Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
I’ve never been to a podcast event before, but I have been to many media conferences. Usually, I struggle to find anything on the agenda to get excited by, and often the talks don’t live up to expectations. I rarely stay for the whole event.
But this year’s Podcast Show, on the other hand, I thought was very impressive. It attracted well over 5,000 people over the 2 days, it was really well represented by all the big players in the industry, and it was great to see an event of this calibre taking place in the UK. The numerous stands and stalls featured global giants Amazon Music, Spotify, Acast, YouTube, Sony Music, Global, together with various recording and measuring tools of the podcasting trade (Triton, Gracenote, Megaphone, Patreon, Simplecast, Adswizz, Dolby etc.), many content creators (Wondery, BBC etc.), and offered some excellent networking opportunities. There were so many great talks and panel discussions that I found myself struggling to choose which ones to watch.
I attended some great keynote talks delivered by respected industry commentators including James Cridland, Tom Webster and Adam Bowie. Nielsen and Acast unveiled some brand new research. And I came away with a whole book of notes, ideas and contact details.
Here are my 6 takeaways:
1. The value of video
YouTube is important for discovery and audience growth, but the platform is also valuable for engaging and connecting with your audience – your audience is right there, in the comments under your video. Recent research from Cumulus and Signal Hill showed the growth in podcast watching, and every single presentation I attended at the Podcast Show mentioned the value of video. But particularly (obviously) YouTube’s ‘What’s Trending on YouTube’ panel spoke about this.
2. Most research has a value, but not all research is equal
Tom Webster, Edison Research in his keynote speech, urged everyone to be aware of the different methodologies used.
3. Consider making your podcasts shorter
People only have a finite amount of time. Both Tom Webster from Edison Research, and Adam Bowie spoke about this in their keynote talks.
4. Go global, but think local
Globalisation of podcasting shouldn’t mean simply translating podcasts into other languages. (As said at the Amazon & Wondery’s panel ‘Going Global’.)
5. Stop asking people to subscribe as soon as they show any interest in your podcast
Understand the listener acquisition flow and be patient as you (hopefully) guide your listener along the way to becoming a fan – who will then be your cheerleader and do your marketing for you for free. (As said by Mark Asquith, Captivate, at the ‘Growing Your Podcast Audience’ panel)
6. Nielsen and Acast announced new research – The Listener Landscape
Lots of great new learnings, particularly around ad effectiveness:
- Podcasts are a high attention medium, and a totally immersive experience – second only to cinema.
- Podcasts are less saturated with ads.
- Podcast ads drive upper funnel metrics – brand lift, awareness, purchase intent and recommendation.
- Midroll ads yield the highest engagement, far higher than pre rolls – perhaps people are not fully listening until the podcast has properly started.
- Listeners can absorb 3-4 facts, no more. And without any visual cues brand statements must be very clear. Hosts should repeat the important messaging.
- Longer ads drive stronger brand lifts.
The Podcast Show 2023 will be 24-25 May, in the same location in Islington.