NPR launched its first official podcasts in 2005, and in the years since has continued to define and redefine the platform across programming, distribution, measurement and, in partnership with National Public Media, opportunities for brands.
According to the 2018 Infinite Dial study, podcast listening increased 40% in the past year. And as this medium continues to grow, it’s important that the business model evolve as well.
“Just like the internet 20 years ago, audio on-demand is at an inflection point […] now is the optimal time to invest in podcast advertising,” states Roos Adams, CEO of Acast, in a recent Adweek article. “Audience, and now podcast ad-measurement technology, has outpaced ad revenue, but not for long.”
Conversations central to realizing these advancements are the focus of the RAIN Podcast Business Summit this week in New York. Leaders from NPR and its podcast sponsorship team at National Public Media will join fellow podcast publishers, agencies, measurement firms and other players in audio at the event to discuss the key opportunities, challenges and solutions as podcasting moves towards becoming a $500M industry by 2020.
Adlandia Hosts Laura Correnti and Alexa Christon will open the half-day event with a keynote featuring Gimlet Founder Alex Bloomberg, followed by a research presentation from Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. Later, National Public Media President and CEO Gina Garrubbo will lead a panel discussion on podcast sponsorship and advertising strategies with Marshall Williams of AdResults Media and Brian Tomasette of Camelot Communications.
National Public Media COO Bryan Moffett, who was part of the team that launched NPR podcasts more than 10 years ago, and NPR Sr. Director Digital Products Joel Sucherman will join Kerri Hoffman of PRX, Jonathan Eccles of Pandora, and Lex Friedman of Midroll Media to discuss podcast measurement, which is poised for a reckoning in 2018. Traditionally, publishers and advertisers have relied on counting downloads to understand how podcasts are performing. However, Apple Analytics and initiatives to establish tools for smarter measurement are opening new doors on the content and business sides of the industry.
“The time has come to move the metric from downloads to listens,” Moffett wrote in a recent MediaVillage essay. “We don’t have to settle for knowing the magazine made it to the mailbox. We can know how many pages someone read and even which pages they skipped along the way.”
Other leaders in the space scheduled to take the stage include:
- Sara Fischer, Media Trends Editor at Axios
- Chris Peterson, SVP of Podcasting at iHeart
- Samantha Henig, Editorial Director of Audio at The New York Times
- Peter Kafka, Senior Editor at Re/code
- Mark McCrery, Founder and CEO at Authentic
- Greg Roseto, Digital Audio Investment Manager for National and Local Audio at Horizon Media
- Alexis van de Wyer, CEO at AdsWizz
- Greg Batusic, COO at PodcastOne
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