Tag Archives: podcasting

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?

The Extraordinary Podcasting Opportunity: A Conversation with Hetal Patel

Hetal Patel is the Executive Vice President of SmartAudio Intelligence at iHeartMedia. In a conversation for this week’s Tuesdays With Coleman blog, we discussed her recent talk at the Audio Intelligence Summit, “Podcasting Trends & Mythbusters: What to look forward to in 2023.”

That turned into a wide-ranging discussion on generational differences and habits in audio consumption, how to connect on a deeper level with younger consumers, an untapped opportunity in podcasting, and our mutual adoration of “Extraordinary Attorney Woo,” a Netflix show from South Korea featuring a lawyer with autism in the lead role.


The Audio Intelligence Summit, a conference focused on how audio and audio advertising can be utilized effectively, was held in New York in February. Of the myths surrounding podcasting she covered in her talk, I asked Patel which myth bothered her the most. She described the lack of education surrounding platforms and publishers.

For example, iHeartRadio is a podcasting platform, but it is also a publisher. Stuff You Should Know and The Ron Burgundy Podcast are published by iHeart, but you can hear them on Spotify, Apple, and “wherever you get your podcasts.” On the one hand, it’s a somewhat unique dilemma to podcasting. Patel offers an analogy: “If you watch a video from a publisher like Vox, CNN, or Fox on Facebook, you know the content belongs to those publishers. But many people who listen to an iHeart show on Spotify may think it’s a Spotify show. Other publishers probably feel the same thing when consuming content on the iHeartRadio app.” This poses a challenge on the advertising side, when buyers don’t necessarily recognize that their ads travel with the content to each platform.

Stuff You Should Know is published by iHeartRadio, but is available on multiple platforms

To me, it’s a classic example of Inside vs. Outside Thinking. Inside Thinking occurs when you’re too close to the product, and you make assumptions about consumer behavior based on your own experience. Outside Thinking is adopting the mindset of your target consumer (in this case the buying community).


Patel is struck by the primary reasons people listen to podcasts, and she shares the differences between Millennials and Gen Z. “Millennials listen to podcasts for productivity. They listen to learn something. Gen Z seeks companionship, which makes sense. The levels of loneliness are highest in America right now. While digital media was made to keep us together, it has done the exact opposite.”

This led to diving into a startling statistic from a 2021 study by the Survey Center on American Life on the state of American friendship. In 1990, 27% of Americans said they had three or fewer close friends. In 2021, nearly half—49%—claimed to have three or fewer close friends. The percentage of Americans that said they had no close friends quadrupled, from 3% to 12%.

Percentage of Americans that say they have (x) number of close friends. Source: Survey Center on American Life

When you begin to consider several pieces of information together—younger consumers choosing podcasting for companionship, the decline in the number of close friends, and the increase in the mental health category in podcasting—the role of companionship to reach younger listeners is evident.


When talking about the diversity of younger consumers, Patel mentioned that over 50% of Gen Z and Gen Alpha are non-White, meaning an opportunity exists to deliver content targeted to these consumers. She believes earlier assumptions within the industry that Black and Hispanic consumers aren’t interested in podcasting were fundamentally incorrect. “When we launched the My Cultura network, a slate of Hispanic-targeted podcasts, we learned one in three Hispanics who had not given podcasting a shot said it was because there wasn’t content relevant to their interests. It wasn’t a discovery problem, it was a content problem.”


Ask Hetal Patel about video’s role in podcasting, she’ll tell you she certainly sees one, but what you’ll really unlock is her love of audio. The key for the industry, she believes, is recognizing what makes it so special.

She asked me, “When was the last time you watched TV without a cell phone in your hand?” Long pause. “Point made.”

“When was the last time you listened to a podcast while focused on your cell phone?” “Point made.”

“The engagement, the curiosity, demands the listener commit to it.”


When Patel told me that she started watching Korean TV and cinema during the pandemic, I had to ask if she’d seen “Extraordinary Attorney Woo,” a Netflix show I happened to have just started watching a few weeks ago and am in love with. Her face lit up.

We love the show for similar reasons. The South Korean show is about an attorney with autism but connects on several deep levels. At its core, it is a show about inclusivity, kindness, warmth, and respecting others. It’s one of the only shows she’s comfortable watching with her 7-year-old, and we agree there’s nothing like it on American television.

As she puts it, “When you see someone different, it’s human nature to distance ourselves when we should be warm.”

Funny how the conversation all fits in. Companionship, inclusivity, intimacy = extraordinary.

12 Hour Sound Machines: A Podcast Success Story

A couple of weeks ago in the Tuesdays With Coleman blog “Brand Growth Inspiration from Lofi Girl,” I mentioned 12 Hour Sound Machines, a podcast created by a father who couldn’t get his son to go to sleep. The podcast, which he simply created for himself to play on the smart speaker in his son’s bedroom (“If there was a private toggle, I would have turned it on”) now gets 300,000 listens a day and is approaching 80 million total downloads.

I spoke with Brandon Reed, the creator of 12 Hour Sound Machines, who shared lessons from his launch for current and aspiring podcasters.

12 Hour Sound Machines podcast

12 Hour Sound Machines creator Brandon Reed


The genesis of 12 Hour Sound Machines was a need based on what was currently available. To help his crying child, he first tried an air filter. It wasn’t loud enough. He looked online and found the sounds he was seeking either weren’t long enough, were multiple tracks put together that faded in and out, or he could hear clicks when they looped.

And so, he made his own 12 hours of brown noise. No fades, no loops, no clicks.

The night he posted it online, he needed a name and was exhausted. So he came up with, as he puts it, “the most straightforward thing imaginable,” 12 Hour Sound Machines. He made a thumbnail in three minutes and turned it on.

In the beginning, Reed says people started finding it organically (about 30 downloads a day) and he wondered why people besides him were listening.

Even though he made it available on all podcast platforms, it was Spotify where the magic happened. Here’s his explanation:

“My offering is pure utility value. People don’t care that it’s a podcast. They don’t treat it like a podcast. They just need white noise to help them sleep. People were already using Spotify to get sounds and noise. So they type in “sound machine”. Because I was first in, I had an algorithm advantage. They see 12 hours in the name, and they click.”

And so, 12 Hour Sound Machines grew and grew, mostly on Spotify, almost entirely organically. It wasn’t until it crossed the 50,000 daily downloads mark that Reed started thinking about it as a business. He was a podcast consumer but didn’t know the industry side. So, he started learning and studying.

At 75,000 downloads per day, he started looking into monetizing. His hosting platform at the time, Anchor, released a subscription model. He kept a free level of sounds but added 25 additional sounds for 2.99/month to see if people would pay.

They did.

Last Summer, Brandon Reed turned ads on for the first time, recognizing it had to be pre-roll (it wouldn’t be on brand to interrupt a 12-hour sound machine with a commercial). Despite some initial angry responses from a few listeners, it hasn’t stopped the growth.

He hasn’t left his day job working on apps for Disney, but he’s sure got one impressive side hustle. What he’s learned provides a valuable road map for anyone looking to create and monetize a successful podcast. Here are three takeaways:

  1. Find an unoccupied lane and fill it. Blue Ocean Strategy (finding unoccupied market space in the clear “blue ocean” rather than competing in the shark-infested “red ocean”) worked in this case, even if it was by accident. Reed identified a need and served it. Everyone needs a good night’s sleep.


  1. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). He says coming up with the name of the podcast quickly was the result of exhaustion, but “the most straightforward thing imaginable” is usually the right thing. Find out what consumers are searching for (i.e., sound machines) on what platforms (i.e., Spotify) and name it the way they would search for it and describe it.


  1. Don’t try to do it alone. Reed recognized early on that his podcast couldn’t scale and be successful without help. That meant bringing on a support team that included a website developer and audio engineer so he could focus on business development.

I’ll leave you with his perspective on a mistake he often notices people and companies make.

“What so many people do, with any idea or product they’re trying to build, they think, if I build it, they’ll come. If I just build the coolest widget, the most awesome service, the most unique and innovative product. Then they give it to the world, and it doesn’t catch on. So, they say, “nobody wants it.”

It’s not that nobody wants it. It’s that nobody knows about it, or the wrong people know about it.

What this showed me is that if product market fit is right, if you just give people what they need, then they will come. And they will buy.”

Ask Me Anything – Episode 2: Podcasting

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 “Podcasting”. Watch the 15-minute video below:

Questions We Answered:

  • 03:19 – What’s a podcasting strategy you’d recommend?
  • 06.46 – What’s the most important think for a podcast to present in the first five minutes?
  • 09:18 – Should radio morning shows upload their entire show or create an after-show podcast?
  • 13:02 – What kind of podcast research do you recommend?