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Megaphone to Recertify, Audiences on Podcast Ads, & More

Megaphone to Recertify, Audiences on Podcast Ads, & More

June 7, 2024

This Week in the Business of Podcasting

It’s a week of new beginnings, both in the wider world of podcasting and here at Sounds Profitable. This week is our first with the wonderful Newton Schottelkotte on board as Assistant Producer and they also join me as new co-host of the Download Recap podcast edition! Now, let’s get into this week’s news:

Transparency. Performance. Automation.

Megaphone to be Recertified

From an exclusive reveal this Sunday in Podnews: Spotify’s Megaphone platform is now working to be recertified with the IAB. The move follows a late April discovery that all of Spotify’s podcasting arms – including Megaphone, Spotify for Podcasters, and Chartable – had been removed from the IAB’s list of compliant companies for podcast measurement.

Spotify’s place in the industry without IAB membership or certification became a widespread conversation topic, prompting Bryan Barletta’s piece Of Mice and Megaphone last week.

According to a Spotify spokesperson speaking with Podnews, Spotify remains committed to the IAB’s mission and are in the process of getting v2.2 certification for Megaphone.

The Ad Tolerance of Podcast Audiences

This Wednesday from Tom Webster at Sounds Profitable: Various iterations of the phrase “my audience won’t tolerate advertising” are quite common in podcasting. Webster seeks to push back on it.

“There are three things I know to be true about this statement:

  1. I am sure there are people in your audience for whom this is true. They are the ones who email you and ping you on social media.
  1. I am sure there are people for whom this is NOT true. They do not email you to tell you they love ads. They just don’t email you.
  1. If someone stops listening to your show because you run an ad, you never really had them in the first place. Your love will forever remain unrequited. Like the poet Gordon Sumner once wrote, if you love someone, set them free. Free, free, set them free.”

The sentiment can also be challenged with more concrete data, as the upcoming study Ad Nauseam surveyed 1,000 weekly podcast listeners about their expectations and perceptions of podcast advertising. When responding to the sentiment “when listening to a podcast, how do you feel about the ads?” respondents largely tended to enjoy the ads or simply not mind them. The surprising numbers come from those who truly, like the saying claims, are intolerant of podcast ads.

“The percentage of weekly podcast listeners who said that ads were “intolerable” was one, as in a single percent. An additional 8% noted they were barely tolerable, with the remainder finding them increasingly tolerable and even enjoyable. In fact, 17x more podcast consumers say they generally enjoy them than found them intolerable.”

Further findings from Ad Nauseam will be shared in a free webinar on Wednesday, June 12th, and 3:00 p.m. EST.


Synergizing Podcasting with Adjacent Media

This Tuesday Spotify announced a partnership with video streaming service Nebula. The company was founded in 2019 to serve as a creator-owned alternative to YouTube multi-channel networks, with a focus on hosting video essays, video podcasts, and classes from established content creators.

The partnership will bring content from several top Nebula creators to Spotify’s video podcasting platform. The initial slate of content includes music reviewer Todd in the Shadows, movie review series CinemaWins, and video essayists like F.D. Signifier and Kat Blaque A quote from Nebula CEO Dave Wiskus:

“Spotify gives us an opportunity to expand our reach, not just in numbers but with the exact kind of audience who would most enjoy what we do.”

Continuing that theme of expanding reach, on the same day Tech Crunch writer Lauren Forristal covered the announcement that Discord and TuneIn are partnering up. The partnership will bring TuneIn’s full streaming library of AM/FM radio, sports content, and podcasts to the instant messaging and voice chat app Discord.

Co-listening has been a major part of Discord’s community since the early days of the app, with users commonly using third-party bots to jury-rig ways to listen to music and spoken word content while in voice calls with friends. A trend so popular YouTube had Discord disable the functionality to stop the noticeable ad-free traffic spikes from Discord bots.

An official feature enabling Discord users to consume podcasts casually in voice calls not only better empowers existing podcast audiences, it likely will create new podcast-listening audiences as new listeners are exposed to friends’ favorite shows via TuneIn.

New Canadian Legislation to Tax Foreign Streamers

One last development from Tuesday: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has passed the Online Streaming Act, amending the Broadcasting Act.

The Broadcasting Act, formally approved in February of 1991, defines the role of the CRTC as the country’s broadcasting regulator and to maintain Canada’s cultural diversity by way of requirements on how much of a broadcaster’s content must be Canadian-made.

The new Online Streaming amendment requires foreign streaming services operating in Canada to pay 5% of their Canadian revenue to support the domestic broadcasting system. The levy is expected to raise $200 million CAD per year. There are some concerns with the bill. University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist highlights that the bill originally was intended to also update the definition of Cancon (Canadian Content) but did not, so an older definition of what counts will apply to the new money raised by C-11.

Podscribe Index: April 2024

Top DR Genres

What genres have the greatest percentage of Direct Response advertisers? In April, “Fiction” took the lead with an 8% increase from the previous month. Followed by “Science”, “Government”, and “Religion”. “Music”, which didn’t make the charts in March came in at #7, with a 10% increase compared to the previous month.

Quick Hits

While they may not be top story material, the articles below from this week are definitely worth your time: