As the pandemic continues to affect all aspects of business, Catalyst SF's chief executive officer and managing partner, John Durham, questions the strength of the podcasting industry, by speaking with Megaphone's head of sales, David Cohn, to find out how they're navigating the space and what trends they’re observing.
JD: You’ve been in digital for a long period of time, riding the various phases of this business, what gets you excited about the podcasting space?
DC: It feels like the video space ten years ago, when we were figuring stuff out; now we’re able to try new things, and we can deliver big on KPIs. Podcasting is nimble and seems like a natural progression for advertisers.
JD: Podcasting — then and now; what do you make of its evolution?
DC: It’s gone from being passive to a very personal on-demand commercial work. We have the ability to totally integrate content and commercials - it’s a good mindset. It went from a Howard Stern read to a re-envisioned, re-engaged conversation. It’s the new native, a really positive, advertorial. We have the ability to weave in the right message at the right time and see more organic growth for both the listener and the advertiser. If you can think of a subject, there's a podcast for it and more coming on daily.
JD: What has changed in podcasting that makes it work?
DC: Podcasting is doing a great job, because it is a natural environment bringing content to users in the right place. I think that on-demand and on the phone is an even better way to listen for all.
JD: How do you think this will work going forward as a medium?
DC: These are interesting times in the media business and podcasting is at the big table of media. We have a seat at that table and are delivering meaningful results. We're seeing listenership evenly distributed throughout the day and that allows us to really grow this medium through the Megaphone platform.
JD: David, are you having fun within the podcasting sphere?
DC: I’m having a great time and love this business. We are at its infancy and we can truly influence buying decisions. Megaphone is the NY Yankees; we are at the table helping establish the credibility of the medium. We are blazing trails and I am really enjoying it.
JD: Where do you see podcasting going?
DC: It is continuing to grow, Witness Spotify and SiriusXM making meaningful investments. Holding companies are stepping up too. The IAB is devoting part of the upfront to podcasting. The future will probably have more Omnicom/Spotify deals and we will be at that table working on those types of deals. There will be more improvement in measurement. Targeting of audiences will continue to develop. We have to be ready for the programmatic play to become part of the standard way we work.