Former VP of Podcast Programming at iHeart Radio, Matty Staudt now creates branded podcasts with his podcast company, Jam Street Media.
Chris Ashmore asks Matty about the trends in podcasting, and what business needs to know for a future of spoken-word audio content.
You’ve been in the online audio space for more than a decade, what changes have you seen in the way people listen to audio?
I think that that fundamentally is the same. It’s just how people were consuming audio has changed so much. I think the reason podcasting is booming is because the technology has finally caught up to the content, and the content has gotten so much better. There’s so much better content than what we had available in podcasts 12 years ago.
What is it about branded podcasts? Why are they becoming so popular for businesses and for organisations? Why would a company want to produce one?
Well, I think couple reasons. You control the message. You’re not an ad that’s being lost with other ads. We are becoming increasingly a non-ad-friendly world. My students, when I have them in class and I have them kind of give their perspective on radio and make them listen to a radio station, which none of them ever do on their own time, they all come back and are like, “I can’t believe anybody would sit through all those commercials.” They just can’t fathom it.
With a podcast, you can create something great and have your brand on it. The other side, the real return on investment is the metrics. We can get so fine… Such a fine, fine line on so many cool metrics for them that that’s something that they don’t even think about when they first think about wanting a podcast. They hear that podcasting space is hot and we should be in this space, but then when they find out, “Oh my gosh, there’s all these amazing metrics that you can get from a podcast about the listener,” that’s another great return on investment for them.
Well, if a company is looking to or organisation is looking to create a podcast or any type of audio content, how do you walk them through say a podcast strategy?
I think the first thing I do is I explain to them all the things that go into creating a podcast and distributing a podcast so that they can quickly understand it’s not something they can undertake with an intern in the back room,
A lot of people think, “Well it’s just a podcast. You just put in a mic and start talking, and then throw it up.” It’s one of the first things that we do is, is let them know the amount of production that we want to put into something. Then also how we work with them on a concept because usually the first concept a brand has is more of an infomercial and less of a podcast.
This seems to be a huge growth this year with people listening, a huge uptake of people listening in the United States. Do you get that feeling too, that it’s really catching on this year? Why is that if you do, and what does that mean for the future of listening to audio on demand?
Well, first of all, you can’t go anywhere and not have people talk about podcasts in the United States. Advertisers as well.
I think a lot of that has to do with, a, there’s great content. The content, I mean, there’s so much great content to choose from right now in podcasting.
gain, I always get back to the technology. It’s become easier for people to listen. Especially with connected cars most folks now have their phone connected into the car in some way, shape or form, so they are consuming more audio digitally.
There is a mass migration from radio. We’ve seen it in the numbers, and it gets down to people want what they want to listen to when they want to listen to it and not have so many commercial interruptions. I think that’s what’s making this drive happen towards listening.
I could have told you that five years ago from just talking to my freshman college students, because they don’t own TVs. They don’t listen to the radio. That’s a foreign world to them, is foreign as the generation before them thought landline phones were, I mean that’s all foreign to them.
The content, I mean, there’s so much great content to choose from right now in podcasting.
Where do you see where will we be saying five years from now or 10 years do you think?
I think that we’ll see more and more on demand. Aye. I hate to say it because I love radio, but I think terrestrial radio, we’ll continue to see people fleeing from the terrestrial way of consuming it, but not from the content.
I don’t know next year there might be a new technology that will change everything, but for now, I think that that’s where the drive and the push is going. Again, just seeing more and more cars leave the road that aren’t connected, and the more and more cars that are connected and on the road, the more this is just the way people listen to things.
Chris Ashmore’s interview with Matty Staudt was from Episode 18 of Podcasting Essentials.