Over 90 million Americans are listening to at least one podcast a month…and that number continues to grow. Why?  Our partner Steve Shanks sat down with some of our favorite podcasters and network partners at this year’s Interactive Days San Diego to discuss the existing momentum behind the industry, share success stories within podcasting, and discuss how marketers can better use the platform for reaching consumers.

Here are our favorite key quotes and insights from the discussion with Sim Sarna (Executive Producer of “Sorry Not Sorry,” “Unqualified with Anna Ferris" and “Minor Adventures with Topher Grace”), David Raphael (President and CEO of Public Media Marketing), and Matt Gottesman (Podcast Host of “Hustle Sold Separately”):

“It's content you can't find anywhere else. It's diverse and there's something for everyone.”
Podcasting opens the flood gates for something that’s tangible and available to almost everyone. As David Raphael likes to put it, you’re the program director. When listening to podcasts, you get to select the content, you download it, and you listen on your time whenever you want to. It’s such a different experience than traditional radio and even broadcast TV. According to Sim Sarna, on-demand audio is a no brainer! You can listen to the show in the car, while you do your dishes, feeding the baby, walking the dog. The on-demand nature really sets the medium apart.

"We are trying to humanize everyone’s journey, which makes the platform more connected.”
For podcast hosts, the platform provides ownership over your own media, allowing hosts to truly have their own voice. Sim mentioned the power of intimacy that podcasting brings, so much so that it feels like you have a best friend at the touch of a button. Just like on Matt’s show, hosts can be more unfiltered and own their own thoughts, opinions and content. Especially with interviews, even guests feel like they can let loose and have more vulnerable conversations.

“The secret sauce for a great podcast…is you.”
At the end of the day, it’s up to the podcast host and production team to create and deliver quality content and put on a great show. Without that spark or unique perspective, there’s nothing special behind the podcast. The best advice? Matt Gottesman is adamant about believing in what you're putting out in the world.

"What interests celebs in podcasting?  It’s not just an extension of their Instagram feed."
According to Sim, this platform is something that we’re going to meaningfully monetize, and it isn’t just another platform for celebrities. There’s a lot of work that goes into it to make it sound unedited, raw and personal. Plus, the content speaks for itself – these are personal narratives that fans can’t find anywhere else. Sim mentioned a new show he’s launching with Kate Hudson about her siblings and the strenuous preparation, practice and trial run-throughs that goes into the show almost a year before the first episode ever airs. David mentioned Dax Sheppard’s success. A doesn’t just need a good idea, but talent that genuinely cares about the product and is committed to its success. His show is the fastest growing podcast Public Media Marketing has ever seen due to Dax’s commitment and passion.

“It’s mind boggling to me that not more brands aren’t breaking into this space.”
What’s the secret sauce for good podcast marketing? The marriage between any podcaster and the brand they are endorsing must be there. David mentioned several examples from custom Zip Recruiter content made specifically for Serial Season 3, which embedded its own storytelling within the podcast itself, to Dax Shepard’s latest endeavor with Chrysler, proving brand relationships go well beyond reading ad copy. Not only does Dax drive a Chrysler Pacifica, but he genuinely cares and obsesses over the brand. So much so, that Chrysler is now sponsoring his tour and is literally invested and along for the ‘Armchair Expert’ ride. David also mentioned a recent study concerning Dax’s podcast endorsement for Vital Farms Eggs. Thanks to podcasting, the brand experienced a 96% brand lift in recognition, increased drive in performance overall and fan engagements online.


- Kurt Kaufer