the stories, how are your pitches, how are your articles landing? And she basically said, "We're not such a big team. We don't track clicks and the specifics when it comes to the articles that I write, but that generally speaking people are pretty happy." A lot of people tend to reach out to Alyssa and say, "Love this article." It's expanding beyond just the podcast space. A lot of people who are interested in advertising in general tend to like Alyssa articles. I was really happy to hear that. What was your perception on that?

Bryan Barletta: That makes me really excited because I think we focus a lot on metrics that really take away from the value of the content. Like, maybe that newsletter doesn't land as many opens or as many clicks in that moment. But when it's searched on Google or when it's brought up as a reference, or somebody shares it around, it has weight, it matters. It stays there. It's not the easiest thing to explain to an advertiser when you're trying to sell on clicks and whatnot, but the Marketing Brew team and the Morning Brew team really have sold that mindset. And it's paying off.
I love that people reach out to Alyssa. You can do this for any newsletter. You just hit reply and it goes to whoever's managing it, or whoever's foolish enough to not set out parameters so the out-of-office responses don't flood their email box, like me. Every Tuesday morning, I get 150 emails-

Arielle Nissenblatt: And me.

Bryan Barletta: Because I still haven't set up the rules for that. But if you have something interesting to contribute, if you have something constructive, if you want to have a conversation, if you want to just say, hey, I really like that, just hit reply. We all love it. We live off of it.

Arielle Nissenblatt: We love when you hit reply, literally to say anything. It's good even for the spam filters, it helps them realize that what we're putting out is not spam. So even just for that.

Bryan Barletta: And big companies like Marketing Brew and like Shray over at Inside Podcasting, if it goes to the editor, the editor does forward it to the writer, right? They do have the ability to read that. So it's really, really valuable to give people feedback that you found their content valuable.

Arielle Nissenblatt: And also just the podcast industry loves reading stories about the podcast industry. So thank you to Alyssa. Thank you to Ashley Carmen, thank you to Ariel Shapiro. Thank you to all the people who write about the podcast industry for larger publications. Let's get more of those articles pumping out. I think as podcasting matures and enters the more mainstream spaces, I think it's just so much fun to have my friends forward me articles that say, "Wow, look, podcasting was covered in X." Love those stories.

Bryan Barletta: 100%. We need to see the mainstream media more and it's not eating anybody's lunch here. It's making more job opportunities for them to grow, or it's making us more niche. Sounds Profitable doesn't go away if all of a sudden TechCrunch starts covering similar things to me. I'm just more niche because I'm in the space versus they are outside on the main media. So please, there's tons of room for mainstream media and all of us here want to help.

Arielle Nissenblatt: One last note is that Alyssa mentioned that podcast executives tend to be more available than executives at finance companies. And I just love that. And I want to stick that in your mind to just continue being available, continue being a space that's helpful and open. And whoever's listening to this, go help somebody out just for the sake of helping somebody out in podcasting.

Bryan Barletta: Yeah. And podcast execs, skip the next pair of shoes you buy and buy a goddamn microphone.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Please.

Bryan Barletta: Because, oh my god. Yeah. All of you are so available for calls on AirPods and that's awesome, but you work in audio. Just do it. Just the microphone.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Just the microphone.

Bryan Barletta: That's it. It's like 150 to 250. Yeah. I don't care. If you need to hold it up to your mouth and sit in a closet, we don't need video. We're fine. We'll survive. But please, please have a good microphone.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Bryan and I have these nice Shure MB7s.

Bryan Barletta: We do.

Arielle Nissenblatt: Shure, if you want to sponsor us, we'd be open to it. Just feel free to head us up.

Bryan Barletta: We'd be very open to that. Yep. Hey, Arielle, as always, thank you for recapping this. I think I've told you and I will get a comment about this immediately after it's said, my wife actually just listens to the part with me and you at the beginning and at the end-

Arielle Nissenblatt: That's all you need.

Bryan Barletta: If it's like a super technical guest. So thank you very much for being that recap that makes these conversations that are a lot of fun, even more palatable to everybody.

Arielle Nissenblatt: So 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. And Tom is @webby2001. And if you want to send us an email, that's

Bryan Barletta: This show is recorded with SquadCast, the best place to record studio quality, video and audio for content creators. We're using SquadCast right now to record this and we use SquadCast for the interviews as well, and our product deep dives. Please go to for a free seven-day trial. And let me know what you think, because we couldn't do what we're doing without their product.

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

Bryan Barletta: And thank you for listening to this episode of Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied with me, Bryan Barletta.

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

Bryan Barletta: See ya.