bPod

Beasley Broadcast Group is making headway in growing its podcast audience. CEO Caroline Beasley told investors Monday that the company’s line-up of 40 podcasts saw more than a 15% increase in total podcast downloads during the second quarter with more than 10 million downloads during the period. That’s an increase of 1.3 million downloads from the first quarter.

 “Our goal is to continue working to better understand the wants and needs that can propel downloads, listens and loyalty match with the talent that aligns with national advertiser demands,” she said.

Beasley Media Group has committed to podcasting, formally launching bPod Studios in December. It so far includes about 50 podcasts, half of which are internally-created with the balance coming from outside partners. Caroline Beasley said their main focus is on a group of about 40 shows that are delivering the bulk of the podcast downloads. That includes the company’s Checkpoint XP e-sports initiative. “We produced five different podcasts on a weekly basis with both original and portions of time-shifted content,” she said, adding, “We have several new e-sports shows in various development stages and we will be debuting them later this year.”

Podcasting and bPod Studios are part of a larger “digital expansion and transformation” effort to grow digital dollars and diversify revenue streams at Beasley Media Group. In March, Erika Beasley was appointed to the position of Corporate Digital Content Director for Local Markets to lead digital content expansion at the local level. And the company is looking to hire its first Chief Digital Officer to drive its digital media business.

Digital efforts are already contributing to the Beasley bottom line. The company reported digital made up 7.4% of total revenue during the second quarter. That was up from 6.5% from a year earlier. Beasley spent $600,000 in second quarter and $1.2 million during the past 12 months building out its digital platform. “This increase reflects our ongoing transformation from a pureplay radio company to a diversified, audience-focused media and digital entity,” CFO Marie Tedesco told investors on the conference call.