In episode 14 of On the Mic with Ad Results Media, Nathan Spell and Lindsay Boyd sit down with Larry Goldberg from Cadence13 to discuss the impact of Coronavirus and the upcoming Presidential election on audio advertising the podcasting space.

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Podcast Transcript

2020 Podcast numbers and projections have not only been affected by the Corona virus, but by the upcoming presidential election as well. These two major events have touched and affected almost every industry in a multitude of ways. In this episode of On the Mic with Ad Results, Media Nathan Spell, and I sit down with Larry Goldberg of Cadence 13 to discuss the changes he's experienced in 2020. So let's get started. That's the great thing about Sam's dot com. They grow with you as much fun as I had to wait to get back to my sleep number bed. I love my third love bras. They're hands down the most comfortable bras I've ever owned.

I love making blue apron and I love it. It's my me time. I wanted to thank you so much for joining us. I know that there's a lot going on and it can be difficult to find time in your schedule. So we really appreciate you being here. Would you mind starting off by telling our listeners a little bit about you? Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you, Lindsay. And thanks to Nathan for having me and I feel sort of honored to be invited on to the ed Results Podcast. It's Larry Goldberg. I work with Cadence 13. I've been there since August of 17. So it'll be three years this summer, before that I've spent time in radio national radio, local spot for clear channel iHeart and ABC radio. Before that, I shifted over to Cumulus and worked on at Westwood one.

(1m 24s):
So I did network radio. I was on a meeting one time and someone asked me about the digital platform we had at Western one. And this was in spring of 17 and I sort of gave the old Charlie Brown, Walt Walt law and the design. And I came on that night and told my wife, I've got to go make a move over to the digital Audio, whether it was Pandora, Spotify, but I really had a, an inkling for Podcasting. I had always been a podcast listener. I find it to be talk radio on steroids, so to speak. We, we make the analogy in the office. Couple of my colleagues and myself when we were in the office that, you know, listening to music, you're leaning back and you're hanging out. And when you listen to talk radio, you're sort of sitting up paying attention with Podcasting.

(2m 6s):
You're sort of leaning in, right. And you're, you're taking it to another level. So it was natural fit, natural progression for me. And, you know, I love it. I love dealing directly with the clients. I love the direct response or the performance enhancing clients that I get to work with. And, you know, that's my story. That's awesome. How have things changed at Cadence 13 since the start of this pandemic, Aside from the obvious working from home, Of course that, yeah. You know, it's interesting. I think, think end of March, we took, it was sort of a wait and see approach. I'm like the rest of the Ad community.

(2m 46s):
We feel that a lot of challenging client cancellations, revisions changes obviously, cause nobody knew where the world was going. But from a content standpoint, we continue to beef up our schedule and produce content. Bernay Brown was set to launch at South by Southwest, which was the week of three 16, which has basically the start of the pandemic. We bumped it back one week and she's had over a million downloads in her first 15 episodes every episode. So while a lot is different from a where we are standpoint physically, I think our attitude is a hundred percent back and our content is, is in line with where needs to be.

(3m 29s):
We're just hoping that the Ad community can be receptive to that and come back in full force. So let's talk more about content, how exactly has content pivoted with, with everything that's been going on with the pandemic? I think from a listener standpoint, obviously there's no sports anymore or lack of sports, but there are still shows that talk about sports like GM shuffle. They just talk about sports and football, how it relates to COVID-19 or how it relates to the draft, which was huge for us. And we had the draft specials and Michael Marty was out in Las Vegas doing four shows that week versus his normal one show a week or so from a standpoint of content, the crooked media guys are now just covering Coronavirus, how it relates to the politics and how it relates to the elections.

(4m 16s):
On the flip side, we had shows like girl boss and skim that I've had to cut back, you know, less ad space being sold in those shows of other, let's say platforms that those, you know, publishers work with, whether it be their search or their online or their social, not receiving the ad revenue that they normally receive and those sort of slowing down their business. So we've pivoted in a sentence to create new content. Andrew Yang, Bernay Brown among others. Crooked came out with one called hall of shame where they're doing sports stories from a political standpoint. But I think we've managed the process as, as well as we could. It's the end of may. Now, as we're recording this Podcast, how has inventory changed since, you know, January and February?

(5m 3s):
Both in terms of the supply, obviously, but maybe demand from the advertiser side, March through June inventory took a hit. We are normally as a company 85 to 90 to 90% sold out in the shows and some shows were floundering to the 30 to 40% range. There are certain shows like happier with Gretchen Rubin who didn't miss a beat. So certain content shows survived, certain ones didn't. But overall, I would say as a company, we definitely took a hit in inventory, but it afforded us the opportunity from an Ad Results perspective to actually, you know, beef up. Some of those clients schedules bonus, some clients, you know, discount some pricing for some, some short term deals, if we needed to and, and look at the top of that sort of challenge with the different type of solutions Y'all doing to stay on top of trends and changes in space.

(5m 58s):
I Love the way you say you all. Can you just keep doing that every time I talked to somebody from Houston and they use the AWL, I love it. I'm sorry. Can you repeat that? I was asking what y'all are doing to stay on top of trends. Yeah, no, I'm just kidding. You know, we kind of listened to the marketplace. It's not just the audience, but it's, it's the clients as well. We need to understand the crossover needs are the means of what listeners are looking for and where those tie into what advertisers are looking for in the sense of certain programming like ramble, Emma Chamberlain and David doebrick and some of our YouTube social influencers. I mean, they're thriving, they're winning Webby awards.

(6m 40s):
And that helped us land Charlie and Dixie Demilio, which will be coming out in August September range. So, you know, we, we hear what the marketplace is saying. We understand, you know, one of the other things I love about Podcasting is, you know, there's no more thr and classic rock and AC we've got the ability to do storytelling against the rules with Michael Lewis from Pushkin. And we've got Malcolm Gladwell's new season coming out in June from a revisionist history. So there's true crime now there's storytelling. And then there's also the social influencers. So having these types of people like Malcolm Gladwell and Charlie and Dixie Demilio and David doebrick winning awards, it's it's it just bolsters our roster.

(7m 20s):
Bernay Brown. I mean, she was on, I saw her this morning on a, the today show doing commencement speeches for graduation. So it's not just that we've got these little small shows, we've got these big name personalities. So if you don't mind talking about it a little bit, what would you say your biggest challenge to your specific role has been Me personally? Larry has specific challenge. Well, I'm a people person. So I've been in sales. I graduated college even as a sales assistant. When I started, I, the person that I was afforded to work for was on maternity leave six months into my job. And they gave me her, her, you know, her sales list because I was just ready and I liked to talk to people. So setting up zoom calls is one thing, but being in person and getting to meet people and, and actually persuading them to buy your stuff sometimes, or just having that relationship building that, that's the part I miss the most.

(8m 13s):
The, the pivot off of that is challenging. How many times can you do a zoom call with the same people to see how are things going in San Diego, or how are they going in Colorado? You know, it affords itself to get pretty, you know, sort of monotone at some point. So to me, I like to think of it as I like to be out there. I like to be talking and I like to be hanging out, getting to know people. Someone wants to talk to me that no matter who you're talking to or what your talking to them about, you're going to move that relationship one way or the other. So make sure it's a positive impression you make on that person to move that relationship focus. And I miss that, Honestly, It's hard.

(8m 54s):
It's hard to like, I mean, my kids are doing zoom calls and they're doing, I mean, my son had the art today at two o'clock on a Google classroom. And it's the last thing he wants to do is draw a picture and hold it up at seven years old. But that's, you know, that's sort of the reality. And, you know, we lead by example. So if they see me and my wife on zoom calls for our jobs, then they want to be on Google meets in classrooms for their calls. And, you know, it's affected every industry. I'm curious, like what is, what has been the most surprising result for the Podcast industry as a whole, The most surprising result? So, I mean, I think it just to handle it with the challenge first is some of the content that we were creating and planning for this summer.

(9m 34s):
Similar, I was reading something that HBO is going through is all of the production that was being done right now for fall. Programming has been put to a halt. So how do we pivot and still create amazing content while that backlog now is being pushed back? So it's from our standpoint, it's how do we figure out solutions for our customers being, you know, the, the, the spenders of the advertisers and how do we at the same time also keep our publishers and our client Podcast hosts happy. Some of our bigger groups I've already mentioned like crooked Media and Pushkin, and Tenderfoot, who's creating these true crimes, you know, docu-series, you know, ha how do we keep them happy with ads when the clients are on spending?

(10m 19s):
And at the same time we have to create content, but there's no place to record and tape and, and do investigative journalism. So it's sort of a whole tight, see what next week brings, take it one step at a time. But, you know, I, I always look at, you know, this space from radio now with the Podcast thing, as there are In problems, you know, there are challenges and there's always solutions. So communicating over, communicating, working together, we can figure it out. You know, the, the, the old expression, we're not curing cancer with, you know, we're not here on the pandemic, we're just trying to survive it. You know, that's sort of where we're at right now. So it's sort of a day by day. I feel like that's, that's kinda how it's rolling for most of us.

(11m 2s):
What advice would you have for, for advertisers who were, you know, thinking about Advertising and the Podcast space right now in the midst of all of this? Well, I think Apple about two or three weeks ago announced that there's over a million Podcast now on the, there, on their provider. Some of them could be from 2012 and don't exist anymore, but the Podcasting medium isn't going away. It's only growing. You're seeing more and more, you know, the way Spotify is doing their deals. And Amazon is now working through audible and they're they're audio books and they're Podcast basic, Google's creating new ways to serve their podcasts. So I would say to any advertiser, that's kicking the tires on jumping into the Podcast base, jumping now, jump in early jumping.

(11m 49s):
Often, there, there are deals to be had. Now I think someone, I think someone at Ad Results, one told me it might've been Russell who said at any we'll test anything on any of the price for the right price. So, you know, and it's my job or our job on the sales side to figure out those solutions, to the challenge and come up with how can we entice a client that's on the fence. I had to come into Podcasting, but now is the time, right? There's inventory available. There's great content available. People are still listening. The numbers have come all the way back. They're listening at different times in different ways. So the commuting hours are down. I mean, I saved 12 and a half hours a week, not commuted, but I'm going for walks.

(12m 32s):
I'm doing more laundry than ever before. I'm doing the dishes. And during those times I have my headphones in, or my earpiece in, and I'm listening to my pods in different ways. So what are y'all projecting or how are y'all projecting downloads to change as we head into Q3 and Q4? Well, the bulk of our business is crooked media. So with the election looming, we're going to be doing a VP series from crooked Media and the pod save America guys on Biden selection of who his VP will be. We're going to be breaking down sort of those debates as they happen with bonus episodes. They're creating new content all the time over at, at crooked media.

(13m 13s):
They've got something coming up called on the Supreme court. They've got a missing America show with Ben Rhodes. Who's the co-host of pod save the world. So, you know, for us two to three, leading into Q4 and the election is just, it's going to be massive aside from all that, all of our other shows, you know, are, are, we're expecting all of the growth to come back. And then some we've got our long may they run series, which is a C 13 original, which last year it's on touring bands. Last year, we did fish and this year we're doing Dave Matthews. So we expect that to just be growing by leaps and bounds, a gangster capitalism. Our other C 13 original last year was on the admission scandal this year.

(13m 54s):
We dropped it during Coronavirus and it's on the, the NRA and the national rifle association and its role in society. So, you know, there's this great content to be had, but in talking to some, I can't tell you all of the good things that are coming, but there, the, the foot is on the gas, the pedals to the metal. And we've got a lot of things coming out. Like I'd already mentioned Charlie and Dixie Demilio is coming out. So there's, there's things coming out in sports, in true crime. We've got something coming out with, from Tenderfoot and the NBA on the Tim Donaghy and the it's called whistleblower on the, the referee scandal with the gambling. So there's this really good content coming out later on in the back half of the year.

(14m 34s):
That's awesome. That's really exciting. Yeah. You know what, it's exciting from a sales perspective too, because, you know, we've got a lot of great shows to begin with 106 podcasts and a lot of different groups, but it's great to know that those publishers and those content providers are always looking to do better. I mean, I said Malcolm Gladwell starts in June and he's not, he he's the gold standard when it comes to the ad reads and contents and, you know, season five original history is going to be massive. I'm super excited for that one. I'm a, I'm a huge fan of that Podcast personally. Well, two more I would even touch on is we did the show with, with the history channel called hope through history, but with Jon Meacham, just an awesome arc of storytelling where they covered poliovirus and they they've covered a lot of things that the Cuban missile crisis among other things, and, and Andrew Yang just dropped the podcast with us, which started in may called yang speaks, which is delivering great numbers for us already.

(15m 30s):
So, you know, between Renee Brown, Jon Meacham, Andrew Yang, you know, it's just an arsenal of, of, of, of talent that we keep launching. And it's just, I feel really good about where we're at. So can you talk a little bit about how the supply and demand of inventory is going to change or how you kind of projected changing between now and as we get closer to the election? Cause it sounds like you've, there's a lot of content that people are really going to be tuning into around election time. Well, so the challenge is when everybody was bailing out of March and April, we were moving a lot of that to first, June and July, and then it was August and September.

(16m 12s):
So if you look at the numbers, it's one, you know, I hate to use the, the Trump or the Cuomo of the Ark and the plateau when the curves, but our March and April took a dip. But our, you know, our may came back a little bit. Our June is, is, is definitely back. But as we create, new shows are July and August are plateauing for us in September as well. So it's going to be interesting. I think inventory is going to be tight and there's going to be demand. That's why I recommend buying in. Now, if you could, if you could work as that way. But I also think that the clients are going to come back, right? So all the, the D to C clients or all those performance-based clients that are, have had fulfillment centers shut down, have had workers that couldn't, you know, meet orders, whether it be someone like a butcher box or a blue apron that, that didn't want any new customers, because they couldn't fulfill the current customer base or it with someone like joy bird or, you know, that your Roth, these are the third love that shuts down their, their, you know, their factories.

(17m 12s):
So I think all those clients were, I hope I should say, are all gonna come back in a big way, especially as we lead into the holidays. I think, you know, that's, the economy comes back to the spending will come back. So I, if you're interested in Q3, Q4 or political inventory now would be the time. I think we're all expecting and hoping for a big bounce back. Well, and I think that our clients are going to come back in, in leaps and bounds for sure. Well, I, I really wanted to thank you for joining us today. I've really enjoyed this conversation and I really appreciate your, your insight and taking the time Anytime for you, for you, people, for anyone at Ad Results, you know, I'm more than happy to, it's good to see you hope you guys are doing well.

(17m 55s):
Nathan, it's good to see you and you know, if you ever need me again, I'm always available. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe for updates on future episodes and leave us a comment with your feedback, questions, or ideas for future segments. If you would like more info on Ad Results Media and what we do, please visit us online at Ad Results. Media dot com. This podcast is an Ad Results, Media production.