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Podcasting’s Once-in-a-Century Opportunity, BBC Podcasts x Amazon Music, & More

Podcasting’s Once-in-a-Century Opportunity, BBC Podcasts x Amazon Music, & More

March 18, 2024

Podcasting is a once in a century opportunity, there is freedom to do anything

Australian outlet RadioInfo has written up a recap of everything to do with podcasting at this year’s edition of Radiodays Europe. EBU senior analyst Matthieu Rawolle shared data on the top three reasons surveyed Europeans listen to podcasts. The urge to learn something new connected with 50% of respondents, entertainment also received 50%, and “to relax” takes third with 28% popularity. The reasons why respondents don’t listen to podcasts are dominated by people not knowing what podcasts are or how to listen (34%), low interest in topics covered (29%) and prefer listening via radio (31%). While podcasting has made progress in self-promotion, EBU’s data shows discoverability and ease of use is still a speedbump to industry growth. [Source]

News podcasts and ad buyers have yet to see a presidential election year ad spend bump

According to seven agency executives who anonymously spoke to Digiday, news podcasts are not seeing the anticipated election ad revenue build-up that usually comes with a presidential election.  Several other publishers and podcast company reps, anonymous or otherwise, echo the same story: advertisers are skittish about running on news content due to brand safety fears. Podcasting as an industry will have to leverage data like The Medium Moves the Message’s findings from last year to demonstrate to advertisers that not only are podcast listeners not skittish about hard news (as they’re actively opting in to hear the content in the first place), they have a much stronger chance of positive association with brands who fund their favorite podcasts that deliver those hard news stories. [Source]

Rich Greenfield Has A Message For Streaming Platforms: Spend Way More Time Thinking About Time Spent

LightShed Partners co-founder Rich Greenfield recently spoke at CTV Connect (short for Connected Television) in New York last week. In the beginning of the streaming gold rush, Greenfield says Bob Iger set the pace of streaming services being a loss-leader for entertainment, something only further exacerbated by the pandemic-fueled increase in streaming watch-time. Yet watch-time is not an industry-wide metric that streamers seem to be paying attention to, according to Greenfield. He stresses the importance of driving average revenue per user up instead of focusing on outpacing subscriber churn on ad-supported tiers. A lesson that equally applies to premium and video podcasting. More time spent by subscribers means more ads listened to, which means higher performance. [Source]

The Ringer union wins key AI protections in new contract — with one big catch

The Ringer’s union ratified a new contract with Spotify late last week after two weeks of negotiation. In addition to expected details like increased pay and severance agreements, the union secured protections for talent in regards to Spotify’s use of generative AI. Now if Spotify wants to clone a host’s voice or put their names on AI-generated content, the company will have to obtain permission from the employee beforehand. In exchange, Spotify retains the ability to use the host’s voice when using generative AI to translate podcasts into different languages. Though if the employee does take issue, Spotify will add a disclaimer outlining the use of AI to generate the translated episode. [Source]

Podcast Firm That Went Viral for Missing Payments Files Bankruptcy

Back in September standup comedian Theo Von posted a video accusing Kast Media of failing to pay creators for advertising. Von’s viral video claimed the company owed his company nearly half a million in unpaid advertising revenue, and he was aware of at least $4 million in debt across multiple other podcasting companies. As of last week, Kast Media Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the state of California. According to the filing, the company had nearly $700,000 in assets while having $6.3 million in total liabilities as of January 31st. The balance sheet shows Von’s company is owed $456,398. [Source]

…as for the rest of the news: