The Podcast Growth Summit 2023
Adam Shepherd and Reem Makari welcomed everyone to The Podcast Growth Summit 2023 held at The Barbican in London organised by PodPod. Podcast is one of the fastest growing areas, are looking for podcasters like you and growth in podcasting can be challenging including levelling up your skills and have brought together brightest minds in podcasting today, will be hearing from some of the winners and nominees of the British Podcasting Awards along with finding out about improving podcasting discoverability and using video along with networking opportunities to make lasting connections to supercharge your podcast.
Understanding the Podcast Landscape - Kobi Omenaka
They are part of an independent podcast network called Stripped Media, they used to be a chemical engineer, but they turned to marketing and then decided to start a podcast and started their career as a podcaster. They have done podcasts such as Flixwatcher Podcast and Tea with Twiggy. They asked a few questions including how many people have a mobile phone? Then asked how many are yet to launch a podcast? A few of those there were yet to do so, then they asked how many are here for their own personal podcasts which was quite a few of those there and a few were there for their business or brands podcast along with asking how many want to make money which was quite a few people there at the summit.
Why following trends is important?
If following a trend, you are going with the flow and easier to get going and to know who your audience is, hard to be the person who creates those trends but can be part of it. They are part of the PodPad steering committee and have a general love of podcasting so are always listening to things in the news and to desktop research along with survey and will be sharing those results today and will be getting thoughts from people here today. How often do people listen to podcasts? Quite a few people listen to those daily and this includes many in the audience at the summit.
Evolving monetisation models including subscription services are gaining traction including offering exclusive content for a fee and audiences are contributing such as Patreon changing their app to make it easier for people to support podcasts. Can have a diversification of revenue streams including subscriptions and direct listener support and this reflects the changing financial landscape of podcasting. People also think about advertising and sponsorship but can lower entry point so can monetise quite quickly even with a smaller audience. Evolving monetisation models was to look for subscriptions to support a podcast and can do that straight away no matter how small or large and make sure podcast production covers its own costs. What innovative monetisation strategy seems most promising for podcasts. Are people looking for subscription or premium content to monetise which is or half of those present at the summit.
Increased competition between podcast apps, Spotify's rise challenges Apple Podcasts' dominance and illustrates the evolving preferences of listeners and average listener uses three different platforms which indicates a broad and varied markets. Think about how to engage people on one platform compared to another. Which podcast platforms do you listen to podcasts on which is mostly Spotify and Apple Podcasts but also YouTube. Increased Competition between apps, which podcast platforms do you listen to the most which is Spotify for half of those present.
Harnessing the power of branded podcasts, branded podcasts becoming powerful tool in modern marketing offering unique way to engage through compelling story telling and brands are turning to podcasts and brands see the benefit of the engagement they get from the listeners. When asked about which podcast platform offers the best opportunity for exposure which is mostly Spotify and YouTube.
Watching podcasts, "vodcasts" are gaining traction and offering visual elements that enhance listener engagement and broaden content appear, the shift towards video reflects changing media consumption and where audiences seek more immersive and interactive experiences such as on TikTok and Instagram Reels. Video podcasts provide rich storytelling allowing for visual cues and on-screen graphics and this content also allows snippets to be shared on social media and can use platforms such as Podcastle and Spodcast. Record whole episodes as video for example for Patreon as an unedited version of a podcast for example. Steven Bartlett has a person who their sole job is to edit the trailer for Diary of a CEO. Do you think video enhances listener experience, have you are you using video more in your podcasts? Is over half of those present are considering using video in their podcasts.
The rise of the machine. AI in podcasting is being used for range of applications from content recommendations and voice recognition to automated editing and transcription. AI driven tools like ChatGPT are helping with efficient content production or others are helping with audio quality and provide better analytics for better audience understanding. AI tools like Descript for editing and Podnotes for show notes all make podcasters lives easier. From the survey people are generally positive about using AI. Have you or you will be using AI in your podcasting will be almost half of those to help with production and editing from those present and to help with promotion and those who realised what AI could be used for may change their mind. Using AI helps give you more free time and that is good for your wellbeing.
Have explored trends shaping podcasting world and rise of edutainment and AI integration to the growing importance of video and branded podcasts and those trends show the evolving nature of podcasting and its expanded role in entertainment, education, and marketing. Their survey about podcasting can be completed at stripped.media/survey.
The Content is Key - Persis Love, Steve Lanham and Michelle Douglass - Moderated by Reem Makari
Think about how content can engage and resonate with the audience. Steve Lanham is head of podcasts for History Hit they publish sixteen episodes a week along with a subscription offering. Persis is an audio producer for Financial Times and work on a few of their podcasts including a miniseries. Michelle is a senior podcast producer for the National Trust Podcast and get to record on location and looking to launch a kid's series and audio guides.
Financial Times has invested in reaching out to new audiences as their journalism is behind a paywall, so this is a way of getting that journalism to completely new audiences. Loads of people only listen to the podcast and don't subscribe or read the Financial Times but the goal is for those listeners to do that. Age of subscribers to the paper tend to be older than the podcast audience so gives an avenue to get a younger or different audience. News Briefing is one of their more popular ones and to make sure that is different than online and is three headline news stories every week day, these do come from articles they have published and tend to be interviews with the reporter and having someone talk about the story is different and they bring different things to and can add things that don't make it into the article and can convey a mood and is a different way of presenting it and making accessible in a different way. They don't have insights to see if audiences are more engaged with the other content, they can get comments and feedback but there isn't that same thing with audio, but you only have figures and don't have anything beyond that.
History Hit has been successful and won award at British Podcast Awards, their strategy for this year has involve going from one very big podcast to a network of shows, their aim is to grow and not rely on one big show and cover larger time periods and also have a true crime / paranormal show. They want to push their audience further and continue to grow those audiences. They have a subscription TV channel so they have always have had paying subscribers and have built out their subscription offering with their partner Acast. How do they select genres and different formats? They do sixteen episodes a week and this gives them a lot of data including one podcast which is eight or nine years old and have a lot of data points so look at those trends across their own podcasts and opportunities outside that such as true crime that is doing very well but have to look into that it is worthwhile for them and an opportunity to do something different which is with two hosts rather than one host and a guest with their others. It is worthwhile looking into things that do particularly well and what audiences love and are there other genres they would look into such as sport podcasts as they worked in radio before with comedy so would be interested in this, there is history in everything we do so look at how to tell those stories.
Podcast strategy for National Trust is to offer immersive experiences and offer something to existing National Trust people and add a deep dive into things, they look after native, history, and beauty of history for ever, they want to offer a sonic experience of that. They want to appeal to slightly younger audiences compared to traditional National Trust members, they want to offer content that is bigger than their brand through a National Trust lens. They have offered episodes set in National Trust properties and tell them stories of those places, look at what audiences are interested in and get the brand out there and create content that is relevant to people and they record in location, it is resource heavy but is fun to make. How have podcasts helped them raise awareness, is to getting out externally into their apps and spaces along with their routines, take people to a National Trust property when they are on a commute and offer an enriching experience that offers an enriching connection and they don't bang on about their brand, people will learn something and empower them and remember that content and they'll associate that with your brand, audience and content first. Goal is to add brand value, National Trust is reasonably well known, so it is to add value and get people to listen and inspire and their user journey and they may want to visit or do something and find out more about that heritage journey and inspire people.
During planning what are the essential things to look for in a new podcast? It is figuring about what is you want to do and what to cover, set yourself parameters like what is it about and how are you going to tell it, will it be outdoors or in a studio, is it between two people or is a scripted narrative. Why are you making that podcast, what is it adding to the podcasting space, what about it is different, what about it is going to make people listen to it, how is it different from other similar podcasts out there and what about the structure and format will differentiate it. Always be asking yourself what are you promising the listener and what are they getting out of it, thinking about titles for things as when it appears in a list of podcasts it has to stand out, if you promise something and you can't deliver on it that person won't come back. If you don't know what is interesting about your episode, then someone else won't be either. Titles can be difficult, can go back and forth and once you get it you know it is right. Thinking of the audience and thinking of them, what are people going to get and don't short-change them. What is the topic, who's the audience and what is the angle / treatment and think about your USP and what is the gap in the market.
What do you think the audiences are and how do you make sure you reaching your audiences? Can have a dedicated core audience so make sure giving an episode that fulfil that need but also make sure that they are broad enough to attract new listeners and serve those two audiences at the same time, don't just go by stats as will just do the same things all the time. Push out and cover things that audiences don't know much about and have that trust that they will come on that journey as you have selected it, give enough of better-known stuff and lesser-known stuff too. Can have opportunities to get out of the studio and get into places and find out about things you could cover from them, being face to face with your audience and see if it interests in could be useful, push yourself to go out and meet your audience. Engagement with audience can be direct and knowing what questions people may ask and could do listener surveys to generate ideas for episodes and inform the type of episodes to make. Draw people in with the big-name things and then can cover other things and aspects to things that people don't necessarily know about.
What is most important thing brands and publishers should consider before starting a podcast? It is all about the audience first, brands sometimes think they have a bit of overspend and want to start one so they need to see if they are going about it the right way, think about audience and what you can offer them to enrich their day. Is the podcast going to be good, do you feel excited by it, is it something you want to listen to, not just a “do a podcast about a specific area”, is there a way you can do this that is more exciting. You need to be committed in the long term as for most podcasts it takes time to get there, so you have to be really committed to it and have to enjoy making it, you want to make them as it is hard but it is rewarding, very few podcasts make a lot of money so have to enjoy making them, first and foremost make sure you enjoy the thing you are making.
Know Your Audience: Insights from the Prison Radio Association's Life After Prison Podcast - Becky Jacobs, Beth Madden, Zak Addae-Kodua and Jules Rowan - Moderated by Adam Shepherd
What is the project and how did it come about? Life After Prison is a podcast about people who have been in prison or been impacted by justice system. There is a national radio station, National Prison Radio, that operates for prisoners, the radio station runs like a traditional radio station and is the best way to communicate to people while they are serving their sentences and available to almost all prisons to around 80,000 listeners. People wanting something similar once outside of prison to National Prison Radio and got funding from National Lottery and Life After Prison was born.
Life After Prison came from people who had served sentences themselves, the plan wasn't to present but for Jules was to be a personal trainer, when inside you really have to focus to achieve otherwise you won't, focus on having a life outside and be successful in some way. Were told to go for it from doing workouts on the radio, fitness is one way to survive inside and be able to help people and when the role came about, they wanted to be involved, when you get out it is super tough and probably more so than when inside. Zak said it felt quite organic when they met Jules and went into studio booth to talk about life inside and how that applies to live outside and it felt good and what they have achieved so far has felt quite remarkable and continuing that bridge of service between being inside to being inside. The role of presenter was to be someone who had experience of being in prison and had videos of people taking but Beth and Becky felt Jules and Zak were the right pick.
How did they build a picture of what the audience was to look like, felt like they were in a different position and knew what their audience expected but there are many different people who go to prison so was a challenge to do that so they kept it quite broad but were able to speak to colleagues in prison and had focus groups in prison and of those people who had come out of prison and make sure they were speaking to those people. How you think about that audience with specialised needs and requirements, how make sure meet those needs was to work collaboratively and write questions which come from the hosts and guests have given feedback that this makes a difference, people won't go around doing many interviews but appreciate the way it is done. They have an advisory panel of people who have been in prison and check in with this as well as getting feedback from social media, this feedback can drive the next piece of content and what that looks like.
How do you go about putting your lived experience into the production, are you creating content you would like to see or benefit from, the lived experience is the key element, when guests come in they have that shared experience to allow guests to relax and allows listeners and audiences to connect with the hosts. Whenever recording they put their mindset into their listeners ears, whatever they were doing in prison what do they want to hear, what do you want to hear about what life after prison is like, talking about nuances that some people won't understand and allows others who were not inside like family members or loved ones or even staff in the criminal justice system and allows them to be connected. The podcast goes out on the National Prison Radio and can be watched on laptops in the cells, and it also goes out for the public, when they are making stuff people listening may be in prison, out of prison or have family members in prison so need to be sensitive. There is a lot of content about prison and a lot of it is gratuitous and sensationalised, but people feel safe on Life After Prison, they are trying to support people to live better lives when come out of prison.
Role of advisory panel is a massive part of their ideas, where they want to take the podcast and meet with them once a month and talk to them regularly and ask them what they want to hear, there are so many different journeys, the more they relate to people and more ideas the better from lived experience, sometimes they don't think of something but may relate to them and others like them. This is really what happens - this is the truth, and the hosts and panel is vulnerable and they do voice notes and sometimes everyone talks about their experiences and this helps relate to people. The panel are also a sounding board to see if they are doing the right thing, does this relate, or if they should go down a path, it helps them focus and shape ideas to meet their audience. Will have a panel meeting and may go off on a tangent and is a really nice thing to have and may chat about something then think how they can use this, the panel is out of prison but they have started talking to people in prison, seeing how they are doing and how they are dealing with things, this is important for friends and family to know what really is happening inside and know how they are feeling and doing. It gives a picture of what life in prison is like, it is like a world in another world, has it's own language and economy and way that works, the more people know what it is like for people inside to hear about this outside the better. When leave prison you don't feel like you are part of society but if have a community of like-minded people then this is a nice place to be and that feedback feeds into the podcast.
How do you go about reaching broad and varied audience in terms of marketing, how do you on a practical level adapt marketing. Marketing of regular podcasts had been done but with have a funder with a specific remit and need to demonstrate that are reaching those people. Got advice from the panel including one of someone whose son was in prison was to put their information in the visitor's centres and let those who run them know. Let organisations know that help people in prison about the podcast, they wrote a guide about the podcast to tell libraries what the podcast was about so if anyone came in and asked about it then people could be directed to it. They also spoke to women's and youth centres to get their information out there and grew their social media and recently this has had a surge and have a social media manager. Their target audience didn't have a podcast habit to begin with and was a bit of a barrier to overcome, so they felt YouTube was an important place as people who didn't know what a podcast was would know what that was, so they needed to decide what platforms would serve their audience best with a multi-pronged approach with audience helping to know where to go with marketing.
How the audience can help the podcast go further and how the audience plays into that, social media is a really big thing, Instagram is a really big thing, and they are getting messages and feedback, how they've used their audience is how they will continue and how they use the National Prison Radio team. They will put questions out on social media about what it was like in prison, or what motivates them and ask specific questions and incorporate them into their podcast episodes, people are engaged when they hear their own responses on the podcast. They get a lot of messages thanking them about the podcast including family members and they want to keep growing the interaction on social media and how can get people involved more, the messages are getting more and more and are trying to help people and doing what they want to do and keep growing them. They have also done two live events in a theatre space which is an interesting way of meeting the audience and it is a slightly different audience, that immediate audience is those people inside and their families along with people in the criminal justice system being involved plus others who use the podcast in their work and services such as probation, who have put posters up in their offices and get them engaged and involved.
Understanding Subscription Models - Valentina Kaledina
They talked about subscriptions and how they are a final destination for people to consume content, they experimented with paid content but also do a Podcast Academy as a mentor to podcast creators to show what is working for subscription and what is suitable and what is worth exploring.
Diversified revenue streams in podcasting such as commissions, grants, live recordings, merch, IP for IV, IP for books, branded content, subscription, and ads. People explore the industries they want and media was one that was least interesting due to having very low margins, so it is good to diversify and is great to diversify your business in terms and markets. Revenue streams is how sustainable business model can look like, when working with brands you can have adverting and is very sustainable. Subscription is also a very sustainable revenue stream in terms of markets especially as brands are pulling from adverts, so once have those two in place and champions of the market manage to earn around 25% from subscriptions, but for audio production companies it is rare to establish subscriptions, branded content is another revenue stream along with commissions and if are very lucky can sell IP for TV and for books.
Subscribers for audio are willing to pay for early access such as binge listening like for a mini-series or for bonus content and can have additional reporting or raw audio. You can have an ad-fee experience for core fans around a particular vertical works well for high production investigative or narrative series. If talking to audience about something that is happening that day, then can charge for that as people want to navigate this ever-changing world so people are willing to pay for that. Production companies release a lot of raw tapes from interviews as always have it and ad-free works for immersive audio as people hate getting interrupted and deliver a more enjoyable experience, need to have enough audience to offer this ad-free experience.
How to adjust when launching a subscription, is to have frequent releases for example 3-4 titles or seasons per quarter to make it worth paying for, synergy across portfolio or vertical with one vertical audience growth becoming less important than retention. You want someone to subscribe one time and then pay on a monthly basis, it will take two years to understand or optimise production calendar. Once you start to sell subscription then your motivation is to grow your audience and want to keep people in one genre for titles so can be a tricky balance to think about. When you are network it is good to learn and understand your cycle and once understand this you can experiment with a subscription and busiest seasons is March and October.
Technical - Android vs iOS in the UK. Half of those in the audience are using Android and people consume content on the apps they have, and the apps they use are defined by the apps they use. How much people spend in Google Play vs App store is that people are spending twice as much on the App Store as Google Play as they are more willing to pay. Holistic approach is to include all the consumers such as iOS by targeting Apple Podcasts as there is an established infrastructure and people consume more paid services. Android it is important to sell to them otherwise premium content goes unsold so can start with Spotify but don't forget about others and for the rest of the audience can use SupportingCast for payments and exclusive feeds or similar solutions. If you have a large audience and you can just convert a small percentage of those into paid subscribers, then this leads to more revenue, and you can launch your subscription via your website as you can avoid the 30% fee.
Marketing and PR Strategies - Emma Williams and Becca Newson - Moderated by Adam Shepherd
Approach and marketing as one golden rule. Becca from Carver PR does Podcast PR with established brands and independent podcasts and focus on getting media to talk about your podcasts - rule is to slow down and take your time, people may say they are launching this week and what should they do but even a celebrity hosted one will struggle if doing it too quickly. Emma says you can't just dive in with your pitch, you need to have a unique selling point, they oversee The Diary of a CEO Podcast which involves promoting the podcast and work in a team of twenty-five people and there is a lot going on behind the scenes, know your USP as the podcast space is growing and there is a lot of work to get a podcast in the right places. The show profile is key, the host profile is key and the show releases are key, depending on the format of the podcast so people may have their own area of expertise so can come up with different angles based on this for variety for different type of content.
The Diary of a CEO is known for its effective use of video, is this an essential tool for marketing and is this something every podcaster should be doing. Video offers a high level of engagement as there is so much content so need something visual, snappy, and quick. In terms in promotion to have visual assets to send to journalists is something you can focus on. Visuals are something that stops someone from scrolling and can package this up to offer clips that offer moments to that particular journalist and offer exclusive moments to them.
For Carver PR have they noticed a particular trend which is it is all about the demographic to reach whether you want to invest in video, if it is something need to visually engage with, it may be just those tiny clips and not the whole show, but if looking at a demographic 35 - 40 + then budget doesn't need to be as big as you think and may be better to put towards budget towards PR for that age group, but can use video to grow podcasts but that is a very specific audience, but can deliver same results to different audience without video, it is nicer if can give video as it gives that extra thing such as using that in TikTok and Instagram.
The Diary of a CEO find it valuable to offer ad space but can make money back to sell that space on YouTube and they run three adverts on YouTube and the visual side was going incredibly well and the video side is important for showing emotion and goes a long way for people to feel super involved and part of the conversation and have seen that increase on YouTube, a lot of their views come from TV screens vs mobile devices. If a podcast is audio only it is useful to have a couple of video clips to share with journalists - they will ask what assets do you have, even if not the whole podcast. It can be helpful for a range of content for journalists to do.
Audiograms which is something which has been of some debate for podcasters who don't record footage is producing audiograms or video clips without video footage is that something that can help bridge that gap, a good example from Carver PR which is where they don't record video but they have audiograms and use of emoji which works well on social media but for emotion people want to see the faces but that isn't needed for other categories.
What are top tips for securing press coverage or coverage in general such as influencers as it doesn't need to be established outlets? Emma says the guest is important, if have that format of the show, or the topic is key, don't send the same email to everyone isn't the right thing, you need to address the journalist and what they write about, give someone a call as no one does that anymore but it is so important to be able to interact and communicate and PR is all about relationships and it is important to create those relationships, tailor emails to particular journalists who write about that particular story, then can send them assets (with a link that doesn't expire) and then follow this up. To find those contacts as an indie is to go on the author page and get the contact details from journalists and freelance ones will have their own websites with contact information. What often works best for hosts for a celebrity host is a bit easier as people will want to speak to them but if you aren't one then journalists will find experts very media worthy and media loves an expert opinion and really lean into this. You're not a celebrity or expert but have a really compelling connection to something then hype this up when talking to a journalist and if it is personal then what exclusive you want to give, the first-time hearing about something can be quite compelling.
When growing keep updating journalists such as placements on podcast platforms or have a feature and send that information to them, collate that information together and update them on success on your podcast and they may want to speak to you as part of a roundup. If you have a particular exciting guest or special episode even if someone has covered it before they may cover it again, if a new series, then this is a hook for a journalist and is an easy way to make it sound more exciting when talking about it. You could also put something out to the wider world as part of marketing efforts on social media or newsletters to build buzz around a show, people will discover shows that way, there's no harm in promoting yourself.
How can you prevent your outreach or marketing activity coming across spammy? It is about tailoring and building relationships as people who know your name they will pay more attention, as they get so many emails and press releases so build that relationship and have a coffee or a Zoom call with them will increase chance of that email being clicked on, it is a big job but if it is your podcast but have a list of people who talk about your topic and keep that up-to-date as people move around, so be smart with that and don't be an annoyance. Don't have a really long email so have a bullet point key takeaways about what makes an episode newsworthy, what quote can pull from host or guest and give enough time, need about three weeks and PR has a week to play with which is not much time, as much time as possible is needed so if pre-record have lots of time to pull together a PR plan and have it all go at the same time, short concise key information, have images and colour is not scary, don't just have a white press release, brevity is your friend. There may be specific types of features where you can pitch what you have done.
In terms of social media and managing the multitude of channels can be several full-time jobs so how can this be made easier to reduce that workload. It comes to demographics so if doing 35 or under then leaning on those platforms they are on such as TikTok and Instagram or having a Facebook group makes sense then lean into this. If targeting an older audience, then don't put all your efforts into TikTok. Utilise your content as best as possible such as a trailer which has a good hook at the end but don't give too much away, give a snipped which gives a draw and intrigue and then have a deep link to the episode, as long as you can link it back and always ask the journalist to link back to your episode as they have freedom of what they want to do but don't be afraid as you have helped them out by giving them content and YouTube tends to get more embedded and have assets they might be inclined to link to those.
Some of the most common mistakes from podcasters trying to promote their work, if working with a well-known host / guest who has many PRs as this can be quite challenging and often have one shot with journalists so communication between teams is important if they are high profile and keep that streamlined and very clear. Timelines are really important, and things have changed a lot, something like a podcast is about two-three months then need to have those conversations in advance as people won't move their schedules for you and deadlines can be months in advance, broadcast is the one that moves the dial such as being on other podcasts, radio or TV can be quite effective and quite quick. If getting those great PR moments track what is having an impact and what is moving the dial, if an indie makes use of those regional radio can be a good starting point to get used to interviews and people often want to champion people coming from an area.
Showcasing the power of video for podcasts: insights from YouTube - Sandy Wilheim
Users are coming to YouTube and don't just want to listen to podcasts they want to see and hear the faces behind the voices, people are coming to YouTube to watch video podcasts, they are listening on the go, in the background or watching and YouTube is wanting to deliver a seamless experience and will be talking about new features that have recently been launched.
YouTube is home to creator economy and that includes podcasters and YouTube is already the second most frequently used platform for podcasts in the United States. YouTube aims to build a seamless video and audio experience, users are coming for so many consumption experiences and YouTube wants to provide for those patterns and provide that seamless user experience whether start this on the main app or the music app and switch between both and those experiences will sync up and you want to watch it on the main app you can continue where you left off. You can toggle between the video or just the audio, users want to engage and connect in different ways and through comments those community interactions can occur in different ways.
YouTube Music expands user's choice for how to consumer podcasts through YouTube, it is really important to search and discover podcasts within a dedicated podcast experience so have dedicated podcast pages in YouTube and YouTube Music to allow podcast specific content to be surfaced to them based on recommendations or signals for things you might like as a user. YouTube Music as the dedicated listening experience, can search and filter by podcasts to get the results that you want then have the ability to create a library and add favourite series and be able to toggle between audio and video, you have that choice to see who is talking, what are the nuances and expressions on their face - allow you to connect even further with your users and allow those consumption patterns to be addressed with just audio or full video.
YouTube's Search and Discover systems can bring new audiences more easily to your content, traditional podcaster challenge is limited discoverability mediums such as top chart lists and expensive marketing but YouTube helps podcasters find incremental audiences and putting podcasts onto YouTube allows you to increase your digital footprint, may be different age groups and geographies and helps provides access to more audiences, tools to provide content in different languages also may help.
YouTube supports array of monetisation options with Google-sold adverts, partner-sold adverts along with Memberships and Fan funding and coming soon will be audio adverts. Can have a strong community who can spend a few pounds on your podcast is available on YouTube. Audio adverts are for people coming for a listen-first experience and depending on the consumption mode will serve a video advert or an audio one.
Content creation of video podcasts, when uploading podcast to YouTube you can create a playlist and assign it as a Podcast and have it appear as a podcast specific item, you can add podcasts in a way that get surfaced in both YouTube and YouTube Music if they have just a static image, dynamic image or full video. YouTube audiences show a preference for video podcasts over audio podcasts and video podcasts drive a larger amount of views, users want to go beyond just listening, at first when you create your channel you need to establish what you want to deliver, content strategy then build and nurture a community around that and those who invest in that will succeed in the long term, once you have that connection it is about making it stronger.
Audio-first or video first production? Audio if your resources are limited and just want incremental reach via YouTube and don't have resources to build a studio and video would impede your time to publish, with video first then this fits more natively on YouTube and adds value as your content cannot be found elsewhere. Video Podcasts and podcasts in general are more casual so don't have to have the usual video production bells and whistles but many successful ones feature simple camera cutting between talent and can take a look at other podcast on the platform to get a sense of what audiences would expect from your podcast.
Common YouTube Video production styles so could have a simple camera setup in one location with wide shot for hosts and single shot for each host and for remote production could have establishing all hosts in a "video conference" then single cameras for each individual host when speaking. Visual Podcast styles can be mixed with on camera and off camera or have full on camera / off camera.
Discoverability - Matt Deegan
Optimising your podcast for discovery. Podcast Discovery work with podcasts for marketing for shows, networks and brands from branded content to editorial and they also have Podcast Rex for editorial for shows to mention.
Research your name and show, think about what you call your show, thinking of a name for a podcast is hard and what are good and bad reasons are names that are quite hard to search and would someone know what a show was about from the name so research can help you and if there is a podcast that already has the same name but if do that then are needing to work against these and the same for the social channels. When have a name does the title, description and image tell you about the show? Is the information massively useful.
Titles and Descriptions of episodes is important so need to think about this so that feed is already in lots of podcast apps and websites and are you thinking about that content and for episode descriptions is the last thing you want to do, even though it is so important. Can have workflows that suit you that aren't huge production sinks are good such as AI.
Get your image right, test your image such as on Podcast Art Site preview which shows what it would be like on all the apps, does it work when it is really small. Think about imagery for episodes and how this is presented, have episode art, Apple supports vertical art that can be added manually but episode art will help your podcast look better. What stands out think about that.
Strong digital footprint, put show where listeners live and every podcast should have a website and have links for the show and have a page per episode, but if this is the same content is RSS then search engines will think you have copied that content. Have good social media such as TikTok and Instagram but could have this for guests and can tag in them and have them push that content. Where your listeners are is where your show should be. TikTok are considering linking videos to podcasts.
Think outside of the usual channels, could have a newsletter in LinkedIn and could have a email for every episode and get more use out of the content and different shows could use different things.
What Advertisers Want - Lizzy Pollot and Libby Foster - Moderated by Adam Shepherd
Acast are the world's leading podcast marketplace for big spenders to smaller brands and organisations to startups so from anyone to everyone and do 30 second adverts and host read adverts and branded content such as extended segments to whole episodes and brands. The7Stars buy media space and audio is becoming amazing for brands and ability to create nuanced content is great. Can do sponsored reads with script with way to talk about brand and things they need to mention and is cost effective and get host to talk about and endorse brand. Also, can have branded podcasts which is total control so is good for compliance teams and own all the assets and create content across social media and working well depending what to drive for the brand. When brands want to do something then need to ask what is their spend, it isn't just about an ad or host read but can be so much more.
Variety of brands, different objectives such as brand campaigns to raise awareness but could have performance marketing which are brands to get an immediate response with sign up codes but that was less of a thing in the UK, these things tended to be baked in but now can dynamically insert adverts. SMEs to local shops may be doing adverts, it is about what the brands need and the challenge and the brief, today it is increasingly fragmented for media consumption so it is thinking about podcasts and the gap they can fill. Can put together different podcast entry points depending on the brand and different opportunities. Podcast advertising is effective on podcasts as people are listening on a podcast.
What is minimum spend for self service campaign? Minimum is £500 but could do cross promotion between shows and don't have to exchange money. When it comes to creative strategy what is the brief, process as a media agency is to get the brief and brand strategy in place and will translate this for media partners and make sure right information in there. Is the podcast appropriate and is the brand relevant, has to be that natural connection between the two, so has to be audience first and is brand association right. When looking at ad campaigns and audience first targeting and context is king or queen, can use AI with predictive demographics and look at content of podcast and language to see what audience it would appeal to compared to what the podcast says about itself and things are getting super smart with podcasting and be better for everyone.
Matching podcasts with advertisers, what are brands looking for in potential podcast partners is the authenticity the podcast gives, associating with true voices and having that genuine voice focusing on the demographics they are focusing on, it is across various different touch points and brands want to leverage voice across those and spread themselves across various channels. Make sure podcast sounds and looks as professional as possible, release schedule is important and advertisers will see this.
Once you have professional assets and identified key metrics to demonstrate credibility is how to get on brand's radars. You had to have a certain number of listeners for ads a few years ago, but have a self serve podcasting platform and make podcasts visible to advertisers and more opportunities are being given to podcasts as this discoverability has got better. Is same as advertisers who are hearing how good podcasting is. Make sure all your information is correct, are you in the correct category or search for media agencies.
Should podcasts approach brands directly? Media agencies work with brands but you can reach out to them and they may contact media agencies and will always come back to them to see if it is the right thing. Most independent podcasters won't know which agency looks after which brand so how to find out which is via search engines potentially. So many podcasters reach out to brands who may be smaller ones who don't use media agencies but may have local companies who may want to work with a local podcast, is work a go. Not everyone knows how to buy podcast adverts so could approach brands to sponsor a whole series for example, make your own media pack which is polished which is an eye catching document with jet stats, demographic and social information and anything else that they need to know and convince them including highlighting episodes or any feature or kind of press to give brands permission to spend money with you.
The Future of Podcasting - Rob Lilley, Faye McDowall - Moderated by Reem Makari
What are some podcast trends that have evolved? It has is moved from time of influx of podcast but now content creators have grown in confidence such as a daily format like a radio show and development of podcasts becoming brands in themselves and this content proliferating across other channels. Show you are human, if you make a mistake or fluff a line sometimes leave it in as shows you are a real person. Subscriptions are a big thing in podcasts and look at how can add value if have other subscribers such as Which? You could do different podcasts and get sponsorship deals by reaching out to companies but could use Buy me a coffee to allow supporters to give money on a small scale. Could also offer bonus content which is another major trend along with developing attribution which allows you to show journey from listening to podcast to visiting the advertiser, so if looking into selling to a brand look at this attribution model.
With podcasts going multi format such as being developed into television and film, will be seeing more of that as seeing the value of a great story and that great stories deserve to be told. Advertisers want to invest in great content and there are lots of tools for podcasters to engage with their audiences such as a book club to meet up with their core audience and becomes a great way of interacting with fans and also find out what works best. You don't have to be a massive podcast to do things like that, you could organise a small event and get a few people to come along. With adapting podcasts to TV and film you could have hosts of a podcast to mention they are the host when on other media and how can utilise different media.
Podcast advertisers transitioning to adverts such as moving from adverts to host read then to own podcasts but some come in just wanting a podcast series and for them they have to be in it for the long haul as have to have regular consistent content and a platform where you can tell people about it, need to be able to get heard regardless of what you are taking about. Could have something brand funded or have something where a brand wants to work with you is something you can do. Some brands may ask for certain adverts like outdoor adverts and can make them aware of doing something with a podcast. You could do a stunt to promote your podcast, such as have an event and collect audio for the podcast there and can advertise your brand and how you can get content out of that.
AI is one of the biggest things on people's minds, will we see AI used. Use AI to present a podcast from Which? and this went really well, although some don't sound authentic at all but one from ElevenLabs where can record some of yourself speaking and get it to use AI to do the whole podcast, they didn't tell them it was using AI until the end with many saying they didn't realise so will be experiment more but don't want to replace humans but allow them to do more content. AI could also be used to help with producing to clean up the audio from a podcast recorded while cycling. Also use AI to identity groups of podcasts to create a package of podcasts to help identity advertisers they would not normally attract or use AI to identify who the listeners of a podcast might be.
Demographics in podcasting about certain age groups but more children are listening to podcasts so what is the most growing demographic is there is still a large percentage of the population are not listening to podcasts, such as people who aren't familiar with the format. Older audiences may be attracted by certain content, people are getting used to seeking content in different ways. Also look at how to define a podcast, what does the younger generation identify is not just audio content, podcasts are more powerful as people feel freer and less self conscious when doing audio. Brands like Which? starting a podcast to attract a younger audience such as with video but need to see what is right for the demographic you want to target. Could do audio only and create clips for social media and those can target a younger demographic but need to work out what is your content area, don't do what other people are telling you but do what's right for you.