Tag Archives: podcast movement

Blue Ocean Strategy for Podcasting

Coleman Insights founder Jon Coleman introduced Blue Ocean Strategy to Tuesdays With Coleman blog readers late last year in “Should Radio Go Back to Normal.” In short, brands that find themselves in heavily competitive crowded market segments are in metaphorical shark-infested, blood-laden waters. Hence, Red Ocean. On the other hand, some brands have established unique points of market differentiation in the minds of the consumer. This clear lane is the Blue Ocean. A few months ago, it struck me that podcasting resembles a Red Ocean in a number of ways. It is dotted with millions of shows whose names, logos, hosts, structure, and production sound similar. I wondered if there was an opportunity for podcasters to apply Blue Ocean techniques that brands in other market segments have successfully used to differentiate and make the competition irrelevant. That’s how the idea of my presentation, “Create A New Lane: Using Blue Ocean Strategy To Get Your Podcast Noticed,” which I shared at the Podcast Movement conference in Nashville last week, began.

As Jon pointed out in his December blog, Blue Ocean Strategy may have value for underperforming radio stations. Is it better to live in the shadow of a dominant competitor or blaze your own trail? When, for example, a station in your cluster is the third highest-rated CHR or second highest-rated Country station, is it more strategically advantageous to choose an untapped or underserved lane?

One way to look at available opportunity in podcasting is by reviewing the number of shows in each category in Apple Podcasts. For example, the general Science category has over 30,000 shows. Chemistry, a subcategory of Science, has only about 900. Should you publish a general Science podcast that may cover Biology in one episode, Physics the next, and Chemistry the next…or do you publish one that focuses specifically on Chemistry, hyper-targeted to those interested in the topic?

Chemistry podcasts

The Chemistry category contains about 900 podcasts, compared to over 30,000 in the general Science category

The Religion category is a massive Red Ocean, with over 150,000 shows. Christianity is a subcategory of Religion but is its own Red Ocean at over 90,000. Yet Hinduism, observed by 15% of the world’s population, represents less than two percent of the Religion category. Not to mention that India is the third largest podcast listening market. Whereas Religion and Christianity are Red Ocean, Hinduism is Blue Ocean. The most underserved categories? That belongs to swimming and volleyball, at only about 130 shows each. Total. As James Cridland of Podnews likes to say, “If you can’t rank in the Top 150 for swimming, you’re doing it wrong.”

Swimming is one of the most underserved categories in podcasting

This Red/Blue Ocean exercise can also apply to topics as opposed to categories. The Golden State Warriors are a hugely popular NBA franchise. If you search for “Golden State Warriors podcast,” Google’s algorithms will offer you many suggestions of shows that cover this topic. But do the same thing for “Stephen Curry podcast,” and you’ll find none. Zilch. Zero. But Google will recommend a golf podcast. Curry is one of the most popular athletes of all-time, yet there is seemingly no podcast focused on him. If you launched both today, which would have a better chance at acquiring new listeners? A general Warriors podcast amongst a sea of established Warriors podcasts or a Steph Curry one? The Golden State Warriors are Red Ocean. Stephen Curry is Blue Ocean.

Stephen Curry Podcast

A Google search for “Stephen Curry Podcast” shows a wide open Blue Ocean opportunity

Apply this exercise to your content, as a sales consultant that attended my session did. He explained to me that his podcast offers broad sales advice. The name of his show implies broad sales content. Now, he’s thinking about how to focus his show. He’s considering his target listener. Is it C-suite level? Sales managers? What market segment? A company that sells software for used car dealers has a podcast called – you guessed it – The Used Car Dealer Podcast. It’s a great brand building and lead generating show for them, though they wisely don’t use the show as a commercial. A podcast for car buyers (or even car dealers) is Red Ocean. A podcast for used car dealers is Blue Ocean.

When deciding to adopt Blue Ocean Strategy for your podcast, it’s important to remember you should not just pick a category or topic because it is underserved or narrowly focused. The content still has to be great. You must have a level of expertise, and put in the research and the work to make it so. But if you do, and the category or topic are Blue Ocean, you are increasing your chances of success.

Finally, it’s important to remember that Blue Ocean strategists don’t differentiate with just one thing. The greatest Blue Ocean brands differentiate in multiple ways. That means thinking about all the things podcast listeners see when they search for shows. The thumbnails look alike. The descriptions sound the same. The structure and production value is similar. Make a list and consider how you would Blue Ocean each item. The show name. The logo. The description. The sound. The host. The category. The topic. And so on.

Next stop: Blue Ocean!

Podcast Movement Reveals Industry Track

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, June 26, 2019Podcast Movement, the annual gathering of the podcast industry, has announced the sessions for this year’s Industry Track, presented by media research firm Coleman Insights.

This year’s track will feature sessions that focus on helping podcasts improve in the areas of branding and content. The opening session, “Outside Thinking for Podcasts,” is set to kick off the track at 9am on Wednesday, August 14th, hosted by Warren Kurtzman and John Boyne from Coleman Insights. The session will combine surprising headlines from a recent Coleman Insights podcast study and introduce attendees to a breakthrough strategy called “Outside Thinking”. This strategy will allow podcasters to better understand what behavioral factors influence the decision to consume their shows.

Other sessions include a look at remote audio data with Stacey Goers from NPR, guidance on selling in a platform world with John Fitzgerald of ESPN, a “Celebrities in Podcasting” panel hosted by Perry Michael Simon from All Access and a “State of Podcasting” overview from Podcast Hall of Famer Elsie Escobar.

Coleman Insights President Warren Kurtzman says, “We’re looking forward to hosting the Industry Track again this year and delivering content that can help attendees make their podcasts more successful.”

Podcast Movement is set for August 13-16, 2019 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. Registration is now open.

About Coleman Insights

Coleman Insights, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, with offices in Philadelphia and Hamburg, Germany, is a firm that has helped media properties build strong brands and develop great content since 1978. Its clients include hundreds of media properties in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, including those owned by iHeartMedia, Entercom Communications Corporation, Bonneville International Corporation, Hubbard Radio, Educational Media Foundation, Stingray Radio, Emmis Communications, SummitMedia, Salem Communications, Connoisseur Media, Corporación Radial del Perú, Service Broadcasting Corporation, CRISTA Media, and Townsquare Media. Additional information about Coleman Insights is available at www.ColemanInsights.com.

 

Coleman Insights to Present Webinar on Podcast Listening Behavior

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, August 28, 2018 – Coleman Insights will offer a webinar for the broadcast and podcast industry detailing the results of an actual mediaEKG® Deep Dive study on two popular iHeartRadio podcasts. The insights will cover “The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast,” featuring former stars of ABC’s “The Bachelor” franchise, and “Business Unusual with Barbara Corcoran,” hosted by the real estate mogul, bestselling author and “Shark Tank” star.

By the end of the session, attendees will grasp the “Three Ts of Content Execution” and how each can play a role in content development. You’ll gain an understanding of how audiences feel about the content and why they feel that way. This session is designed to help podcasters and broadcasters create better, more focused content that produces more engagement and increases listening.

Coleman Insights Executive Vice President John Boyne says, “We’re thrilled to offer this presentation to those who didn’t get the chance to see it at Podcast Movement. Podcasters and broadcasters should find the insights useful for understanding in-the-moment podcast listener behavior for two shows with very different content.”

iHeartRadio SVP/Podcasting Chris Peterson said of the original presentation, “Let’s learn what listeners really think rather than a download, which tells you nothing.”

Boyne and fellow Executive Vice President Sam Milkman will present “The Three Ts of Content Execution: A Second-By-Second Look at Podcast Listening Behavior” Wednesday, September 5 from 2p-2:45 PM EDT via webinar.

Registration is now open for the webinar here.

 

How Podcasting Passes the Tipping Point

Tuesdays With Coleman

My colleagues John Boyne, Sam Milkman and Jay Nachlis and I just returned from Philadelphia, where we had the opportunity to deliver a presentation on content testing and sponsor the Industry track at Podcast Movement. To say we are invigorated from our Podcast Movement experience is an understatement; the conference was huge—over 2,200 attendees—and the presence of youth, energy and diversity was striking.

Podcast Movement 2018

Even more important than the size and make-up of the crowd, however, is the sense we have that podcasting is (finally!) nearing a tipping point. As our friendly competitors at Edison Research have meticulously documented, the podcasting audience continues to grow, yet only 17% of Americans listen to a podcast each week. What is striking about that is the rate of growth for podcasting has been dramatically slower than the rates of adoption we have seen in recent years for a wide array of new technologies and platforms, including mobile phones, streaming, social media and smart speakers.

Podcasting has been on the radars of people in the audio business and media savvy consumers for more than a decade, yet some still question whether it is a real business and whether it will achieve widespread consumer adoption. The size of Podcast Movement and the highly visible presence of radio-centric companies like iHeartMedia, Cumulus, Hubbard and Beasley at the conference, however, suggests that such questions are becoming the exception rather than the norm.

What will it take for podcasting to pass the tipping point we anticipate? We believe it boils down to three key points:

  1. Building Brands:

When syndicated iHeartRadio Country morning personality and new VP, Creative Director of iHeartCountry Bobby Bones spoke as part of the “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” track at Podcast Movement, he explained why listeners choose his show. “I built a brand and the brand is why the listeners come.”

iHeartRadio Bobby Bones

iHeartRadio’s Bobby Bones

He spoke about branding far more than he spoke about content, which left a clear message for podcasters. Your brand is why they come to your show. The content is why they stay.

It’s our experience that media brands that invest in clearly defining their brands build bigger audiences and are built for long-lasting success. Is your radio station the hit music station? Are you the go-to website for sports? Do consumers turn to you first for coverage of politics?

This is how the most successful podcasts will win. Consumers need to be able to easily identify show themes like “The True Crime podcast” or “The Cooking podcast” or “The podcast that talks about the 80s,” for example.

Of course, there are plenty of podcasts that cover those topics. If content quality is equal, the one with the best brand will win.

  1. Invest In Content:

Speaking of content, podcasts will need to follow the lead of other media in taking a disciplined approach towards content execution. At the very least, podcasters need to make investments in research to learn more about what listeners want from podcasts and the specifics of what works and what doesn’t work with the content they offer.

Some podcasts are highly disciplined in their topic choices and execution. Others are handled in a much looser format.

In our Podcast Movement presentation, “The Podcast Content Deep Dive: A Second-by-Second Look at Audience Behavior,” Sam and John revealed the three Ts of content execution—Topic, Treatment and Tone.

Podcast Movement Session

(L-R) John Boyne, Sam Milkman and iHeartMedia SVP/Podcasting Chris Peterson at “The Podcast Content Deep Dive” at Podcast Movement

While we’ll go deeper into our discoveries in next week’s blog and in an upcoming webinar, there are lessons that apply to all audio content, whether delivered via podcast or broadcast.

  1. Reduce Consumer Friction:

Is the process of finding, accessing and listening to podcasts is too complex for the average consumer?

Does the average consumer really know how to download a podcast or where to do it?

Do people even know what to call the purple podcast button on iPhones? Meanwhile, there are multiple apps to choose from on Google Play including RadioPublic, Stitcher and Google Podcasts (which just launched a new app in June). Other podcast sources include iHeartRadio and Spotify.

Would the industry be better off with a strongly-branded, user-friendly platform exclusively devoted to podcasting? Our sense is that the answer to this question is absolutely “yes.” The industry needs the YouTube of the podcast industry. Then, consumers need to know about it and understand how to use it.

One thing is for sure. We’re excited about the future of podcasting and look forward to helping this still-fledgling industry vault past the tipping point. To get there, podcasting needs to become easier for the average consumer to use, while at the same time focusing on building strong brands and developing great content.