Conversations with the Pros of Podcasting: iHeart to Google -- Part 2

By Insider InSites Podcasts Archives
Cover image for  article: Conversations with the Pros of Podcasting:  iHeart to Google -- Part 2

In the much-awaited Part 2 of our episode gathering insights from the podcasting pros, you'll hear from iHeart Podcast Network President Conal Byrne; Google Podcast's Founder and Head of Product, Zack Reneau-Wedeen; On Air Fest and Work x Work founder Scott Newman; PMM CEO David Raphael, and the CEO of Ad Results Media, Marshall Williams (pictured above right).  I went from the consortium of seven networks joining up to educate West Coast media cohorts at the Winter Podfrontin L.A. to the On Air Fest and RAIN Summit in New York City seeking expert opinions on the status of the industry and how we're moving podcasting forward.  What are your thoughts around subscription-only content?  How easy is it to find the best podcasts for sponsors?  And how do we grow listenership even more?  All in all, the news is good!  Per Edison Research and Triton Digital's Infinite Dial report, 51% of the population has now ever listened to a podcast.

If you missed Part 1 here's a link so you can also hear from heads of NPR and Stitcher, along with podcast network newcomer Forever Dog and one of the original podcasters, Debbie Millman of Design Matters.  (Note:  Many thanks to my nimble editor, Eric Klein, who pulled these 10 interviews together.)  Listen here, or subscribe to Insider InSites on Spotify, iHeartRadio, GooglePodcasts, Apple, Stitcher and TuneIn.

For this episode you'll learn from:

  • Conal Byrne, President of iHeart Podcast Network on how Stuff Media's overwhelmingly impactful podcasts and content caught iHeart Media's eye.  "[They] are cultural phenomena that have fan bases the likes of which I've never seen.  I've never seen fans as dedicated and as into content as this."  He has a very clear POV on the timing and use of subscription-only content like Luminary.  And, how was it to go from an independent podcast network to a media giant?  (Hint: "It's a different league when you're talking to the CMOs of big brands to broker big, overarching sponsorships that span podcast, broadcast, social and live events.  The conversation is totally different.")
  • Zack Reneau-Wedeen of Google Podcasts on how they are aiming to leverage search to capture the billions of Android users and eat more of Apple Podcasts' lunch.  (Humble brag:  I broke the story on Twitter.  See attribution!)  And, ever wonder how a digital native wound up heading up a product for one of the world's biggest companies?  (Hint:  He had a long commute to soccer practice.) 
  • Scott Newman on going from Westwood One to Work x Work and applying his branding meeting storytelling sensibilities to not only Stitcher but to founding a movement out of Brooklyn:  On Air Fest, which sold out its third year at Wythe Hotel, attracting audio artists from Roxane Gay to Tina Brown to RadioLab's own founder, Jad Abumrad.
  • David Raphael on how PMM has evolved from first repping primarily public radio content to more mainstream podcasting.  "What we have set ourselves up to be is a boutique agency to represent the biggest and best content out there in the podcast space for advertisers.  We have a very small and curated portfolio."  (Think small but mighty with the likes of SerialandThis American Life.) Monica Padman, co-host of one of those "biggest and best" shows, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, explains why she pinches herself.  Raphael offers case study examples of how the full-frontal candor of a Shepard or Anna Faris infers trust on their sponsors, reveals how they and the new Topher Grace show will reach more women and tees up the new brand extension of Serial as a platform for brands aiming to align with pro-social topics.
  • Marshall Williams on the very first podcast they bought on behalf of an advertiser, and how that catapulted Ad Results from a radio-first shop to the largest spender in podcasting.  His first buy?  One-time Loveliner co-host, Adam Carolla, whose Guinness Book record for "most downloaded podcast" may have been set in 2011, but whose current show still ranks right up there.  Hear what podcasting still needs, though, from this agency POV.

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