This week I discuss the Bridge Ratings Podcasting Best Practices Study, details of the relaunched Live365 webcasting service, an advert from The Southbank Centre in London for a part time Audio Podcast Producer and statistics from the 13th annual Techsurvey from Jacobs Media.
Websites and articles mentioned in the show
Podcasting Best Practices – The Study from Bridge Ratings Media Research: http://www.bridgeratings.com/podcasting-best-practices-the-study
Live365 is back: https://live365.com
Southbank Centre vacancy for an Audio Podcast Producer: https://recruit.southbankcentre.co.uk/templates/Southbank/jobdetail_488.aspx
Jacobs Media releases Techsurvey results: http://rainnews.com/millennials-love-podcasts-everyone-likes-smart-speakers-jacobs-media-techsurvey/
Welcome to episode 30. I’m your host Richard Dally. Each week I curate and discuss the latest news in podcasting and Internet Radio with a focus on the smaller podcaster, radio host and DJ.
Lots of stats to talk about today, so let’s get straight into it. Bridge Ratings recently released their latest report on the podcasting industry. The report looks at podcasting from the point of view of advertising agencies and tracks usage of a 2000 person sample aged 13+.
Probably the biggest finding in this study according to the President of Bridge Ratings, Dave Van Dyke is that “Time spent listening to podcasts has been decreasing as the number of podcasts listened to in a typical month increases”. Now we have to be careful here. This is talking about listening sessions getting shorter. That’s the time spent listening to one podcast in one go.
Now this isn’t particularly odd as it’s fair to assume that people have limits to the time that have available for listening to audio during a typical week. Where this does come into play though is with the discussion on lengths of podcasts. There seem to be a lot of people in the industry, particularly from radio and advertising backgrounds who don’t appreciate how many podcast listeners break their listening to individual podcasts into a few sessions. I believe this means podcast length is not so important despite what this and other studies tries to say.
Many listeners will happily listen to long podcasts over a few sessions. In this survey, Bridge Ratings found that 56% of of those surveyed listened to podcasts in multiple sessions with the average length of time listening to an individual episode being 22 minutes at a time. This doesn’t mean that episodes should be 22 minutes! Two years ago the average was 45 minutes. Remember this is NOT the average length of the podcast, just average time spent listening in one go to a single podcast.
Bridge Ratings show the average number of podcasts listened to in a week is now 7, compared to only 4 and half two years ago. This increase is attributed to Improved podcast search, ease-of-use to listen and greater variety in the podcasts available. When asked what are the most popular methods of discovering podcasts of interest, the most popular method was Social Media, followed by Search, Word of Mouth, Other Podcasts, Streaming Channels and finally Radio Hosts.
Now, Not surprisingly Facebook is the leading social media platform as a source of podcast discovery. Okay, As I said, this survey is aimed at ad agencies and so considers questions other surveys don’t really look at. The survey found that the understanding of podcasting in media agencies is 5.1 out of 10, where 1 means no understanding and 10 is complete understanding. As a comparison understanding of Broadcast Radio was 7.9 and DAB only 4.3.
Only 5% of agencies said that podcasting plays a significant part in their activity but 29% said that have no experience but have plans to use it. It seems to me then that there is a great opportunity for podcasters to reach out to media agencies and work with them to get them involved in this format.
The “Final Thoughts” section of the report contains some interesting statements that I would want to explore further given the opportunity. Some of course are the ones we always hear. Like Podcasting still has an issue with discovery and that universal measurement metrics are still needed that offer ad buyers and clients confirmation of consumption and advertising response.
75% of podcasters are concerned with generating new listeners and app presence, 70% are unhappy with the monetization options and 58% are dissatisfied with their social media presence. Statements from podcast listeners on barriers to faster growth included “Finding Podcasts I’m interested in”and “Programs are too long or have uninteresting hosts”.
And what of the best practices that give this study it’s name? Well Bridge Ratings list 6 Best Practices that broadcasters seeking to increase their listenership should consider.
So let’s go through the six:
- Producers of podcasts should have a clear idea of their target market. This helps producers stay focused on the topics to be covered.
- Be organized and know where the podcast is going. Bridge say that Podcast abandonment continues to plague non-focused hosts with no clear understanding of how to capture their listeners’ attention.
- Edit. Before posting podcasts on-line, producers should to listen to the entire recording and edit out content that doesn’t serve the “vision” of informative, engaging and entertaining content that listeners can’t get from other media.
- Establish a publishing schedule. Bridge Ratings found that weekly podcasts are most popular followed by twice per week and daily. For some reason, Tuesday was the best day to post podcasts followed by Friday. This was based on the panel’s responses.
- Tag podcast related metadata to help with search, and finally,
- Increase the amount of promotion you do – both on air and through social media.
There’s not much to argue with in those best practices is there!
I’ve talked about the troubles at Live365 a few times on the podcast but now they have formally announced that the webcasting platform is back. They have re-launched and are now accepting open signups.
The site closed in early 2016 with the imposition of the new CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) rates for music in the US and then last summer there was a change of ownership. The new owners say they hope to “build Live365 into something even larger than it was before,” and promise “a hassle-free way to manage your licensing,” along with “Auto DJ, to ensure you never have dead air” and “targeted advertising.”
Monthly prices for broadcasting now start at $ 59/mo. This gives you 25GB of Storage, 1500 US Total listening hours across unlimited Listeners and unlimited Bandwidth. The service operates at a 128kbps bitrate and the price includes US music Licensing with the four big licensing organisations and monetization through the inserted ads. If you don’t want to have adverts included in your streams then the monthly pricing options start at $79.
If you are US-based and are looking to build a fully licensed online radio station then Live365 looks to be a good choice once again. Do let me know if you use Live365. I would love to know what your experience of the new site is.
I think this is a first for me – I certainly don’t recall seeing this kind of advert in the UK before. The Southbank Centre in London is advertising for a part time Audio Podcast Producer. The Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre and includes the Royal Festival Hall.
The role is advertised as an exciting opportunity to help increase Southbank Centre’s global audience, diversify content, and deepen engagement with their online audience. They are looking for an experienced audio podcaster/radio producer who can help to establish a unique style and quality standard for Southbank Centre’s audio podcast content.
The aim of the role is to work with their Event Production and Digital teams to produce original podcast content. The role calls for working 24 hours per week at a pro-rata salary of £24,000 a year full-time. You will need to make sound editorial decisions and be able to work at speed to capitalise on audience momentum. Experience of podcast production and audio editing and/or a background in radio production is going to be essential.
They also want someone with a knowledge of podcasting technology and good editing skills. If you’re interested in the role or even just want to see what a detailed job specification for a podcast producer looks like then I’ll put a link to the advert in the show-notes.
Brad Hill of Rain News reports on the recently published 13th annual Techsurvey from Jacobs Media. This is a survey of radio listeners that explores media consumption of many kinds, including podcasting.
The survey found that 10% of respondents listen to podcasts daily and another 11% at least weekly. It’s still important to note though their finding that 48% of people never listen to podcasts.
One of the key findings is that 33% of millennials listen to podcasts weekly or more often. This is higher than any other age-group.
The development of radio’s digital platforms continues. 74% of consumption of the average radio station still takes place on “regular radios, but 22% of usage is now happening through computer streams, mobile apps and podcasts.
The survey also asks about social media habits of radio listeners. This is obviously useful data for radio broadcasters and podcasters alike, so let’s look at some of the key findings, remembering this is a US survey:
- 75% are on Facebook weekly or more, making it the dominant social media platform and 25% spend time on Instagram.
- 48% watch YouTube videos weekly or more, while 41% connect with Netflix during a 7-day period.
- Snapchat at 14% continues to grow.
Some other interesting platforms are LinkedIn at 17% weekly usage and Twitter at 22%. You can download the full survey results at jacobsmedia.com/techsurvey-13-results/