Emmis Invests In Podcasting Company


As Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan continued to sell off radio clusters and pay down debt, he’s been saying for well over a year, that he wants to be in businesses that grow faster than radio. His first move: Podcasting.

Sound That BRANDS is a Los Angeles-based podcasting studio launched by former programmer and consultant Dave Beasing. The company specializes in branded audio content for national advertisers.

The Emmis CEO said he’s been monitoring the early stages of global brands telling audio stories through branded podcasts that dramatically enhances loyalty and preference. “Sound that BRANDS has already become a leader in branded podcasting and is uniquely positioned to work with marquee brands to build episodes that make you laugh, feel and think in a way that reinforces the brand. Dave is a great audio storyteller, and we look forward to helping him accelerate Sound that BRANDS’ growth.”

We reached out to Beasing for more detail on his company, the space he’s in and his plans to grow the company. Here’s that interview.

Radio Ink: What is SoundThatBrands?
Dave: As with most companies that begin on a kitchen table, the precise start date is open to debate. But the idea began in late 2017. Sound That BRANDS is a podcast development business based in LA, with clients across the nation. We produce full length branded podcasts, and we’ve started to develop original short-form casts we call “brandlets,” too.

The so-called “branded podcast” format produced 10.1% of podcasting ad revenue in 2018, according to the IAB and PwC. It’s the fastest growing segment, because podcasting is a perfect platform for content marketing. We’ve developed a Brand Uplift score so that clients can see track their results over time and see that sharing their stories is paying off. And we can also make adjustments for better results.


Radio Ink: What is your goal with the company?
Dave: To put it simply, the goal is to get measurable results, what we call Brand Uplift. It takes courage for the people who work so hard to build a brand to be transparent about their stories and their values. I love being witness to the moment when they realize that their customers are connecting with them like never before, as real people who care.

Dave Beasing

Radio Ink: You received a nifty investment from Emmis this week. How did that come about and how will that help you grow?
Dave: Emmis President of Programming Rick Cummings has been a friend and mentor for years, as he has been to so many. Over lunch one day, we somewhat accidentally realized that Emmis and Sound That BRANDS might have a lot to offer each other. He took the idea to Jeff Smulyan and Pat Walsh and the team. You know how smart they are, so they know the potential of the branded podcast category. I’ve always respected Emmis, not only as brilliant strategists but just as people. I’m thrilled to have their support.

Radio Ink: You have a cool job opening that, no doubt, will net you a lot of interest. What’s that job about?
Dave: The title is VP/Revenue and Brand Partnerships. Longtime Emmis LA SVP/General Manager Val Maki is helping with the search, and — yes — we’ve already interviewed some impressive people. More are welcome! This is a leadership position, helping to build the team, set strategy and direction. It’s a ground floor opportunity for someone with entrepreneurial chops and a solid track record. Call it “sales” if you like, but we need someone who will be trusted to help develop strategic ideas like few salespeople ever get the opportunity to do.

Radio Ink: What advice do you have for new podcasters?
Dave: Gratitude. Know how fortunate you are to be part of a new golden age of audio, and enjoy every day. Hang in there. The revenue is on the way.

Reach out to Dave by e-mail at [email protected].
If you’re interested in the job opening mentioned in the story, reach out to Val Maki at [email protected]


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