Are You A Digital Expert?

By October 22, 2018Uncategorized

Experts Share the Secrets to Growing Your Audio Business

​Growing your audio audience and revenue are not a given. You have to know what you’re doing, what you’re up against, and how to make the most of the expanding options.

Thanks to new technology and new devices, radio programming is closer to consumers than ever before. But are those potential listeners aware of you? How can you effectively expand your platforms to stand out without cannibalizing your listener base or compromising your traditional dollar share?

From basic streaming to original podcasting and with more content available on more devices, you might ask yourself if you’ve mastered all of the platforms and the possibilities.

  • How does podcasting complement broadcast radio?
  • Is streaming good for radio?
  • How should digital content and strategies be adjusted to reach to reach Gen Z and millennials?
  • How will services like Spotify and Pandora coexist in the next five years with broadcast radio? How should radio compete/fight?
  • Are local station websites still important?
  • What are the biggest mistakes radio brands and personalities make with social, and how can you monetize social reach?

With so much at stake, one thing becomes clear. You need to be an expert — or be able to access expert advice. And before you finalize your 2019 budget, you need to make those spreadsheet numbers more than a stab in the dark. Face it, you probably need help.

Forecast 2019 has assembled a panel of top digital experts who can not only help you answer your digital platform questions, they can challenge you to meet the coming demands in digital marketing and sales. They can help open your eyes and ears to the future and help you prepare for it.

Moderating the panel is Darren Davis, president of the iHeartMedia Networks Group and one of the industry’s most experienced and recognized audio chiefs. Davis oversees numerous iHeart divisions including iHeartRadio and all iHeartMedia digital businesses, Premiere Networks, Total Traffic + Weather Network, NBC News Radio Network, iHeartMedia’s in-house commercial creative agency, and iHeartMedia’s in-house graphic design team. Davis began his career as an intern at iHeartMedia’s WASH-FM/Washington, DC 26 years ago, becoming its program director when he was just 23 years old. He has since worked as regional vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Detroit and Chicago, and worked his way up through the company as SVP of programming, to his previous role as EVP/GM of national programming. Davis serves on the boards of the RAB, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association, the NAB’s Digital Officers’ Committee, and the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Zena Burns is SVP of strategic marketing and brand development at Futuri Media, helping its broadcast partners in 20 countries worldwide capitalize on growth opportunities through creative uses of technology. She is also the principal at Moxie Coalition, a strategy and marketing consultancy she launched in 2015 after leaving her position as SVP of programming partnerships for iHeartMedia. During her tenure at iHeart, which included becoming the industry’s first digital program director, she was a key part of the team that created the iHeartRadio brand and app, and oversaw original editorial, video, and social content for iHeartRadio and its 850-plus radio stations and personalities. Burns previously served as a senior executive in Time Inc.’s People Magazine Group.

Owen Grover is CEO of Pocket Casts, a leading podcast platform recognized by WIRED Magazine as “the podcast app every iPhone user needs” and by The Verge as “The best podcast app for Android.” Grover has spent the last 20 years at the crossroads of media, technology, and content with specific expertise in the areas of digital product and content strategy, strategic partnerships, and integrated marketing. His extensive product development, marketing, and business development experience spans the worlds of broadcasting, digital music, live events, and beyond. A founding member of the iHeartRadio team, Grover also helped to establish iHeartMedia’s Entertainment Enterprises division, where he was instrumental in the success of the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards show.


Rob Walch, VP of podcaster relations at Libsyn, was inducted into the Podcasters Hall of Fame in 2016. He joined Libsyn in 2007 and before that founded Podcast411 Inc. He is co-author of the book Tricks of the Podcasting Masters and has consulted on podcasting for Jack Welch, Sen. John Edwards, Gov. Bill Richardson, Noah Shanok of Stitcher, Tim Ferriss, Dr. Mark Hyman, and the Sacramento Kings/Monarchs, among others. He is also a monthly columnist for Podertainment The Podcast Magazine and is a member of the IAB Podcasting Working Groups. Walch has been podcasting since 2004 and hosts the award-winning Podcast411, where he has interviewed such prominent podcasters as Quincy Jones, Walt Mossberg, Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Ronald Moore (executive producer of Battlestar Galactica), Phil Gordon (World Series of Poker), Larry Kudlow, and Leo Laporte (TechTV, G4 TV). Additionally Walch is host of the Today in iOS Podcast, the first and largest podcast about the iPhone, and serves on the editorial board of Podcast Business Journal, which launches on November 19.

Chris Williams is chief product officer for iHeartMedia, overseeing all digital content programming, station curation, marketing, and product strategies for iHeartRadio. Williams previously served as senior vice president of iHeartRadio Programming and, before that, led the programming efforts for stations such as 102.7 WEBN, Project 9-6-1 (WKLS), and 99X (WNNX) in Atlanta. Williams most recently led the product initiative to launch iHeartRadio’s two new on-demand services, iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access, and celebrated iHeartRadio’s eclipsing 100 million registered users. He works closely with the national sales, marketing, and partnership team, the digital team, the product team, and the editorial and marketing teams to coordinate digital contesting and live streaming events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Music Awards, and iHeartRadio Album Release Parties. He also focuses on identifying new and strategic programming opportunities for the iHeartRadio Original stations, and playlists, podcast features and content as well as social marketing strategies.

Forecast 2019 brings together the best and brightest talent in broadcasting and advertising to forecast the coming year, and to discuss the trends and momentums that will affect ratings and revenue.

From Washington to Wall Street, automobiles to mobile devices, Forecast focuses on what’s ahead in the broadcast community’s future and how to prepare for its opportunities and challenges.

This is the industry’s only forum that allows radio owners, CFOs, group executives, managers, and Wall Street analysts to gather for an open exchange on conditions and expectations for the coming year.

The conference concludes with the networking event of the year, the annual “Top 40” cocktail reception, honoring Radio Ink’s 40 Most Powerful People in Radio.

Seating at the event is limited and may sell out. Register today so you don’t miss any of the important information that you’ll hear only at Forecast.

Click here.

A block of rooms have been secured at the Mansfield Hotel, directly across the street from the Harvard Club. Please click here to book your room today.