The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) will host its second annual Podcast Upfront on September 7th and expand from a half to full day long program. The Second Annual Podcast Marketplace will feature 12 podcast companies, selected from a larger group based on their proposals to participate. Attendance is by invitation for advertisers and media agency executives.
Selected sponsors will each have a 20 minute presentation that will spotlight marketing opportunities for advertisers in podcasting. Last year’s event was very successful, and the expanded format for this year promises to be just as exciting.
Selected presenting sponsors include:
- Authentic (formerly Podtrac)
- CBS Radio’s Play.it
- Time Inc.
- WNYC Studios
The content of the presentations will feature an impressive list of some of the most popular podcasts:
- The Adam Carolla Show
- Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast
- Entertainment Weekly: Game of Thrones
- ESPN: Fantasy Focus Football
- TED Radio Hour
- Jim Breuer’s The Metal In Me
- Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History
- Stuff You Should Know
- This American Life
- WTF with Marc Maron
No word on which presentations will include their personality hosts, but I do know that the intial RFP encouraged companies that were interested in participating to make their pitches as appealing as possible in order to be selected, so I’m guessing quite a few podcast personalities will be on stage. It’s bound to be a great day for podcasting. Read more about it here.
The study showing that Millennials listen to less radio than older generations is hardly news. Other studies have shown similar trends, and you need to look no further than your favorite Millennial to know that they’re all about connected consumption of all their media.
Meanwhile, we have the growing body of data showing that the very same folks like podcasts. The Podcast Consumer study released by Edison Research shows that 35% of podcast listeners are in the 18-34 demographic. In fact, comScore data shows that same demographic is 44% more likely than the average smartphone-owning adult to listen to podcasts on their device at least once a week. And podcasts are even more popular with younger demos – while 18-34 year olds are more likely than the general population to be podcast listeners, 12-17 year olds are almost twice as likely to listen.
Just this morning I had a conversation with my favorite Millennial about podcasts. She listens at work, and she works in an environment where she can’t be connected all day long. Each day, she downloads her daily diet of podcasts and brings them with her. She says playlists get too boring.
The most fascinating part of this is that Millennials – as well as folks in the younger 12-17 demographic – are listening to podcasts, which are primarily talk programming. The very same programming that on broadcast stations is relegated to the AM dial and listened to mainly by 35+ demographics. How can that be? I’m thinking there are a few things that make podcasts so attractive to younger demos:
- It’s all about the device. The younger you are, the more attached you are to your device. If the content is available on your device, it’s worth your attention.
- On demand content is the everything. No matter what they’re consuming, younger demos are consuming it on their terms: what they want, when they want it.
- Shared content is important. Not only do Millennials like to share, they like to like what others share. Listen, and share with your friends.
- Non-fiction and reality content is a thing with Millennials.
Back to the Millennial that I live with. When she’s home from college I really enjoy an evening in front of the tv with her. It used to be easy to pick a movie that we both wanted to watch. But more and more, our tastes diverge, with hers preferring shows about cooking competitions, or brides picking dresses. If it’s fiction, she’s looking for crime and thrillers. The latest Jane Austen novel remake? Not so much.
Offering appealing content in a form that this age group likes to consume is the key to the success of podcasts with younger demos.
Podcasts have struck a chord with Millennials, and it has to do with several things, not the least of which is audio content that they like. While broadcast radio assumes that what they want to hear is the latest hits, it turns out they also want to hear great non fiction programming, on their phones, when they want it. If you podcast it they will listen..
Podcasters are finding YouTube a friendly place to distribute their content. With a billion monthly users, YouTube’s an attractive place to woo listeners. Libsyn, a podcast hosting company, recently introduced a feature that enables podcasters to easily turn their audio files into video and send them to YouTube at the same time they send them to other distribution services such as iTunes and GooglePlay.
But YouTube is a video platform, right? Although it’s often disregarded in a conversation about streaming audio listening, YouTube is by far the largest on demand streaming audio service. It makes sense the podcasters would offer their content on the giant on demand streaming platform as well. YouTube also has some other features that make it a great platform for podcasters – such as search and sharing.
This American Life offers all of its content on YouTube, as do many others. Some, like The Moth, and NPR podcasts like The Hidden Brain and Invisibilia, have organized all of their content into YouTube pages that you can subscribe to, while others, like 99 Percent Invisible and Reply All, are not quite as organized, but easy to find through search.
YouTube also offers recommendations – when I subscribed to Modern Love, produced by WBUR and the New York Times, I got recommendations for a Ted Talk, and a podcast by The Minimalists.
From the looks of the numbers of subscribers to some of the podcasts, it’s early in the idea that YouTube is a podcast distribution platform. The Moth’s 47,000 subscribers seems huge compared to This American Life which has 8562 subscribers. Meanwhile Serial has only 216(!). But Youtube sure seems like a ready-made distribution platform for podcast content. Maybe it’s the next frontier..