Does Podcasting Need A Trade Association?


Now that advertisers, and the radio industry, are paying a lot more attention to the podcasting space, does that industry need a trade association similar to radio’s NAB or RAB? Radio has a lot of experience with trade associations. Perhaps it’s time to share a little of your wisdom.

Voxnest Vice President Rob Greenlee has been talking about the issue on as many podcasts as he can, including his own. He’s also asked us to share his thoughts with our industry to gather as much feedback as possible. Here’s what Rob has to say…

(By Rob Greenlee, VP of Podcaster Relations, You might be asking a simple question of “Why?” Yes, we have been here before and it was called the Association of Downloadable Media (ADM). It was a grassroots-founded organization formed by some of the larger players in the podcasting space back in 2008.

Now it’s 10 years later and much maturity in the market has occurred, but most new people to podcasting will not have known this history. It is also true that it does not matter now much what happened in the past, but what we do now going forward. I agree with that thought, but some lessons can be learned from that experience to make an organization work this time.

The ADM was a failure by most measures due to group infighting and backroom closed-door communications in efforts to control the efforts of the group. But some good came out of it and we did set some very basic measurement standards that have carried the overall podcasting industry till the more recent efforts by the IAB Podcast Metrics Working Group to establish v.1, and more recently, IAB v.2 Podcast Metrics Standards.

The thought is to create an industry group that can collaborate to create more standards in the industry around advertising formats, best practices around dynamic ad insertion, and programmatic ad buying. The large brands and agencies need some white papers with examples of successful advertising campaigns.

As we see host/talent-read ad spots converge more with programmatic buying platforms, we will see revenue grow in the podcasting medium.

Clearly, we also need to keep working on audio playing client-side metrics to realize the complete picture of listening from downloaded podcast audio files.

This new unnamed podcast industry association would enable everyone to come together around growing the listening side of the podcasting industry with the potential of co-op online and offline marketing and promotion.

I have a proposed names for the new association: “Professional Podcast Association” (PPA) or “Global Podcast Association” (GPA).

Share your thoughts below or directly with Rob at [email protected]


  1. Hey Brad, The purpose is not to standardize the podcast creation process, but to do that with monetization and metrics. Plus create some standards around ad formats and client side playback metrics that NPR is already working on. The large advertisers are not seeing best practices being followed across the medium. Rest assured nobody is going to tamper with the creativity on the content side. We also need to come together around building listening and audience to podcasting.

  2. This seems counter to what podcasting is. What’s punk rock about the field is that you have content creators who, at the heart of it, just want to tell a story. They strove to educate themselves about the medium, how to record, how to edit, how to sweeten, and how to market them. Joining a committee where every other member is getting access to the same material seems to me to be counter to the personality type who takes a risk and pursues podcasting. Just my 2 cents (yes, I produce one).


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