Podcasting: Revenue Boom or Bust?

By October 14, 2019Updates

It’s been years since anything has captured the attention and the imagination of radio broadcasters like podcasting.

Approximately 73 million Americans listen to podcasts every month, a whopping 300% increase since 2006, according to 2018 Edison Research. 

Podcasters will tell you it is not a passing fancy. Podcasting is the future. Podcasting has made “audio” hot again. If video was ablaze last year, podcasting is stoking the fire today. And with over 500,000 podcasts to choose from, it is taking “theater of the mind” to a whole new level.

But will podcasting be as big a boom to revenue coffers as it is to ear-ttention? Can advertisers find a sweet spot for reaching audiences on the podcast platform? With revenues in excess of $250 million in 2017 expected to increase more than 110% next year, it’s time to hear from experts who can dissect the prospects.

Forecast 2020 is pleased to present a panel of top-level podcast and marketing executives to cover today’s podcast landscape and its potential for the future. 

Led by Darren Davis, iHeart Media/Networks Group president, they’ll share insights about talent development, brand building, and revenue strategies — and they’ll discuss how and why podcasting and radio are so closely aligned.

Moderator:

Darren Davis is president of the iHeartMedia Networks Group, overseeing a number of businesses inside iHeartMedia, 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. He grew into the program director role at WASH-FM when he was just 23 years old and has since worked as regional vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Detroit and Chicago. He 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.

Panelists

Conal Byrne is president of the iHeartPodcast Network for iHeartMedia. iHeartRadio carries more than 250,000 podcasts, from its own to other major podcast publishers, and Byrne oversees the iHeartPodcast Network of more than 750 original shows that amass more than 127 million downloads a month, making iHeartPodcast the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally. He also oversees a team of over 50 podcast producers throughout Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles. Byrne led the launch of the HowStuffWorks (HSW) podcast program 10 years ago as CEO, making it the central focus of the company. Byrne joined iHeartMedia when the company acquired HSW in October 2018. He also previously served as senior vice president of digital media for Discovery Communications, where he ran digital for all of Discovery’s U.S. networks and led the launch of Discovery VR.

Meg Goldthwaite brings 25 years of experience in branding, visual storytelling, digital communications, and media for a variety of major brands and nonprofits to her role as chief marketing officer of NPR. Before joining NPR, she served as CMO for Conservation International; as its chief storyteller, she oversaw brand marketing, digital, social media, partner marketing, analytics, and communications. There, she launched the award-winning Nature Is Speaking campaign and engaged new audiences with innovative communications tools, including virtual reality. Her portfolio of mission-focused work also includes leadership positions at Women for Women International and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, a non-partisan organization focused on fostering economic opportunities in Haiti. During her time at the World Wildlife Fund, she brought Earth Hour — WWF’s signature climate change initiative — to the United States. Goldthwaite’s corporate background includes 15 years in the telecom industry, where she led teams in marketing, operations, and strategic partnerships

Oren Rosenbaum is a digital media agent at leading talent and entertainment company United Tal-ent Agency, where he spearheads the agency’s emerging platforms division, focusing on podcasts and other interactive entertainment platforms. Rosenbaum represents a variety of podcast net-works, creators, and early stage companies, including Wondery, Wattpad, Tenderfoot, iHeartMe-dia/HowStuffWorks, The Boston Globe, Guy Raz (TED Radio Hour / How I Built This), Marc Smerling (Crimetown, The Jinx), Aaron Mahnke, American Public Media, Anna Faris (Unqualified), Karen Kil-gariff and Georgia Hardstark (My Favorite Murder), and DJ Khaled. He was instrumental in brokering Ron Burgundy’s landmark podcast deal with iHeartMedia. Previously, Rosenbaum was an agent at Paradigm, where he started the digital department, and prior to that, started PTONES, a national nonprofit after-school program.

Matthew Sacks is president and CEO and a co-founder of the Luminary, leading all strategic and operational aspects of the firm. Before co-founding Luminary, Sacks was a principal at NEA, a global venture capital fund with $20 billion in assets under management. At NEA, Sacks focused on consumer internet investments in the content and commerce sectors, working on 40 investments over four years. Prior to joining NEA, he was a member of the technology, media, and telecom investment banking team at Goldman Sachs, where he focused on the consumer internet sector and private company coverage. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Sacks interned at First Round Capital and was on the launch team at Splash.fm, a social network for music sharing and discovery.