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New NPR CEO, Open APIs for Podcasting, Audacy Revenue Projections, & More

New NPR CEO, Open APIs for Podcasting, Audacy Revenue Projections, & More

January 25, 2024

 Unlocking the Value of Audio Content: Why Open APIs Are a Game-Changer (featuring Bryan Barletta, Partner at Sounds Profitable)

This week Sounder announced they are opening their APIs (application programming interface) to public use, making them open for all. Chief among these tools is the core tech behind Sounder’s speech-to-text, making their automatic speech recognition and transcription tech available directly through their self-service platform. Sounder calls to others in the industry to work on a collaborative and ethical future for podcast tech. The piece features an interview with Bryan Barletta, discussing the potential applications of Sounder’s APIs and what its availability could mean for content discovery, monetization, and industry standards. [Source]

The “Why” of Your Podcast by Tom Webster

This week’s Sounds Profitable article features an excerpt from Tom Webster’s upcoming book The Audience is Listening, a guide to building a bigger show. One of the most powerful pieces of knowledge is knowing why a listener does (or does not ) listen to your podcast. Following close behind is the knowledge that there is no one single why. Multiple can exist simultaneously, such as in 2010 when Hasbro’s cyclical My Little Pony reboot unwittingly gained a “why” on top of their two core demographics of 9 year-old girls and middle-aged toy collectors: a fleet of adult men who, thanks to semi-ironic 4chan influencers, fell in love with the cartoon and built their own fan culture wholecloth. Asking the questions necessary to get to a “why” leads one to the real motivation behind an audience’s choice. When one understands the “why,” they can better act on it. [Source]

More gambling ad spend goes to TV than all other formats combined by Sara Lebow

According to stats from MediaRadar, gambling and casino ad spend reached $471.8 million from January to November of 2023. Paid social media comes in second with 126 million, and display at 69.1 million. 41.3 million was spent on “other” forms of marketing. Overall the gambling and casino ad spend was up 14% year over year as of Q1 last year. Sports betting in the US is projected to increase 35% to 184 billion this year according to eMarketer’s projections. A fair bit of that “other” budget is coming into the world of podcasting, with three of the top ten spenders in Magellan AI’s December roundup being gambling-related companies, including DraftKings in tenth place. Between VGW, PrizePicks, and DraftKings, the gambling and casino-related companies in the top ten spent over $8 million on podcast advertising in December alone. [Source]

NPR names tech executive Katherine Maher to lead in turbulent era by David Folkenflik

Former Wikimedia Foundation chief Katherine Maher has been selected as NPR’s new CEO. The new head told NPR her experience at the Wikimedia Foundation dovetails into NPR’s mission of serving the public independent of commercial interest. With last year’s financial issues and layoffs, Maher says she sees NPR not as a company in crisis, but one going through a crisis. One that can rectified. Outgoing CEO John Lansing, who described the company’s issues as “existential” last year, now says NPR is on firm financial footing for 2024. [Source]