Skip to main content
The 2024 Ambies, Why Executives Listen to Podcasts, & More

The 2024 Ambies, Why Executives Listen to Podcasts, & More

March 29, 2024

This Week in the Business of Podcasting

A lot’s happening here in sunny California, and there’s more to come! Coming next week: The Ad Bargain, the newest research from Sounds Profitable. Tom Webster’s live webinar debuting the study is free to attend and registration is currently open. For more on the study, see Tom’s article from this Wednesday, Is Podcasting the Biggest “Ad Bargain”? Now, let’s tuck into the rest of this week’s news.

Transparency. Performance. Automation.

The 2024 Podcast Academy Ambies

This Tuesday the fourth annual Podcast Academy Ambies awards were held at the J.W. Mariott at LA Live, capping off a day of podcasting industry events at the hotel centering around Evolutions by Podcast Movement. The event, hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race all-star and podcast host Trixie Mattel, brought the industry together to celebrate last year’s podcasts, as well as honor lifetime influences on the industry. Coverage of the event, including full lists of winners, was posted Wednesday on Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

Highlights include Podcast of the Year, which went to Slow Burn’s eighth season, Becoming Justice Thomas. Interview podcast of the year went to Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Best Comedy Podcast went to Earwolf’s legacy movie review podcast How Did This Get Made, which has racked up over 300 episodes since 2010

Speaking of legacy, the Governor’s award, The Ambies’ annual award given to a podcast or individual for their influence on the overall industry, was given to Malcolm Gladwell.

Best Kid’s Podcast was awarded to The Cat in the Hat Cast from Wondery. Yet another sign of the efficacy of branded kid’s content. Back in the summer of 2023 quite a few kids-friendly fiction and improv comedy branded podcasts were announced and several ended up nominated. Series like The Arthur Cast, continuing the PBS series Arthur after its 20+ year run ended on television, and Disney’s Frozen: Forces of Nature, which acts as a canonical audio drama linking the events of Frozen II to the upcoming third movie.

How DTC Investment Turns Influencers Inorganic

From this Wednesday’s AxExchanger Optimizing the News newsletter: A growing tactic in direct-to-consumer marketing is for companies to onboard influencers or popular content creators in some capacity, be it as stakeholders, co-founders, or financial backers of that brand.

While the creators might genuinely believe in the product when they sign on, it opens a Pandora’s box of advertising issues. The National Advertising Division, a Better Business Bureau-backed watchdog group that looks for loopholes in self-regulation standards, argues these investments should be disclosed.

For instance, Demi Moore is an investor in the antacid startup Wonderbelly, and makes positive social media posts about the brand with statements like “this is not an ad” and not disclosing her vested interests.  Something for podcasting to keep in mind as the industry matures and podcast hosts continue to grow stronger relationships with the DTC brands they’ve worked with for extended periods of time.

Why Influential Executives Listen to Podcasts, and What They’re Listening To.

This Tuesday Signal Hill Insights Jeff Vidler published research into a vital, if not often discussed audience in podcasting: influential executives. SHI is regularly commissioned to conduct brand lift studies focusing on the B2B (business-to-business) side of podcasting. As a result, they have a healthy backlog of data to look back on.

Based on 24,505 Demos+ surveys conducted over the past two years, SHI finds high-level and mid-level executives at organizations with more than 500 employees account for 4% of all adult monthly podcast listeners. And they’re voracious listeners, with 83% of surveyed execs having listened to a podcast in the last week (compared to the 66% average of all respondents). 29% of executives listen to at least five hours of podcasts a week.

When looking at what they listen to, executives over-index for News, Society & Culture, Business, Education, and Technology while they under-index for Comedy in comparison to the larger podcasting audience. They’re looking for deep insights over entertainment. 35% of executives list self-improvement as the most important reason for their podcast listening, compared to the overall population’s response of 23%.

B2B podcasting is a powerful tool and, if leveraged right, reaches both an eager and influential audience who are actively looking for useful and actionable information.

Why True Crime Is Good News for Advertisers

This Tuesday Lisa Risk at Strategic Media Inc. published a breakdown of the data behind True Crime’s relationship with advertisers. Such as Pew Research’s study of over 450 top podcasts that found 24% of those podcasts are True Crime.

Steve Mondor, Podcast Operations at SMI, believes the genre’s success is based in the inherently intimate nature of audio. Podcasts are built for sharing the thrills and storytelling that generally come packaged in True Crime.

And advertisers find success in the genre. According to Magellan AI numbers there was just over $65 million ad spend tracked in 2020 for True Crime podcasts. That number increased to $178 million by 2023.

Quick Hits

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