Last week we held Hot Pod Summit 2022, our invitational event about the future of the podcast industry. It was a day of laughs, gasps and jabs to all of our favorite audio giants.
Ashley led almost all the panels and at the end of the day she publicly shared that she is embarking on a new adventure. After more than six years with The edge and many months responsible for Hot Pod (included weeks spent writing “test runs” before officially starting??), she is now on her way to Bloomberg† Hot Pod we’re getting a new one soon, but until then we’re taking it easy to get all our ducks in line. And let our ducks sleep too. I’m one of those ducks.
I’m free until next week’s Insider issues, so our editor Jake Kastrenakes will be with you in the meantime.
One more thing: I just wanted to thank you all for being so nice to me this weekend. I’m pretty sure I told every person I spoke to how much I was sweating, but if I didn’t, I am now. I was nervous and I am grateful to the staff, volunteers, attendees and speakers for giving me a nice environment to feel everything I was feeling.
Now, the top! I want to run through some concrete business insights from the top for those who couldn’t be there. However, these are just some of the takeaways of the day — the things our panelists talked about were representative of the walk they walk each day, running their own businesses, and building fan benefits to monetize their creations. Watch them, ask them questions, collaborate with them! They do a lot, and they don’t give up.
Existing video platforms increase a pod’s footprint
AJ Feliciano, head of Rooster Teeth’s podcast network, called YouTube “a game of skill.” It’s a platform podcasters can use to reach new audiences, he said, but only if they optimize their videos for discoverability. And the fact that YouTube’s algorithmic suggestions work for findability at all? It leads him to think that a similar setup should “definitely” come to podcast platforms. (In that vein, TikTok isn’t too shabby either: fellow panelist Marques Brownlee said there’s a fan-created TikTok account for his podcast, and while it’s not officially affiliated with him or his brand, some videos of it have account over 1 million views.)
It’s no shortcoming that important steps are often inefficient – that’s showbiz, baby
Dan Granger, CEO and founder of Oxford Road, claimed there is an overwhelming benefit to creating ads that listeners perceive as personal and authentic; live just reads differently than third-party spots inserted later. In response to an audience suggestion that shows contain pre-recorded, host-read ads, with the aim of making it easier to exchange ads in and out without compromising their candid quality, Granger called them “faked-ins.” ‘ (instead of baked-ins). ) and said that, in terms of data, they’re just not the same as real host reads. According to his experience in the advertising world, they “never reach the amount of seamless magic.”
The content moderation people are asking for may not come; it might not even be the right thing to ask
During the Q&A portion of our content moderation panel, producer Keisha TK Dutes spoke about the experience of Black and BIPOC voices and media being suppressed under the guise of content moderation. She then posed an important question: Will there actually be any changes from the recent backlash against discriminatory and harmful speech, as many relevant figures have retained their platform in the past, especially on the radio (and especially if they are white males)? Panelist Owen Grover, CEO of TrueFire Studios, admitted the outlook isn’t bright, saying ad vendors are still able to find sponsors for dangerous content and money has maintained the status quo. “Talk radio is the precursor to this particular set of problems,” he said. Continue, panel moderator Casey Newton point out the elephant in the room: that the biggest content moderation story of the moment – Joe Rogan – actually requires something deeper than moderation. It’s no accident, an awkward accident, that Rogan and his words ended up on the Spotify platform, and now, oops, he just needs to be dealt with. The company paid him to be there.
And a few other notes:
- At a panel on running audio companies alongside Big Tech competitors, Juleyka Lantigua, CEO and founder of the production company LWC, brought home a point about professional development: It’s an employee’s personal commitment and requires an employer’s support to evolve in the industry. And sometimes growth is best achieved in a new role at a new company. That’s not a bad thing for the industry, even if it can feel like a big (and sometimes personal) loss for a small team.
- Don Albright, co-founder of Tenderfoot TV, explained that it takes time — and opportunity — for IP ownership to pay off for creators: “You have to have 10 things that work,” he said, both to help increase the odds. work to your advantage and to profit financially from the chance of something being picked up. ‘Payroll banking’ with things like license fees? Dream On.
- And in the open town hall, which concluded the day, one question carried the entire dang session: Are we really looking for podcast hits, with the days of culture-defining audio sensations behind us? TL;DR: no. There are many ways to define the success of a show, and people had many ways of expressing it – too many to list here. But hey, even if we to do rely on old stats, another one serialstyle hit could still be around the corner.
Okay, yes, I’m up. Take care, darlings.
Now our aforementioned editor will take you through some news this morning, as well as for the next ones to follow.
Hi everyone, Jake here. I’m usually behind the scenes, but I’ve got you covered for news today.
What if a news podcast could update all day?
There’s a new company, with some new technology, helping to launch a new podcast. Lots of interesting things to discuss here:
- spooler is a new podcast technology company led by some of the big names in the audio space. So is James O. Boggs, former head of Apple Podcasts; Andy Bowers, co-founder of Slate Audio and Megaphone; Dan Benjamin, founder of Fireside.fm; and Kerry Donahue, former executive producer at WNYC. And is Henry Blodget involved in any way?
- The company’s technology allows podcasters to constantly update a show† A news show can be published in the morning and then add new segments during the day, update previous clips, or switch the order of the broadcast.
- Each update rebuilds the podcast and replace the previous entry on RSSBowers told me through a spokesperson. So if you listen in the morning, you can download the show again and move on to hear what happened later in the day.
- Listeners get a better experience through a custom player that allows listeners to browse segment by segment. At the moment this only exists on the internet.
- Insider is the first to use the techthe launch of a news program called the refresh (do you understand?). The show publishes on weekdays with live updates between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.
This is a smart idea and opens up some fascinating new possibilities for podcasters. That said, I immediately read that this seems like a lot of work for podcasters and listeners alike. Producers must be present to continuously record and build out the episodes throughout the day. And listeners need to be aware of when they last tuned in to make sure they don’t miss a thing.
Still, with the caliber of the names involved, I pay close attention.
Pandora <3s SoundCloud
Pandora continues to deepen its ties to SoundCloud with the launch of a new station – Digicore by SoundCloud – that will focus on “music from a young, diverse, Internet-inspired generation.” The songs are chosen by SoundCloud’s music team, with most of the songs coming from home producers who are largely unsigned, Erika Montes, VP of artist development and relationships, tells me through a spokesperson.
It’s the latest sign of a closer bond between SiriusXM (which owns Pandora) and SoundCloud (which SiriusXM invested $75 million in 2020). Pandora’s first SoundCloud station, The Lookout by SoundCloud, launched last year based on the hip-hop show of the same name that airs on SiriusXM. The companies promise more collaborations in 2022.
iHeart lets you “talk back” to hosts
A new feature in the iHeartRadio app allows listeners to record and send 30-second voice memos to hosts, who could theoretically use those clips live on the air moments after receiving them. This sounds fun and very chaotic – but how many of you use this app? iHeart reported 150 million “registered” users last May, but it didn’t give any numbers active users.
Saturday Night Live suggests white guys think it’s cool with all the podcasts
In case you’re wondering how mainstream the issue of “white guys saying stupid things on podcasts” has become, look no further than this weekend’s John Mulaney sketch SNL†
That’s all for now – catch your Insiders on Thursday.