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Amid all the gizmos and gadgets at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show was talk about how podcasting content fits into the new technology in consumers’ hands. Here’s some of what made news from Las Vegas:

…PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz predicted the most important thing in podcasting in 2020 would be that “attribution” will be the keyword for the industry in the coming year. “CES is always full of great people and information. They are recognizing the major role podcasting plays, and the even greater role it will play in 2020,” said Pattiz.

Conal Byrne, President of iHeart Podcast Network, told a panel that podcasts engage listeners for an average of 48 minutes, and that’s likely to attract the attention of social networks. “One of the biggest content distributors in the world is Facebook and it doesn’t have an audio product,” noted Byrne, according to WWD, who added that’s likely to “change soon.” 

Podcasters are also making sure their content is available to users of all those new products. For instance, iHeartMedia used CES to announce several integrations that will make it easier to access podcasts in products made by companies like General Motors, Android Automotive, SoundHound, and Panasonic.

…In video posted from CES, Radio Advertising Bureau President Erica Farber checked in with Art19 Chief Operating Officer Kori Kolesa to talk podcast monetization. Kolesa said the key to the medium's growing success is a low ad load and messages and programs that are trusted and authentic. And Kolesa said she doesn’t “want to do anything that takes away from that,” especially while the medium is aiming to attract more listeners. “We need to be careful,” she said, suggesting the industry shy away from any suggestion of doubling down on ads for the sake of a short term windfall, pointing out the value of each ad, as cost per thousand impressions for podcasts are among the highest of any medium. “We don’t want to overload the medium with ads,” Kolesa said, pointing out that while radio has “a history of a lot of ads,” it’s not on-demand. “Podcasting is on demand, so we have to be more intentional about the ads we run.”

Advertisers are taking note. Farber also caught up with Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard for her video diary. He told her the CPG giant is embracing new forms of audio like podcasting, which he calls a “really interesting way of reaching people.”

…During an event hosted by Variety magazine, Spotify Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff said that podcasts have become great ways for Hollywood to test out ideas for TV shows and movies. “It’s another way to have a pillar that is significant in building a brand,” Ostroff said. 

That’s what has director-producer Paul Feig’s interest. “I have a sci-fi comedy epic that I want to do but it will be expensive. Maybe I’ll do it as a podcast like an old radio drama, and that could lead to it being a movie or TV show,” said Feig. Also at CES this week, Spotify announced a new ad technology platform.

…The latest survey from The Smart Audio Report, conducted by NPR and Edison Research after the December 2019 holidays, shows 24% of the population owns at least one smart speaker, up from 21% in December 2018. While that means three in four Americans don’t own such a device, the larger trend on display at CES 2020 is that voice activation is being baked into more and more products that consumers use every day.

…Consultant Fred Jacobs unpacks what the trendsetting show means for broadcasters. Listen to the Inside Radio Podcast HERE