Photo by Jelle van Leest on Unsplash
Photo by Jelle van Leest on Unsplash

Here's What Was Said At RAIN Canada's Podcasting 360 Panel

Podcasting is a maturing media category with opportunities and challenges across its entire value chain.  News breaks every day about podcast programs, innovations and business developments. So, where does podcasting stand now? And, where is it going? 

Wednesday’s panel represented the creative, monetary and technological aspects of on-demand audio and, like the sessions previous, all panelists were positive about the future, and agreed that Canada has been slow to jump on the podcast bandwagon.

Some highlights:

Alan Cross­–creator and host of the Ongoing History of New Music- the long-running radio show and daily podcast–believes Canadians are more “risk averse” than their American counterparts.  Canadians tend to take a “wait and see approach,” where those in the U.S. want to be first in, so the industry is far more developed south of the border. 

Rob Greenlee,-VP of Podcaster relations at Voxnest and Spreaker, agreed and added that “podcasting is a global medium” and Canadians need to think beyond our borders.  He also talked about content in general and, when asked how long podcasts should be, he suggested that “content needs to be as long as it needs to be.  Engagement is key.  Some go long; some are short.  Don’t worry about the length.”

On the topic of monetization, panelists agreed that there are differences between Canada and the U.S.   The podcast market in the States is dominated by live reads from hosts- a format most clients seem to prefer, but here in Canada, live reads are not standard practice (AM talk radio being the possible exception).  But, several on the panel warned: “It won’t be long before hosts here in Canada are talking about mattresses, software platforms and men’s underwear.”

Direct response ads, i.e. shop now and enter this promo code to receive a discount, are also big in the U.S., whereas in Canada, according to Chris Nimigon – Chief Revenue Officer of Leanstream, 90% of their bookings are non-direct response.  Bob Kane, VP of the Podcast Exchange – TPX, agreed and said the model in Canada is very much reliant 15, 30 and 60-second ads- similar to what’s heard on radio.

How will podcasting generate more revenue moving forward? 

More education with the agency community, more test campaigns to show the effectiveness of the medium, more automation to drive ad insertions into all aspects of a podcast- pre-roll, mid or post- and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standards are coming to so that audiences are counted the same way – this will make the industry “explode.” 

Further advances in technology will also be key.  The car dashboard of the future with a built-in podcast app is a tremendous opportunity, as are smart speakers.  Tom Yeung, VP of AdsWizz, talked about smart speakers and how they will change consumer behaviour to become a “hybrid lay back, lean-in experience” featuring more dynamic and engaging ads.  Imagine listening to your favourite podcast when an ad comes on that says, “Wouldn’t you love a large pizza from Domino’s right now delivered to your door piping hot and delicious?”  “Yes, Alexa, I would” you’ll shout and, like magic, 30 minutes later (or less) the doorbell will ring. 

Dave Farough is a Programming & Talent Coach for Radio & Podcasting.  He assists broadcast companies with strategy and training of Program Directors and on-air talent.  Dave also guides podcasters globally to create engaging content,  build audiences and generate revenue. PH: 647 923 1047

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