Tag Archives: podcasting

Three Takeaways from Podcast Movement Evolutions

Podcast Movement Evolutions is an offshoot of the original Podcast Movement conference, the largest annual gathering of podcasters in the world. When first launched, Evolutions was more geared towards podcast creators, rather than the more industry professional-focused older sibling version. But, much like the medium itself, Spring’s Podcast Movement Evolutions, which took place last week in Los Angeles, has matured into an event nearly unrecognizable from Summer’s Podcast Movement.

Here are three takeaways from this year’s Podcast Movement Evolutions.

  1. YouTube, YouTube…how I love (hate) thee….

Ask consumers which platform they use the most for podcasts, as we did in our New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube study with Amplifi Media last August, and they will tell you YouTube, as the company shared in their Podcast Movement Evolutions keynote session Friday morning. Ask podcasters what they think of podcasting on YouTube, and well…it’s complicated.

There is one thing nearly every podcaster will agree on, and that’s YouTube’s massive value as a podcast promotional tool. Using trailers and clips on YouTube to market your podcast (as well as short-form platforms like Shorts, TikTok, and Reels) has been a tangible boon for many shows. Whether organic or paid (or a combination), YouTube has undeniable value for podcast discovery.

Where creators have far less consensus is regarding YouTube’s value for hosting entire podcast episodes. The frustration generally lies in YouTube’s methodology. Although, according to Podnews editor James Cridland in his annual podcasting report card, creators give YouTube high marks for its analytics, many are frustrated with its independent advertising ecosystem and lack of communication.

To paraphrase Audacy’s Head of Podcasts Jenna Weiss-Berman, “Half of me is in on YouTube and its role in the future of podcasting. The other half says they need to play in the same sandbox.”

YouTube is too important and valuable to the industry and used by consumers to be cast aside. It’s also fair to lay the burden on Google to adapt to the needs of the creator. (see: Spotify abandoning its “exclusive” platform model with Joe Rogan and other Spotify shows).

YouTube’s podcasting team shared some upcoming initiatives that address this. They also claimed they are working on more podcast-friendly algorithms to recommend more targeted content to the consumer For example, wouldn’t it be nice if when you play a podcast episode on YouTube, it recommends other episodes from that creator and similar podcasts rather than a slew of seemingly random videos from the YouTube galaxy? YouTube and its creators should be transparent, honest, and must work together to figure out the best way forward.

  1. Engagement is YouTube’s secret sauce

Consumers love the ability to comment on YouTube videos (and podcasts). Spotify’s Q&A feature now allows hosts to ask questions of their listeners, which can be sent to the creator privately, and creators can choose which comments to feature on the platform. Meanwhile, Apple, the third of the “Big 3” (with YouTube and Spotify), remains a one-way street.

On the surface, Apple adding listener engagement would be a big deal. But as Spotify surely knows from its video podcast initiative, (wait, Spotify has video podcasts? Yep…) just because you offer it doesn’t mean consumers will somehow magically find it, learn about it, or even want it from your brand.

So yes, if Apple were to add listener engagement, it would be interesting. But it doesn’t automatically mean it would be successful.

  1. We are legally obligated to mention AI in any conversation about podcasting

Last August, when Steve Goldstein and I presented that YouTube study in Denver, we had a conversation backstage before the keynote when we remarked, “Whoever figures out an easy podcast video service will do very well.” In a massively short period, Artificial Intelligence has swooped in to do just that. There are companies like Rizzle, which offer “no edit videos.” Or Audiencelift (formerly Trailergram), which encourages you to upload your podcast trailer and uses your preferred targeting location, Apple Podcasts category, and keywords from your ad description to show your podcast’s ad to new listeners.

Our friends at Blubrry, one of the original podcast hosting platforms, are at the forefront of differentiation and innovation, adding an AI assistant to help with promotion tools and highlight clip creation, and Vid2Pod, which plays the YouTube game in reverse…pulling in your YouTube playlist for universal audio distribution.

What a time to be alive.

But, as Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane told me, “We still need to hear from real, authentic humans.”

This is both podcasting’s golden opportunity and the greatest obstacle in its next phase of growth. The industry should embrace new tools to spark more efficient and effective solutions. But it must also remember that authenticity is its greatest asset. Podcasters should want AI to help them be more efficient, but podcast consumers do not need AI to augment what they love about their favorite shows and hosts.

And finally, I’ll go back to what Todd says about hearing from those real live humans. Conducting real perceptual research with real podcast consumers is not a luxury. It is a necessity to grow brands and elevate this medium we love.

Ask Me Anything – Episode 7: Scary Research Stories

Welcome to our new Ask Me Anything webinar series!

Each month will feature a different topic, as we cover questions related to research, branding, and marketing strategy in audio entertainment – all in just 15 minutes!

In this episode, consultants Jay Nachlis and Meghan Campbell, along with moderator and Director of Client Services Kimberly Bryant, discussed Scary Research Stories. Watch the 15-minute video below:

Questions We Answered:

2:01 – Bad Ratings Story
5:09 – The Focus Group of One Story
7:38 – The Short-Term Thinking Story
11:11 – The App Story

Podcast Research on YouTube: But Wait! There’s More!

Anytime we conduct a research study, our favorite notification email is the one that reads, “The sums for your project have been delivered and can now be found in your brief.”

Like a kid opening presents on Christmas, that email is an invitation from Santa to go to a folder on our server, open a spreadsheet, and dive into mounds and mounds of data.

Research isn’t for everyone, but if that gives you a thrill, the business may be for you.

When analyzing the data for the recent research study we conducted with Amplifi Media, “The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube,” as we do with all studies, we’re looking for a story. What does the data tell us? What does it mean? And how can we turn it into action to produce strategic results?

In this study, the big story is that the definition of “podcast” and how people consume podcasts is shifting, big time. Consumers now define podcasts as audio or video, not just audio. They like YouTube for podcasts. I mean, really like YouTube. What we learned from those who use YouTube to consume podcasts uncovered actionable findings that can help podcasters formulate their video strategies.

But wait, there’s more!

That spreadsheet with multiple crosstabs, or “data tables” as we refer to it, lists every question asked in the study and the corresponding answer overall. But we’re also analyzing answers by things like age, gender, ethnicity, and geography. We want to see how questions are answered by users of specific podcast platforms or fans of specific categories. How different are the answers by how often they consume podcasts? This is an example of just some of the digging we do.

If we showed every piece of data, the presentation would go on for days. And different pieces of data may be more interesting to different people.

If you work in radio, we’ve got data that shows how listeners of local radio stations feel about podcasting and the role of video. We’ve got data on users of many streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Paramount +, and Max.

If you work in marketing or advertising, you may find it interesting how podcast consumers say they’re discovering new podcasts.

We’ve got “momentum” data – which platforms are moving up and down in usage vs. last year. We know which podcasts consumers say are their favorites and can look at that data across other measures.

If you’re interested in purchasing additional data from “The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube,” click here and fill out the form. Multiple levels of access are available at different price points, and we’d love to discuss how the data may help you.

The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube

Here is the webinar version of the “New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube” presentation delivered by Coleman Insights Vice President/Consultant Jay Nachlis and Amplifi Media Founder/CEO Steve Goldstein.

In this webinar which details findings from an August 2023 research study, Jay and Steve cover the changing perceptions and behavior of podcast consumers, the increasing importance of video in the medium, and answer questions from attendees.

6:13-7:13 The definition of a podcast is changing
8:16-8:53 How people consume their favorite podcasts
9:32-10:35 Which services, apps, or destinations do you currently use for podcasts?
10:37-11:18 Which service, app, or destination do you use most often for podcasts?
11:19-11:42 Age Matters
15:15-15:50 Why do you choose YouTube for podcasts?
15:54-16:26 Are all your favorite podcasts on YouTube?
17:06-17:44 How do you search for podcasts on YouTube?
18:59-19:48 YouTube Shorts
21:19-22:07 YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts Face-Off
22:16-25:19 Key Findings
25:29-30:39 New Rules

A Podcast is Audio or Video. The Customer Says So.

Podcasters: Listen to your customers, even (especially?) when the customer may see things differently.

At the Podcast Movement conference in Denver last week, we may have ruffled a few feathers with the presentation of our findings from a new research study, “The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube.”

One of the headlines from the study is “The Definition of a Podcast is Changing”, which indicates that 75% of 15- to 64-year-old podcast consumers in the United States believe a podcast should be defined as “audio or video”.

Another headline indicates that YouTube is the #1 podcasting app.

These findings are related in an important way, and there’s a clear reason why these findings caused a buzz in some podcasting circles.

Steve Goldstein from Amplifi Media, who collaborated with us on the study, talked about three eras of podcasting in the presentation and will cover this week in his blog. The “MeUndies Era”, when the medium was filled with baked-in ads, host-read endorsements, and the Apple podcast app went native on iPhones. The second era, the “Throwing Spaghetti Against The Wall Era”, was filled with expansion and experimentation. We are now entering the “What is a Podcast Era”, as we see the lines between audio and video blur and converge.

Dannie J. Gregoire is credited with coining the word “podcasting” back in 2004, and from the beginning, two factors were integral to the very existence of a podcast. First, a podcast was in an audio format. Second, and more specifically, a podcast was a piece of audio referenced by an enclosure tag in an RSS feed. RSS, or “Really Simple Syndication,” allows users to access updates to websites in a standardized format. An RSS feed is crucially important to podcasters because it allows them to upload episodes, artwork, and show notes in one place, and have them populate seamlessly onto whatever platform the consumer chooses to listen to them on, from Spotify to Apple Podcasts to Amazon Music. And that was generally how podcasting operated until a very large platform threw a monkey wrench into the medium: YouTube.

As a video-first platform, YouTube’s content includes shows that most would widely consider a podcast and others that wouldn’t necessarily “qualify” because the content on YouTube isn’t available as a podcast on other platforms. The RSS feed is a major point of contention for many podcasters because currently the platform doesn’t ingest feeds the way other platforms do. There are different analytics and different ways of monetizing, and one can understand how easily it can be seen as a headache.

How you view podcasting today is likely informed by your podcasting origin story. If you started listening to Ricky Gervais’s podcast on Apple Podcasts in 2007, it would be understandable if you define a podcast as audio-only. If you started “listening” to the very popular Smartless podcast with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett while “watching” an animated logo on the screen, you may feel quite a bit differently.

It’s also important to consider how the demographics of the podcasting audience has evolved. 39% of podcast consumers in our study have been using the medium for two years or less, a number that balloons to 58% among 15- to 24-year-olds. Quite simply, there are fewer purists that see podcasting as an audio-only medium and more that see it as comprising audio and video.

39% of podcast consumers have been using podcasts for two years or less

So, when we report that YouTube is the #1 podcasting destination, it’s not to say that the highest number of podcasts are being consumed on the platform. When 1,000 15- to 64-year-old podcast consumers were asked, “Which services, apps, or destinations do you currently use for podcasts?” 60% of them said YouTube, ahead of Spotify at 53%.

YouTube is the #1 podcasting app

You can dismiss how some consumers perceive what a podcast is, but that’s their perception.

You can dismiss YouTube as a podcasting platform because it doesn’t ingest RSS feeds, but consumers see it as a podcasting platform. That’s their perception.

You’ve almost certainly heard the term “Perception is Reality,” and this study, as many as any I’ve worked on, is truly a reflection of that.

We often talk about Outside Thinking, which is adopting the mindset of the consumer­. Inside Thinkers get caught up in the way they see things, which is often not in sync with their customers.

This research was designed for one thing in mind, and that was to show how podcast consumers view the medium, and how they view podcasting on YouTube. You may see the world differently than they do, but you can’t challenge how they feel.

As a wise therapist once told me, “Those are your feelings. And your feelings are valid.”

By understanding broad global perceptions of the medium, and not just relying on content analytics, it’s our hope that the podcasting industry will have a clearer path towards building strong brands to accompany much of the incredible content being generated.

The “New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube” webinar is coming up Thursday, September 7th at 2PM EDT/11AM PDT. Registration is open now.

Should I Be Podcasting on YouTube?

Imagine, for a moment, that you’ve got a product to promote. There are many places that offer the product you’re promoting, and the great thing is, it’s not like a grocery store that charges you for shelf space. You can put your product in any of these places you’d like, and it doesn’t cost you a thing. There are clear, consistent data that demonstrates which of these places that offer products like yours have the most customers.

If you offered this product, and you had the chance to put your product at the place that boasts the largest number of people interested in your product, would you put it there? Well, a podcast is the product, YouTube is the place, and thousands of podcasters are either publishing their shows there minimally or not at all.

How can this be?

We deployed a new research study, “The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube,” conducted in conjunction with Amplifi Media, in which we surveyed 1,000 15- to 64-year-old podcast consumers in the United States. We learn that even though there is no shortage of podcast apps, 73% of podcast consumers prefer one of only three: YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. YouTube is the most used app for podcasts (used by 60% of podcast consumers, compared to 53% for Spotify and 30% for Apple).

So, why isn’t podcasting on YouTube a no-brainer?

Different podcasters have different explanations, many of which are perfectly valid. And frankly, not all podcasts should be on YouTube, due to factors that may include type and category. A common concern is the RSS feed problem. I can use a hosting platform like Blubrry or Libsyn to automatically send my podcast by RSS feed to most major podcast apps. I can see analytics via the hosting platform. It seamlessly grabs my cover art and show notes, and uploads my episode.

But not to YouTube.

Reports say YouTube is running an RSS pilot, but it only ingests the audio, doesn’t allow for analytics, and must not contain any ads. YouTube is a monster, but it operates very much in its own podcast ecosystem.

There are some podcasters that believe a podcast is “audio-only” and that if it has a video, it’s not a podcast. So, we asked that question in our study to the robust sample of consumers. “How would you define a podcast?” The answer is clear: 75% of podcast consumers think a podcast should be defined as audio or video.

And if you think YouTube users drive that number, consider that more than two-thirds of those who prefer Spotify and Apple Podcasts feel the same way.

We’ve heard from many podcasters that think YouTube consumers just don’t watch or listen to podcasts as often as on other platforms.

Well…we’ve got data that lays that theory to rest.

Do people think YouTube is hard to use? Why do they choose it instead of other platforms? What about YouTube Music, which YouTube is pushing users to for podcasts? And how big is YouTube Shorts?

We had a lot of questions about YouTube, now we have answers, and we’ll share them with you with one goal in mind. We’ll show you an unbiased view of YouTube’s role in podcasting from the consumer’s perspective, to help you better understand how (and if!) your podcast should be there and how to use it to your advantage.

I’ll present the findings from “The New Rules of Podcasting on YouTube” this Thursday, August 24th at 8:30AM MT along with Steve Goldstein from Amplifi Media at Podcast Movement in Denver. Watch the Tuesdays With Coleman blog next week, when I’ll reveal more findings and a link to an upcoming webinar.

Finally, our thanks go out to Locked On Podcast Network for sponsoring the study. The locally focused sports network has more than dipped its foot in the YouTube pool and was just as curious as us as to what the findings would show.

Much more to come!

Ask Me Anything – Episode 6: The Image Pyramid

Welcome to our new Ask Me Anything webinar series!

Each month will feature a different topic, as we cover questions related to research, branding, and marketing strategy in audio entertainment – all in just 15 minutes!

In this episode, consultants Jay Nachlis and Meghan Campbell, along with moderator and Director of Client Services Kimberly Bryant, discussed The Image Pyramid. Watch the 15-minute video below:

Questions We Answered:

1:18 – Do you think that the past few years have caused any shifts in the relative value of various layers of The Image Pyramid?
4:41 – Is a radio station’s image something that takes time to build or can a station launch or rebrand, be properly prepared to win images faster?
6:59 – When is the base layer strong enough to work on other layers and how do you strengthen the Personality layer?
10:05 – What are some tips and tricks to help stations compete in local markets when you are thousands of miles away?
12:15 – How does The Image Pyramid apply to college or public radio stations?
13:52 – Does The Image Pyramid only apply to radio or can it apply to other media as well?

Ask Me Anything – Episode 5: Personality/Show Research

Welcome to our new Ask Me Anything webinar series!

Each month will feature a different topic, as we cover questions related to research, branding, and marketing strategy in audio entertainment – all in just 15 minutes!

In this episode, consultants Jay Nachlis and Meghan Campbell, along with moderator and Director of Client Services Kimberly Bryant, discussed Personality/Show Research. Watch the 15-minute video below:

Questions We Answered:

1:22 – What are some of the most important things you can learn from Personality Research and how exactly do you arrive there?
4:13 – What are some of the most important/specific questions you should ask?
6:19 – How long should you wait to include a new Personality/Show in a study?
8:46 – What is the best way to truly measure Likeability of a talent?
10:12 – How much of this is unique to Radio vs Media (Websites and Social Media)
12:50 – Are there bits or features that should be buried forever that rub audiences the wrong way?

Ask Me Anything – Episode 4: Qualitative Research

Welcome to our new Ask Me Anything webinar series!

Each month will feature a different topic, as we cover questions related to research, branding, and marketing strategy in audio entertainment – all in just 15 minutes!

In this episode, consultants Jay Nachlis and Meghan Campbell, along with moderator and Director of Client Services Kimberly Bryant, discussed “Qualitative Research”. Watch the 15-minute video below:

Questions We Answered:

1:09 – What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative research?
2:36 – When should you use qualitative and quantitative research?
4:14 – What are the benefits of pairing qualitative and quantitative research and is there an order you should conduct them in?
7:21 – What are the differences and benefits of an online discussion group vs a traditional focus group?
11:40 – What is an IDI?
13:46 – What are some themes seen from qualitative research in the past few years?

Ask Me Anything – Episode 3: Music Testing

Welcome to our new Ask Me Anything webinar series!

Each month will feature a different topic, as we cover questions related to research, branding, and marketing strategy in audio entertainment – all in just 15 minutes!

In this episode, consultants Jay Nachlis and Meghan Campbell, along with moderator and Director of Client Services Kimberly Bryant, discussed “Music Testing”. Watch the 15-minute video below:

Questions We Answered:

1:28 – Why is conducting Perceptual Research before a music test so valuable?
3:48 – What are Fit and Compatibility and why do they actually matter?
6:43 – How do you select which songs to test?
9:06 – Why is accurate Sound Coding essential for a successful music test?
10:29 – How do Oldies and Classic Hits get the right male/female balance and is there a special challenge to selecting the right balance?