Comedy Central announced last week it’s starting up a podcast network.
It’s about time.
A story in Paste by Chris Compendio outlines Comedy Central’s podcast strategic plan. For starters, the cable network will build on-demand audio around existing properties like “The Jim Jefferies Show” and “The Daily Show.”
Presumably, Comedy Central will eventually launch podcasts around comedians and humorous concept they haven’t aired. In that way, their podcasting platform can function like a minor league baseball club, providing a measurable barometer for who and what will make people laugh. Podcasting will provide them with a barometer to beta test concepts and comics – something they cannot do now.
Comedy Central exec Steve Raizes believes “podcasting is the next step in the evolution of Comedy Central content…” Sure hope so.
Podcasting is also a perfect conduit for reaching millions of Millennials through a confluence of the comedy genre and the podcasting platform. There are nearly 80 million Millennials in the U.S.(79.8 million, to be precise), now outnumbering the influential Baby Boomers. And in this year’s Techsurvey13, Millennials lead all generations for weekly podcasting consumption – one-third access on-demand audio every week. That’s a target-rich environment for Comedy Central…and any media brand, including radio.
It’s especially important in television where Millennials continue to abandon the medium, especially real-time TV viewing. Podcasting’s on-demand DNA makes it perfectly compatible with the ways in which this generation entertains and informs itself.
The other key piece of the Comedy Central strategic puzzle has to do with podcasting preferences among GenY. It turns out that comedy runs a close second to music when it comes to hot on–demand categories.
For most radio brands, the same logic that drove Comedy Central to finally address the podcasting space is at work here, too. For stations that target Millennials, it’s a no-brainers.
But for stations that skew older – especially spoken word formats – podcasting is an ideal venue for reaching younger demos and contemporizing a station’s sound and perceptual image. That’s been one of the secrets that has powered public radio into the podcasting forefront, as programmers and managers watch progressively younger listeners access public radio content.
Writing and producing great podcasts isn’t an easy task. A look at the best in class reveals considerable investment in talent, production, and marketing. But the rewards are clear and obvious, in terms of additional revenue and an expanded, vibrant audience hungry for entertainment and comedy.
We are watching a medium grow and mature before our very eyes. And that’s another reason why for Comedy Central – and broadcast radio – podcasting is no laughing matter.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,000 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.
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