Podcast Movement Wednesday: Celebrity Talk, Monetization, And A Brief Interruption

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Today Through Friday

PODCAST MOVEMENT is underway in ORLANDO, with a heavy schedule of sessions running through FRIDAY. TODAY’s sessions were briefly interrupted by an alarm, which sent the large crowd of attendees into the morning heat and humidity outside the ROSEN SHINGLE CREEK hotel while the incident was being investigated.

Among the panels were a pair of sessions on celebrity podcasting, one on HOLLYWOOD’s embrace of podcasting (CLOUD 10 MEDIA CEO SIM SARNA and CAA’s DAN FERRO both noting that celebrities love being in charge of content; NETFLIX’s RAE VOTTA pointing to podcasts as “another touchpoint” for celebrities as part of their expanding social media and traditional media presence); and another moderated by ALL ACCESS’ PERRY MICHAEL SIMON and featuring WME’s BEN DAVIS, SONIC INFLUENCER MARKETING’s JENNI SKAUG, AUDIOBOOM’s BRENDAN REGAN, and STUDIO71’s ADAM BOORSTIN, looking at the celebrity podcast phenomenon from the business side (and examining the changing definition of “celebrity”). Both panels discussed finding talent, or how talent finds podcasting partners, and while the business session focused on the process, the HOLLYWOOD session focused on the content. And SARNA, noting that the show he co-created, “ANNA FARIS IS UNQUALIFIED,” airs on iHEARTMEDIA radio stations, added that he still does not know if the radio airings contribute to increasing the podcast’s download numbers.

iHEARTPODCAST NETWORK Pres. CONAL BYRNE headed a panel of four of his podcast hosts, JOSH CLARK and CHUCK BRYANT of “STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW” and TRACY WILSON and HOLLY FREY of “STUFF YOU MISSED IN HISTORY CLASS,” while monetization got its own track, including a session that was billed as answering the question, “Do Podcasts Need Ads?” but centered more on issues of growth and investment in the industry and only tangentially addressed other means of monetization like PATREON and subscriptions.

“Money Maven” PATRICE WASHINGTON’s keynote explained her path to success in podcasting; WASHINGTON attended the 2017 convention as an aspiring podcaster and has considerably built her show and business since then.

EDISON RESEARCH’s TOM WEBSTER offered a comparison of “veteran” and “rookie” podcast listeners in his keynote, highlighting that newcomers to the space exhibit very different listening habits from those who have been listening longer, including choice of platform (Spotify and others) and discovery methods. WEBSTER slipped a “30-50 feral hogs” joke into his speech as well, a nod to the viral Twitter meme.

Next year’s PODCAST MOVEMENT will consist of two events, the main convention in DALLAS AUGUST 5th-8th, 2020 and a new “PODCAST MOVEMENT EVOLUTIONS” in LOS ANGELES FEBRUARY 12th-15th, 2020; early registration is open here.

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