Friday, October 23, 2020
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The latest signal that the era of the big podcast companies merely being creators of content is over comes with iHeartMedia’s announcement that it is buying Voxnest. Launched in 2018 following the merger of Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio, Voxnest brings to iHeart a suite of advertising capabilities and tools including podcast analytics, enterprise publishing, programmatic integration, and targeted ad serving. Terms of the deal weren’t immediately released. iHeartMedia had owned a minority stake in Voxnest. Read more

A common thread through many of the discussions at this year’s virtual Podcast Movement conference is talk of growth, and how to capitalize on a media that is seeing its audience and revenue expand. Since the industry gathered for last year’s event in Orlando, there have been several more large deals reshaping the industry. Executives think that means not only more consolidation but a growing focus on the kinds of ad tech that are bringing brand dollars to the space. Read more

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For podcasters who still view their business as budding, billionaire Mark Cuban has a sobering sentiment to share: The hour is much later than you think. “When you see aggregation and consolidation like we’re seeing now with Spotify buying these podcasters, that doesn’t mean it’s early days,” Cuban said Thursday during a Podcast Movement virtual event. “It means it’s late days — because that business has matured enough that they decided to buy into it rather than create.” Read more

Now that Stitcher has new owners in SiriusXM, it has unveiled a redesigned podcast app that it says will offer a more personalized listening experience. The new Stitcher platform has been revamped end-to-end, from the technology backbone to the front-facing user interface. The company says a simplified design prioritizes a new, more customizable experience that fits the myriad ways users manage their shows and personal app experience. Read more

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Podcasting gets a new subscription-based company with the launch of Quake Media … Spotify has reportedly taken four podcasts out of distribution for promoting far-right QAnon conspiracy theories … Google is making it easier for users to play podcasts on its smart speakers using Spotify … Wondery is releasing a new season of its popular Business Wars podcast, but in a move to help boost sales of its Wondery Plus subscription service the show will only be available to paid users. Read more

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A trio of executives with experience beyond podcasting and media are planting a flag in the audio segment. Hospitality and live event executives Robert Tuchman and Brett Sklar and sports marketing executive Stephen Master have partnered together to establish the newly formed Amaze Media Labs. The new venture will create branded content and experiences including branded podcasts and live and virtual events for marketers. Read more

Thursday, October 22, 2020
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The holly jolly of Christmas music has long filled radio airwaves and in a year when a pandemic continues to fill the headlines Americans are craving even more cheer. A joint project by iHeartMedia and Podtrac will offer opportunities for podcasts too, as holiday travel plans come together. An iHeart survey shows three-quarters of podcast listeners are looking for experiences that improve their mood this holiday season. And trends point to continued growth in downloads. Read more

It is a pretty good bet most Porsche Taycan buyers won’t select the sports car based on the availability of Apple Podcasts. But once they are in the driver’s seat, they will now find the newly updated dashboard includes support for Apple Podcasts. It is the first-ever full integration of Apple Podcasts in any vehicle. The automaker says adding podcasts embodies the “pioneering spirit” of Porsche and its first all-electric car. Read more

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Just days after closing its $325 million deal to buy Stitcher, SiriusXM presented its quarterly update to investors. It includes insights into how all of its podcasting assets fit into the satellite radio company, where ad revenue is heading, and why broadcast radio is still audio’s top dog.  Read more

Amy Brown and iHeartMedia will co-produce a slate of health and wellness podcasts under a new partnership. Brown, the co-host of iHeartMedia’s “The Bobby Bones Show,” launches The Amy Brown Podcast Network this week with a trio of titles: “OUTWEIGH with Amy Brown & Lisa Hayim,” “You Need Therapy with Kathryn DeFatta” and “The Truthiest Life with Lisa Hayim.” Read more

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Graham Bunn, former host for USA Networks’ “RealCountry” and Mount Wilson FM “Go Country 105” KKGO Los Angeles, launches a new podcast series, Country Shine with Graham Bunn, Oct. 27. Bunn’s podcast, which will premiere new episodes twice a week, is part of an overall podcast development deal between Spotify and Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings. Read more

Since its premiere in January 1987, Unsolved Mysteries has been one of the longest-running programs in the history of TV, and the first series to introduce an audience-interactive “call-to-action” that requests viewer tips to help solve real cases. That has built it a big following that producers now look to bring to podcasting. The show’s creators Cosgrove/Meurer Productions have partnered with Cadence13 to develop a weekly podcast set to launch in early 2021. Read more

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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Isolation, loneliness, and stress – such emotions hang over 2020 as home and work lives continue to be disrupted by a pandemic no one saw coming. That rapid change in America’s psyche may be helping drive more people to spoken word content and podcasts. Edison Research Senior VP Tom Webster told the Podcast Movement conference that podcasting, long labeled as an “intimate” media, has become a “companion medium” in 2020. “Podcast audiences have changed,” he said. Read more

True crime podcasts have not only proved to be compelling listens, but as producers dig into the past they are increasingly shining a light into dark corners of history that people have tried to keep secret. The latest example comes from the Apostrophe Podcast Network and Acast, which today (Oct. 21) debuts a true-crime podcast that examines a 1979 death in South Florida that tipped investigators off to more than they expected. Read more

On the heels of its five-week “The History of Alternative” takeover, Cumulus Media alternative WKQX Chicago, continues the theme with its companion podcast and a new four-hour Sunday morning program, hosted by morning man Brian Phillips. The podcast of the same name debuted during the five-week programming block and is hosted by WKQX’s James VanOsdol and Jon Manley. Read more

In a move to increase monetization of the podcasts its hosts, Sounder has integrated Triton Digital’s dynamic audio ad insertion technology directly into its platform. The move enables podcast creators to monetize both new and back-catalog episodes within the same platform. The dynamically-inserted audio ads will be heard not only on Sounder, but wherever listeners stream the podcast. Read more

NPR has become the latest network to subscribe to Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power service. The deal the public media company access to insights spanning 18 genres and numerous listening preferences that can be cross-referenced among a variety of consumer purchase behavior patterns and services usage. And while podcasters only see data on their own shows, ad buyers will get information on the more than 150 individual podcast titles measured. Read more

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Coca-Cola is one of radio’s longest-running advertisers, dating back decades. But as the audio medium finds new resonance among marketers, the soft drink brand is taking a fresh look at how it fits into the media plan. Mindshare Executive Director Ritu Trivedi says advertisers have to start by looking at media plans holistically. They no longer have “why audio” but “how audio” conversations as they look at ways to make it part of a media plan. Read more

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One of podcasting’s biggest shows is on the sidelines this week. Host Joe Rogan took to Instagram on Tuesday to announce show producer Jamie Vernon has tested positive for COVID-19. “I tested negative, and the rest of the staff tested negative but we’re shutting everything down until we get an all-clear from our doctor,” said Rogan. Read more

Spkr, the audio platform that’s focused on podcasts and other short-form content, has been acquired by the streaming video company Loop Media. Spkr was co-founded last year by former CBS Radio President Andy Schuon. As part of the rollup, Schuon will assume the newly created role of Head of Loop Media Studios and will be responsible for all content and programming creation and acquisitions. The value of the all-stock deal was $3 million, according to a filing with the SEC. Read more

Podcast downloads slid four percent last week, according to Podtrac, which reports that among the shows and publishers it tracks the rate of growth was still undeniably double-digit — downloads were up 50% compared to the same week a year ago. The Arts category showed the only week-over-week download growth among the major genres, with Business showing the biggest dip. Read more

Graham Holdings, the media conglomerate that owns the podcast-hosting platform Megaphone, seven local television stations and online media like Slate, sees a bigger future for itself in podcasts. But while some publishers are targeting national and global audiences, Graham sees its opening on the local front. It has reunited with former Slate Editor-In-Chief David Plotz to launch City Cast. The company says it will be a national network of daily local podcasts. Read more

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With COVID quarantine restrictions lifted in some areas, audio listening is shifting from the home and back into the car, new data from Edison Research shows. The latest research from Share of Ear, conducted in early September, shows in-car listening grew from 20% in Q2 to 28% today, approaching but not quite equaling the pre-COVID level of 32% of all listening. Meanwhile, there is an uptick in at-work listening. Read more

Monday, October 19, 2020

Two spots – one pre-roll and the other mid-roll – is the optimal advertising maneuver. That is according to a new Podsights study that examined the number of ads placed in an episode and where they were inserted to determine the best return on ad spending for marketers using the medium. It also found that overall, embedded ads had a higher conversion rate than dynamically inserted ads. Read more

SiriusXM now occupies a larger role in podcasting after it closed a deal on Monday to buy Stitcher from the E.W. Scripps Co. The $325 million deal includes the Midroll advertising rep firm; owned-and-operated podcast networks including the comedy-focused Earwolf; and the Stitcher podcast listening platform. Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn and Chief Revenue Officer Sarah van Mosel will remain with the company, now a sister to Pandora, AdsWizz and Simplecast. Read more

The 50th anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s historic comeback fight is Oct. 26. It is also the anniversary of a mysterious heist that took place during the after-party which began one of the largest armed robberies in U.S. history. The two events will be revisited in a new true crime podcast. Fight Night, a co-production of the iHeartPodcast Network, Doghouse Pictures and Will Packer Media will also touch on the racial tensions of the 1970s that resonate in 2020. Read more

The Media Rating Council has revoked accreditation for Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics Local service. The MRC said the certification had previously been suspended. It also reported that the accreditation of Triton’s Webcast Metrics service has been suspended since May 2 pending the resolution of “non-compliance situations.” But the company says it’s working to fix those issues. Read more

Chartable, the podcast analytics and attribution company, has rolled out a number of major changes in the works announcing what it is calling “Chartable 2.” That includes delivering statistics and download reports more quickly. It reflects a change in the industry itself. Since starting its RSS feed integration two years ago, the company has gone from tracking thousands of download requests per day to over 100 million, adding up to over a billion unique downloads per month. Read more

The IAB says branded podcasts represented just three percent of industry revenue last year. But that segment of the business has continued to grow and a survey of local advertisers suggests that more may be coming from that part of the business.

A survey of small and medium-sized local businesses by Borrell Associates shows that content marketing is gaining favor among small and medium-sizes businesses during the COVID era. Read more

Friday, October 16, 2020
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Plenty of podcasts are talking about President Trump and Joe Biden and the upcoming election, and one of the two candidates is spending on podcast advertising too. Magellan AI reports the Biden campaign was the tenth-biggest podcast advertiser during September, spending an estimated $163,000 on the medium. That’s seven times more than the Trump campaign. Overall, Magellan said BetterHelp was the top advertiser on podcasts it tracks. Read more

Sir Martin Sorrell has never been short on opinions, building a reputation during his decades working in the advertising world where he built WPP into what at one point was the biggest ad agency holding company on the planet. Today Sorrell, 75, is immersed in the world of digital and when he sat down on the latest episode of iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman’s podcast Math & Magic, the question of podcasting came up. In typical Sorrell fashion, he pulled no punches with his host. Here’s what he said. Read more

While some podcasters are purposefully keeping transcripts away from listeners out of concern they will reduce actual listening, the podcast-hosting platform Buzzsprout has launched a new feature that will allow producers to easily distribute their own episode transcripts to listeners. The company said adding this feature to its feeds is “critical” to search-engine optimization. Podcast Addict has become the first to integrate Buzzsprout’s new transcript distribution toolset into its app. Read more

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) has during the past two years grown its ranks of digital journalists, including a roster of podcast companies where writers, producers and hosts have turned to the union to help protect their rights in the fast-growing industry. Its newly-launched WGA Audio Alliance now aims to organize the writers who are working on high-budget scripted podcasts to receive what the union says is fair compensation, pension and health benefits, and credit for their work. Read more

From music on the radio to commercials on television, it seems DJ Khaled has his hands in just about every platform where people consume media. So it was probably only a matter of time until he launched a podcast. The First One is his new show that features the Grammy winner delving into the biggest hits of all-time with his favorite artists, many of whom he has worked with during his two decades in the music business. Read more

Actor Joshua Jackson will replace Jamie Dornan in the TV adaptation of Dr. Death … Actress Taraji P. Henson is making a move into podcasting … Audible has acquired the Podcast.com and Podcasting.com URLs … Google has added a new feature that it says will better help shows get discovered in Google Search …Tenderfoot TV has teamed up with Lights Up to develop a pair of podcasts. Read more

Thursday, October 15, 2020
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The vast array of podcasts means advertisers have more options than ever before to reach their listeners. For a growing number of clients, that is allowing them to move from embracing a specific podcast or two to placing ads across a genre or two of shows and target audiences and not just the people who hear a specific show. Read more

Apple, Google, Amazon and now Sonos. The audio device makers each have come to the same conclusion — they want in on podcasting. Sonos is the newest entrant as it has become a significant investor in the podcast studio QCode. That is the podcast studio launched last year by former CAA agent Rob Herting. QCode has raised $6.4 million in a Series A funding round, led by Sonos with participation by C Ventures, a Hong Kong-based venture capital firm. Read more

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On the heels of new research showing spoken-word content continues to nab more listening time from music-based programming, Spotify has announced that it is rolling out the test of a new radio-like feature that will allow users to mix both music and spoken-word segments into a single audio stream. Spotify said it makes it possible for creators to “leverage the power of music streaming in their talk shows.” Read more

A time capsule of the strangest year of our lives, and a timeless meditation on love in all its forms. That is how the international podcast studio Paradiso is describing Love Under Lockdown. The new podcast — its first in English — is an audio diary that follows four couples navigating the highs and lows of quarantining together amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It has debuted this week ad-free on Stitcher Premium. Beginning October 29, the series will be available on all podcast platforms. Read more

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The disrupted school year did not disrupt the NPR Student Podcast Challenge during the last school year, with 2,200 entries from 46 states and Washington, D.C. submitted. School life has still not returned to normal, but NPR is pushing forward with a third year of the competition with an expansion. NPR is opening up the contest to anyone pursuing their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees, in addition to middle and high school students. Read more

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

More than half of Americans have listened to a podcast and the growing popularity of the on-demand format is helping to re-slice the audio content pie. The second annual Spoken Word Audio Report, which Edison Research produced with NPR, shows 19% of spoken-word listening now goes to podcasts, a 12% increase from a year ago. “Over the past six years, spoken-word audio has been chipping away at music listening,” said NPR Chief Marketing Officer Michael Smith. Read more

Spoken word’s share of audio listening has grown by 30% during the past six years according to Edison Research. That includes an eight percent increase in the past year. But why are people listening? The second annual Spoken Word Audio Report, which Edison produced with NPR, offers ten insights into what is behind that changing listening habit. Here’s what they found. Read more

Eight months after it hired an outside financial advisor to examine “strategic options” for the company, including a potential sale, Audioboom has ended the process. Despite having advanced talks with several parties, the board ultimately decided the price the potential suitors were willing to pay was less than what they believe Audioboom is worth. The company has instead brought on a Singaporean investor. Meantime, the company says revenue grew 15% during the third quarter. Read more

The podcast-hosting platform Sounder is teaming up with DAX – the Digital Ad Exchange – to help show producers secure more revenue for their podcasts. When the service launches later this month, networks and individual podcasts with more than 25,000 monthly streams will be eligible for partnerships with the hundreds of nationally recognized brands in DAX’s network. Both host-read and dynamically inserted ads will be available to ad buyers. Read more

Curtis Flowers, the man at the center of the acclaimed APM Reports investigative podcast In the Dark, will sit down with the show for the first time. In an episode to be released today (Oct. 14), Flowers will tell his story to Madeleine Baran, the podcast’s host and lead reporter. It will be Flowers’ first full-length interview since becoming a free man. “Up until now, we’ve been missing the voice of the central figure in this story,” said Baran. Read more

Apple has unveiled the new HomePod mini smart speaker device, which promises to provide impressive sound, a Siri-enabled voice assistant and smart home experience packed within a 3.3-inch compact design. Priced at $99, the new addition to the HomePod family works with Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Radio.com and TuneIn. Access to Pandora and Amazon Music will be added soon, the company says. Read more

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Keywords drive much of digital ad targeting, and they now play a greater role for podcast ads sold by Acast. The podcast publisher has expanded its targeting capabilities to allow marketers to home-in on their target using specific keywords uttered during an episode. Powered by an AI engine transcribing thousands of hours of podcast episodes, it will ensure advertisers’ campaigns appear alongside the most relevant content possible while taking into account the nature of that conversation.  Read more

The Podcast Academy, the industry effort to raise awareness of podcasting, has seen an awards show as part of its strategy since the organization came together last spring. More details about that plan have been released. What is being called The Ambies is slated to take place next March 28 in Los Angeles. For the initial debut of The Ambies, there will be a total of 23 categories, with any show that’s released three episodes in 2020 eligible to compete. Read more

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Luminary’s subscription model has limited the reach of many of the company’s podcasts despite celebrity talent and critical acclaim. Now in a first, Luminary has struck a partnership with another podcast company to give broader distribution to one of its series. Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons, the creators of Fiasco, are teaming up with Cadence13 to distribute the first season of the series across a variety of listening apps. Read more

Multi-hyphenate musician-actor-author Common will add podcasting to his repertoire with a new series set to debut next month on Audible. He will host the series Mind Power Mixtape that will feature Common in intimate conversations with artists and activists. Each episode was recorded remotely, with Common leading the discussion from his home. “There is great benefit in using this time of pause to engage in real reflection about who we are, how we got here and what’s next,” he said. Read more

The Nineties are having a moment in 2020 as another generation of young adults reaches for a dose of nostalgia about the not-so-distant-past. Sony Music Entertainment sees an opening in that and it is digging into its own catalog for the company’s first music-focused series that will celebrate the decade’s music and artists. Hosted by music and pop culture enthusiasts Tracy Clayton and Akoto Ofori-Atta and produced by Multitude, My 90s Playlist will explore nine of the ’90s biggest hits. Read more

Former alternative KROQ-FM Los Angeles (106.7) morning show personality Gene “Bean” Baxter is reuniting with former co-host Allie MacKay in a new podcast six months after the show they both called home came to an abrupt end on the Entercom-owned station. The show, called A Cup of Tea and a Chat, will release episodes three days a week. Read more

Monday, October 12, 2020

Podcast producer Aaron Mahnke is again partnering with the iHeartPodcast Network and the horror studio Blumhouse Television for the release of a seasonal series. Aaron Mahnke’s 13 Days of Halloween is a narrative horror podcast that is noteworthy not just for the story, but also for the audio production. When things go bump in the night, listeners will become aware the series was produced using binaural audio. It’s a cutting-edge audio format that immerses the audience in a three-dimensional auditory experience. Read more

The Radio Television Digital News Association has awarded nine trophies to podcasts as part of its annual Edward R. Murrow Awards competition. The competition honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism has been celebrating radio and television reporting since 1971, and 2020 became the first year that a separate category was created for podcasts. Here’s the list of which shows won. Read more

“The secret’s out – your competitors are catching on and catching up. But even if your brand has never sponsored a podcast, it’s not too late.” That is one message to ad buyers in the third annual podcast buying guide created by AdLarge Media’s digital division Cabana. The latest edition tells advertisers there is “still plenty of room” and collects data points and developments to bring any buyer on the sidelines into the medium. “The conversation has definitely shifted from why advertise on podcasts to how,” said VP Ilwira Marciszek. Read more

A new forecast from eMarketer says the U.S. healthcare and pharmaceutical industry will spend $9.53 billion on digital advertising in 2020 — an increase of 14.2% over 2019. The research firm says the healthcare/pharma space has traditionally been slow about utilizing digital marketing when compared with other U.S. verticals, but that’s changing. Another change is that more of pharma’s money is flowing into radio. Read more

After 276 episodes, the independent country podcast W.B. Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show has come to an abrupt end. The podcast has featured music with the permission of artists, but copyright holders fired off a takedown notice to the show. The result is Walker has announced he will stop producing his podcast and he is deleting all the episodes in his archive. “I can’t sit and fight a bunch of lawyers,” he said. Read more

More than thirty million downloads have been tallied during the past year for shows under The LadyGang. That is good enough to have pushed the five-year-old podcast past the 100 million download mark. The podcast has been turned into an E! network TV show, a New York Times bestseller, and a clothing line. Hosts Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin will celebrate the milestone on Monday (Oct. 12) with an online party with a $20 cover charge. Read more

Friday, October 09, 2020

The amount of money advertisers will spend on podcast advertising is projected to more than double during the next five years. PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts $800 million will be spent this year on podcast ads in the U.S. and by 2024 the total will reach $1.7 billion. PwC says podcast revenue continues to grow at a faster rate than either radio or the music industry, which it says is a reflection of gains made by podcasters in reaching new listeners. Read more

Tim Robbins is becoming the latest Hollywood star to make the move into podcasting. He is producing a satire podcast called Bobbo Supreme that originally was designed to become a feature film until the coronavirus pandemic upended those plans. Robbins worked the phones to recruit other actors to his project. And they recorded the podcast from three-dozen locations during four days. Read more

Libsyn says among the podcasts it hosts the number of downloads for episodes released in August ticked up slightly from a month earlier … WarnerMedia has hired a former head of Radio Disney JP Colaco as its new head of advertising sales … Spotify has unveiled a new feature that podcasters can use to help promote their podcasts on social media… Spreaker is making its Campaign Manager tool more widely available… Parcast employees say Spotify has voluntarily agreed to recognize Writers Guild of America-East as their union. Read more

WAFE Charlotte, NC (90.7) is teaming up with the Queen City Podcast Network, Blumenthal Performing Arts, and Eclecs Creative Agency to host the first Charlotte Podcast Festival. The virtual event is geared to bring together North Carolina podcasters, producers and advertisers. “The festival gives WFAE and our partners another way to support the growing podcast community here in Charlotte,” said EVP/Chief Content Officer Ju-Don Marshall. Read more

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Audio Up Media founder and CEO Jared Gutstadt has said he sees podcasting as “the next great discovery platform” for music and that is driving much of what his Nashville-based podcast studio is focused on. “It’s an inherently audio format and I love audio storytelling and I don’t see why music can’t play a bigger role in it,” he said. Read more

In June control of the Modern Love podcast returned to The New York Times, which had previously been working with WBUR Boston to produce the series based on the newspaper’s column of the same name after the public broadcaster implemented a series of budget cuts. Now, after a four-month hiatus, Modern Love is relaunching, produced and edited by the newspaper’s audio team. Read more

After her high-profile split from the Call Her Daddy podcast and producer Barstool Sports, Sofia Franklyn is aiming to attract some of the show’s fans to a new podcast. Produced by Sloot Media, her new podcast is called Sofia with an F. “I’m back,” said Franklyn in a post on Instagram, which did not reveal when the comedy podcast would debut. Read more

With in-person homecoming activities on college campuses cancelled, iHeartMedia launches “HBCU Homecoming Celebration on iHeartRadio,” described as a month-long celebration showcasing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). School pride and student achievements will be highlighted through podcast, on-air across the company’s hip-hop and R&B radio stations, social media channels, and live virtual events. Read more

The Fort Collins, CO-based streaming network NoCo FM is relaunching with a new name and a bigger focus beyond the Colorado region. The company says as it added podcasts that hail from California, New Jersey and the Pacific Northwest, it decided it was time for a change. So it has rebranded NoCo FM as Loudspeaker and expanded from one internet stream of content to three. That includes the Loudspeaker Talk stream, which features a lineup of the podcasts hosted by the company. Read more

The coronavirus pandemic has raised havoc for conference and festival planners, with most events getting pulled or transformed into a virtual format. One that has remained on the calendar has been the DC PodFest. But organizers said Thursday that they too have decided to cancel next month’s festival in Washington. Read more

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Both NPR and iHeartMedia have something to crow about in Podtrac’s monthly ranker. NPR had the biggest unique U.S. monthly audience among publishers measured by Podtrac, while the iHeartPodcast Network had the largest number of downloads and streams during the month. A return to sports also pushed ESPN back into the top five. And Podtrac says the New York Times morning news podcast The Daily remained the most listened-to show. Read more

The media group Religion of Sports – formed by NFL quarterback Tom Brady, former New York Giants defensive end turned “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan, and filmmaker Gotham Chopra – have struck a partnership with the public media company PRX to collaborate and promote its podcasts as the sports media company unveils a slate of shows in 2021. Read more

Audioboom has inked a strategic partnership with Rogers Sports & Media that will allow the company to better monetize podcast listeners there. Rogers sales reps will market Audioboom’s shows to Canadian advertising agencies and brands. Canada is currently Audioboom’s fourth-biggest region for downloads. Rogers already operates the Frequency Podcast Network and owns the branded podcast shop Pacific Content. Read more

In one of the first cases tied to podcasts heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices have agreed to hear an appeal brought by a patent holding company that said its due process rights were violated by a federal appeals court. Personal Audio has convinced the Supreme Court to review a decision that sent a patent infringement case back to a federal court in Texas. It had ruled CBS didn’t need to pay damages for allegedly violating a patent held by Personal Audio. Read more

A multi-million dollar investment will help inform advertisers about the most effective ways to use audio in their marketing campaigns. Veritonic, which provides data and insights about audio campaigns, says it has raised $3.2 million in new capital to expand its workforce in the areas of data science and sales and to expand its audio measurement capabilities. Read more

Spotify may be paying a reported $100 million to secure the rights to Joe Rogan’s show, but when it comes to hosts the company is placing a growing bet on social media stars. Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff told Fast Company’s annual Innovation Festival they see it as a way to reach the young adults who are embracing podcasting more quickly than any other age group. “Having podcasting on our platform really fits where our audience is,” she said. Read more

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

The decision by nearly five dozen podcast companies to remove downloads associated with the Apple Watch from their count beginning Oct. 1 has quickly showed up in the weekly data from Podtrac. For the week of Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, downloads among publishers and shows it measures were down six percent from the prior week. Even with that dip, downloads were still up 42% compared to a year ago. Read more

If there are any podcast-skeptics left in the radio industry, their ranks are shrinking. And during the annual Radio Show conference on Monday, broadcasters who may not be closely following on-demand audio got a primer into the growing opportunity of moving beyond live programming in order to attract both listeners and advertisers. “Unlike most new mediums, it is here to stay,” said iHeartPodcast Network President Conal Byrne.  Read more

Team Coco, the multiplatform media company led by Conan O’Brien, is probably best known for its podcast Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend. It looks like there is good news on that front. Team Coco has struck up a friendship with Audible. It has inked a first-look development and production deal to produce scripted and unscripted episodic podcasts, non-fiction documentaries, and other audio original projects. Read more

The merger of a pair of sophisticated audience data companies could bring more ad targeting options to streaming audio. Tru Optik, a data and measurement company focused on connected TV, streaming audio and gaming, has been acquired by global information company TransUnion, the third largest credit reporting agency and one of the largest providers of data. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  Read more

Many of the guests on Acast’s newest podcast will never say a word, at least not that listeners will hear. They will instead talk only with reality-TV star Theresa Caputo, star of TLC’s show “Long Island Medium.” Known for her alleged ability to speak with the dead, Caputo is expanding into podcasting with a new series called Hey Spirit! Read more

Monday, October 05, 2020

During the past several months iHeartMedia has drawn attention for the way in which it has leveraged its 850 radio stations to promote podcasts, running thousands of on-air spots to promote on-demand content. The effort has been part of an internal research project, according to the company’s top researcher. Executive VP Hetal Patel told the IAB Reach Conference that iHeart has been able to see how quickly a broadcast campaign can translate into podcast downloads. Read more

PRX, PBS, and KQED San Francisco are teaming up to produce a joint television, radio and podcast series. PRX and KQED will both present Kelly Corrigan Wonders, a podcast and radio show that features Corrigan in conversations with guests. On PBS she will host a companion interview series. Corrigan is the author of four bestselling memoirs and has grown a following for her readings, live events, and TV appearances. Read more

Joe Rogan is disputing reports that his show is being censored by Spotify. Since his show became an exclusive to the streamer on Sept. 1 there have been several reports that Spotify staffers were demanding more editorial control over The Joe Rogan Experience. But Rogan says management has said nothing to him. “They’ve said nothing,” he said on his show last week. Read more

American podcasters looking to grow their market may want to look north. “Podcasts have become a major part of online audio among a myriad of content sources.” That is the assessment of the medium from the Media Technology Monitor, the Canadian research firm. It reports between the fall 2018 and fall 2019 podcast listening among English-speakers grew more than 50% percent. Read more

The podcast industry will have another opening to selling the medium to ad buyers Tuesday when Podfront is held…Boostr, the order management platform for media and advertising companies, is being integrated into Megaphone, AdLarge Media’s podcast hosting and advertising platform partner … The L.A.-based TV company Rive Gauche is merging with AfterShock Comics as the two companies look to expand further into podcasting. Read more

Ramble, the podcast network that is a partnership between Entercom-backed Cadence13 and the talent agency UTA, was created in 2018 as a mechanism to launch podcasts that feature popular YouTube stars. It’s latest show fits that bill. Charli and Dixie: Two Chix is a new series that features sisters Charli and Dixie D’Amelio. The social media fixtures have a combined social following of nearly 200 million and tens of billions of views on leading social media platforms. Read more

Friday, October 02, 2020

On-demand audio was front and center during this week’s IAB Reach Conference as advertisers repeatedly heard how podcasting is not only growing its media usage penetration, but how it works for clients. In some cases that’s not only opened the door to audio, but broadcast radio, too, as brand doubts about social media effectiveness keep growing. Read more

Host-read ads are at the very foundation of podcasts and are increasingly sought after by broadcast radio advertisers. Anecdotal evidence has long suggested they hit the bulls-eye for brands that use them. Now a new study shows they produce higher lifts than announcer-read ads for new and established brands at both ends of the purchase funnel. Read more

One of the biggest names in the history of conservative talk radio says he’s exiting the medium — but he’s not done talking. Michael Savage, who hosts the nationally-syndicated “The Savage Nation,” told his listeners on Wednesday — and later on Twitter — that he’ll be podcasting exclusively come January. The host’s Savage Nation Podcast will go forward but will no longer be distributed via the Westwood One Podcast Network. Read more

American Express CMO Elizabeth Rutledge is a self-acknowledged introvert who prefers to prepare for meetings in solitude. “Why do that? Because it then gives me the time, the space, to think ahead of time, form a point of view, and then be able to really defend it or state it in a meeting,” she tells iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman in the latest episode of “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing.” Read more

Podtrac says among the publishers whose downloads it follows, sports podcasts were up 53% last week compared to a year ago. And ESPN says it had its best-ever numbers in August. So it’s no wonder that more publishers want a slice of the sports audience. PodcastOne launched its SportsNet two years ago and now it’s making a move to expand that roster. Read more

Westwood One and Foxtopus Ink have announced a partnership for Westwood One to distribute, market and monetize Foxtopus’ podcasts… Crossover Media Group has inked a deal to handle ad sales and distribution for the Margaritaville Podcast…  Politicon, the annual bipartisan “Unconventional Political Convention,” has announced a new partnership with the podcast Politics War Room… Gimlet’s Reply All has announced that it has added a third host to the show. Emmanuel Dzotsi, who currently serves as a producer, is joining PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman in the host chairs. Read more

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Edison Research Vice President Megan Lazovick provided a preview of “The Spoken Word Audio Report,” the firm’s annual collaboration with NPR, on Wednesday at the IAB’s 2020 Reach Conference. “Americans are spending more time with spoken word audio than ever before,” Lazovick said. “In fact, spoken word’s share of audio listening has increased by 30% over the last six years.” Read more

The New York Times says it has launched a “fresh examination” into the story behind the Caliphate podcast and how the show was produced after a man at the center of the series was arrested last month by Canadian police, who said he made up his story about being a member of ISIS. The Times says Abu Huzayfah’s arrest has raised “new and important questions about him and his motivations.” Read more

The Seneca Women Podcast Network, which debuted earlier this year backed by an alliance with iHeartMedia and advertising support from Procter & Gamble, has launched its first series specifically targeted to women of color. HER with Amena Brown is a new podcast hosted by the spoken word poet and performer, who says the show’s goal is to serve up comedy storytelling and soulful conversation featuring conversations with Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian women. Read more