Former iHeart Exec Outlines Podcasting’s New Rules


Despite sinking CPMs and mass layoffs across podcasting, one former iHeartMedia executive remains bullish on the state of the industry. Chris Peterson served as iHeart’s EVP of Podcasting during the HowStuffWorks acquisition, going on to found DWNLOAD Media.

Citing Joe Rogan’s new Spotify contract, reportedly in the neighborhood of $250 million, and the $100 million agreement between SmartLess and SiriusXM, Peterson views the layoffs and tension over high-dollar contracts as simply a market correction – what he says is a healthy adjustment paving the way for sustainable growth and innovation as the podcast industry continues to mature.

In Peterson’s 2024 DWNLOAD report, he outlines several key areas poised for future growth within the podcasting industry.

Peterson cites new technology enhancing ad tech and attribution, offering untapped opportunities for increased advertising spend. Subscription models, already successful in international markets, are now promising significant revenue potential for US-based podcast networks.

He also recognizes the value in major companies agreeing to licensing agreements as opposed to straight-out buying content.

Peterson also advocates for lowering podcast production spend, opting for the low-cost model used in Europe and Asia to boost profit margins. He advocates for podcaster companies to explore additional revenue streams and leverage growing video platforms like YouTube to reach new audiences.

Finally he heavily touts international expansion, tapping into burgeoning podcast markets outside the US, such as China and Southeast Asia. He underscores the importance of thinking globally and leveraging intellectual property across borders to maximize the industry’s growth potential.


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