As a big fan of podcasts, a reoccurring thought that I often have is, “what other podcasts should I listen to?” According to the website, podcastinsights.com, there are 750,000 podcasts out there and a total of more than 30 million episodes have been recorded. The issue that I’m running into isn’t that there’s an inadequate supply of podcasts, it’s that I have no clue which of those 750,000 podcasts I will like. Which is why this week’s conversation that Voicebot podcast host Bret Kinsella had with Matt Hartman, partner at Betaworks, was so interesting to me.
During their conversation, Matt mentioned that he had recently received a push notification from Anchor about another podcast requesting to advertise on Matt’s podcast. (Quick refresher, Anchor is a podcast hosting platform that was bought by Spotify in February – which I wrote about here). Back when Spotify bought Anchor, one of the more intriguing aspects to Anchor was the then recently launched Anchor Sponsorships (launched in November 2018).
When Anchor announced Sponsorships, this was the overall summary of the new program:
Anchor Sponsorships gets podcasters paid by matching them with sponsors and helping them easily create custom advertisements for their shows. It’s a new world for podcast advertising, and anyone can be part of it.
I did not think too hard when this was announced about the potential beyond the ability for small brands to hyper-target audiences based on Anchor’s granular knowledge of the podcasts it was hosting. So, Matt’s statement about other podcasts wanting to advertise on his podcast caught me off guard, but in hindsight makes so much sense.
Podcast-to-Podcast advertising might be the key to the discovery issue that currently plagues podcasts. As a podcaster, if you know that your content will likely resonate with another podcasters’ audience, then what better of a way to spend money to grow your audience? Anchor will even provide the ad-copy for the hosting podcast to read.
There’s a quid pro quo here too that helps to solve another big issue that podcast creators often run into: monetization.
According to Anchor, “Podcast ad spend in the U.S. has been steadily increasing year over year, and is expected to double to nearly $700M by 2020. But there’s still a huge disconnect between the majority of podcasters and what’s happening at the top of the market: nearly all of that money is going to only the top ~1% of podcasts due to a highly fragmented market and lack of innovation in the space. It often takes around 50,000 downloads per episode before a podcaster can catch meaningful attention from potential sponsors.”
So maybe Spotify-owned Anchor is onto something here with these new type of advertisements. Maybe the key to exposing podcast listeners to the types of content they’d like, is the same key to monetizing podcasts outside the top 1%? Hyper-targeted podcast-to-podcast advertising as a viable interim solution while we wait for the machine learning and curation aspect of podcast discovery to really mature.
-Thanks for Reading-