BONUS EPISODE: Every year I come back from Podcast Movement with fresh new ideas and full of excitement. I always love to share what I learned with you, so today is the day!
Podcast Movement is my favorite event of the year. I get to see old friends and make new ones. I network with clients and discuss my favorite topic - anything related to podcast advertising. This year felt so good to see everyone in person ready to do business.
Although I don't get to attend many sessions because I am jam-packed with meetings, I have conversations with industry leaders about important topics. These are what I will share with you today.
If you attended Podcast Movement 2022, let me know what you learned by tweeting @truenativemedia with your favorite takeaways.
P.S - I also have some exciting news to share ( a new company I just launched called The Podcast Broker), so listen to the end to hear more about how you could sell your podcast and make money! Visit https://www.thepodcastbroker.com/ to learn more.
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This transcript is edited for clarity purposes.
[00:00:15] Heather Osgood: Hello, and welcome to the Podcast Advertising Playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood. And last week was Podcast Movement in Dallas. And after Podcast Movement, I love to do a recap episode to tell you all the interesting things I learned. And so, for you today, we have that recap episode. I'm excited to dive in.
[00:00:40] Heather Osgood: One of my first observations from Podcast Movement is that we are just super happy to be face to face in this world. It was so great to see so many people out at Podcast Movement. We did have Podcast Evolutions back in March in LA, and that was terrific, but this definitely felt like a real Podcast Movement. There were lots and lots of people there.
[00:01:05] Heather Osgood: I don't know that I have heard a count, but I would guess there were around 1500 to 2000 people. Just super busy; really great to see so many industry folks out there, advertisers and agency representatives, as well as lots of podcasters and content creators.
[00:01:25] Heather Osgood: Now I will tell you, I typically am so busy in meetings that I do not attend many sessions. But we get to hear all of the buzz and conversations, so that’s what I’m bringing to you today.
[00:01:48] Heather Osgood: In terms of the conversations I had, there was a definite theme that I wanted to share with you today. And that theme is one of dynamic ad insertion. So if you've been listening to this podcast for a minute, you will know that I love dynamic ad insertion.
[00:02:15] Heather Osgood: Just a quick overview about dynamic ad insertion. DAI is when you digitally insert your ads into your podcast instead of baking them in. Now, of course, those ads can be host-read, producer-read, and pre-produced that you put in, but I do believe that dynamic ad insertion is the future of the industry.
[00:02:38] Heather Osgood: And boy, was there a lot of talk about dynamic ad insertion at the event. I am a proponent of dynamic ad insertion because to get to the next level as an industry; we must monetize as many impressions as possible. So now you may be in the camp where you feel like you don't want tons of ads in podcasts, and I agree with you.
[00:03:06] Heather Osgood: I'm not here to say that every podcast needs to be jam-packed with ten different ads. But the reality is, right now, that the top 1% of podcasts are still getting lots and lots of ads. And that is where the ad overload comes from. Then there's everybody else.
[00:03:30] Heather Osgood: The 99% of podcasters are not full of ads and could be really maximized in terms of getting more ads into their podcast. And so, for me, dynamic ad insertion is the answer to this because we have so many impressions in the industry that are going unserved. And I really believe that that is an issue.
[00:03:53] Heather Osgood: Now, let's discuss dynamic ad insertion effectiveness. This is a conversation I had with many of our agency partners and advertisers. One of the big questions is how do we get dynamic ads to perform the same as embedded or baked-in ads? I will say that I am certainly not here to tell you that dynamic ads will outperform baked-in ads.
[00:04:20] Heather Osgood: When you look at baked-in ads, part of its overall effectiveness is that you're not paying for all of the impressions that you're getting. So when you think about how baked-in ads work or embedded ads, they're inserted into one specific episode. The advertiser pays for the impressions they receive in a 30 to 45-day period.
[00:04:43] Heather Osgood: But that episode may and most of the time continue to get more downloads. So you've got an episode that maybe is listened to for six months or a year or two years, you know, who knows, depending on the content, how long that episode is being listened to and getting new listeners every day on old content.
[00:05:04] Heather Osgood: I just started listening to a podcast produced in 2020. I've listened to 10 episodes this week. If that podcast had embedded or baked-in ads, then that means that that podcaster would not be getting paid for those impressions.
[00:05:20] Heather Osgood: And that's part of the reason why embedded ads are so effective is that the advertiser is not paying for all of the impressions that are taking place. So that is why they're effective. Now, when we look at dynamic ad insertion and the industry, it's essential if we want to get to 2 billion or 3 billion.
[00:05:44] Heather Osgood: If we want to keep building our ad sales, we need to monetize these impressions, which isn't happening across the board in as big a way as I would like to see it happen. And yet we at Podcast Movement had many conversations about making dynamically inserted ads more effective than they are right now.
[00:06:09] Heather Osgood: Now, I see the trend that dynamically inserted ads are not getting as high CPMs as embedded ads. Two years ago, we were able to sell a dynamically inserted ad at the same CPM as we could for a baked-in or embedded ad. So that is changing.
[00:06:29] Heather Osgood: And I think it makes sense. And the reason that it makes sense is that you are hitting the same person multiple times. This brings me to the next point. To figure out dynamic ad insertion, the industry needs to look at the elements and decide, “How are we, as an industry, really tracking these things?”
[00:06:52] Heather Osgood: How are we flighting dynamically inserted ads? Are we running them just for months and months, back to back? Or some ads play for a couple of weeks and then take a break. What kind of cadence does that advertiser have?
[00:07:14] Heather Osgood: Next, we need to look at the ad creative. Is the host doing an excellent job with the ads initially? And then are they rotating the ad often enough that the advertiser sees results and listeners are not getting burnout? If a listener hears the same too many times, that will not help them buy or convert better.
[00:07:35] Heather Osgood: It's just going to create burnout. And that leads to frequency. So how often is the same person being hit with this advertiser's message? So those are critical things we need to figure out. What was so great for me in our conversations is that I really believe the agencies and the advertisers know that we're headed toward dynamic ad insertion.
[00:08:04] Heather Osgood: And if they want to capitalize on it, we need to figure out how to make it perform better. So I think that that was a really important takeaway that I had.
[00:08:16] Heather Osgood: Next takeaway was a Spotify versus everyone else conversation. So Spotify has done wonderful things for our industry, most of which are to purchase many different companies and invest in the industry. So Spotify has been able to look into the podcast industry and see value in what we're creating. And see value in their contribution and ways to bring together tools to become more powerful in this space to create a better podcast atmosphere.
[00:08:55] Heather Osgood: And it's easy for us to create an “us versus them” mentality. When I hang out with many industry experts in the independent space or, let's face it, anyone smaller than Spotify, which is, oh, I don't know, 99% of the businesses out there. So I'm not saying there aren't other power players in the industry. There are, but Spotify has the makings of creating more of a walled garden, meaning you can only participate with us within our space. So we're not necessarily going to, you know, be playing with everyone else.
[00:09:37] Heather Osgood: And I heard this in conversations repeatedly. And I think it's vital that we try to work together because the reality is that if we create an “us versus Spotify” mentality, it isn't helping anyone. Now, does Spotify need to work with us?
[00:10:00] Heather Osgood: Not necessarily. They have the funding to create whatever they want. But they've done an excellent job of acquiring extremely effective tools. Megaphone is a great platform. The Spotify Audience Network SPAN has done a nice job selling ads and programmatically inserting them. They're getting high CPMs because Spotify has more listener data and can match that data with the ads advertisers want to run. So there's a lot of value that Spotify brings to the industry, and we can't overlook that value.
[00:10:44] Heather Osgood: And it's essential for us, who are not part of Spotify, to try and work with them instead of creating a barrier. We are a traditionally cohesive industry, and many people in the podcast industry are open and willing to work together. So let’s continue to approach it that way
[00:11:40] Heather Osgood: My final point is that I see the industry wanting to work together. At Podcast Movement, strategic problem-solving was happening, and we continue to grow as a podcast industry. We've got more diverse content creators and advertisers coming into the space. We've got more technology around brand safety which is pretty awesome. The AI stuff that is happening is fantastic. So there are just many wonderful things happening in the podcast space.
[00:12:26] Heather Osgood: But we also see what our shortcomings are. And I do believe that we want to work together as an industry. And the more we try to work together as an industry, the better off we will be. Because any of the infighting that we and this thought process of trying to stand alone are breaking us down.
[00:12:56] Heather Osgood: We shouldn’t say, "Hey, my company versus that other podcast company." It's much more important to say podcast advertising against social media advertising podcast, advertising against TV advertising, you know, or OTT or any of the options out there.
[00:13:17] Heather Osgood: If we can figure out how to bring in more advertisers and use the technology, to create more similarities between what we're doing. If we get on the same page, even just with our terminology, it will help the industry so much.
[00:13:48] Heather Osgood: Those are my takeaways from Podcast Movement. It was a terrific event; the team at Podcast Movement did a wonderful job.
[00:14:02] Heather Osgood: If you're an advertiser, try to plug in by connecting to some great content. There are newsletters out there, like Sounds Profitable and Podnews.
[00:14:27] Heather Osgood: So, if you are a podcaster, I encourage you to tune in and pay attention to what is happening in the podcast industry. Because of all the technology coming into the space and new companies. They're essential to your ultimate success as a podcaster. So, please make sure to pay attention to that.
[00:15:11] Heather Osgood: The other thing that I wanted to announce today on the show that I haven't talked about before, that I'm excited about is that last week I launched a new business, The Podcast Broker.
[00:15:23] Heather Osgood: So I launched this business with Ben Richardson and Alberto Patella, the founders of rss.com. And I created THe podcast Broker because I've worked with many podcasters over the years who have come to me and just said, "Heather, I'm tired of producing my podcast. I've been talking about weddings for seven years, or I've been talking about success for 10 years, and I'm just really tired of creating this content." I think that it is normal that after creating a podcast for so long, you get tired of it, right? You get tired of creating the same thing.
[00:16:02] Heather Osgood: And we find that podcasters usually stop creating their show, and they pod fade. They're like, I'm done with this, moving on to something else. And I see that as a huge loss because an established podcast has so much value. And so that is why we created The Podcast Broker to buy and sell podcasts. I had several people come up to me last week at podcast movement when we launched it. And just talking through the process with them and seeing that light bulb moment, they were like, "Oh, you don't mean by ads, you mean actually by the whole show."
[00:16:47] Heather Osgood: And I'm like, "Yes, buy the whole show." And the concept behind it is that if you're starting out and thinking, gosh, maybe I would like to start a health podcast. You could start at ground zero, and you can start your own show. And we know that there's nothing wrong with doing that, but we also know that building an audience can be tricky.
[00:17:08] Heather Osgood: And being able to purchase a health podcast that already has an established audience is gonna give you a leg up and is gonna allow you not to just start from zero when you're creating your show. How does that work? How can you go from one person being the host to a new person being the host?
[00:17:32] Heather Osgood: And yes, there will be variations. If I am, you know, the Heather Osgood podcast, it's going to be harder for me to sell that show than if I'm the Marketing Today Podcast. Because you, you know, when you've got someone so entrenched into a podcast as the host, it's gonna be harder to make that separation.
[00:17:55] Heather Osgood: However, I certainly have experience with shows that have switched hosts and not missed a beat. So it's all about how the transition takes place. If you are, you know, Heather Osgood is the host one day, and the next day it's Jen Smith. That might be a little bit jolting to your audience, right? So you have to think about what kind of transition plan you have.
[00:18:22] Heather Osgood: How will you get that new host integrated? I recommend co-hosting the show for a period of episodes until you feel like the audience understands that person. And then announcing them as the new host. So there are tactics that you can take to go ahead and transition that show.
[00:18:43] Heather Osgood: The other thing, when we think about buying podcasts, is perhaps you're in an industry where you really wanna create thought leadership. Maybe you would like to have a branded podcast, but instead of starting at ground zero, You can purchase a podcast, and you could even employ that current host to continue to host that podcast.
[00:19:03] Heather Osgood: So there are options for purchasing shows that make sense. The other thing that I find fascinating is since we launched last week, I've had several people reach out to me who were looking to establish podcast networks. So they want to get a whole bunch of shows together and create a network or create, you know, a podcast company that isn't just one show.
[00:19:28] Heather Osgood: And by going out and purchasing podcasts, it's a good way to build a network, own the content, and do it quickly. So if you're interested in learning more about the podcast broker, I recommend you head over to thepodcastbroker.com. You can get a free podcast evaluation there; just submit your information.
[00:19:49] Heather Osgood: We don't have any podcasts on the site yet. We have had many, many inquiries. So I am going through the job of evaluating each of those podcasts and then potentially putting them up on the site for sale, but we should have podcasts up for sale, I would think, within the next couple of weeks, producing this episode on August 30th.
[00:20:10] Heather Osgood: So that gives you kind of some context in terms of timeline, but I would love, uh, to have you reach out and let me know what you think of that idea. Whatever is best for you, whether that's on LinkedIn or through an email from The Podcast Broker website. So, thank you so much for listening to this week's episode.
[00:20:31] Heather Osgood: I appreciate it very much. I had a great time at Podcast Movement, super excited to be launching the podcast broker. And, of course, true native media is going gangbusters. So super excited for Q4 and next year in terms of creating some great connections between advertisers and podcasters.
[00:20:54] Heather Osgood: And if you're thinking about podcast advertising, but you're really not sure where to start, please head over to truenativemedia.com and download our guide so that you can learn everything that you need to know about podcast advertising. Have a great rest of your day. And I look forward to connecting with you next time.
[00:21:13] Heather Osgood: Take care.