Month: June 2022

The economy comes for Substack

I am weary from the last week of SCOTUS decisions that have made clear how little the court cares for our well-being. But I did read a great book! That takes the edge off.  During the pandemic, I dug deep into climate fiction as some kind of morbid coping mechanism. I found some great novels, […]
Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

The Chaos Issue

I hope you all had a good weekend. I certainly wasn’t huddled in a ball of anxiety about the very fabric of women’s rights in the US being stripped away, no sir.  On that note, there is a lot going on in the audio world in response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. […]
Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

45% Of Podcast Listeners Started Listening To Podcasts In The Past Year

Acast, the world’s largest independent podcast company has unveiled the results of new podcast listener research conducted in collaboration with Nielsen. The study of 2,002 UK and Irish adults who consume podcasts at least monthly found that 45% of listeners started listening to podcasts in the past year, proving that the podcast landscape is rich with opportunities for brands and podcasters to reach new audiences.

According to the findings, there’s also untapped potential in the younger generations – despite typically being a medium associated with Millenial audiences, 53% of 18-34-year-old podcast listeners only starting to do so in the past year. In comparison, 65% of over 55s started listening more than 12 months ago.

More than a third (37%) of respondents said they listen to podcasts every day, while more than two thirds (70%) engage with podcast content more than once a week – but listeners also said they expect to increase their podcast consumption in the next six months.

Almost a third (32%) of those surveyed said they plan to listen to more podcast during this time. That’s higher than the 25% who said they expect to increase the amount of music they stream, and the 27% who plan to spend more time streaming video content.

For advertisers, an engaged and loyal podcast audience is also one more likely to interact with brand messaging they might hear, with 62% of respondents saying they’ve taken direct action following an advert they heard in a podcast.

31% said they considered or purchased the brand/product mentioned. 26% advocated for (read/wrote/discussed positively) it, 24% followed it on social media, and 24% searched for more information.

That makes podcasts an incredibly attractive prospect for any media plan. And the listen-through rate (LTR) from respondents is equally impressive – for episode 30-45 minutes long, 41% of listeners say they listen to either “most” or “about half”, confirming pre-roll and mid-roll ad placements as great ways to reach listeners. For podcasts downloaded to a listener’s personal device, rather than streamed, 71% will listen to “all” or “most” of an episode.

Podcasts are also seen as a trusted source of information – and listeners ranked them much higher in this respect than other media platforms. According to the study, 36% trust what they hear from a podcast host when talking about a brand or company, compared to just 18% for radio.

Crucially for advertisers, podcasts have low levels of advertising fatigue compared to other types of media. The research indicates that just 29% of listeners say there are too many ads on podcasts, compared to 52% who say there are too many on YouTube, and 37% who say there are too many on Radio. Given podcasts have one of the lowest ad loads of all mediums, this provides further opportunities for advertisers to continue to build their campaigns around podcasting – and to have a greater share of voice within individual shows.

Additional key findings reveal that listeners enjoy various aspects of podcasts:

70% of listeners say they enjoy listening to guest interviews

63% of listeners say they enjoy listening to panel discussions

56 % of listeners say they enjoy listening to host banter

News, Music and Comedy content are most frequently consumed, with half of podcast listeners listening to Comedy shows every week.

“Podcasts are an increasingly important part of life and culture for listeners all around the world, and more people are discovering podcasts for the first time every year,” says Leo Goldingham, Director of Sales, UK at Acast. “We trust our favorite podcasters to entertain and inform us – just as much as we trust them to recommend brands and products we’ll enjoy.

“Podcasts have become an integral part of thousands of brands’ marketing strategies but, together with Nielsen, our research shows there are still huge opportunities for advertisers to reach untapped audiences.”

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

The Podglomerate Taps Emmy Award-Winning Producer As VP of Production Services

Podcast marketing leader The Podglomerate has hired Emmy Award-winning producer Chris Boniello as its new Vice President of Production Services.

In this newly created role, Boniello will oversee production and audio editing for The Podglomerate’s various clients and podcast series. Reporting directly to Podglomerate founder and CEO Jeff Umbro, he will work to broaden the company’s capacity for audio editing, mixing, and sound engineering services for its high-profile portfolio of podcast clients.

“Great sound design can bring an audience into a new world unlike any other media,” says Boniello. “I look forward to working with our team at The Podglomerate to amplify exciting stories to listeners new and old.”

Boniello joins The Podglomerate after spending the past decade as a senior editor for multi-million dollar commercial video campaigns and TV series, overseeing productions for Fortune 500 brands including Nike, Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, Comedy Central, Paramount, Spotify, and ESPN (where he won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement” for his large-scale video production focused on the 2014 FIFA World Cup). After spending a brief time in the film unit at NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Boniello jumped into the podcasting industry as a sound editor, mixer, and producer.

“We’re excited to have Chris lead our production arm as we grow The Podglomerate’s services for our podcast clients and into more original productions,” said Podglomerate CEO Jeff Umbro. “Chris has the perfect mix of consumer and B2B facing production background and a clear passion for sound-rich storytelling. The Podglomerate is positioned to bring more podcasts to the masses with an even higher threshold of quality and integrity. We can’t wait for the world to hear what we’re working on.”

The Podglomerat has been producing, distributing, and monetizing podcasts since 2015. Now representing more than 70 podcasts accounting for over 5 million monthly downloads, The Podglomerate’s clients have topped the podcast charts and have received features on every major podcast distribution app and national coverage in print, digital, radio, and television. The Podglomerate’s clients include A+E, Lifetime, History Channel, PBS, MIT, Stanford, Lit Hub, Last, NHPR, Substack, GBH, Magnificent Noise, Expedia, Optum, CVS Health, VPM, WPM, Hubspot, and Hoff Studios, among many others.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Spotify And IAS Establish A Brand Safety Solution For Podcast Advertisers

Spotify and Integral Ad Science (IAS) announced a new partnership to establish third-party brand safety solution for podcast advertisers. The companies will embark on a rigorous analysis to help the industry understand the tools and resources necessary to effectively deliver brand safety in podcasting and digital audio writ large.

Ultimately, the firms intend to create the industry’s first third-party brand safety and sustainability reporting tool to bring more transparency and confidence to podcast advertising. Global media agency UM Worldwide will be part of the learning and development process as the first holding company to test this solution, ensuring that the voice and needs of advertisers are considered from the outset.

Podcast as spend has grown rapidly over the past few years alongside an influx of listening worldwide. In fact, podcast ad revenue surpassed $1 Billion in 2021 and is forecasted to almost triple to more than $4 Billion in 2024. As investment and innovation in podcast advertising has surged, so has the importance of ensuring suitability for advertisers. There are well-established brand safety guidelines and technology across the digital advertising ecosystem, most notably in video; however, these do not yet exist in audio. Creating a third-party solution for this now mainstream medium is critical to maintain advertiser confidence and continued media spend.

To solve this challenge, Spotify and IAS are embarking on a joint effort to better understand how to responsibly and effectively validate that advertiser messages are served in their intended context for podcasts. In the future, the results will be used to create a first-of-its-kind brand safety and suitability tool to aid in campaign planning, management, and reporting.

The solution will be powered by Spotify’s first-party data and verified by IAS’ independent analysis solutions based on the Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s categories and guidelines. Their initial efforts will focus on third-party content within the Spotify Audience Network.

“Spotify pioneered the digital audio landscape as we know it today and we’re excited to continue our leadership here as we rise to the next challenge: brand safety,” said Julie Clark, Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s categories and guidelines. Their initial efforts will focus on third-party content within the Spotify Audience Network.

“Spotify pioneered the digital audio landscape as we know it today and we’re excited to continue our leadership here as we rise to the next challenge: brand safety,” said Julie Clark, Global Head of Advertising Revenue Innovation at Spotify. “We are pleased to be partnering with IAS – one of the most trusted leaders in media – to give advertisers confidence that their messages are heard in the right place while further validating the contextual targeting solutions we already have in the market.”

“Partnering with Spotify and UM to develop a podcast brand safety and sustainability solution will be a transformational step for advertisers targeting the audio space,” said Yannis Dosios, Global Chief Commercial Officer at IAS. “With podcasts expected to reach more than 500 million listeners worldwide by 2024, this solution will offer advertisers more control and confidence that their messages will deeply resonate with their intended audiences.”

“Podcasts have hit the mainstream in a big way and our clients are ready to increase their investment in the space given the undeniable opportunity to connect with audiences; however, without a way to validate brand suitability across the depth and breadth of shows, they are hesitant to go all in,” said Joshua Lowcock, Global Chief Media Officer at UM Worldwide. “We’re pleased to see Spotify and IAS step up to create a brand safety solution and are ready to work with them during the building and testing phase to ensure advertisers’ needs are addressed from the start.”

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Gemini XIII Launches Ad Sales Marketing Team Additions

Gemini XIII, the podcasting and radio industries’ new home for premium audio content, production, and marketing services, announces the addition of two senior sales and marketing professionals: Erica Farmer as Vice President, Strategic Marketing, and Jaclyn Mifka as Director of Ad Operations & Planning. The audio veterans will report directly to Charles Steinhauer, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Gemini XIII. They will be based at Gemini XIII’s New York City headquarters.

As Vice President, Strategic Marketing for Gemini XIII, Erica Farmer will market the company’s premium assets in podcasting and radio. She joins Gemini XIII from Westwood One, the largest audio network in America, where she was Digital Marketing Director for the Cumulus Podcast Network and helped grow that company’s robust slate of premium podcast content, including several award-winning shows.

Prior to that, she was Producer, Live Events for Townsquare Media’s East Coast and Midwest markets, building large-scale Music Festivals and Lifestyle Events from concept to completion. Farmer started her career at World Wrestling Entertainment as an Associate Producer for both International and Domestic Television programming. She led the production, operations, and execution of WWE’s first-ever exclusive partnership with Hulu in 2012 and created content for live air on networks around the world. Farmer holds a B.A. degree in Communications from The Pennsylvania State University.

Jaclyn Mifka joins Gemini XII as Director of Ad Operations and Planning following 10 years at ESPN Audio, where she was Senior Digital & Audio Sales Manager. She brings diverse experience in Sales Planning and Ad Operations in both digital and broadcast radio to Gemini XIII, and built, priced, and cleared inventory for all radio and digital plans for the ESPN Audio Network. Mifka started her ESPN career as a Promotions Intern for ESPN Radio Network, followed by positions as Traffic Coordinator and Traffic Associate Manager. She started her audio and radio career as Continuity Coordinator for Dial Global. Mifka holds a B.A. in Communications from Manhattan College.

Spencer Brown, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gemini XIII, said: “This step marks the first of many in establishing Gemini’s first-class sales and marketing capabilities. Erica and Jaci are experienced audio experts, and we are thrilled to have them join our team.”

Gemini XIII is led by co-founders and national audio veterans Spencer Brown, CEO, who previously founded Cadence13 and Dial Global, and Charles Steinhauer, Gemini XIII’s COO of Westwood One.

Last month, Gemini XIII joined forces with Diversion Publishing in an investment that established Gemini XIII’s content division through a new premium podcast network called Diversion Audio. Diversion Audio will leverage sister company Diversion Books’ vast publishing assets and author relationships to offer a focused content model unique to podcasting: expanding IP from books, authors, and personalitites into the podcast medium as original audio content across both high-frequency episodic shows and engrossing narrative limited series.

Diversion Audio’s podcasts will drive new audience communities and tell expert-driven stories that spring from Diversion’s book titles, expanding them with additional communities and tell expert-driven stories that spring from Diversion’s own book titles, expanding them with the additional interviews and guests, archival research, and narrative themes previously unexplored. Diversion Audio’s podcasts will span the genres of suspense, romance, parenting, music, history, business, and sports.

In March, Gemini XIII announced its acquisition of The Infinite Agency, a full-service digital advertising agency based in Dallas, TX, and Phantom Producer, the world’s first patented audio imaging services that includes web and mobile app user interfaces and makes professional audio production fully mobile. Gemini XIII is based on New York, with offices in Dallas and Sydney, Australia.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Insider June 24, 2022 — Spotify’s secret new hit

I have nothing pithy to say about today’s news that hasn’t already been said. Keep your data safe. Maybe check out Slate’s very good new season of Slow Burn. I am probably going to do the opposite of self-care, which is watch the new episode of For All Mankind, a show that takes place in […]
Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Insider June 23, 2022 — I’ll have a coffee with a side of existential dread

I know I’ve said this before, but working crazy hours in broadcast news forms some weird habits. Aside from my love of recap podcasts, I also got a taste for absolutely everything Starbucks. It was the only thing open at 30 Rock at 7AM on a Sunday, and I, not previously a regular coffee drinker, […]
Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Spring And Acast Partner To Unlock Social e-Commerce For Podcasters

Spring – the industry-defining creator commerce platform – announced a new partnership with Acast, the world’s leading independent podcast company. Under a shared mission of empowering creators to make money from their own work and further engage with their audience, the new partnership allows podcasters to create their own online stores for free – offering bespoke products and merchandise to their fans.

Thousands of Acast’s podcasters can soon use Spring’s 360 commerce solution to create, promote and distribute everything from custom products and clothing to NFTs for their community of listeners. Tapping into a creator’s existing brand and fanbase, merchandise is an organic next step helping podcasters to diversity their revenue streams. As each show is unique, Spring’s extensive fulfillment network – with partners including Peitra and Bondly – allows podcasters to create bespoke products that speak specifically to their community of listeners.

A pilot program featured 11 Acast creators launching a new merchandise line and store via Spring, with participants including Goes Without Saying, Decrypt Daily, Do Go On, The Compound and Friends and other popular podcasters. Throughout the program, participants had access to Spring’s custom analytics dashboards, educational resources, and premium support channels – as well as Spring’s renowned digital products and Mint-on-Demand NFT capabilities, allowing creators to submerge themselves into Web3.

Since April, the Acast X Spring pilot has driven close to 1,000 combined product sales.

“Using Spring to create our first-ever podcast merch has been amazing. It is so user-friendly and incredibly intuitive,” say Sephy and Wing, hosts of Goes Without Saying. “The Acast x Spring partnership has helped us feel so much more confident and supported in the process of creating our merch – from designing to marketing.”

Ultimately acting as an intersection for podcasters and Spring merchandise, the trial demonstrated the potential for heightened traffic and conversion rates. Following the pilot program, Acast and Spring will build out additional functionality to enhance the creator experience across both platforms and create more opportunities for podcasters to monetize their audience.

On the new partnership, Spring COO Annelies Jansen says, “We are looking forward to commencing the program with Acast and are thrilled to have already noted such keen interest from Acast creators wanting to take part. Through this pilot, Spring will be able to track and measure creator behavior to ultimately develop partnership which will enhance creator success in the long-run. Most importantly, by working with Acast on ways to improve creator accessibilities, Spring continues to make sure the power remains in the hands of the creator at all times.”

Simon Marcus, VP of Strategy at Acast adds: “Acast’s mission is to help more podcasters make more money in more ways, by strengthening the connections between creators and their fans. Through our partnership with Spring, we’re enabling podcasters to expand their revenue base to include custom merch and creative products – putting the creator’s brand front and center. Spring shares our vision for creator success, and we look forward to seeing what our creators come up with.”

Spring’s industry-first social integrations with platforms including Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, TikTok and Linktree enable creators to fuel fandom and revenue streams exponentially. The success of platform integrations resulted in explosive growth for Spring, with more than 9 million creators having signed up to the platform to build their socially integrated commerce stores as of January 2022. Currently, Spring has an average of 2,500 creators sign up to the platform every day, in efforts to diversify their revenue streams and drive community engagement.

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News

Marvel Entertainment and SiriusXM Premiered Marvel’s Wasteland: Wolverine

It’s time to return to the Wastelands! Marvel Entertainment and SiriusXM announced their newest original scripted podcast, Marvel’s Wastelanders: Wolverine premiered on Monday, June 13.

Marvel’s Wastelanders: Wolverine is the fourth installment in the “Marvel’s Wastelanders” audio epic, following the success of Marvel’s Wastelanders: Star-Lord, Marvel’s Wastlanders: Hawkeye, and Marvel’s Wastelanders: Black Widow. The all-new 10-episode series is written and directed by Peabody Award winner Jenny Turner Hall, with sound design by Michael Odmark and Daniel Brunell, and original music Rhett Miller and John Burdick.

The series stars Robert Patrick as Wolverine, and features performances by Ashlie Atkinson (Kitty Pryde), Rachel Crowl (Red Skull), Isabella Ferreria (Sofia), Jennifer Ikeda (Rachel Summers), Justin Min (Justin), Clarke Peters (Professor X), Daniel Sunjata (Cyclops), and Carl Tart (Kevin).

Thirty years ago, Super Villains did the unthinkable, they won. After killing the Avengers, the X-men, and nearly every other Super Hero, Red Skull assumed the office of the President of the United States. Since that day, a traumatized Wolverine (Robert Patrick) has wandered in a daze of survivor’s guilt and self-loathing over his failure to protect his fellow X-men and their mutant students.

Wolvering encounters Sofia, a young mutant in-hiding and vows to transport her into the safe hands of estranged former X-Men Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers. When the Red Skull and his top lieutenant Crossbones frame Wolverine and escalate anti-mutant sentiment to dangerous new levels, our hero realizes that his only option may be to face Red Skull and his savage allies head on. But a shocking, terrible truth may destroy Wolverine first…

On the series, writer and director Jenny Hall says, “Fans are going to lose it over Robert Patrick as Old Man Logan! You cannot stop listening to his gritty timbre – he is Wolverine – and Logan’s story here will shock you to your core!” She continued, “From a directing standpoint, this series is epic – a lot of characters, settings, and action. I can’t wait for fans to listen to this series. I hope it’ll blow your mind, break your heart, and give you something to believe in.”

The series will initially be available exclusively on the SXM App and Marvel Podcasts Unlimited on Apple Podcasts. Episodes will be more widely available one week later, on Pandora, Stitcher, and all major podcast platforms in the U.S. Learn more at

Posted by Experimentor in Podcast News