If you don't know, I host a live stream, Wednesdays at 10am PST/1pm ET. I get all these amazing industry people to come on and share their thoughts about podcasting, podcast advertising, and life. Evo Terra has been podcasting for 16 years. He...
If you don't know, I host a live stream, Wednesdays at 10am PST/1pm ET. I get all these amazing industry people to come on and share their thoughts about podcasting, podcast advertising, and life.
Evo Terra has been podcasting for 16 years. He has seen it all when it comes to the podcast industry, and I enjoyed having him live to talk about his experience.
I put together the highlights from our chat. I hope you enjoy it!
You can catch the full live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bffAvVlOaKc&t=10s
As always, don't forget to subscribe, like, and comment.
Contact me at email@example.com if you want to learn more about starting a podcast ad campaign.
For more information, visit:
The transcript has not been edited.
[00:00:00] Heather Osgood: [00:00:00] welcome to the podcast, advertising playbook, a show dedicated to podcast advertising. If you're a podcaster or an advertiser, and you're wondering how you can take advantage of this rapidly growing space, your in the right place on the program. We'll discuss strategies and techniques to optimize your experience with podcast advertising.
[00:00:29]Hello, and welcome to the Podcast Advertising Playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood. And on today's program I am talking with Evo Terra. Evo has been in the industry since 2004. Yes, 2004, which is pretty cool. He knows all of the ins and outs of the podcast industry. And on this episode we talked about the industry and where it has been, where it is going. Um, it was actually a LinkedIn live, uh, conversation that we had a few weeks back. And so we took [00:01:00] out some of the highlights from that conversation and wanted to share it with you here on the podcast. I hope that you enjoy it. So without further ado, here is my conversation with Evo Terra.
[00:01:10]Heather Osgood: [00:01:10] I'm so excited to have Evo Terra on the live stream today. Welcome Evo.
[00:01:14] Evo Terra: [00:01:14] Thank you, Heather. Pleasure to be here.
[00:01:15] Heather Osgood: [00:01:15] I'm excited to chat with you, Evo. So I'm curious. In terms of, um, this crazy year. And, and let's, I mean, let's put the pandemic aside because obviously the pandemic has colored everything a bit, but what has surprised you most about the industry this year and maybe what has happened or the changes that have happened?
[00:01:36] Evo Terra: [00:01:36] Yeah, it has been an interesting ride, but you know, really, if I may, can we back up a little bit further than that? I mean, sure. The last two years. Have been insane. Right? You could even talk about 2018, you know, when this, when this whole thing began, you know, when the real acquisitions in podcasting, when people started taking it seriously, I don't mean podcasters, but I mean, the businesses that support podcasting through things like, [00:02:00] Oh, I don't know, maybe advertising, you know, for one particular model.
[00:02:03] Uh, and, and really how that whole thing began. And. when we look at all of the craziness, that's happened since 2018, you know, one name of one company stands out above all the other ones. And that's a company that wasn't podcasting back when I started and wasn't podcasting till 2018 and that company is Spotify, right?
[00:02:23] I mean, they have just come in with pointing mad piles of cash around and really making a dominance and completely changing the space. Completely changed, you know, for, for the majority of my tenure in podcasting, we have had an absentee emperor. We have had a company that is largely responsible for making podcasting what it is today, and we should never fail to thank our purple overlords for that.
[00:02:50] But they were largely, you know, not doing much with the power that they actually had, which let Spotify come in and make a huge, huge change. So, you [00:03:00] know, all bets were off. As soon as that happened, anything that we had thought might happen in the podcasting space was changed in the early 2018 and continues to roll on through the change.
[00:03:09] So now looking, looking at the lens of the two prior years, I won't, I don't know that I'm really surprised by what's happened in 2020, it seems more like a logical progression for a company like Spotify that's trying to earn their money back to really get some pay off in the, in the deep investments they've made.
[00:03:28] I think it shocked a lot of people how some of those changes have happened, but it's also, you know, this, this is business, this is mergers and acquisition 101 level stuff. Somebody with that much power comes in. They're going to redefine this space on their own terms, especially if they don't have any competing companies trying to push it in a, in a different way.
[00:03:46] So here we are today, right?
[00:03:49] Heather Osgood: [00:03:49] Well, and I think you, the point you made at the end is the most important. And like you said, we had no leader, right? Like why? And the way I look at Apple is Apple is in the computer [00:04:00] business. Yeah. I mean, really. And, when you look at Apple and when you listen, even to an obviously, you know, Steve jobs, isn't running the ship anymore there, but I mean, he went through all the products and said, get rid of all of this let's focus.
[00:04:14] Right? Focus, focus, focus was his main thing. And the way I've always thought about it is. They're in the computer business, they're in the phone business. They're not in the podcasting business. It's just, let's throw some extras in that help support this computer business. So I knew they were never, I presumed they were never going to, you know, really get to the level that Spotify has gotten.
[00:04:35] I think what's so fascinating to me is. You know, looking at the comparisons of what Spotify is doing and then considering, you know, YouTube and how YouTube emerged in the video space. And are we going to essentially take all of this independent, free rain all over the place media and consolidate it so that [00:05:00] 99.9% of listenership happens through one platform.
[00:05:03] And of course, You know, given my position in the world, I don't want that to happen. Um, but from, I mean, really from a user perspective and from a business owner perspective, of course, but, um, what are your thoughts? Do you feel like that's something that could happen?
[00:05:17] Evo Terra: [00:05:17] I think it definitely could happen.
[00:05:19] And like you, I don't think that's a healthy ecosystem. I don't think very many people, who don't work for Spotify, think that that's a healthy ecosystem. When one company really runs roughshod over, over everything, right. That's just, that's just not good. You know, one of the great things about podcasting is we eat great and also terrible things about podcasting is that this, this decentralized nature that we started with, I mean, if you thinking back, cause I was there during this time, podcasting predates YouTube.
[00:05:50] Right. I mean, we have been podcasting longer than Google has owned YouTube. And you then when they, when they made that big acquisition, their idea was [00:06:00] exactly what you said. Let's consolidate everything and there used to be lots of different video services like YouTube that largely went out of business when that big acquisition happened.
[00:06:11] I mean, sure. Vimeo and a handful of others are still there. And now we have the Tik Toks and the Snapchats that are doing something completely different with video. And those, those aren't a home for video, as much as they are a home for Tik Toks and Snapchats, or whatever's going on there.
[00:06:26] But podcasting, we resisted that early on, or maybe we just weren't interested early on and maybe, I don't know exactly know why it was the case, but no one ever came up and said, we're going to be the centralized place that you can upload all of your podcast episodes to and a centralized place for someone to listen.
[00:06:43] It was decentralized from the beginning and never got consolidated. The good news about that is I think it's going to be tough to put that genie back in the bottle. As much as Spotify wants to get as much of the podcasting pie as possible so that they can sell and [00:07:00] monetize that content. And that's what, so that's why they want it.
[00:07:02] They want to get either more subscriptions or sell ads on it. As much as they want to do everything, it's going to be tough. And I think they recognize how tough it's going to be to try and put back this in the bottle. Look, we're just used to it by now. We've, you know, 16 years we've been uploading things $20 a month isn't really a huge cost factor for us. We like the fact as we're podcasters, that we can tell our listeners we're on every single platform out there. We've never been good over the last 16 years of trying to convince our people to use one platform, one listening tool over the other people are going to do what they want to do.
[00:07:38] So I think it's going to be tough for Spotify to really try and push all that back together. They're going to try, they're going to be successful for the really, really big shows, but I think they're also pretty smart and are looking for ways that they can get some monetization pieces without having to have complete ownership over everything.
[00:07:57] Heather Osgood: [00:07:57] Right. And I don't think that they need to have complete [00:08:00] ownership over everything in order to monetize it. So I don't think that they have to have complete ownership, um, in order to do that, which you know is nice. Um, So our, our friends over at the EdUp podcast, hi guys, um, they ask was the Joe Rogan deal or COVID the biggest force to move podcasting further into mainstream? Um, what are your thoughts?
[00:08:22] Evo Terra: [00:08:22] I'd say neither. Yeah, I really don't think. I mean, I think sure. Having, uh, the number one podcast on the planet suddenly be only available in Spotify, which happened what yesterday.
[00:08:34] Heather Osgood: [00:08:34] Oh, did it. Okay. My husband keeps saying I can still listen to Joe Rogan on my other apps.
[00:08:39] Evo Terra: [00:08:39] I think it was just yesterday when it was official that now it's no longer available anywhere else. And of course, we'll see how long it takes before you know, torrents of the show started showing up and people find alternate routes to do it, whatever.
[00:08:53] So I think that's going to be instrumental in moving forward. I mean, the whole, that whole Spotify is whole play on the Joe Rogan acquisition [00:09:00] is look, if people are forced to listen there that's great. But what they really want to do is they want to now tell their existing Spotify people, Hey, now you can get the Joe Rogan.
[00:09:09] In fact, it's the only place you can get it. So please come over and get a subscription from us and pay us the five, 10, 20 bucks a month, whatever it is to have an unlimited account. So that's their whole play, but is that really going to increase podcasting? I don't know. It might increase some exposure, just like the whole Spotify thing did, when Spotify first said we're going to list podcasts.
[00:09:27] It's the same thing that happened when Apple did it back in 2005. When with iTunes 4.7, it suddenly exposed listeners to this new batch of content called podcasting. So, so that's, that's beneficial, how beneficial I don't really know. Um, and then, and then COVID is its own unique challenge, right? I mean, it's more people are listening, which is good news.
[00:09:49] We have, we were all worried about that back in March because you know, when our commutes stopped, we've stopped going to the gym, all the things that we used to say, and I'm [00:10:00] sure Heather, you and your team said at all the time, this is when people listen doing these activities. Those activities stopped dead stop.
[00:10:07] Right? So, but what we have found from all of the data is people continue to find ways to listen. So, so that's, that's good. So I'm not sure that either of them were a real big driver in, in moving podcasting forward, just as much as anything else would have been.
[00:10:20] Heather Osgood: [00:10:20] Yeah. Yeah. Um, Hey Todd, thanks for joining us.
[00:10:24] And, um, yeah, I, I kind of, I think it's going to be so interesting with Joe Rogan on Spotify only to see like, when are we going to have, you know, people rally against that? I don't know. We'll see. I think so I'm a big audible, um, person. I listen to lots of audio books. And the other day when I was on audible, I noticed for the first time where they were like, Hey, you should listen to this podcast.
[00:10:46] And I think to me, what's so cool about it. Having podcasts available on Pandora and Spotify and audible is that it exposes more people to it because as much as. [00:11:00] All of, you know, the, the folks here in this industry feel like podcasts are everywhere. They're still not everywhere. And I still talk to people all the time and well, not as much anymore now that we've all been quarantined, but, uh, you know, online even.
[00:11:13] And I say things like, Hey, I'm in podcasts. And, um, they kind of say, you know, what is that exactly? Or, I mean, it doesn't, it, people still don't get it to the level that we would all like them to get it. Right?
[00:11:27] Evo Terra: [00:11:27] Yeah. And, and, you know, bringing up Audible is a good point and also. Well, let me, let me finish with my thought with that.
[00:11:34] So audible has been missing the boat on this for 16 years, and I've been telling them for 16 years, you've been missing the boat. Why do you, you are the app for spoken word content. Everything else is music, your spoken word. Most podcasts are spoken word, why an obvious and obvious miss, but, and finally, I'm, I'm glad that they're seeing it and you're right.
[00:11:53] It will get exposure, especially to that type of person. Who's used to going to audible, to listen, to spoken word [00:12:00] content. Now with the Amazon music slash audible acquisition is the wrong word inclusion of all podcasts. Now there's going to be more exposure to the right kind of audience, but here's the interesting thing. I'm not so sure that helps the exposure of podcasts. And I think that audible and Spotify are thinking about that as well, because it's really more about these are just spoken word shows that you can consume, right. A podcast in the future, meaning are there like the near immediate feed, meaning of podcasting right now is something you have to fire up a specialized app for, for most people or you're in Spotify.
[00:12:40] And you go to that special section that's called podcasting. And I don't have the audible app any longer. So I'm assuming that there's some place where podcasts are listed there, but I think you're going to see the blurring of the lines. Between what is a podcast and what is just content available on these platforms, right?
[00:12:58] Will it always be when Spotify is doing it now [00:13:00] with their new shows, with music, you know, those music podcasts, they don't want to call podcasts, which is exactly what they are, which a blend of a full song and the content together. It's like if Brian EBIT from Coverville, who's also started back in 2004.
[00:13:14] If he would have had that available to him at the time, that would have been a wonderful thing, but, but not. So I wonder if, are we. Are we diluting podcasting's brand as we have all of this new acquisition, wrong word, this new inclusion of the content. Right. I don't know, but I also don't think it's terribly important.
[00:13:33] I think it's just going to cause us to have a new conversation. I think you, Heather, who's out repping these shows. We'll probably have a better story to tell about this content that you are representing this now available in Spotify, in Pandora, in Amazon music, in all these platforms. Well, we still call it a podcast and please, God, let's not have the conversation of what's the right name, because you don't know how many times I've had that conversation and we're not going to call it netcasts, Leo [00:14:00] LaPorte.
[00:14:00] Um, so, but yeah, I, I wonder what's going to happen. Will that distinction seems to be relevant.
[00:14:05] Heather Osgood: [00:14:05] Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think I'm sure you're aware, but, um, Tom Webster and Edison research did, um, and it's been a little while ago now. I don't know when it was, but they did kind of the survey where they surveyed people and said, Hey, what is a podcast?
[00:14:19] And the average person, like my favorite was the woman that went on and on about how much she loved it. And it wasn't actually a podcast. It was a YouTube channel. And, you know, I mean, I think it's totally true. And, but in the podcast industry, a podcast is only a podcast. If it's on an RSS feed. You know, so, yeah, but who knows, who knows, who knows?
[00:14:40] Um, so our friends over at Magellan and Sounds Profitable put together a really cool podscape, um, page where it, it listed all of the different players. And I think to my knowledge, it's the first time anyone has really sat down and said, okay, We've got all these companies, where do they fall? You know, [00:15:00] who exactly is doing what?
[00:15:02] And I know, um, I was emailing Brian about this morning. He said that they've gotten lots of feedback on it, which I'm sure they have. I think truthfully, it was brave of them to even create it because I'm sure they had a million people emailing and saying, okay, You put us in the wrong spot or you didn't include us or what have you.
[00:15:17] Um, but it's nice to have a document that kind of lays out all the players in the industry. And I think it gives, um, it gives, you know, different placeholders. Um, so if you guys, anybody watching, if you guys haven't gotten your hands on that, and you're interested in it, go check out the sound's profitable, um, newsletter and website, and you can download that.
[00:15:38] Cause it's pretty cool. What were your thoughts about that, Evo?
[00:15:40] Evo Terra: [00:15:40] I was terribly excited to see it. Yeah, parallel to my journey and podcasting Heather, up until you got into the advertising business in 2015, in 2014, I got out of the advertising business, digital advertising, which I had been in since, um, [00:16:00] and in the digital space, we have this guide, we have something like this is published every year and it's huge, right?
[00:16:06] It shows all the different players from, you know, direct context, DSPs and ISP and SS. Uh, I'm going to get into weird terminology that nobody needs to know about. And it was wonderful because when I would onboard a new person into the digital agency, I was running, we would show this to them and say, this is a map of the major players.
[00:16:25] And here's how everything connects. It's a great way toyeducate new people on how the ad money. And that's what this really is how the ad money flows through the entire ecosystem of digital advertising. So finally having somebody, thanks, Magellan. Thanks Bryan Barletta for putting together the 2020 podscape and offering to continue to update it on a regular basis.
[00:16:47] I think it's great because I think most people, even in the podcasting world, even if they are podcasters who make the majority or all of their living from podcasting, have no idea. [00:17:00] How, gigantic and spider Webby this thing is. And so this map kind of puts that in perspective, the perspective to what you go, Oh, you know what, I'm part of a legitimate thing.
[00:17:13] It's not just a little fly by night thing. I think it's great. Everybody should be waving this around when they're talking to potential advertisers or just sponsors, even if you're on your show gets a few hundred downloads and you really can't attract somebody from a big impression level. Just handing this thing around saying you get to be involved in this.
[00:17:32] I'm here. I'm over here under, you know, production houses, Brandon content, or I'm over here in, in whatever, you know, this is how this whole thing works. I think it'll get people excited about the future of podcast monetization.
[00:17:44] Heather Osgood: [00:17:44] Yeah. Yeah, I totally agree. Um, and I think what's kind of cool about it is really just looking at the different, um, you know, the different categorizations, because so often people will ask like, well, where, where does true native media [00:18:00] fit?
[00:18:00] Who, who are you guys like in the industry? Right. And it's nice to be able to, you know, obviously I have people I can say, Oh yeah, well, we're kind of like Midroll or we're kind of like this company or that company. Right, right. Um, but it's really nice to have this guide. One of the things I thought was really interesting though, is the content creation segment.
[00:18:19] And, you know, I mean, he does have production houses and branded content, but that seemed very small to me. I kind of, I kind of feel like that might be an area where there, there are things missing. What were you, what were your thoughts about it? Did you feel like there were holes?
[00:18:34] Evo Terra: [00:18:34] No, you're, you're exactly right.
[00:18:35] I mean, that's, that's a big hole and because there are a lot of production houses and they've got the big ones on there. Sure. They got the wrong logo for mine, but that's okay. Give them, but you know, here's the problem. And it's the same thing we saw on the one for the digital industry. This is just a look.
[00:18:52] You know, I have a lot of friends who are astronomers. I have lots of weird friends. And so some of those are astronomers and it's an amazing, I have an astronomers friend because here's [00:19:00] the deal. You can take a telescope and you can point it at any spot in the sky. And when you, when you expose it, you will see stars.
[00:19:06] Here's the other thing you can zoom up a thousand times on that exact same spot and expose it and you'll see. More stars and galaxies and whatever. And from there you can expose, you can now zoom in another thousand times and expose that and open it up and you see the exact same, well, not the exact same thing, but again, it's filled, it's filled with stuff there's just so much.
[00:19:25] So this single page is a good shorthand for what the industry looks like. But yeah, but I mean, right now in production vessels, there's one, I'm just guessing there's 12 production houses and branded content up here. Okay. There should be a lot more than that. And then what about all of the shows that are representing themselves that aren't going through a rep form that are making their own content?
[00:19:45] When do they get put inside of your eyes? Yeah. Keeping this thing accurate is never going to happen. Right. They get, it can't be a goal. Right. They want to get as much in here as they can, but it's but it's always going to be shorthand.
[00:19:56] Heather Osgood: [00:19:56] Yeah. Yeah, for sure.
[00:19:57]Evo Terra: [00:19:57] I think the pod scape is great for those that are trying to [00:20:00] monetize with ads, but there's an, there are entire ecosystems that exist entire galaxies to go back to my last point, uh, that exists around other reasons why people podcasts, why companies, why brands, why they do anything.
[00:20:12] It's not just so they get those fat, fat ad dollars coming in. And so I think it's great. And I think. Maybe, maybe something like the pod scape helps people who have developed a sizeable audience who weren't thinking monetization through advertising. Maybe they can look at that as an, as an opportunity now.
[00:20:28] But I think it's also almost like a cautionary tale, like, okay, you've got your show with your 300 listeners. Um, you want to be part of this. Where do you think you fit inside of something that's this complicated that goes in. So maybe it should a good reality check.
[00:20:41] Heather Osgood: [00:20:41] Right? Right. I think that that's a really, really good point.
[00:20:44] And I try to talk to people a lot about how it, you don't have to monetize your podcast and you certainly don't have to monetize it through advertising. There are lots of other reasons to podcast and also lots of other ways to monetize your show. So it just depends on what you want. [00:21:00] One of the things I always say is like, start with the end in mind, right?
[00:21:02] Like, what's your goal? What are you going for? Why are you doing this? What's your motivation? And it doesn't have to be around advertising. And then if it is around advertising, what is that mean? You know, what kind of advertising are you looking for? Are you looking for, um, you know, are you looking for a host read ad or are you looking for those prerecorded ads?
[00:21:23] Right. Um, those are all important questions.
[00:21:26] Evo Terra: [00:21:26] Exactly. Right. You know, I like to, most of my clients are businesses. And the for brand new clients or prospects, the question of how do we pay for this? Because I asked the question, how are you going to keep paying my agency to do this? What's in it, right? What is your plan?
[00:21:42] So you can, can you do that? And for the ones who say, you know, advertising, uh, I have already done this. I say, well, funny thing is I went to your website, big company.com and I didn't see any ads. I didn't see any Google AdSense ads pop up on your website. Well, yeah, we don't have ads on our website or [00:22:00] websites, you know, for us, for a company.
[00:22:02] Hmm. Maybe that should be your podcast too. Maybe that's not an advertising vehicle either. You know, you, you make Sprockets. Okay. Just sell those right. That's part of your show. Right? So anyhow, one way to try and have that conversation, which sometimes works.
[00:22:17] Heather Osgood: [00:22:17] Yeah. That's a, that's a really smart way of approaching it.
[00:22:19] Actually. I really love that because it's totally true. If you're creating, especially a branded podcast for the company, why would you sell ads on it?
[00:22:26] Evo Terra: [00:22:26] Yeah, it is. It is, it is a really, really funny thing that we've done. Like what did you monetize your capture page? No, I don't think he did. I'll just leave that alone.
[00:22:34] Heather Osgood: [00:22:34] Most people. I mean, my favorite though is most people and I get emails literally all the time. Yeah. Not as much anymore because we changed the way we filter podcasts, but podcasters will email and say, I just started to show, I have 25 listeners. I need you to start selling ads. And I'm like, uh, no, that's not how it works.
[00:22:52] Like, you know, so it's, it's a fascinating.
[00:22:54]Evo Terra: [00:22:54] Two and a half cents per listener. Good luck.
[00:22:57] Heather Osgood: [00:22:57] You're going to get rich. Yeah, but there's this thought [00:23:00] that it's just easy to get advertisers on. It's just easy to get advertisers period, which is having been in the ad world now, most of my life, it's not easy to get advertisers.
[00:23:10] Evo Terra: [00:23:10] No, it's not. But you know, I do think that something along that back to the podscape map, I think that helps because I have a couple of clients that, um, are spending money. They're not, they're not, well, they've turned into podcasting clients too, but they said, Hey, we also have, here's an extra 50 grand we've got laying around.
[00:23:25] Can we do something in the podcasting space with that? So it was like, yeah. And so now using a map like that, I think will help the, the companies that have media dollars to spend, look at podcasting and say, Oh, that's legit. We get it now I'm just not buying something some dudes going to read on the air.
[00:23:41] This is an entire ecosystem that suddenly validates that I can walk into my CMO's office or my CFO's office and say, Hey, I want to spend $50,000 on a podcast advertising campaign. And I'm going to use, I'm going to circle the two spots I'm using and that's just two. So can we do that? And then [00:24:00] they'll go.
[00:24:00] Yeah, that's fine. Yeah.
[00:24:01] Heather Osgood: [00:24:01] Yeah. So interesting. Very, very fascinating. Well, Evo, thank you so much for being on the show with me today. I really appreciate it. Um, if people, maybe aren't familiar with you or want to check out either maybe some of the content you're creating or possibly even work with you, where can they find you?
[00:24:17] Evo Terra: [00:24:17] Sure. So, um, If you want me personally, Twitter is where I do all of my things and I'm just me, Evoterra, all one word can't miss it,
[00:24:25] Heather Osgood: [00:24:25] yeah, I think I met with a gentleman yesterday that had a very common name and yours is not very common.
[00:24:32] Evo Terra: [00:24:32] So it's pretty easy. Yeah. For the longest time, when I would give presentations, when I would give presentations and I would do around the world, my tie, my ending slide.
[00:24:39] Normally, you know, you put the headshot and the phone number and whatever. I just put a picture of Google. The Google search box with Evo Terra written in it. And that was it. Cause I I'm the one that's listed. It's not that hard to do anyhow. So you can follow me on Twitter at Evoterra. Um, if you're curious if you're a business and you want to get into podcasting, I that's what my company does or Simpler Media and that's [00:25:00] simply simpler.media.
[00:25:03] No comms. No, Beziers no, none of that. It was just simpler.media reaches there. And if you're a podcaster and you're not listening to my daily podcast, which is designed for working podcasters, like you, I don't tell you how to do things. I give you things you should be thinking about. That's it podcastpontifications.com, which is a terrible name. Don't make a podcast name with a word that no one ever uses in casual conversation, but there it is podcastpontifications.com. Awesome.
[00:25:36] Heather Osgood: [00:25:36] Well, thanks so much for being on with us today, Evo, and we'll see everybody next week.
[00:25:41] Evo Terra: [00:25:41] Thanks Heather.