Acquisitions, consolidation, and subscriptions in the podcast marketplace

MONEY

Monetization models in podcasting, why a $40M investment was made in a subscription service, why public radio stations banded together to buy an open platform, an interview with Hilda Labrada Gore of the Wise Traditions podcast on how she crossed the 1 Million download milestone, and headlines from top news on podcasting and on-demand from Podnews…

  • Consolidation in the podcast marketplace
  • How Pocket Casts and Luminary Media are heading in opposite directions
  • Luminary Media’s walled garden subscription approach
  • Can a paywall protected podcast player succeed?
  • How paywalls might be working in kids and comedy podcasts, going for rich and deep experience play
  • Why advertising may not be the future of monetization for podcasts
  • Advertisers counted on evergreen presence, but with programmatic advertising that ends up being taken away
  • Mixcloud receives $11.5M, and what that means
  • Accuracy in subscription-based platforms, splitting revenue stream up proportionally, how these are complex issues
  • Major players skewing revenue results for smaller artists improperly diluted
  • A lot of new money in the space, people seeing money on the wall, people throwing money at things that seem familiar
  • Gimlet becoming more of a media company
  • “Alex Inc.” TV show cancelled, how it is a commentary on actors vs. concept, seeing meta conversations about podcasting so not necessary play with wider audience, why the space may not be mature enough to have self reverential content
  • Can anyone make a subscription model work for a $40M investment?
  • How the cost of acquisition will climb

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In this episode:

Drawing the line with audio data, discovery, targeting, and advertising

Why podcasts need to think through discovery (how much is too much), where prediction and control begin and end, and what is the “creep factor” in audio data — plus an interview with Sarah Rhea Werner of “Girl In Space” and “Write Now with Sarah Werner” podcasts, and headlines from podcasting and on-demand from Podnews…

  • As a medium not good at discovery, targeting or advertising — starting growth pains and spurts with solving these issues
  • The relevancy of GDPR, Facebook privacy, Cambridge Analytica, and a new national consciousness
  • Podcasts have been asking for more audio data and analytics, so what comes with that
  • We don’t have a lot of tools for targeting and engaging users, and networks are starting to create them
  • What’s a good experience and what’s a bad experience in podcast players?
  • Targeting and re-targeting, and how much data can be deployed and gathered on one individual listener, and the need to understand when it crosses the “creep line” despite value for marketers
  • What type of model are we building for listeners — aggregated buckets and themes, or targeted for the individual listener?
  • Why gathering data in hopes to sell it can be a bad play in some circumstances
  • Hyper-targeting and psychographics profiles, and acclimated to feeling OK with selling or trading our privacy data in the United States, and therefore a lot of our behavior can be predicted on an aggregate level
  • Not much we can do to unplug our privacy at this point, even when disconnecting
  • At what point do we put the control of privacy and data back in the hands of the user and listener?
  • Responsible and acceptable targeting, and control over our own experience vs. that created by an algorithm

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In this episode: