I knew this would happen. And I’m not surprised that it’s originating from podcast networks rather than radio broadcasters.
I’m talking about the newest trend in podcasting: Turning brands into podcasters (part of a larger trend I have been talking about for years: Brands as media).
I have long argued that radio broadcasters – the experts in audio – are well-positioned to create audio content for their clients and help those clients distribute that content on-demand. Or – as we might otherwise describe it – turn your clients into podcasters.
After all, what is an ad but a 30 second podcast – or at least it would be if any listener wanted to consume it on-demand.
Imagine a world where your clients are buying custom podcasts from you because the content of that podcast is compelling and attractive and desirable – even if it’s brought to you by the local car dealer. And why wouldn’t they? You are the audio experts, after all. What would that sound like? What’s more, what revenue could you make from that?
But don’t take my word for it, just ask Panoply, a leading member of the burgeoning tribe of premium podcast networks. Panoply has recently launched a custom unit that works with brands to help make their own podcasts a reality:
Prudential, for example, created a four-episode series called “40/40 Vision,” hosted by public radio host and actor Faith Salie, that explores what it means to be 40 and older. Panoply’s team helps Prudential come up with ideas for the episodes. Another brand-turned-podcaster is Umpqua Bank, which in September launched “Open Account,” a podcast created by former MTV correspondent SuChin Pak that “gets honest” about money and why there is a culture of silence around finance and financial literacy. To date, the first three episodes have been downloaded 70,000 times, and Panoply said that’s the highest number of downloads of any other new podcasts — sponsored or not — launched at the same time.
Panoply is wisely examining their business model and discovering that monetizing avails or endorsements is fine, as far as it goes (and until the metrics improve, it doesn’t go far enough). But as you develop relationships with brands those brands recognize that what sets you apart from any other ad buy is your expertise for creating compelling audio that consumers actually want to listen to.
So creating content for brands hungry to fuel their content marketing initiatives becomes a new source of revenue for audio creators.
It’s all possible because these networks focus on what they’re best at and how they stand out in a crowded marketplace where zillions of radio stations have zillions of ears and zillions of avails.
It’s also possible because brands are media today. And that means they need the help of skilled outsiders to develop compelling ideas that move consumers and make those ideas real.
For the life of me, I don’t know why radio broadcasters haven’t already done this.
Turning your clients into podcasters. Why hasn't radio done this already?
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Congratulations to Panoply for seeing the future and taking us there.