For listeners, the podcast boom presents both hope and frustration. The iTunes podcast app is the primary way listeners get their podcasts—it’s where more than half of all podcast downloads happen, with Stitcher and Soundcloud trailing behind. There are a lot of podcasts out there, but after listeners binge on one, iTunes doesn’t do a great job of directing them to what they might want to download next. It’s notoriously difficult to share audio on social media. It seems like this chaos would be an impediment to gaining listeners. But for podcasting networks like Gimlet, Panoply, Radiotopia, and Earwolf, this is an opportunity.
Networks are betting that an endorsement from a trusted host is a way to guarantee that the new podcasts they start will be successful. Earwolf, a network of mostly comedy podcasts, has between 300,000 and 400,000 listeners across its more than 50 shows. If it launches a new podcast hosted by someone who’s been a guest on one of its existing hits, it can expect 30,000 listeners for the show, right off the bat, says Diehn. Which means it’s already of interest to advertisers. The most extreme example is what several podcasters call “the Ira Glass bump.” In case you can’t guess, that means if your show is featured on This American Life you can expect a massive increase in listeners. Blumberg’s investors in Gimlet Media referred to his This American Life connection as his “unfair advantage.”
Right now, “it’s a lot easier to get someone to go from one podcast to another podcast than it is to get them to go from listening to no podcasts to listening to your podcast,” says Matt Lieber, Blumberg’s Gimlet cofounder. But presumably, the listening hours of existing podcast fans will be maxed out at a certain point. If the short-term question is how to get your podcast into the ears of someone who already likes podcasts, the long-term question is how to get podcasts into the ears of someone who doesn’t already listen to podcasts. More and more people arelistening in their cars. And it helped that iTunes recently created a separate app for podcast listening. But podcasts still tap only a fraction of the audience that other media reach.
This is why you can expect to see more established media companies dabbling in podcasting—not just those like The New York Times. BuzzFeed is set to launch its first podcasts this month, and audio director Jenna Weiss-Berman says the focus is on content first and not monetizing the shows. But the fact that podcast analytics are so murky could present a challenge to media outlets that are accustomed to showing advertisers exactly who has clicked on what and for how long. “For a place like BuzzFeed that’s really measurement obsessed, to not be able to really measure podcasts is obviously a big problem,” Weiss-Berman says.
Until all this is sorted out, it’s still the wild west. “It is naive and wrong to describe it as anything other than really, really early. The technology is still terrible. The distribution is pretty broken. And I don’t think anyone’s got it figured out yet,” Linsky says. “But the level of investment is about to be higher than it’s ever been. And someone, somewhere, is going to want to see a return on that.”
Research firm GlobalWebIndex has been tapping its global panel of teenagers to find out what they’re doing online and how they’re getting their digital entertainment.
The results make for interesting reading, with a number of points about this age group’s music consumption. It’s based on a sample size of 4,849 16-19 year-olds – so “late teenagers” would be a more accurate term to describe them – in 32 countries.
Music findings? Music came top of the chart of “top interests” for the respondents, with 70% saying they are strongly interested in music – ahead of films (around 65%), science and technology (60%) and games (55%).
When asked what they’d done online in the last month, 60% said they’d listened to a streaming music service – more than used an instant messaging app (57%) despite the buzz around that category.
Note, 21% of these teenagers said they’d bought a music download in the last month, so this is very much the streaming generation. Yet when asked what digital entertainment services they used last month, 30% said Google Play, 21% Netflix, 20% iTunes, 13% SoundCloud and 11% Spotify.
The Six Sigma process killed innovation at 3M," said Nicholson. "Initially what would happen in 3M with Six Sigma people, they would say they need a five-year business plan for [a new idea]. Come on, we don't know yet because we don't know how it works, we don't know how many customers [will take it up], we haven't taken it out to the customer yet."
However, the 3M ambassador pointed out he had nothing against the Six Sigma, but felt it was not ideal for the creative process. "I met the guy who in fact put Six Sigma together and I said to him, 'What about innovation? Because at 3M right now we are having problems--we're being asked about Six Sigma and trying to utilize it in the creative stage'. He said it was never designed for that, it was designed for manufacturing when starting to scale up a product," said Nicholson.
Since the start of my career I’ve witnessed considerable change in the way that we work and how we manage our people. I’ve been lucky to work and experience some very different and contrasting industries, but I’ve generally found that whatever the nature of a business or organisation, they are...
Each day, approximately 20,000 new songs appear on Spotify, which now has over 30 million tracks. As the Beastie Boys maintained, there are “only twelve notes, well a [hu]man can play.” They were right, at least when it comes to Western music at least (rock, rap, classical, country, and many...
Johan Sundström's insight:
Interesting analysis of music, can´t find any b-keys. G-major is the winner key
This is the last article in a four-part series, where the authors share their experiences and insights on ushering technology-fueled innovation in incumbent financial services organizations. Here are the first, second, and third articles in this series.
Spotify Ltd. has held talks with potential content partners to add podcasts to its music-streaming service, challenging Apple Inc. in a business it dominates, according to people briefed on the matter.
Spotify, which hosts some podcast-like audio such as Spanish lessons along with millions of songs, plans to add more non-music programming, according to the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. While the discussions have occurred for several months, there is no firm plan or introduction date, one of the people said.
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