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Spotify’s $10b Goal, Podcasting’s SXSW Experiment, & More

Spotify’s $10b Goal, Podcasting’s SXSW Experiment, & More

February 26, 2024

Why media companies are pushing podcasts at SXSW ‘Trojan-horse style’ by Sara Guaglione

Multiple companies are planning to spotlight both individual podcasts and the industry as a whole at this year’s SXSW. In addition to live podcast performances on Vox Media’s podcast-themed stage, iHeartMedia will be hosting a live awards show, and on March 9th Sounds Profitable will host the Sound Summit. The day-long event at the Thompson Hotel will feature panels relating to the business of podcasting. One core goal of the Sound Summit is to establish a formal foothold for podcasting as an industry at SXSW. While podcasters have made appearances in recent years, the industry overall has yet to fully make its debut at the annual mega-conference. If all goes well, the Summit could be a big step towards podcasting getting its own dedicated programming track next year. [Source]

Spotify’s $10bn advertising ambition — with UK sales chief Ed Couchman by Ella Sagar

Spotify’s Head of Sales for the UK and Northern Europe, Ed Couchman, joins Media Leader’s Ella Sagar on the Media Leader Podcast to discuss the company’s advertising ambitions, including their podcasting and audiobook strategy. The long-term aspiration, as stated by CEO Daniel Ek, is for advertising to generate 20% of the company’s revenue. The longer-term goal on top of that, according to Couchman, is reaching $10 billion in ad sales. Couchman says Spotify is taking a case-by-case approach to podcast strategy, experimenting with what monetization approaches work best with each show as the streamer moves towards releasing more of its exclusive shows into the wider podcast ecosystem. [Source]

The pivot to performance by Brian Morrissey

In this week’s issue of The Rebooting, Brian Morrissey interviews Dotdash Meredith CEO Neil Vogel about why search is changing, but won’t be going away anytime soon. Vogel shares the simple, if stark, advice for publishers of “if you cannot show performance, you are dead.” The evolution of advertising and how people interact with those ads has caused a shift to bottom-up priorities, instead of top-down. Premium content, according to Vogel, is last, while programmatic at the bottom is first. Getting good search engine results page placement is still a strong income driver. As far as podcasting is concerned, the industry has always had a focus on performance first before growing into brand advertising and other spaces. [Source]

…as for the rest of the news: Lemonada signs two former Earwolf podcasts, iHeartMedia’s ARN turns four years old, Realm announces Peter Levin has joined their board of advisors, and Amplitude Media Partners debuts as a new sales solution for independent podcasters and YouTubers.