Tag Archives: video

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.

Why Elton John Will Make You Cry

Tuesdays With Coleman

Last Tuesday, my colleague Warren Kurtzman blogged about the value of video strategy for radio stations.

The effective use of video is one cost-effective way brands can tell their story and reach potential consumers in new, emotional ways. Warren explained in his blog that there are a number of examples from the recent midterm elections of videos that went viral, and radio can utilize some of those techniques in its own marketing.

Now, radio gets to learn from an old-school retailer.

John Lewis & Partners is a chain of department stores with locations throughout the United Kingdom. Like many traditional brick and mortar retail stores, John Lewis & Partners has struggled to maintain market position. The company claimed a staggering 99 percent drop in profits in the first half of 2018.

The evolution challenges facing legacy brands has been covered numerous times in this blog including “HBO and the Mass Appeal Trap,” “Harley-Davidson Has More Problems Than Tariffs,” “International House of Branding Bewilderment” and “Why Toys ‘R’ Us is Closing.” I rang the warning bell for a recently bankrupt retailer in “How Would You Restructure K-Mart” on my LinkedIn page two years ago.

Last Wednesday, John Lewis & Partners unleashed a new commercial for the holiday season starring Elton John. It begins with present-day Elton performing his first hit, “Your Song” on a piano. What follows is a pretty magical sequence, as we watch segments of the song performed by the many generational variations of Elton in reverse. It ends with Elton as a child being presented with his first piano by his mum and the tagline, “Some gifts are more than just a gift.”

It’s freaking fantastic.

It didn’t take long for the two minute and twenty second masterpiece to go viral. Shortly after its release online, “Late Late Show” host James Corden tweeted, “Holy s—t. This commercial.”

John Lewis & Partners didn’t make a video about what clothes you can buy there or what’s new in the Home & Garden section or how long mattresses would be on sale.

John Lewis & Partners made you feel something. Rather than being about what they sell, they focused on why you buy it. Instead of dialogue, the spot used the power of music and its intrinsic attachment to memories.

You’ve seen radio station TV spots. A CHR or Hot AC station might play some song hooks from its core artists, with images of the singers and bands flying across the screen followed by the obligatory station logo at the end.

Or maybe it’s to promote the morning show and you get a picture of the talent and the big voiceover. “(Insert name here) in the morning. Number one for hit music all day!” That may be fine for a 30-second spot.

But shouldn’t radio be taking advantage of the long-form video?

If a department store can use music to generate emotion, doesn’t it make sense that a brand whose product is music should do it?

Let’s say a CHR station has a heritage morning show that’s been in the market over 20 years. Can you picture utilizing a 2:20 long video to focus on some of that show’s most impactful moments and connection to the local community set to the biggest hits during each of those times?

Can you visualize a Sports station utilizing some of the biggest sports moments of all-time (making sure some incredible local ones are included), and ending with “(Station) was there?”

How about a Throwbacks station covering the History of Hip Hop?

As our Image PyramidSM illustrates with the crucial Base Music or Talk position, listeners do need to understand the “what.” Just as consumers need to know what John Lewis & Partners sells, listeners also need to know what you play.

But the truly great brands—the ones that will thrive in our more crowded-than-ever marketplace—are the ones that move past the “what” and into the “why.”