You Should Be Podcasting In 2017 (Or Sooner)

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(By Jeff McHugh) In about 10 days, I will be on a panel at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Nashville that includes Pierre Bouvard of Cumulus, Carol Edwards of Nielsen, and Stacy Lynn Schulman of Katz Media Group.

The panel is titled “Perception Vs. Reality,” and addresses how radio can get more respect and revenue from advertisers.

To prepare for the panel, I asked myself, “If advertisers are not as excited about radio as they once were, what medium are they excited about?” I went to the AdWeek website to read what advertising folks are reading, and I was intrigued (but not surprised) by what I found.

When I searched “radio” on AdWeek, only seven articles came up from the last three months. An equal number of articles came up about “Pandora” or “Spotify.” However, if you search “podcast,” you get over three times that many articles.   It is clear how podcast-crazy the advertising community is when you read articles like “People Prefer Ads In Podcasts Over Any Other Digital Medium”  and “Welcome To The New Golden Age Of Audio.” Advertisers are excited by growth. Like online radio, podcast consumption is growing while listeners for AM/FM, while still huge, is flat.

Advertiser excitement is good news for you. As a reader of this newsletter, you are already invested in compelling talk content delivered by high-definition entertainers. Our most compelling AM/FM content translates almost effortlessly into podcasting.   Frankly, podcasts are not very good. As soon as an excellent podcast from an experienced broadcaster like NPR, Adam Corolla, The KVJ Show, or KUPD’s John Holmberg goes on iTunes, it finds an audience quickly.   More good news: a personality-based podcast is way cheaper than a music podcast. Have you priced the cost of song rights lately? Ouch!

The NAB Radio Show is smart to focus on podcasting this year, with sessions titled “Captivating Content: Defining Elements Of The Most Listened-To Podcasts”  and “7 Things You Need To Know About Podcasting Today” with our friend, Steve Goldstein.

Today, the lion’s share of ad spending on audio entertainment is still with broadcast radio, but with podcasting’s growing listenership and the ability to have a charismatic, well-loved personality endorse their products and services, advertisers are sure to invest heavily in podcasts in the future.

Jeff McHugh is a media talent coach for The Randy Lane Company, collaborating with radio, television, video and podcast personalities in the US, Canada and Mexico. He can be reached at [email protected]

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