20200
P
1
20100
R  E
2
2070
D   I   C
3
2050
T   I   O   N
4
2040
S   F   O   R   J
5
2030
O  U  R  N  A  L
6
2020
I  S  M  2  0  2  0
7

Podcasting gets listener relationship management

“Podcasting may seem like a reach medium — with significant audiences for the biggest shows — but it really shines as a depth medium. The most valuable quality is listeners’ deep connection to the voices and stories in their ears.”

As we stream towards 2020, podcasting is now a priority for tens of thousands of creators, publishers, and businesses — from indies to media and entertainment companies to Fortune 500 firms. Not all of these new entrants have a solid strategy, but as with previous waves of blogging, video, and social media, there’s a coalescing of attention and value in podcasting that is impossible to ignore.

Between RadioPublic and Podfund, we have a clear view into the evolving tactics and practices of podcasters — from enterprise, to studios, and across the long tail. They all face a missing ingredient in the podcasting ecosystem: the marketing technology to reliably grow and engage audiences.

As the stakes get higher and pressure mounts to differentiate, podcasters are still lacking tech-enabled solutions for marketing their shows to new audiences and for bringing listeners into a deeper relationship than an ad impression reflects.

To date, most podcast marketing has focused on three things:

  • Cross-promotion: ads for podcasts on other podcasts
  • Platform promotion: Vying for attention from Apple Podcasts, their charts, and featured rotation on other apps
  • Word-of-mouth promotion: direct marketing and PR

But these marketing strategies mostly guide podcasters to fish where they know audience already exists, rather than wading into the largest pools of discovery: on the open web and social.

Audience development tools exist in abundance in other domains — where platforms like Salesforce, Hubspot, Mailchimp, and Wistia lead a crowded field of “martech” solutions. But none of these services is built for podcasting, previously considered too small a market to tackle, and where RSS/MP3 and native app-based consumption create unique challenges.

To date, investments in podcast tech has understandably been concentrated at the bottom of the stack (hosting) and the top (players/apps). This makes sense in an industry where major platforms have not (yet) been driving monetization. Hosting solutions tend to build into adjacent adtech and analytics, since the lion’s share of revenue is still sourced, sold, and placed in the MP3 episode itself. And innumerable apps have taken a swing at improving discovery and monetization, with scant few making a real dent next to Apple and now Spotify.

The middle layer of marketing tech is missing, and my prediction for 2020 is we will see a wave of investment into the services and tools to manage the top and middle of the funnel for audience growth and engagement. At RadioPublic, we’re calling this approach Listener Relationship Management (LRM) and offer a growing number of solutions for podcasting to close the gap.

Podcasting may seem like a reach medium — with significant audiences for the biggest shows — but it really shines as a depth medium. The most valuable quality is listeners’ deep connection to the voices and stories in their ears.

LRM helps podcasters expand the range of listener touch points beyond the ad impression alone, diversifying revenue and business models to encompass other strategies such as crowdfunding, email newsletters, live shows, fan clubs, surveys, and experiments with personalization and interactivity.

The eternal tug of war between platforms and publishers will inevitably play out in podcasting, much as it continues to do elsewhere in digital media. But ultimately, we know it’s in the interests of creators and listeners to have a hand in shaping and managing the direct relationships that emerge from this most intimate of experiences — the spoken word moving at the speed of light and sound.

Jake Shapiro is co-founder and CEO of RadioPublic PBC and Podfund.

As we stream towards 2020, podcasting is now a priority for tens of thousands of creators, publishers, and businesses — from indies to media and entertainment companies to Fortune 500 firms. Not all of these new entrants have a solid strategy, but as with previous waves of blogging, video, and social media, there’s a coalescing of attention and value in podcasting that is impossible to ignore.

Between RadioPublic and Podfund, we have a clear view into the evolving tactics and practices of podcasters — from enterprise, to studios, and across the long tail. They all face a missing ingredient in the podcasting ecosystem: the marketing technology to reliably grow and engage audiences.

As the stakes get higher and pressure mounts to differentiate, podcasters are still lacking tech-enabled solutions for marketing their shows to new audiences and for bringing listeners into a deeper relationship than an ad impression reflects.

To date, most podcast marketing has focused on three things:

  • Cross-promotion: ads for podcasts on other podcasts
  • Platform promotion: Vying for attention from Apple Podcasts, their charts, and featured rotation on other apps
  • Word-of-mouth promotion: direct marketing and PR

But these marketing strategies mostly guide podcasters to fish where they know audience already exists, rather than wading into the largest pools of discovery: on the open web and social.

Audience development tools exist in abundance in other domains — where platforms like Salesforce, Hubspot, Mailchimp, and Wistia lead a crowded field of “martech” solutions. But none of these services is built for podcasting, previously considered too small a market to tackle, and where RSS/MP3 and native app-based consumption create unique challenges.

To date, investments in podcast tech has understandably been concentrated at the bottom of the stack (hosting) and the top (players/apps). This makes sense in an industry where major platforms have not (yet) been driving monetization. Hosting solutions tend to build into adjacent adtech and analytics, since the lion’s share of revenue is still sourced, sold, and placed in the MP3 episode itself. And innumerable apps have taken a swing at improving discovery and monetization, with scant few making a real dent next to Apple and now Spotify.

The middle layer of marketing tech is missing, and my prediction for 2020 is we will see a wave of investment into the services and tools to manage the top and middle of the funnel for audience growth and engagement. At RadioPublic, we’re calling this approach Listener Relationship Management (LRM) and offer a growing number of solutions for podcasting to close the gap.

Podcasting may seem like a reach medium — with significant audiences for the biggest shows — but it really shines as a depth medium. The most valuable quality is listeners’ deep connection to the voices and stories in their ears.

LRM helps podcasters expand the range of listener touch points beyond the ad impression alone, diversifying revenue and business models to encompass other strategies such as crowdfunding, email newsletters, live shows, fan clubs, surveys, and experiments with personalization and interactivity.

The eternal tug of war between platforms and publishers will inevitably play out in podcasting, much as it continues to do elsewhere in digital media. But ultimately, we know it’s in the interests of creators and listeners to have a hand in shaping and managing the direct relationships that emerge from this most intimate of experiences — the spoken word moving at the speed of light and sound.

Jake Shapiro is co-founder and CEO of RadioPublic PBC and Podfund.

Rachel Glickhouse   Journalists get left behind in the industry’s decline

Monique Judge   The year to organize, unionize, and fight

S. Mitra Kalita   The race to 2021

Ståle Grut   OSINT journalism goes mainstream

Helen Havlak   Platforms shine a light on original reporting

Hossein Derakhshan   AI can’t conjure up an Errol Morris

Jim Brady   We’ll complain about other people living in bubbles while ignoring our own

Doris Truong   The year of radical salary transparency

Margarita Noriega   The platforms try to figure out what to do with single-subject newsrooms

Carrie Brown-Smith   Engaged journalism: It’s finally happening

Richard J. Tofel   A constraint of the reader-revenue model emerges

Mira Lowe   The year of student-powered journalism

Nicholas Jackson   What’s left of local gets comfortable with reader support

Rachel Davis Mersey   The business of local TV news will enter its downward slide

M. Scott Havens   First-party data becomes media’s most important currency

Victor Pickard   We reclaim a public good

Joshua Darr   All that campaign cash will make the media’s problems worse

Nico Gendron   Make better products if you want to reach Gen Z

Craig Newmark   Formalizing newsrooms’ battle against disinformation

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting finally creates another mega-hit show

L. Gordon Crovitz   Fighting misinformation requires journalism, not secret algorithms

Moreno Cruz Osório   In Brazil, collaboration in a time of state attacks

Errin Haines   Race and gender aren’t a 2020 story — they’re the story

Elizabeth Dunbar   Frank talk, and then action

Jasmine McNealy   A call for context

Greg Emerson   News apps fall further behind

Pablo Boczkowski   The day after November 4

Mary Walter-Brown and Tristan Loper   Power to the people (on your audience team)

Mario García   Think small (screen)

Raney Aronson-Rath   News deserts will proliferate — but so will new solutions

Bill Adair   A Nobel Prize, a Brad Pitt film, and a Taylor Swift song

Matthew Pressman   News consumers divide into haves and have-nots

Lucas Graves   A smarter conversation about how (and why) fact-checking matters

Jennifer Brandel   A love letter from the year 2073

Emily Withrow   The year we kill the news article

Kathleen Searles   Pay more attention to attention

Michael W. Wagner   Increasingly fractured, but little bit deliberative

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   A changing industry amps up podcasters’ ambitions

Brenda P. Salinas   Treating MP3 files like text

Sara K. Baranowski   A big year for little newspapers

Kerri Hoffman   Opening closed systems

Tanya Cordrey   Saying no to more good ideas

Candis Callison   Taking a cue from Indigenous journalists on climate change

Jonas Kaiser   Russian bots are just today’s slacktivists

A.J. Bauer   A fork in the road for conservative media

Ben Werdmuller   Use the tools of journalism to save it

Nathalie Malinarich   Betting on loyalty

Madelyn Sanfilippo and Yafit Lev-Aretz   News coverage gets geo-fragmented

Sue Robinson   Campaign coverage as test bed for engagement experiments

Knight Foundation   Five generations of journalists, learning from each other

Tonya Mosley   The neutrality vs. objectivity game ends

Irving Washington   Leadership isn’t something you learn on the job

Kourtney Bitterly   Transparency isn’t just a desire, it’s an expectation

Logan Jaffe   You don’t need fancy tools to listen

Stefanie Murray   Charitable giving goes collaborative

Catalina Albeanu   Rebuilding journalism, together

John Keefe   Journalism gets hacked

Carl Bialik   Journalists will try running the whole shop

Monica Drake   A renewed focus on misinformation

Mike Caulfield   Native verification tools for the blue checkmark crowd

Seth C. Lewis   20 questions for 2020

Ernie Smith   The death of the industry fad

Don Day   Respect the non-paying audience

Bill Grueskin   Our ethics codes get an overhaul

Kevin Douglas Grant   The free press stands against authoritarians’ attacks on truth

Colleen Shalby   Journalists become media literacy teachers

Zizi Papacharissi   A president leads, the press follows, reality fades

Tom Glaisyer   Journalism can emerge newly vibrant and powerful

Dan Shanoff   Sports media enters the Bronny era

Masuma Ahuja   Slower, quieter, more measured and thoughtful

Talia Stroud   The work of reconnecting starts November 4

Adam Thomas   The silver bullet

Cindy Royal   Prepare media students for skills, not job titles

Meg Marco   Everything happens somewhere

Laura E. Davis   Know the context your journalism is operating within

Joe Amditis   Collaborative journalism takes its rightful place at the table

Sarah Alvarez   I’m ready for post-news

Joanne McNeil   A return to blogs (finally? sort of?)

Cristina Kim   Public media stops trying to serve “everybody”

Beena Raghavendran   The year of the local engagement reporter

Jeff Kofman   Speed through technology

Marie Gilot   This is fine

Josh Schwartz   Publishers move beyond the metered paywall

Anthony Nadler   Clash of Clans: Election Edition

Kristen Muller   The year we operationalize community engagement

Sarah Schmalbach   Journalist, quantify thyself

Millie Tran   Wicked

Rachel Schallom   The value of push alerts goes beyond open rates

Meredith Artley   Stronger solidarity among news organizations

Steve Henn   The dawning audio web

Francesco Zaffarano   TikTok without generational prejudice

Nushin Rashidian   Are platforms a bridge or a lifeline?

Heidi Tworek   The year of positive pushback

Elizabeth Hansen and Jesse Holcomb   Local news initiatives run into a capital shortage

Nikki Usher   All systems down

Logan Molyneux and Shannon McGregor   Think twice before turning to Twitter

Heather Bryant   Some kinds of journalism aren’t worth saving

Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young   The promise of nonprofit journalism

Lauren Duca   The rise of the journalistic influencer

Barbara Gray   Join local libraries on the frontlines of civic engagement

Brian Moritz   The end of “stick to sports”

Julia B. Chan   We 👏 take 👏 breaks 👏

Geneva Overholser   Death to bothsidesism

Matt DeRienzo   Local broadcasters begin to fill the gaps left by newspapers

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting gets listener relationship management

Rick Berke   Incoming fire from both left and right

Linda Solomon Wood   Everyone in your organization, moving toward a common goal

Jeremy Olshan   All journalism should be service journalism

james Wahutu   Western journalists, learn from your African peers

Jakob Moll   A slow-moving tech backlash among young people

Felix Salmon   Spotify launches a news channel

Jeremy Gilbert and Jarrod Dicker   A call for collaboration between storytelling and tech

Alexandra Borchardt   Get out of the office and talk to people

Alice Antheaume   Trade “politics” for “power”

Imaeyen Ibanga   Let’s take it slow

Tamar Charney   From broadcast to bespoke

Whitney Phillips   A time to question core beliefs

Simon Galperin   Journalism becomes more democratic

Sarah Stonbely   More people start caring about news inequality

John Garrett   It’s the best time in a century to start a local news organization

Mariana Moura Santos   The future of journalism is collaborative

Annie Rudd   The expanded ambiguity of the news photograph

An Xiao Mina   The Forum we wanted, the forum we got

Dannagal G. Young   Let’s disrupt the logic that’s driving Americans apart

Sonali Prasad   Climate change storytelling gets multidimensional

Christa Scharfenberg   It’s time to make journalism a field that supports and respects women

Cory Haik   We’re already consuming the future of news — now we have to produce it

Sarah Marshall   The year to learn about news moments

Joni Deutsch   Podcasting unsilences the silent

Fiona Spruill   The climate crisis gets the coverage it deserves

Peter Bale   Lies get further normalized

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The business we want, not the business we had

Alana Levinson   Brand-backed media gets another look