Apr 15 2022
iHeart, Podcasting, and NFT's
iHeart has launched a podcasting network for NFT's. More on that later.Here are this week's podcasting headlines:Wanna know which advertisers are investing in the top 5,000 podcasts? Podchaser has a new tool to track that. https://features.podchaser.com/api/?There's a new service to rate podcasts for kids - it's from Common Sense media and will let you rate shows for audiences 17 and under: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/podcast-reviewsOld school journalists will remember the "inverted pyramid" approach to telling a story. Where the deeper you go, the less important the information. This was great in the days of newspaper editors needing to make cuts. See, a newspaper was this thing that you held up at the kitchen table....ah, nevermind. Well NPR has a storytelling guide that's relevant to podcasts. They suggest more of a trapezoid. There's no hard stop in a podcast - keep bringing in good info to keep your audience engaged. https://training.npr.org/2020/08/20/for-digital-flatten-the-pyramid-and-embrace-the-trapezoid/I told you about my experiment on Anchor, "The JAG Throwback Show." Still dropping episodes there, available only on Anchor and Spotify. While I'm not a huge fan of Anchor, it's interface is now available in an industry leading 35 languages, which will help podcast discovery around the world. https://blog.anchor.fm/updates/anchor-web-localizationCode Switch, the popular podcast from NPR about race and identity, is getting a $600,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Brodcasting. Not sure if the hosts also get a free tote bag. Apple Podcasts Connect is now showing you more data about your podcast listeners. I took a quick spin through it, and I'm not super impressed. I think you're better off to focus on the analytics from your podcast host - Simplecast, Blubrry, Buzzsprout, Libsyn, whomever you use. However, if you want to play around with the Apple interface, The Podcast Host has a guide to the new features here: https://www.thepodcasthost.com/business-of-podcasting/apple-podcast-follower-metricsAccording the LA Times, Facebook is losing interest in podcasting. You may remember, they allowed you to add your podcasts' RSS feed to Facebook business pages, not personal pages or groups. And it was only available on mobile, not desktop. But even with those limitations, Facebook still grabbed half a percentage point of all podcast listening. Remember, while it's fading with the younger crowd, Facebook is still the #1 overall social media platform. And its got the potential to bring more of the older demographics in. I really hope Facebook is only temporarily pulling back here, and will revisit the space soon. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-04-14/facebook-is-pulling-back-from-its-foray-into-podcastingOK, now, onto iHeart and its building of an NFT network for podcasts. If you want a deeper dive here, the great Tom Webster of Edison Research covered this in today's column. https://tomwebster.media/podcastings-most-important-investment/I don't understand much about NFT's, and you don't have to either, in order to hear my take on this. For those who understand NFT's, there's a short term gold mine while they are hot. But my personal opinion is, the concept is too complicated for folks to understand for it to be a long-term play. NFT stands for Non Fungible Token, so iHeart's network is actually going to be called - and I'm not making this up - "The Non Fun Squad." The jokes are endless - I'll let you fill in your own punch line here. But this really cements the fact that iHeartMedia is focused on digital and the future. They are NOT focused on the radio stations that built the company. As I mentioned in a previous episode, the wonderful Beata Murphy, program director of KISS FM in Los Angeles, told our WJPZ Alumni Banquet in Syracuse that SHE believes the company will need to sell off radio stations in smaller markets. As a former radio guy, I think that's the only way for music radio to survive - is to be locally owned and programmed. Because as of right now, there isn't a heck of a lot of appeal in radio outside spoken word (meaning news, talk, and sports) and morning drive. The personality just isn't there.In fact, I'll leave you with an example of this. My wife and I are back from a long weekend in Las Vegas. Monday night, we were in a cab on the way to the airport. The cab driver had on KLUC, the once legendary pop station in Sin City. What did we hear at straight up 9pm? A legal ID introducing the most popular songs on TikTok. No voice track, no identification of the songs. Just a flat out admission of "hey, you don't come to us for new music anymore, so here's some stuff from TikTok." Unless I missed a break, I heard no DJ (not even the syndicated one they have listed) through 9:15, when they ran a pre-recorded liner to text in to win tickets. To be transparent, and so I'm not only picking on iHeart here, KLUC is owned by Audacy, the second biggest radio owner in the US. Their stations used to be CBS and Entercom, before a buyout and a rebrand, respectively. And Vegas isn't even a small market, it's in the top 30! Do you mean to tell me that nights in LAS VEGAS aren't worthy of a live DJ interacting not only with tourists, but with the thousands of service industry workers that start and end their shifts at all hours of the night? iHeart, Audacy, and the other big players, being more focused on digital, need to hand the keys of their radio stations over to people who can properly run them as part of the communities they serve. It's actually been a bit of a "circular firing squad." Why are the radio companies investing so heavily in podcasting? That's where all the content went after the kicked it out of music radio. If you know one person who will enjoy the content of today's show, I ask that you please send it along to them by text, email, or social media. And if you have any questions about podcasting, find me on my website, jagindetroit.com. Until next time, stay healthy and stay safe. Lata!