For many of us, the Podcast Movement conference is an annual must-attend. Held in Dallas this year, it was an opportunity to see old friends, make new contacts and take the pulse of the podcasting industry.
Sound That BRANDS CEO Dave Beasing got together with Amplifi Media’s CEO Steve Goldstein to summarize the key takeaways from PM22.
Takeaway #1 – To Video Or Not To Video?
That was the top question on the minds of some at Podcast Movement. The answer depends. “I think (video) has to be the right thing presented the right way. And I don’t think that’s gonna be decided right away. I also think it’s gonna be different for different podcasters,” says Steve.
Takeaway #2 – New Tricks For Old Apps
Spokespeople for several long standing platforms told attendees about new ways they will highlight podcasts and improve discoverability. So far, modifications to apps like YouTube, Twitter and Spotify appear to be more evolutionary than revolutionary, but each is welcome.
Takeaway #3 – Branded, Branded Everywhere
There was no shortage of discussion, on-stage or off, about branded podcasts. Steve maintains that branded continues to be the most difficult category of podcasts, because “most people don’t want to interact with brands. Most people want to be entertained, they want to be informed, but going to a brand (for that) is a really high calling. There has to be something special there, and the content has to be right.” Dave observes that the buzz about branded podcasts is “also coming from the big players in the industry. They’re finding ways to (produce them) either internally or through outsourcing of production and marketing.”
Dave moderated a panel about how to sell branded podcasts, one of PM22’s best-attended sessions. Panelists included Shantae Howell of Acast, CNN Audio’s Jonathan Dianora, Andy Kelly of iHeart Media, Tom Webster from Sounds Profitable, and Wondery’s Julia Kelly.
Takeaway #4 – The Suits Showed Up, But So Did Others
Both Steve and Dave attended Sounds Profitable’s Business Leaders Summit held on the day prior to PM’s official start and offer praise for the event. Over 200 representatives of major podcast-related businesses — and even some advertisers like BetterHelp – were present for sessions and networking.
Steve notes that all parts of the podcasting community – not just the big players – were well-represented at Podcast Movement. “Just look at the number of vendors that were there. There are equipment vendors to be sure, but there are ad tech and all of those sorts of things that are there. And that’s very different than two, three years ago.”