Steve Goldstein

The Radio Advertising Bureau partnered with Amplifi Media to benchmark how many local radio stations are producing podcasts and how they are approaching sales. The survey found 84% of stations are producing podcasts, including 71% that are creating original podcasts that are not time-shifted radio shows. Yet nearly one in five broadcasters (17%) said they have yet to even try to sell their podcasts. Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein illuminated some of the sales challenges – and potential solutions – in a new RAB Radio Matters Blog Post.

Value Proposition In Crowded Media Landscape

Podcasts based on a morning show or other time-shifted broadcast content allow advertisers to reach “a consumer who is passionate and truly engaged with the program delivered,” Goldstein says. With podcasting claiming one of every five minutes spent listening to spoken word audio, according to the Spoken Word Audio Report from Edison Research and NPR, it becomes an effective way for an advertiser to extend their reach. And because much of a radio station's content is heard by only a small percentage of its listeners, time shifting makes local podcasts a “growth and retention play,” says Goldstein. “The value proposition is making it easy for your listeners to find content where they want it and when,” he says. “That’s becoming a real user expectation.”

Sticking Out In A Deep Sea Of Podcasts

Among millions of podcasts, more than half are out of production and even less have produced new content in the last 90 days. The active ones use social media and other like-minded podcasts to attract audiences. Radio-produced podcasts, of course, have the benefit of an enormous megaphone to generate awareness and trial.

Small Download Numbers

Local podcasts have generally smaller but more engaged audiences than their home radio stations do. But a small number of downloads could mean the content is not compelling enough, awareness among station cume is low or the promos lack urgency or import. “With the right content and promotion, you will see numbers rise,” Goldstein says. He points to a Triton Digital survey of its clients showing a time-shifted podcast from a Cumulus Dallas station ranked No. 8 among the most listened to podcasts in Dallas. A Bonneville sports station in Seattle had the 13th top podcast in that market (among Triton clients) while a Philadelphia morning show from Beasley was No. 16 in Philly.

Monetizing Podcasts In Smaller Markets

Branded content and sponsorships can help bring in podcast revenue. For example, a local podcast with content created or sponsored by a local medical center. Or podcasts targeted to sports or food enthusiasts. “It’s not about generating millions of downloads. It’s not a CPM sell; it’s about connecting your clients with the right listeners,” Goldstein says. “Think of it this way: if you could fill a venue with 750 people to attend a bridal fair, that would be great.”

Assisting And Advising Local Podcasters

Instead of opening a new revenue stream by charging locals to come in and record a podcast in your studio, consider providing expertise and coaching for fledgling podcasters. “The focus would be for your organization to add value – someone on staff who understands how podcasts differ from broadcasts and can help make a better show. You have a sales staff and marketing channels to help them monetize.”

Read the complete “Local Podcast Opportunity” post HERE.