Venture Investing in Podcasting – Insights and Opportunities

Joanne Lin

Newark Venture Partners and how venture firms are looking at the podcast industry…

Joanne LinJOANNE LIN, Senior Investment Associate at Newark Venture Partners (which has been becoming a notable presence in investing and supporting the podcast industry) talks with MouthMedia Network CEO Rob Sanchez about how the company is thinking about the podcast space, tech platforms, the ubiquity of voice, and the objective of reaching the next frontier of the 83% of the US who haven’t yet adopted podcasts.

Plus, the latest headlines in podcasting and on-demand from Podnews.

Newark Venture Partners (NVP) invests in innovative entrepreneurs that are leveraging their industry expertise to change the way companies do business. They focus on investment themes that align with the strategic priorities of their Corporate investors, and look for passionate founders that are uniquely qualified to build their businesses.

NVP invests across the early stage lifecycle from pre-seed to Series A, and will invest up to $1 Million in an initial check. Post investment they support their Founders thru an in-house Growth Team that helps develop an effective sales approach, and by facilitating introductions to decision makers at their corporate investors.

As well, NVP claims 7 corporate investors and 500+ on-demand subject matter experts who want to work with their start-ups.

10 Tips to Grow Podcast Downloads and Engagement

Top Ten Tips

Tips to grow podcast downloads, audience engagement, and thought leadership, from Marc Raco, Head of Content and Programming for MouthMedia Network…

  • Is there a secret recipe?
  • Partner with others
  • Interview guests with followers
  • Stay lean
  • Build in enjoyable rituals
  • Use multiple social media channels
  • Link to prior content
  • Integrate photos
  • Cross-promote
  • Hold live events
  • Invite guest hosts

Check out the full article here.

Also, podcasters Lisa Schoonover (Reaching Hearts Changing Lives) and Neil Guilarte (All Things Post podcast) share their individual stories and approach to content, reaching audience, and making impact – all recorded at the 2018 Podfest Multimedia Expo.

Plus, the latest podcast and on-demand headlines from Podnews. MouthMedia Network studios are powered by Sennheiser.

How can podcasting conquer the other 83%?

Podcasting is growing, professionalizing, and gaining interest — but what will it take to move beyond the 17% of US podcast listeners? Do we choose broad listenership, or squabble over an increasingly competitive space with thin margins?

  • A collective sigh after Podcast Movement and Voice Summit –  a growing adoption, professionalism
  • New products and tools entering the marketplace that change the way we think about stats and reports
  • More use of IAB Standards
  • At least $200M invested in podcasting in last year
  • Yet only 17% of US is listening
  •  Significant growth, professionalism – yet why is huge untapped market untapped
  • How to grow and expand?
  • Change in content types, adjusting to listening habits
  • Market  for podcast players is fractured
  • If Google Podcast App is in Top Ten apps but only .5% of the marketplace, what can that tell us?
  • Massive competition for the same people as listeners?
  • Do listeners have too many choices, causing paralysis?
  • Too many players?
  • So many barriers to entry accumulating because of competition
  • should be deeper than 17% – mobile is available, content is free, most content speaks to broad audience
  • Need deeper penetration across the country, user types
  • Having trouble reaching ears of people
  • Incredible amount of adoption, growth, professionalization, content is fresh, endless opportunities in ways people an adopt podcasts into lives
  • Going back to storytelling and spoken word
  • Our strategic choices as an industry impact ability to conquer and grow
  • Broad listenership, or squabble over increasingly competitive space with thin margins?

MouthMedia Network CEO Rob Sanchez shares thoughts and insights on the future of growth within the podcast industry.

Plus: the latest headlines in podcasting and on-demand from Podnews.

Variety in Podcasting


Three podcasts that illustrate the great variety of content and approaches in podcasting…

Rick Savoia of The Tech Jobcast (hints, tips and the latest tech job listings), Steve Adams of  Mighty Blue on The Appalachian Trail (a  journey on the way to thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail), and Philip Taylor of Money & Media Podcast (content marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, and exciting people making waves in personal finance and investing media), share their individual stories and approach to content and reaching audience–all recorded at the 2018 Podfest Multimedia Expo

Plus, the latest podcast and on-demand headlines from Podnews. MouthMedia Network studios are powered by Sennheiser.

Podcasts, Platforms, and Copyrights


Copyrights and ownership for podcasts, the necessity for platforms to treat podcast content and RSS feeds as copyrighted content even if available to pull, and honoring the work the podcaster is doing with the standards and guidelines put forth. Plus, an interview with Gordon Firemark of  “Entertainment Law Update”, along with the latest podcast and in-demand headlines from Podnews. MouthMedia Network studios are powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Example of Castbox reportedly removing links, republishing modified podcast feeds
  • Whats responsibility of platform carrying RSS feeds and right of podcasters to feeds
  • Podcasts protected by copyright law, period
  • The second you record or “fix” content, you have a copyright ownership, you do not have to register it, although that offer additional rights to register
  • Joint copyright ownership of everyone contributing
  • Differentiating trademarks from copyrights
  • Making copyrights available via feeds, but have different definition of what use permissions are
  • Changing ways show are presented and way show notes operate, and removing copyright notice – could this constitute intentional modification of a feed and therefore copyright violation?
  • Necessary to make sure you have permissions, especially if modifying RSS feed, as feed and audio are protected by copyright law
  • Implications to ability to generate revenue, track data and statistics accurately
  • Rights to consume, commercialize content requires direct consent for players
  • Creating collaboration instead of a kind of “land grab”


In this episode:

  • An interview recorded at the 2018 Podfest Multimedia Expo withGordon Firemark of “Entertainment Law Update” podcast
  • The latest podcast and on-demand news from Podnews
  • MouthMedia Network CEO Rob Sanchez on copyright ownership for podcasts, the necessity for platforms to treat podcasts content and RSS feeds as copyrighted content even if available to pull, and honoring the work the podcaster is doing with the standards and guidelines put forth.

A call to action to experiment, share, and discover the future of audio


The need for the podcasting to grow and experiment, sharing what we learn, pushing the envelope, changing the way we deliver and seeing what works and what doesn’t, where can we go, and what can we do. Plus, an interview with Rich Casanova of Pro Business Channel studios in Atlanta with a new show (Non Profits Radio, as a giveback), and headlines from top news on podcasting and on-demand from Podnews…

In this episode:

  • A moment of revolution, a rapid change in ways of monetization, production, distribution, consuming content, and why we have to experiment to not be left behind
  • This is the time for innovation, to think about the future, place bets, see what happens
  • The need to grow by experimenting, share what we learn, push the envelope, change the way we deliver, and through that talk and see what works, and what doesn’t, and discover where can we go and what can we do
  • Avoiding going the way of the newspaper, and instead building the thing of the future
  • Where we’ll be in the future of podcasting, and why the reality is “unthinkable”
  • A very strong way to look at what we’re doing as entrepreneurs in the podcast space, by looking at why newspapers were not a sustainable business model built on scarcity of printing resources and access to print and quickly get information out to the people, relying on competitive advantage in production which is no longer valid given the Internet
  • In a normal state of time and society, a pragmatist describes the world, and radical talks about an alternate future
  • How a pragmatists shifts to talk about an alternate future and a radical is hanging onto the old ways, resulting in faith based growth strategies
  • For about 12 years, little technological innovation in podcasts, some experiments and tests, premium and wall gardens, testing different business models around a long form audio, no longer free access
  • As an industry, podcasting needs to be sure it is not on wrong side and holding onto a past and holding instead into a future
  • Programmatic advertising speeds up delivery of ads, but drives down how much money you can make, as the pot of money doesn’t change but an increase supply and lower revenue numbers results, which is what hit blogs
  • Working with targeted audiences instead of mass adoption and large audiences to work
  • The impact on ability to draw large audiences the more podcasts there are, as the number of podcasts rapidly expands
  • Trying to hold onto what this industry used to be may leave us behind
  • How iOS 8 may have changed what is possible in podcasting
  • We don’t know what the future will hold
  • A call to action to experiment to find the future


In this episode:

  • An interview recorded at the 2018 Podfest Multimedia Expo with Rich Casanova of Pro Business Channel studios in Atlanta with a new show (Non Profits Radio, as a giveback)
  • The latest podcast and on-demand news from Podnews
  • MouthMedia Network CEO Rob Sanchez on the need for the podcasting row by experimenting, sharing what we learn, pushing the envelope, changing the way we deliver and seeing what works and what doesn’t, where can we go, and what can we do.

How the many micro Faustian deals we make affect podcasting


The need to pay attention to the many micro Faustian deals we regularly make which impact the nature, dissemination, and monetization of podcasts, an interview with Ashley Berges of  “Live Your True Life Perspectives” podcast, and headlines from top news on podcasting and on-demand from Podnews…

  • Thinking about micro Faustian deals and podcasting
  • Inspiration from the book The Blockchain Revolution
  • How the baseline of chosen Standards has dictated the way content has grown
  • With the largest delivery mechanism being Apple, how podcasters are “stuck” with choices Apple makes, including the way they chose to grow in this area
  • Manual advertising insertion is necessary because not a lot of choice, and a look at the growth of programmatic ad entities
  • Deals to service providers
  • Thee are many ways to monetize shows but you have to go externally from players, which decreases the number of individuals engaging with montizations opportunities
  • Falloff in engagement is lost revenue
  • The flood of attention will impact the way people create and consider podcasts
  • Business-focused podcasts, and relying on actions with low conversion rate
  • Starting to grow tool sets and take away deals we’re making for largest distribution that take away options
  • Building growth mechanisms that allow us to stop giving away ownership of the medium, and the future ways and tools providing control over ways we can create and disseminate content with maxiumum choices over the vision of our content
  • Being aware of the deals we make all the time
  • Editing a certain way, including/not including certain content based on available of technical abilities and delivery systems, and whether internal or external to players
  • Creating content shaped by reaction to external forces vs. from internal intent


In this episode:

The problem of continuing friction for new podcast listeners


Thoughts on adoption rates of podcast players and reducing friction for new podcast listeners, an interview with podcast veteran, consultant and Head of Content for podtopod Mathew Passy, and headlines from top news on podcasting and on-demand from Podnews…

  • The adoption rate of podcast payers and how people think about them
  • Most players are so difficult to search with
  • Google’s podcast player will likely capture people who aren’t as adopted to podcasting
  • “Search and response” people are not the same as superfans
  • Radio show Car Talk was a favorite and nothing has captured Sanchez since the same way
  • Transitional listeners – testing podcasts, just came over from radio, new to podcasting – it is a different experience
  • Most players are encapsulated in apps, not a lot of ways to listen without investment of time or money in adopting
  • Adding a player often feels like a purchase
  • New listeners may not be sure how this is different than other mediums
  • The cult-like nature of podcast industry feels exclusive in a way that pushes away people who are new to podcasting
  • The problem with newcomers not realizing there is a native podcast app on the iPhone
  • The importance of the podcast industry thinking about what we’re describing, and — is it just radio on demand?
  • The level of intimacy matters – radio being a push mechanism and a podcast being a pull mechanism
  • How do we get people to enjoy light experiences before they fully adopt to create less friction?
  • The podcasting industry is in a bubble that hasn’t hit fully mainstream despite the large numbers
  • Entire segments of the population still need to adopt podcasting and be trained


In this episode:

Why podcasts will prosper by building communities, not just audiences

Why data matters big-time for podcasters serious about competing in fast-moving environment, why quality and engagement will be crucial, and why the fact that podcasting is having a big moment — and new big players with deep pockets are on scene  — both require podcasters to pay attention to the network effect of having a tribe. Plus an interview with William Hung (of “American Idol” fame) on his new podcast “From Fear to Courage”, and headlines from podcasting and on-demand from Podnews…

  • The shift where rich content in podcasting is having a moment, and audience size is swelling, with attention driving toward long form audio
  • Brands, influencers, and journalists are taking notice
  • Podcasting is now similar to the wave of early blogging which became simply a part of business
  • How fragmentation is dangerous with content
  • The quality of product is foremost important, and producers can no longer get away with subpar content if serious about competing
  • The way content quality expectations are changing
  • Why data does indeed crucially matter for podcasting to prosper
  • Live events and other interactions allow a profiling of audiences insights into who is paying attention and what they care about
  • Quality and engagement will rule and resonate
  • How community can grow podcasting independent of digital presence
  • The network effect of having a tribe
  • How helping people motivates them to be there for you and support and engage with a podcast
  • People who care about you and want you to succeed because you wanted them to succeed first, they will always be there for you
  • The seed of community is wanting to help someone be better
  • The value of not charging ticket prices for events, but instead inviting people who will want to participate
  • New players with big pockets and high quality content requires us to up the game


In this episode:

The New Google Podcast Player: Inspiring a Listener Renaissance?

Google podcast player

Will the updated Google Podcast Player  — and easier access to podcasts — lead to a boom and expansion in the podcast world? What does this mean for advertising models, new revenue streams, the potential of device-to-device podcast hand-offs, and the need for podcast producers to stop and listen more closely to their content? Plus an interview with Elle Martinez of the podcast “Couple Money”, and headlines from podcasting and on-demand from Podnews…

  • Despite considerable use of Android phones, podcasts are listened to 80% on Apple, 11% on Android phones
  • It’s now easier to access podcasts, see boom and expansion in podcast world
  • The integration of search with podcasts, how the web app can save podcasts you’ve subscribed to, and why though a basic feature, it has importance
  • Casual listeners can now test podcasting without downloading an app
  • How there seems to be no integration of advertising, yet podcasts shown in Google results
  • Looking at some new functionality that could generate revenue streams for some podcasters
  • The potential for donations to be solicited by podcasters
  • Will the advertising model shift at all?
  • Why the new player changes how producers promote podcasts and rely on people finding them
  • Will this become the “Land of the Giants”
  • Is there a different kind of content that Google is looking for?
  • Why didn’t Google engage as meaningfully in podcasts prior to now?
  • How there are now opportunities to play with new ways of distributing content, i.e. in home devices, and how Google is working on handing off device to device
  • The ubiquity of Google to interact with a person’s life, and the ability to hand content off device to device, resulting in a lot of data about life that is played into recommendation engine
  • The changes in listener experience interacting with the actual content that can be creating a variety of interaction paradigms, developing content, shifting public to private
  • Google’s player can help get more people excited about podcasting, and result in perhaps another renaissance
  • Why this is a chance for podcast producers to stop and listen to content and consider how it is going out to the world


In this episode: