Tag Archives: YouTube

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.

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.

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!

YouTube Music and Spotify on the Podcast Branding Carousel

As I reflect on the past week in Las Vegas at the Podcast Movement Evolutions conference, I’m thinking about two recent announcements that will have a significant impact on the podcasting industry. The first announcement, made the week prior at the Hot Pod Summit in New York, was revealed by YouTube’s head of podcasting, Kai Chuk.

YouTube will begin featuring audio and video-first podcasts on its YouTube Music platform.

The level of YouTube’s prowess for podcast consumption and discovery and this move was widely buzzed about in Vegas. For many podcasters, how to utilize YouTube effectively is a conundrum. Unlike audio-only platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts, YouTube cannot pull your show in with an RSS feed, which automatically populates artwork and show notes, and results in the user-friendly displays and players you see on audio platforms. Therefore, podcasting on YouTube can be a clunky, manual process. Discovery can be difficult and sorting chaotic. Because there’s no RSS feed, podcast analytics are a challenge, and thus monetizing becomes a pain.

Within this context, YouTube’s move makes sense. By offering podcasts on YouTube Music, it will pull in RSS feeds and should be easier for podcasters to set videos as podcasts on YouTube Studio. But YouTube’s biggest challenge has nothing to do with easing functionality for podcasters and listeners.

It faces a massive branding challenge.

According to Viralyft, YouTube has over 2.68 billion active users globally as of September 2023. YouTube Music just surpassed 80 million subscribers. YouTube is where podcast listeners are. YouTube Music is where they want them to be. In theory, it will create more paid subscribers for YouTube Music and it will offer an ad-supported version if you don’t want to pay for it.

But YouTube Music is not a podcasting platform today. It never has been. It has “music” in the name and will attempt to grow using a spoken-word medium. It will take an immense effort to educate consumers of YouTube Music’s new role as a podcasting platform, one with no guarantee of succeeding. It may be challenging to improve the podcast experience on YouTube, but that feels like the more logical branding play. YouTube Music as a podcasting platform will start as a weak brand in the podcasting space, and we won’t know the quality of the content until its planned launch.

Anchor, one of the top podcast hosting platforms, was acquired by Spotify in 2019 and it benefitted from the unique new show boom that was fueled during the pandemic while people were at home. The number of active podcasts inflated. One of the things that supercharged Anchor’s growth was the fact that it was, and remains, a free hosting service and attracted beginners. This is in contrast to the $15 or so monthly fee that most hosting platforms charge to house your podcast, distribute to multiple players like Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and provide a level of analytics.

Then, all of a sudden last Wednesday at Spotify’s Stream On event, the company announced it would change the name of Anchor to Spotify for Podcasters. If you do a Google search for Anchor podcasts, you may see Anchor in the listing but you’re redirected to podcasters.spotify.com with a long explanation of why Spotify for Podcasters will be better. Among those improvements include the ability to upload video podcasts to Spotify and more advanced analytics.

Just as time will tell if YouTube’s launching of podcasts on YouTube Music will work, we’ll have to see how Spotify’s dropping of the Anchor (sorry, too easy) plays out. The company didn’t spend time leading up to the change educating and informing consumers it was coming. Many users will be confused when greeted with the new name. Spotify is a podcasting player, not a hosting platform for podcasters. Its challenge will be to convince current users to stay, as well as educate consumers about Spotify’s new role as a hosting platform.

In time, both initiatives may succeed but each will be undeniably difficult. Changing brand perceptions to influence consumer behavior is one of the most difficult tasks a marketer will face. We look forward to watching both closely.

Kurtis Conner’s Defense of Radio

Ask me which three comedians first come to mind, and I’ll say Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, and Steve Martin.

Ask my 19-year-old son Lloyd which three comedians first come to mind, and he’ll say Kurtis Conner, Drew Gooden, and Danny Gonzalez.

Never heard of them? They’re YouTubers.

Kurtis Conner brought his comedy tour to Durham Performing Arts Center a couple of weeks ago, and Lloyd was very excited to go. A comedian you may have never heard of played to a packed house of nearly 3,000 people, most appearing under 30. Who would have thought that of all the subject matter he could cover in his set, one of Conner’s bits would be about…radio.

Conner began the bit talking about his love of music, which segued into a story of how he consumes music. Kurtis Conner told the audience he listens to the radio.

The audience booed. Seriously. And loudly.

It’s challenging enough trying to figure out how to get more Gen Zs to listen to radio. The fact that they booed the mention of the word radio is another problem entirely. But what came next will hopefully spark some brainstorming. 28-year-old YouTuber/Millionaire/Gen Z hero Kurtis Conner offered a full-throated defense of the medium you and I love.

“No, no, no…don’t boo me,” Conner begged. He explained how there’s just so much content to choose from and radio makes it easy. He doesn’t have to think about it, the station just plays the music he loves. Kurtis Conner claimed to listen to the radio every day and even name-checked his hometown P1 station. “There’s a station in Toronto that plays 70s, 80s, and 90s.” “That’s boom 97.3!,” I excitedly told Lloyd. “It’s called boom,” validated Conner.

I was excited because boom 97.3 is our client.

But even more intriguing to me was the way he positioned radio to his followers. We have discussed content overload and the Paradox of Choice in previous Tuesdays With Coleman blogs. The premise is the more choices a consumer is offered, the more anxiety results, thereby making us feel worse. By reducing the amount of choice, we can reduce consumer anxiety and make them feel better about their decision.

We have seen in research studies that “free” and “convenient” are two important reasons why listeners choose radio over other media. But what if there’s an opportunity to magnify the importance of its role in reducing anxiety? In a world where we now must choose among a seemingly endless array of entertainment options, should we be emphasizing radio’s strength of curation? Would it really resonate with Gen Zers like Kurtis Conner who find comfort in curation (and, apparently, 70s, 80s, and 90s hits?)

The only way to find out is to give it a shot, and it certainly would be interesting to conduct research to see if the image resonates.

One thing is for sure. A room full of thousands of Gen Zers booing at the mention of radio should make us uncomfortable.

Which Entertainment is Generation Z Consuming?

A few weeks ago, my 18-year-old son Lloyd (he’ll be 19 next week) was in the car with me and he was (I know this will shock you if you’re the parent of a teen) watching a YouTube video. “Whatcha watching?” Good Mythical Morning,” he replied. Good Mythical Morning is a daily YouTube show hosted by Rhett & Link, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. I peppered Lloyd with questions about the show, including why and how he watches. This led to a longer conversation later that day, which I’ll detail below.

Radio is unsurprisingly having a very challenging time reaching Generation Z, well explained in Fred Jacobs’ recent blog, “Radio Broadcasters Don’t Know Doodly-Squat About Gen Zs.” He’s right. But it better learn. As a A) media researcher; B) former radio program director; and C) parent of a Gen Z kid, I couldn’t really help but have an unofficial one-on-one interview with my son about it (insert Dr. Evil laugh).

Fun fact: I have a quirky connection to Rhett & Link, which I’ll share at the end of the blog.

Jay:    Who are Rhett & Link?

Lloyd: They are a comedy duo on YouTube. They’re hilarious, and host Good Mythical Morning each day. They also own their own company, Mythical Entertainment.

Jay:    Is Good Mythical Morning the only show they have?

Lloyd: No. There’s a show after the show, Good Mythical More. Rhett & Link have a podcast called Ear Biscuits. And then they have other channels and shows for other cast members, like Mythical Kitchen, a cooking show.

Jay:    How many of these shows do you watch or listen to?

Lloyd: I watch Good Mythical Morning and Good Mythical More, I sometimes listen to Ear Biscuits, I listen to the A Hot Dog Is A Sandwich podcast from Josh & Nicole, and I watch the Mythical Kitchen channel.

Jay:    How often are you listening to these shows?

Lloyd: I watch Good Mythical Morning and Good Mythical More every weekday. The others are a little more random.

Jay:    How long are they?

Lloyd: An episode of Good Mythical Morning and the after-show are about 20 minutes each.

Jay:    20 minutes is pretty quick. What kind of content are they doing?

Lloyd: It’s usually one topic per episode. Like the Shuffleboard game, where you have to guess the era a food came from. Or when they had on someone from the Swedish embassy, and you had to guess is this food Swedish or not? Is this game Swedish or not?

Jay:    You said you watch every day. Why do you feel you need to watch it every single day?

Lloyd: I feel like they really care about the Mythical Beasts, which are the fans. They do surveys all the time, like the Mythical Census I just filled out a few days ago. It was about me and what I enjoy. Like, what’s your demographic? When did you start watching? How many Mythical Entertainment shows do you consume? Stuff like that.

Jay:    A show that does research! Be still my beating heart. What other ways do they engage with listeners?

Lloyd: They love to do interactive things with the Beasts that influence what goes in the show. Like on Instagram, they’ll say something like, “Which food do you prefer?” Then on the next episode, they’ll reference which food the fans picked.

Jay:    Do they often customize their content based on input from their fans?

Lloyd: About an hour ago, they posted on their Twitter “Are there any weird nicknames you call your grandparents and why?” So they’ll probably do that on an episode.

Jay:    Anything else they do that’s unique for their fans?

Lloyd: The Mythical Society. You have to pay to be a member, and there are tiers. But every quarter you get a free collectible item. Like this quarter, you get a vinyl copy of them singing Brooks & Dunn in the year 3000.

Jay:    (laughing) I’m looking at their website for that and it’s pretty amazing. There’s no chance you’d know who Brooks & Dunn are without Rhett & Link.

Lloyd: That’s true. Oh, they also have their own convention.

Jay:    What?

Lloyd: MythiCon. It’s going to be in Austin in October. I want to go but the cheapest tickets are $299, up to $649.

Jay:    Oh, my goodness. In radio, that would be a Non-Traditional Revenue gold mine. What entertainment do you consume throughout the day?

Lloyd: I like YouTube, I really like having it on as background noise. You’re not going to know these channels, but Nexpo, Barely Sociable, Blame It On Jorge…these are Lost Media, conspiracy/internet mystery channels. I watch all those when they come out but they don’t come out as often as Rhett & Link. I also love commentary YouTubers such as Eddy Burback, Kurtis Conner, Drew Gooden, Danny Gonzalez. They’re comedy but they don’t do it every day. More like every few weeks.

Jay:    When you listen to music, what do you listen to and how do you listen?

Lloyd: If I’m trying to relax or do art or study, I’ll listen to Lo-Fi Hip Hop beats. Or I’ll listen to my Liked Songs playlist. All on Spotify.

Jay:    How often do you consume YouTube versus Spotify?

Lloyd: Probably three to four hours of YouTube, about an hour of Spotify.

Jay:    Do you listen to any morning radio shows?

Lloyd: No.

Jay:    Why not?

Lloyd: I’m just not interested in them. I listen to Spotify, which has radio shows on it. From what I’ve found so far, nothing is on par with Rhett & Link. A lot of radio morning shows are topical and make you have to think about what’s going on in the world. Even if they’re comedic, they still talk about the news, and I don’t want to hear about that. I watch the news for that.

Jay:    It sounds like when you’re seeking entertainment, you want an escape from reality.

Lloyd: Right. The news helps me get the information I need, but Rhett and Link help me get my mind off things.

Jay:    Can you name any radio morning shows off the top of your head?

Lloyd: No…I know there are some on Sirius? Or the local stations…ummm…I can’t name them.

Jay:    If radio wants to reach 19-year-olds, can it do it?

Lloyd: I don’t know. I mean, I listen to SiriusXM because the stations I listen to are very specific to what I like. And there aren’t that many options on the radio. I just don’t know what they could do to make me listen more because Spotify and Apple Music are so predominant in my generation. I have a friend whose radio in the car is broken. And they’re not getting it fixed because they can just listen to Spotify.

Jay:    Have you seen any advertising for any radio stations? Could be billboards, TV, social media, Google ads, anything?

Lloyd: I saw one in New York for a radio station, but that’s literally the only one I ever remember seeing.

Jay:    Do you remember which station that was for?

Lloyd: I don’t.

There’s lots to unpack in this single 20-minute interview.  On the one hand, the prognosis for radio’s ability to reach Gen Z may seem out of reach. On the other hand, I see multiple insights that radio could use to refine content and better target the audience. Keep in mind, that it’s only one interview. I’d love to see audio brands (not just radio) invest in qualitative research to meaningfully explore the deeper “whys” behind Gen Z consumption.

I promised to tell you about my quirky connection to Rhett & Link.

In early 2007, when I was program director of 96rock (WBBB/Raleigh), we ran a contest for a listener to be our Grammy Awards correspondent. Listeners needed to send a video of themselves explaining why they should win. We picked a video submitted by a pair of guys most (including us) hadn’t heard of at the time. Those guys went to the show and snuck onto the red carpet (without credentials).

This is the video they submitted:

At the time, the program director in me was ticked that Rhett & Link didn’t even mention our station in the video. But the other part of me watched the “Project Lionel” bit in the video and knew they were superstars in the making. Who knew that 15 years later they would be making the one show my 18-year-old couldn’t miss?

Using Inbound Marketing To Build Brand Equity

Tuesdays With Coleman

How many times have you thought, “If we just had more money to spend on marketing, it would solve our problems”?

While marketing will probably never solve all your problems, in many cases (provided the brand/product/appeal are properly aligned) the right marketing can work wonders. We’ve recommended marketing campaigns as part of strategic research plans over the years, and plenty of radio stations have seen tangible results from utilizing other traditional media such as television, billboards and direct mail.

Many companies today are also finding success by marketing in a decidedly non-traditional way that sounds counter-intuitive: by “giving away” their product.

Meet Roger Wakefield, President of Texas Green Plumbing in Dallas.

When Roger’s business started slowing down a couple of years ago, he started a YouTube channel. He created videos that provide free plumbing advice (see this link to find more information about plumbing).

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heater. 193K views.

Are Water Heaters Supposed to Make Noise? 77K views.

But the real kickers are the videos in which he instructs viewers how to do the things…well, that plumbers do.

How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink. 89K views.

How to Replace a Gas Control Valve on a Gas Water Heater. 41K views.

How to Fix a Running Toilet, Guaranteed. 709K views!

Roger knows that by giving away advice and establishing credibility with these small DIY things, he’s creating potential customers that will contact him when they need help with the big things.

It’s not unlike the reason we started our Tuesdays With Coleman blogs nearly three years ago. We’re happy to share tidbits on content, research and branding strategy and hope you’ll think of us when you need help with the big things, too.

What extra value can you give to your customers? What can you do to “pull back the curtain” of your audio brand for your listeners? What tips and advice can your sales teams provide to build credibility?

Outbound Marketing will always be necessary to build brand awareness. But think about how your Inbound Marketing–content creation, problem solving and loyalty building–can play a role in your overall brand strategy.

How Platform Choice Impacts Contemporary Music Tastes

Tuesdays With ColemanOver the last couple of weeks, we’ve learned quite a bit about the current state of contemporary music. Among many other findings, this year’s study of the current tastes of 1,000 12- to 54-year-olds across the United States and Canada has indicated a rise in the appeal of Country, a slightly older lean to the best-testing titles and a downtrend for Pop, Hip Hop/R&B and Dance/Electronic. This week, we’ll focus on how the genres of the best-testing songs vary based upon consumers’ choice of platform. For example, the best testing genres among radio users look different than those of streaming users. Pandora fans look different than those consumers who prefer Spotify. Why do we find these differences so interesting? Because programmers are barraged with data from different sources every day. A song’s amazing number of streams on Spotify, for instance, might be used as an argument why it belongs on your radio station. Or the fact that “everyone” on Pandora is flocking to a particular style suggests that you should move your programming in that direction.

But is it really that simple?

The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights”, which has strong radio airplay, is #1 on the Spotify Top 200 Chart. “D4L” by Future, Drake & Young Thug debuts at #1 on Pandora’s Top Spins chart. “The Scotts” by The Scotts (Travis Scott and Kid Cudi) which debuted during a live virtual Fortnite event that attracted over 27 million unique participants, bowed at #1 on the Billboard streaming chart last week.  Does that mean these are the most popular songs in North America—or that they are popular among people who listen to your format? Not necessarily, particularly if the people who are using radio or streaming on a daily basis have different music tastes.

That’s why understanding the different profiles of consumers of these various platforms should matter to you. It should help you appreciate what all those stats being thrown at you really mean.

For starters, the best testing songs of people who use radio every day look a lot different than those of daily streamers. What’s the big difference? The Top 100 among daily radio listeners contains a large percentage of Pop and Country, and a smaller amount of Hip Hop/R&B. About a third (32%) of the Top 100 of Daily Radio Listeners is Pop and 29% Country, but only 19% Hip Hop/R&B. Daily Streaming Listeners, on the other hand, have much more Hip Hop/R&B (29%) and far less Country (only 15%).

Does that mean Daily Radio Listeners don’t like contemporary Hip Hop? No. It means when we look at Daily Radio Listeners as a group overall, they gravitate toward Pop and Country among contemporary genres. You are more likely to find interest in Pop or Country when you take a broad look at regular radio users.

We see other notable differences when we compare the Top 100 of Pandora, Spotify and YouTube fans. Consumers who prefer Pandora over other streaming services have a tremendous amount of Country in their Top 100—39%. They also have 26% Pop but significantly less Hip Hop/R&B at only 17%. Those who prefer Spotify go in the opposite direction. They have a very large percentage of Pop (39%) and a good amount of Hip Hop/R&B (26%)—but very little Country, only 9%. YouTube fans look very similar to Spotify fans.

The point is that people who prefer Pandora have much more Country in the songs they rate best; those who prefer Spotify and YouTube have more Pop and Hip Hop/R&B in their Top 100 songs. We sometimes tend to think of streaming users as homogeneous, but they are not. The profile of consumers who prefer different streaming services are distinct—and it is important to keep this in mind when we look at data coming from various sources. And that’s true of almost every different platform we analyzed.

Next week, we’ll dive into the political fray–to discover the respective taste differences between supporters of President Trump and Joe Biden. In an environment in which common ground and bipartisanship can be hard to find, can these two polarized groups find musical consensus?

Don’t miss next week’s Tuesdays With Coleman to find out.

When it’s Time to Hunt (for Talent), Go Outside

Tuesdays With Coleman

This September, NBC will debut “A Little Late With Lilly Singh,” a new late-late-night talk show in what will be the former timeslot of “Last Call With Carson Daly.” NBC’s choice of host for this timeslot is a bold one for the network in a lot of ways. Lilly Singh will be the only woman with a late-night broadcast network show. She’s Canadian. She’s a young woman of color. She is also relatively unknown to the general TV-watching public. Lilly Singh earned her chops not on the stand-up comedy scene or as a bit player in sitcoms.

Lilly Singh is a star on YouTube.

Ms. Singh is not the first person to build a career from that platform (we wouldn’t have Shawn Mendes without it), but it’s fair to say that she’s the first person to be plucked from YouTube by a major network and given her very own eponymous TV show right out of the gate. Say what you will about the 1:35am timeslot on NBC, it’s still part of a network with a lot of heritage and a good amount of prestige that relies on advertising for its success, so it doesn’t make its host choices lightly. She is one of the main reasons people are opting to purchase youtube views and growing in their own way.  TV is looking for talent in new places and banking on that talent. Why can’t radio? When radio stations and syndicators look for on-air talent, they tend to look fairly inward. And that’s understandable on some level, because we all know radio isn’t like visual media. If your audience can see you, you work a lot with facial expressions and body language. Radio requires everything to be in the voice. It’s not a skill everyone has, for sure. It’s not always translatable from film or TV. Radio hosts also have to be able to think fast and be creative on the fly, read copy often with little notice and, in many cases, be willing to wake up at ungodly hours and make their way to the studio in all types of weather conditions. Great hosts are not always easy to find.

But why not… try?

I’m reminded of major films that took huge casting risks and ended up with something great. 2006 brought us the long-awaited film version of Dreamgirls—who knew Beyonce could act? Jennifer Hudson, at that point known primarily to the public as a runner-up on American Idol, even won an Oscar! Yalitza Aparicio, the star of recent Best Picture nominee Roma, was a schoolteacher. In a different part of the media universe, Megan Amram, a writer for some of my favorite sitcoms, got hired because of her clever and indie-popular Twitter feed. These people all had that something and were given a chance.

Now, I’m not completely naïve. I’m sure there was a lot of hard work that went into polishing the performances in Dreamgirls and Roma, and I’m sure Ms. Amram took a while to get comfortable in the Parks and Recreation writers’ room.

So why not apply some of the resources radio already uses into developing innovative and interesting on-air talent? Program directors coach their morning show hosts all the time, and I’m privileged to know some wonderful consultants out there whose careers are built on perfecting on-air charisma and chemistry.

There are already some successful stories of hosts plucked from other areas. D.L. Hughley comes to mind; his established career in comedy and TV hosting have served him well on his nationally syndicated morning show. And say what you will about Dr. Laura Schlessinger, but her ultimately extremely successful radio career started when she simply called into an LA-based talk show and impressed the host enough to get a gig. She was working as a biologist at the time, which reminds me that Janeane Garofalo’s character in The Truth About Cats and Dogs was a veterinarian-turned-radio-host (fictional, yes, but same idea).

My colleague Jay Nachlis knows firsthand about finding talent where you least expect it. Back in July, Jay made the case for hiring someone who was thrust into Internet fame because she eavesdropped on a conversation and Tweeted about it. His argument comes from experience; Jay told me a story about how when he was a PD here in Raleigh, back in the early 00s, he ran a “Search for Supermouth” competition. He hired the winner of that contest, a college student named Megan Sosne, to work at his station—and Ms. Sosne went on to several on-air gigs, eventually landing a longstanding hosting job at KBKS in Seattle and starting a podcast.

So how about it, radio? We at Coleman Insights talk about Outside vs. Inside Thinking all the time, and this is one of those areas where radio can definitely go “outside.” There might be a comedian out there whose brand of humor is perfect for your afternoon drive audience. You might be looking for an additional cast member to balance your morning show whose ratings are good but whose perceptual images are lackluster, and you might find that person on local cable access. Or from a contest. Or from your local karaoke bar.

Or stations can find talent on YouTube. People like Lilly Singh, who are building a huge base of followers that you can tap into as future listeners to your station. Potential radio talent really is all around you, even if you might not realize it at first glance.

When you’re looking for your Next Big Thing, don’t just stick to the studio. Look further afield. Like NBC.