I welcome Bryan Barletta from Sounds Profitable back on the show to "spill the tea" on what's happening with podcasting.
What happened to all the podcasting acquisitions last year? Why is the industry hating on programmatic ads? Is YouTube muscling its way into podcasting?
I welcome Bryan Barletta from Sounds Profitable back on the show to share the inside scoop on what's happening with podcasting. Bryan is a very well-connected industry expert that recently joined the IAB to help move the industry forward and innovate in the space. Whenever I need to know what's going on behind the scenes, Bryan is my go-to resource. He also shares his valuable knowledge through his newsletter, Sounds Profitable. I highly recommend you subscribe!
So, grab a drink, and let's get started :)
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This transcript is edited.
[00:00:30] Heather Osgood: Hello and welcome to the podcast advertising playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood. And I am joined by my good friend, Brian Barletta. Brian, welcome to the show.
[00:00:39] Thanks for having me back.
[00:00:41] Bryan Barletta: Yeah, so you are my first returning guest. So congratulations on being a two-time podcast advertising playbook guest.
[00:00:50] That's. That is awesome. I am very excited to have that.
[00:00:54] Heather Osgood: So Brian, you started the sounds profitable newsletter and subsequent [00:01:00] products just about a year ago. Is that right?
[00:01:02] Bryan Barletta: Yeah, it was, uh, September 2020. And, uh, it started as a newsletter, January 2021. We launched the podcast now we're in Spanish, and we have our product deep dives, and it's all fun.
[00:01:13] It's exploring podcasts, ad tech, and trying to educate as many people as well.
[00:01:17] Heather Osgood: That's so cool. I realized when I was preparing for this interview that it had been just over a year, and I was like, gosh, that is, it feels like it's been way longer than that, probably to you more than anyone. What would you say that you've learned in the last year after putting together all of the content that you have around the podcast ad tech space?
[00:01:37] Bryan Barletta: I think that there are so many people interested in improving their knowledge about podcasts, ad tech, which is exciting because I generally think in ad tech, it's a confusing mess of spaghetti that nobody knows how any of it works. And it's easy to kick the can down the line. But with podcasts, there's so much room for people just to learn and be at the top [00:02:00] of the space right now.
[00:02:02] some people get that and want to be here. And so providing an on-ramp, I had to work harder to provide even a base, more based on-ramp, but still driving that content for the mid to upper tier of the people who want to educate themselves. It's been exciting. It's, it's been exciting to see how many people care about it and realize how much influence they can exert in this space yet because it's still forming on that side.
[00:02:27] Heather Osgood: I think that that is so fascinating. And I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think that's why I love the industry so much because you have every person in the industry impact the space. And I was thinking about it the other day, and I was like, gosh, if instead of being in podcasting, I was in digital marketing, let's say. So let's say I decided to open a digital marketing firm. Where would I be? And how would I be contributing to the digital marketing space? So that's not to say that I couldn't have a [00:03:00] contribution. There are lots of people who haven't and aren't going to make significant big impacts there.
[00:03:04] But, excellent is it to be part of this industry where we are building the industry right now? I would think like brick by brick and just coming up with it. It's almost like the whole industries and this constant creation space about, you know, what works? Does this work? Oh, that doesn't work so well. How about let's try this.
[00:03:25] Does that work well? What happens when these new players come into the space? Like, how is that reinventing us? And so it's this constant process of education. Having to learn what is happening, and having to stay on top of it. But then also I think what is amazing is being able to step up and say, Hey, this is my perspective.
[00:03:47] This is my experience. And this is what I've found. And really everyone working together in that way, in that knowledge sharing, I think is what's really helping the industry grow. Would you agree with that?
[00:03:59] Bryan Barletta: Yeah. [00:04:00] There's less concern about working or talking in the open. I've talked to brands who've effectively been pitched the same plan from three agencies, and they bring that up, and they say, yeah, because this works. And then we innovate from there. And our, what differentiates us is our customer service and our specific relationships and things like that. And then people are posting about it. People are sharing their strategies in articles and podcasts because if everybody succeeds, more advertisers come into the space at the end of the day. We're not yet at that crunch. And I don't think the people who are here today are ever really going to need to be at each other's throats, fighting for business, because at some point it'll be us versus like the incumbents and ad tech and the major holding companies.
[00:04:42] And they already fight between themselves. We just need to prove and continue to prove that we're not them. And that we care about the connection here and that we care about the whole space, there will be the influx of money, and we need to guide them in. So I agree with you entirely. It is [00:05:00] a community, and it's not just a cliche line.
[00:05:03] Heather Osgood: Yeah, I totally agree. And I love that. Like, we just need to guide the money in; let's just bring it in. We can do that, right? One of the things that I have loved about the content you've created and the perspective you've taken is that because you aren't.
[00:05:19] So because you are your brand, right, you are Sounds Profitable. You have this opportunity to be a very neutral party in this space, and what you have done that I think has been instrumental is that you do call folks out when you feel like perhaps maybe, you know, there's some questioning that needs to happen.
[00:05:39] You're very good at being direct. And then also, I believe that you've got a good heart behind everything you're doing and that your attention is to help the space grow. How do you feel like that's influenced the kind of information you're able to bring to the space, and how has that changed the conversation?
[00:05:59] Bryan Barletta: I, you [00:06:00] know, I butted heads with people, a lot of my career like I've been in ad tech for a long time and I, you know, I'll raise something and say like, Hey, this isn't how it's supposed to work, or we need to figure out a better way to do this. And unfortunately, you know, if things are generating revenue and it would hurt her relationship to challenge something, it's very hard to do that.
[00:06:20] With Sounds Profitable with the support of all the great sponsors like yourself. I get to talk about these things in as long as I'm not negative and I'm pointing out the positive; I'm explaining the situation. I'm empowering everybody to look around and say like, oh, we agree with this point of view.
[00:06:37] It can get better. And then it doesn't mean that anybody has to stick their neck out. Right? Like I'm not accusing anybody of anything that doesn't help, I'm out there saying, like, what about a different perspective? This is how it works, but what happens if we look at it differently?
[00:06:51] And by more people finding the ability to join in with a neutral voice, we can move things along. More easily than a single [00:07:00] company stepping up and saying it couldn't do. I'm reminded of, um, NPR had their rad spec all about listening. And I don't know if we're necessarily going to get there.
[00:07:09] And I think we need to move the conversation away from "listens" in general in podcasting. But I think the big thing for me is that that was really hard because it had NPRs name on its front. Now it had Libsyn, and it had a bunch of other companies, and Podtrac, for example, signed into it, but it still had a forerunner.
[00:07:27] And when you do that, it feels like it's coming from one company. So it's hard for competitors or people who see themselves as competitors to those partners to buy into that because there's no neutral glue. And so I really had like, it's the privilege. I'd say, I don't know many other people that get the opportunity to just like connect people and be that glue and be like, I understand you see each other as potentially competitive, but you're struggling with the same problem with the same people.
[00:07:55] And if we unify that voice, we can stop that problem as an industry. [00:08:00] Not only for the two of you, but for everybody to come next. So, it's been a big focus when I write to make sure that everything I do can be a tool for someone to answer a question, stop dead a misunderstanding, or really drive innovation. It's so cool to be able to do that.
[00:08:16] Heather Osgood: Yeah, I agree. And if you have not subscribed to Brian's newsletter, I highly recommend that you do. If you are interested at all in, in podcast advertising and ad tech, specifically in the podcast space, you really do need to be on his newsletters.
[00:08:32] They are very in-depth. I have one of my new employees reading two of your articles and getting me summaries on them. And she told me today; she's like, man, these are kind of in-depth. I'm like, that's why I'm having you read that. So it's, it's a good curriculum.
[00:08:46] When you look back this past year, what has surprised you most in terms of advancements being made, or an acquisition that has been made? What has surprised you most in the last year? Anything come to mind?
[00:09:06] Bryan Barletta: I think that the speed at which we all felt things moving maybe at the end of last year where all the acquisitions happened.
[00:09:13] The reforming of those mega-companies hasn't happened as fast as I thought it would. Right? Like I think that, uh, like I, the Sirius XM stack, the iHeart stack, and the Spotify stack are all very impressive. They have a lot of companies under each of them, and they've made some big announcements.
[00:09:28] Some of them are going back two years now. iHeart made their marketplace and announcement; I believe two years at this point. And now they're just getting to the point where the Triton tool, the SpeakerBox tool, and the Omni studio tool are going to start making that up. But I think the way everybody talked, how everybody was acquiring things, and the momentum that each company had, I'm honestly shocked by all three of those companies that we haven't had more come out.
[00:09:56] Heather Osgood: Yeah, I think you're right. I feel like that's such [00:10:00] a good observation because I agree with you. When I've seen those formations come together, I'm like, man, that's like, that's really going to disrupt something, and then it doesn't seem like it does.
[00:10:10] So it's fascinating. It's almost like, you know, you see an acquisition happen or you see, you know, these companies stacking together, all of these partners and I keep thinking, okay, what's going to happen. What's going to happen. Nothing seems like it has happened very significantly. I think it's fascinating how the different companies coming into this space have brought their culture into the organizations they've acquired. But I mean, my feeling is that it takes much longer to integrate the elements, maybe then a large corporation thinks, do you feel like that could be contributing to it?
[00:10:51] Bryan Barletta: Yeah, I feel like the culture thing can happen faster than the tech.
[00:10:55] I guess the examples that I brought up or tech, like look at, even the Anchor acquisition [00:11:00] to where we are with the Anchor announcement now, like that is a big deal. But the momentum and progress that Anchor was making feel like it's not; it doesn't match the timeframe, right. They had momentum; they were kind of pulled off the table.
[00:11:12] Same with Megaphone. It's not saying it's not making progress, but it just feels like they stopped and did inventory for a year, right. They like really reassessed everything and. The industry was hurt from that because that momentum just disappeared from the limelight. There weren't product announcements the same way.
[00:11:29] But you know, when you just said that example a culture one, and I want to give the nod to this Libsyn acquired Advertisecast. In every movement Libsyn has made since then, you can see that the culture of Advertisecast is being very visible throughout that entire company. And it's, it feels like a rebrand.
[00:11:48] And it's very cool. There's not a ton of tech that needs to be integrated. It's a lot of operational stuff that works for each team that needs to be adopted. But at the end of the day, two people can connect over Slack and accomplish their [00:12:00] goals. It's not massive infrastructures talking to each other, and I think the culture aspect can integrate quicker, but the tech that's where those three giants are caught up.
[00:12:10] That's why Odyssey just acquired a Wide Orbitz, a publisher, for podcasting and they have Podcorn and like Podcorn was another one that was like, like a rocket ship. And then we just don't hear about it. And that doesn't mean they're not doing great, but it's just like, I liked hearing about it. It really showed how many independent things were moving and growing in the space and pulling it off that limelight kinda made the industry feel slow for some of this year.
[00:12:43] Heather Osgood: So interesting. I love that observation. And I do think that part of what happens is that when you are starting a company, like I remember it was, I think it was at Podcast Evolutions in [00:13:00] LA I saw Podcorn stuff everywhere. I was like, where did this podcast corn company come from? And like, I was talking to people, you know, the podcasters and they're like, oh man, Podcorn is like beating my door down to get me on the platform.
[00:13:13] Like they were really aggressive. So I think what happens in that startup environment, you need to make a splash. You need to say like, Hey, here we are. But the minute that you get acquired by a large company, they have, you know, a hundred irons in the fire, even though you're important enough for them to acquire you.
[00:13:32] You're not important enough for them to create the same kind of energy around you as that startup environment did create. And I think you're totally right. And how often, you know, just an acquisitions in general, does that happen where a company gets acquired and then it just kind of goes flat because all of that passion and energy isn't there.
[00:13:52] My guess is obviously there are certainly companies like Spotify and iHeart and Odyssey. I mean, they're all putting a [00:14:00] lot of focus into podcasting. It's not like they don't care about it, but they're approaching it in a very different way. And also there's a lot more people, right? You know, when you've got a small group in a startup culture, there are people going to wave that flag, whereas in a bigger environment, it's like, well, is it, are you waving the flag or are you waving the flag? Like, you know, I think it's easy to just pass that off. I also really find that there is not nearly enough good marketing done in podcasts, period.
[00:14:34] I don't think, and I'm not talking about podcasts, advertising their show. I'm talking about podcast companies. When you look at the content that's created, when you look at the presence out there online. Podcasts companies, do we really poor job of marketing themselves?
[00:14:51] Bryan Barletta: I super do. I think that, and that's one of the things I started to work on with, with some of my, uh, we have a one advertisement spot on Sounds Profitable [00:15:00] title sponsor, or title sponsorship, I guess we call it.
[00:15:02] And each month, whenever a new one comes on. I say like, Hey, have you ever released a report that you thought was really cool, but it fell flat. can we talk about it on the podcast? Because I guarantee you, if we stop the sale aspect of it and just talk about the, the information value, so many people are going to go download it.
[00:15:20] And that's what happens. We did it with Chartable. It was really awesome. We got one, one coming with Podsights and Magellan, and I'm really excited about that. These people need to realize that your name being said is important. The data being there as valuable someone, putting it in their sales sheet is awesome.
[00:15:36] And then the sales come in. Not everything has to be a sale in every conversation. So yeah, a lot of them aren't great at it. And, and honestly, if you ever want. Roll your eyes a lot. Read the press releases because I don't know who they're for. Cause I think it's just me and James Cridland reading them and they're bad.
[00:15:53] Like they're, they're
[00:15:54] Heather Osgood: like, don't get them. Oh God, I'm not missing them. I'm
[00:15:57] Bryan Barletta: sure. On Podnews, when he links to them, [00:16:00] they're like 50% explaining the two companies at the bottom and half the time it's not even relevant to podcasting.
[00:16:07] Heather Osgood: Yeah. So you're saying like, when, I mean, he, the, the, the press releases that get linked in Podnews.
[00:16:13] Bryan Barletta: That's exactly what we get sent. And it's just like, we're the leader in this. We're a number 17. And I was like, man, I don't like, can you tell me what's cool, right. Acast, I give them a hard time about it because they're doing well, but because they could market better, they were like, we have a new long format of ads. And I was like, super cool.
[00:16:30] Where can I listen to them? Oh, we'll get back to you. And I was like, what do you mean? Why can't I, why isn't an interactive it's audio, give me an example to listen to. And so I really pushed all these companies that like, we're in a cool part of this space. Like nobody works in this space. Who's just like, yeah, check in and check out, leave me alone.
[00:16:48] I hate podcasts because the people who can do that can definitely make more money in another aspect of the space, like in ad tech overall or media. Everybody here kind of cares a little bit, [00:17:00] so give them something to interact with, make them feel cool.
[00:17:03] Heather Osgood: Okay. Yeah. I totally agree. I think there, I feel like there that, yeah, there was a lot that could be done there.
[00:17:08] Okay, so now we're gonna. One of my very favorite topics, dynamic ad insertion, never miss a chance to talk about that. So you wrote an article recently kind of in response to some of the conversations that had happened at the IAB upfront, surrounding and dynamic insertion. And I just want to check in with you and see, like, what are some of your thoughts about how we're handling dynamic insertion and how it maybe is, or isn't impacting in the way it could?
[00:17:37] Bryan Barletta: Yeah, I think that for the IAB conversation that I focused on, it was a lot around, programmatic through Dai. And I think that dynamic ad insertion and Dai is, um, it's, it's really valuable because it gives a little bit more markers. When I say all these things that it is valuable, like this isn't dismissing baked-in this isn't dismissing people selling on downloads or all that.
[00:17:58] Any podcasts [00:18:00] that can command the prices they want and the relationship they want should never feel threatened by the conversation of innovation here. But at some point we got to talk towards the brands and these brands are coming in from a digital background and or programmatic, and they want to test things their way.
[00:18:16] So, you know, when we talk about dynamic ad insertion, we're talking about the mindset of being able to not just say the episode was down and that means every ad counts. It's simply saying there are more markers. We know that the ad was at the 50% marker and because 51% of the episode was downloaded we can say that ad was down.
[00:18:38] And that leads into, you know, a great aspect for attribution and additional tracking that isn't just on the download. It is on the actual impression, which there shouldn't be a massive discrepancy, but it's not unusual to see up to 10% between your download numbers and ad delivery, especially as where the ad is further into the episode.
[00:18:59] [00:19:00] But all of these buyers coming from digital right now are in a situation where they're losing access to mobile device IDs. They're losing access to cookies. They understand the importance of audio and the panel that Claire Fanning of SXM Media, led was really neat because the focus was on, these people are here, they're buying and they would like to buy more and they just want you to hear the problems that they're hitting. And those problems were super reasonable. Not enough inventory on there, not enough data being passed with it. And we're not asking for listens. We're not asking for a mobile device, IDs and cookies.
[00:19:38] We're just asking for consistency. And we're asking for keywords and transcripts and then more. You know, more understanding of how their flow works, right? These are companies and brand advertisers and brands that are purposely saying, well, I have a little bit of extra budget. I have an audio creative.
[00:19:56] Let's test it out programmatically. If it works I will [00:20:00] escalate to direct buys. I will put my time and attention towards it, and it's not a, it's not somebody being like, well, I spent $250,000 on a campaign through Spotify at $150 CPM. I just want to go get, you know, nickel CPM right now. They're not doing it to drive the price down.
[00:20:17] They're doing it to see is this even remotely worth investing in?
[00:20:21] Heather Osgood: Yeah, I think that that is so interesting and you're totally right because when people, when advertisers invest in programmatic, it is an easy way to dip their toe in the water and say, he does this work. And if it works at a programmatic level, then what would it do with those hosts read and endorsement ads, which would be even more powerful than that programmatic ads.
[00:20:44] So I think. I think that it does get frustrating sometimes because it feels like marketers are saying we want to buy ads, make it easier for us to do this. And yet nothing in [00:21:00] podcasting ever feels easy. And part of the reason it never feels easy is because there is so much fragmentation. I don't think that there is enough centralization. And, and granted of course, these bigger corporations that we've just been talking about coming into the space, I think they have one of the better opportunities to help with some of that. What is your prediction on the percentage of programmatic ads that are going to grow in this space?
[00:21:29] Because I mean, programmatic has really grown very slowly. And to your point, you know, and, and commenting on that panel. Part of the reason is because there's just not a lot of inventory out there. Right. And so if there isn't a lot to buy, then there's not going to be very many buyers. You know, I know I've talked to agency owners that have said we would buy way more programmatic if it were available, but you know, if this podcaster isn't selling us and [00:22:00] we, we want to be on that show or what have you, then we're not going to buy.
[00:22:03] I mean, I guess programmatic isn't necessarily designed to be on a show,
[00:22:06] Bryan Barletta: But it can. It's again, but that's, that's the other misconception. Yeah. It can be a direct deal. You're you're spot on. And I think that the real flaw that we see in this whole thing is that we're an industry built around content with next to no ad tech experience who were asked to build ad tech. Every single platform that serves ads in podcasting does it different.
[00:22:30] And there's no standard. But in digital ad tech, it's all been beaten into a standard. We don't have that and I don't see that happening. And then the problem there is that those big Goliath. They need to adhere to what the trade desk and magnet wants as the demand side platform for the agencies and buyers, because like the trade desk, isn't going to be like, oh, okay.
[00:22:54] Adswizz, and iHeart, and Odyssey, and Spotify will [00:23:00] uniquely build a path, adjust for your inventory. Further fragmenting the total $1 billion available spend in podcasting right now. Like they're not interested in that. It's their gain. We have to play by their rules and we kind of have to get over that ego because instead people are like, oh, well, it's programmatic.
[00:23:20] If you log into our platform and buy it there. And the people who are smart enough to do that are the people who have a trade desk account, have a magnate account, have all of those. So we have to start following some framework there. and I really think that that would move things along.
[00:23:37] Heather Osgood: Yeah.
[00:23:37] Yeah. I totally agree with you. And I do think that it is, it's so fascinating. So we've had some changes at True Native Media for our staffing. One of the fun, fun activities that we get to do on a regular basis is because we work with so many different hosting providers. We go into the hosting providers [00:24:00] to grab the download numbers for our campaigns, be they dynamic or embedded ads.
[00:24:06] And so we've had one of our staff member, more senior staff members taking this task on and she told me this morning, she was. What is this? This is a mess it's so time-consuming and every single hosting provider is different. I mean, trying to get even like, just trying to get to the right number, you take like 10 different paths.
[00:24:29] And this is just a very simple task, right? I mean, this shouldn't be a very simple task. So when we go up into the ranks of more complex tasks, like programmatic ad buying, it would be great if we could have, have a standard. Do you think that like the IAB came in and said like, Hey, here are the standards for counting downloads.
[00:24:52] I mean is, and I think maybe that gets back to part of what we were saying before. It feels like there isn't, [00:25:00] that. I always go back to like an association. There isn't a group that can set standards for the industry. Like who, who would that be? Who could step in and say, okay guys, let's all get together. And let's all decide to do this because it will help the entire industry.
[00:25:16] Bryan Barletta: Well what's so the IAB spec for how downloads and ad delivery is counted should make sense, but one of the, like one of the big things is it doesn't say how you store your data because it's a guideline, not instructions. And so that's the hard part there.
[00:25:32] And any company or any partner that says like, Hey, here's a format. Let's everybody adhere to it. None of the hosting partners that you work with, if they spend development time to build that, it doesn't make them any more money. You know, and so that's the hard part because they're working on features that will make the money.
[00:25:49] So I don't know if we'll see progress there, but on the programmatic end, there is it's open our TV. It's older than advertising or done dynamic advertising in, uh, and podcasting the, the [00:26:00] protocol for how the inventory makes a connection. As a supply side to a demand side has, has been a spec for a long time.
[00:26:09] And these companies just pick and choose what they do want to connect over there because they want your direct business, because if you're connecting through the trade desk, it's percentages on percentages, on percentages, where they can cut out one step if you've logged in directly. But we get into the same thing.
[00:26:26] The bigger buyers do not want to be in convenienced. They will eventually, if you say, Hey, you can do 99% of it here, and it's all there. But at 1% we think is a differentiator, a differentiator, and you should log in directly with us. Like, that's a cool upsell, but you can't say like, Hey, 49% of it is available how you want it. And 51% is how we want it, because then nobody cares. Like you're building a product for your ego. And not to help the space. So I think we're going to see either a big partner like Google, come in and [00:27:00] take it more seriously and be like, here's an audio ad server that you can stitch into your CDN at any point and just call it a day.
[00:27:06] And here is a SSP DSP relationship. And what we're going to see is some serious challenge to these companies that make money by building their own stacks for something that I can, I could self host and just set up. And so I think that will start to really challenge all of that. It's not easy. I don't MBA. I mean, when you get shareholders involved, when you get investors involved, you can't think holistically about the space, but I will say that I joined the IAB.
[00:27:34] it's been cool so far. Just like I do in my article, I get to speak that unbiased point of view. I get to ask for action. I get to talk openly about these things and say like, we need voices to come out and ask for these things. We need people to champion us on the buyer side as much as on the podcast side.
[00:27:52] And then we need the emails to come from iab.com to tell someone we're serious, come talk to us. And, and it's, you know, it's moving [00:28:00] faster than I thought I would. So I'm really pumped.
[00:28:02] Heather Osgood: That's great. So talking about kind of moving and growing, YouTube, just announced that they are hiring their first executive, who is going to be overseeing podcasts.
[00:28:14] Do you know anything, or can you share anything about your opinions of what's happening at YouTube?
[00:28:20] Bryan Barletta: I think that we're going to see more and more from Google in the near future. And now YouTube music, it's not a paid feature to turn the screen off and listen to it. It's just a free feature. Yeah. I don't actually care what app I listen to content in.
[00:28:54] I just want to be able to search and find good content and, and be able to [00:29:00] listen to it. So YouTube has the power of Google behind it. And just because some of the content I like usually as a video component, um, if I don't, if I'm not missing anything, then I now have my preferred audio player.
[00:29:16] So I think that YouTube absolutely going to lead the pack. And I think that the biggest mistake they could make is not honoring the RSS feed and not building on top of it because they can, they have the power and they know how to set standards and they could really say, Hey, we want your RSS feed. We're going to send you all the standard data about that.
[00:29:37] However, if you'd like to log into YouTube and add more on top of that and have the best experience proprietary that won't get sent to your hosts, but your base data will. Spotify, Apple, Amazon all have to catch up with that, right? This idea that Apple and Spotify say like, Hey, if you want to do subscriptions with us, you have to upload it into our [00:30:00] platform or upload into Anchor like When YouTube says like, Hey, we'll take your RSS feed and then you can augment it on us. If they do. It's a game of catch-up it changes the whole space. It shows that the freedom of RSS is still its core, but there is very valid reasons why everyone should be logging into places instead of holding us hostage to have to log in.
[00:30:21] Heather Osgood: Right. Right. Yeah. I, I feel like to me, out of all of the acquisitions, out of all of the things that have been happening, I think that YouTube hands down has the biggest opportunity to impact the space. And it's because there are so many people that are already there. Obviously YouTube is owned by Google, so they're all altogether.
[00:30:45] Right? The other thing that I find absolutely fascinating is I would say at least 25% of the people I talked to tell me that they listen to podcasts on YouTube and. And they're not, and they're [00:31:00] not podcasts. Like, you know, the, it cracks me up because they're really like, like some of the things that people listen to on YouTube and the podcasts that they listen or watch on YouTube are not actually podcasts, but yet the person creating it feels like it's a podcast and the person listening to, it feels like a podcast.
[00:31:19] So I'm pretty sure it's a podcast, right?
[00:31:22] Bryan Barletta: Do you think. If you think that it's just that the wording is like, there's no friendly wording for it. Like if you're watching it live on Twitch or whatever, it's a stream and stream has the, like I'm watching a kid play a video game, connotation to it, or like I'm watching someone weirdly eat their dinner.
[00:31:37] Um, and so maybe people distance away from the stream, but like what a, what do you call it? If it's not? Is it, uh, like video on demand? Is it there's no good word for what it is. If it's not live and it's like a person talking into a camera. Right. And so I think podcasts is a very cool word. To me, if it's based off the RSS feed, if you can [00:32:00] dynamically insert podcast ads on it and it goes everywhere.
[00:32:04] I don't care what you listened to it on. I think that if you have to uniquely upload it everywhere, what you kill is the open nature and the, and the publisher ownership of podcasting. And that's what I think about as the central source. There are so many words that get co-opted into everything and it's kind of cool that podcast is used so well, but when someone says, Hey, we want to run a campaign, there'll be half on YouTube, half on this. And you're just. Wow. Uh, those aren't publishers that are interacting in the podcast world. I woo. Okay.
[00:32:36] Heather Osgood: Well, and I will say, gosh, when I started in the industry, I had podcasters that came to me and they were like, well, I'm getting 5,000 downloads, but I'm getting 10,000 like watches of my show on YouTube, but I'm like, okay, that's fine.
[00:32:52] I mean, an impression is an impression let's sell it. Okay. For a while, and gosh, this was back in 2016. I was selling them. And then one day I [00:33:00] was like, wait, these are pretty different. A download on a podcast is pretty different than a view on YouTube. And so I decided to quit selling them because I felt like there, there were too many differences.
[00:33:12] Bryan Barletta: Which one do you think is worth more?.
[00:33:15] Heather Osgood: Oh, well I'm a little biased, but definitely podcasts. Well, and the reason why that, and what I say all the time, which I really do stand behind is that when you listen to a podcast, number one, you have to have the player, which I know most people do, but not everyone.
[00:33:33] Right? So you have to have a player. You have to decide what podcasts you're going to listen to, and then you have to choose the episode. Obviously, you're pushing play. So you were there very intentionally. People don't stumble on podcasts. Yes, of course, there are some streaming services out there where you could just stream podcasts, but in general, most listeners are very intentional and we know they listen much longer to a podcast. I mean, people, when you look at the stats on YouTube, [00:34:00] it's like two minutes or something, right. So people don't spend that much time watching YouTube videos, they spend much longer on podcasts. So I feel like they are a much more qualified, engaged audience, you know, members, because they've had to really fight to get there.
[00:34:18] Whereas on YouTube, we have all had the experience where you are watching something, something else comes up and you start watching it. And then all of a sudden you're like, why am I watching this? How did I get here? Do you know? So I just think that there isn't the same intentionality. I also think that we are such an instant, I mean, Tik Tok has killed us, right?
[00:34:42] Bryan Barletta: Yes, I refuse to download it.
[00:34:45] Heather Osgood: Was gonna say, not that I'm personally on Tik Tok, but, um, it's very, although I have gotten pretty into reels lately watching reels on Instagram. Cause they're just so catchy and especially, I love it when it's the same song and different people doing different things. It's so fun. [00:35:00] Right. But, that just kills your attention span.
[00:35:03] Like we have literally fried the attention span of the American population.
[00:35:08] Bryan Barletta: So you're so spot on with this, right? So if you think about it, YouTube CPMs are substantially lower than a podcast CPM. And if you look at this, if YouTube becomes a tool that people can listen to podcasts or listen to audio, and they figure out a way to get that YouTube video as an audio format that works capturing the intention in the intent, the same way that you're talking about. Don't they just make every single impression in YouTube when played audio-only theoretically more valuable? Yeah. For both the publisher and for them to sell. Yeah. That is that's true. And that's so exciting because.
[00:35:51] We already have the audience, the install base, the content, all we have to do is YouTube just has to capture the [00:36:00] different type of experience and really say like, Hey, if the screens off or they're not in the app, then it's a podcast by, and if it's on, then it's a video or differentiated there and we're going to see what happens.
[00:36:15] Will we see people convert out? Will audio take over versus video views, or is there a hybrid approach? And it's so exciting to see. And I think that YouTube has the opportunity to change this space. They also have the opportunity to follow the status quo, make a shitload of money, and just call it a day and like a giant corporation.
[00:36:37] I'm not here to tell you not to do what you do best, but like, it would be awesome if one of these big giants just reached down and was just like, well, what are you guys want? Because we would all rally around them. If YouTube comes and sets standards that help us, that protects us from a world if we lose IP address that makes sure that we can better monetize and better represent this, that makes [00:37:00] sure that we can get into programmatic and represent ourselves better to the bigger digital advertising.
[00:37:06] nobody's going to fight against that. That's already taking dynamic ad insertion seriously. And nobody's going to be like, well, I guess I'll also really put a lot of effort into Spotify, Apple, and Amazon who don't want to even take my phone call.
[00:37:19] Heather Osgood: It's totally true. It is totally true. So YouTube, I'm sure you're listening, the ball's in your court.
[00:37:28] It's interesting to see what's going to happen for sure. YouTube is definitely the company that I have my eye on because I feel like they have the biggest opportunity to make the biggest impact because they already have such a huge audience. And because people already feel like they listen to podcasts on YouTube.
[00:37:56] So I'm really excited. Now, Spotify just [00:38:00] announced their video podcasting rollout. Have you had a chance to dig into any of that?
[00:38:06] Bryan Barletta: I got it on my docket to read. Yeah.
[00:38:08] Heather Osgood: Okay. I haven't read, I haven't met as much of it either, but I did. I did an informational call with Spotify the other day where they picked my brain about what I thought the industry needed.
[00:38:19] And they, they asked me a lot of video questions and then the release came out. So we'll see how that plays out. Cause I know there's a lot of opportunity with Spotify as well.
[00:38:30] In kind of wrapping our conversation up today, Brian, um, if you had a magic wand and you could do one thing for the industry right now, what would that be?
[00:38:44] Bryan Barletta: Oh man, I hate saying this because a year ago I beat myself up for saying it. I just want Spotify, Amazon, Apple, and Google to show up to the IAB meetings. Because the truth is right now that like, it [00:39:00] is the best place to get all the technical people and all the industry leaders together.
[00:39:06] There's no other meeting like it. And it's because people have skin in the game, they pay to be there. So they have to be there to drive this industry forward. And without those four players being in those meetings, there's only so much we can do. And we're starting to realize that we might never get them in there and we're starting to get brands bought into working around them and finding other solutions that are awesome.
[00:39:30] And that's cool, but we don't need a world where podcasting is those four silos and then actual podcast advertising. We could benefit from one or two of them buying into what we're trying to build overall because it's not like we're not going to make all of them even more money if they make our lives easier.
[00:39:49] It's not like any of them can't make a percentage off of providing a technology fee or selling data or anything. Right. There's so much opportunity for them. [00:40:00] I think that's it. I think that, and the other thing is, is if your company has a seat and nobody from your company attends ask your company if you can attend on their behalf because there is no negative to there being too many people on those calls, worst-case scenario, we have to set up more.
[00:40:16] Heather Osgood: Right, right. That's awesome. Love it. Love it. Well, thank you so much, Brian, for being here. And if people would like to connect with you, where's a good place for them to do that.
[00:40:25] Bryan Barletta: They can go to sounds profitable.com and sign up for the newsletter in English and Spanish. And also the podcast is linked out there as well.
[00:40:33] And I truly mean it. If you read one of the articles and it just doesn't make sense, or you have questions just hit reply. It goes directly to me. I make time to respond to everybody. I absolutely want to educate everybody in the space.
[00:40:46] Heather Osgood: Well, thank you so much for being on here, and thank you for listening.
[00:40:49] We are, as you can tell, very excited about what is happening in the podcast advertising industry. I know that great things are still to come, so I'm happy to be here. And if you would [00:41:00] like to learn more about podcast advertising, head on over to truenativemedia.com. Thanks so much and have a great day.