Next week, the Jacobs Media team is heading back to Podcast Movement, the world's largest podcasting conference. This year, the event will be held in Orlando. This is our third year producing the “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” track, which has expanded to three days of sessions specifically geared towards radio professionals who want to know more about the podcasting world.
Of course, we hope you'll spend all three days inside the Conway Ballroom watching our sessions, but we understand the temptation to sneak out and get a glimpse of the rest of the conference. To ensure that you don't miss any of our sessions that are most relevant to you, let's take a moment to break them down one by one. Think of this as my version of those when-to-go-to-the-bathroom-during-the-Avengers-movie guides:
Wednesday, August 14th:
9:00 am: Keynote: A Conversation with iHeartMedia's Conal Byrne
Conal Byrne is the head honcho at Stuff Media, the company behind uber-successful podcasts like How Stuff Works. Last year, the company was acquired by radio giant iHeartMedia for $55 million. Why did Conal and his crew decide to join the iHeart team instead of continuing to go it alone? What new doors has this opened up? How has his day-to-day job changed now that he's a part of a broadcasting company? Our very own Fred Jacobs will ask him these questions and more.
Who Should Attend: Anyone who wants to hear an inspiring story about podcasting, and especially people who want better understanding of what's involved in the rash of corporate acquisitions that have occurred in the podcasting space lately.
10:15 am Radio Leaders on Their Podcasting Strategies
No other session embodies the idea of broadcasters meeting podcasters more than this one. Last year, we assembled a group of radio CEOs for this panel. Elsie Escobar, co-founder of the She Podcasts community, represented podcasters onstage as she asked questions about their views on the space. This year, we wanted to dive deeper into the nitty gritty of the podcasting strategies of different radio companies, so we've brought in the folks who are heading those strategies up. Asking questions for the podcasting community this year is Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl, who has parlayed her podcast's success into the Quick and Dirty Tips empire. She's a role model to thousands of podcasters, and understands how they think.
Who Should Attend: Broadcasters who want to know how different radio companies are engaging with the podcasting space; podcasters who want to know how radio can help their careers.
11:30 am: True Crime: Turning Local Events in Hit Podcasts
For this session, we're switching the format up. Instead of a panel discussion, we'll have four Ted Talk-style presentations from radio and television broadcasters that have launched successful podcasts. Each one will delve into a different aspect of how their local station tackled podcasts, what challenges they ran into, and what lessons they learned along the way.
Who Should Attend: Local broadcasters who want a better understanding of how to harness the resources that they already possess.
1:30 pm: Branded Podcasts: Revenue Opportunities for Radio
If you're a radio company with a national footprint, the key to success may be to produce hit shows. But for smaller radio companies, the key might be something completely different. At Jacobs Media, we believe branded podcasts — podcasts created for clients as part of their marketing campaigns — could be a significant source of revenue. Dave Beasing, a Jacobs Media alum who recently founded the branded podcast company Sound That Brands, will host this panel discussion exploring the topic. You may have heard of two of the companies represented on the panel who are producing branded podcasts: eBay and Jack Daniels.
Who Should Attend: Managers who want a new stream of revenue, salespeople who want a better understanding of the space, and air talent who are interested in a new opportunity to earn a talent fee.
Thursday, August 15th
9:00 am: Keynote: NPR & Audible Veteran Eric Nuzum: The Tweet That Could Define Podcasting’s Future
Eric Nuzum is a very very smart guy. His journey has taken him from NPR, where he developed hit shows like Invisibilia and the TED Radio Hour and transformed them into far more than just over-the-air programs, to Audible, Amazon's audio book company, where he spearheaded the companies original programming efforts. He recently founded a new podcast production company, Magnificent Noise. He'll share insights that he's gained along the way.
Who Should Attend: Anybody who wants to hear one of the industry's pioneers share his wisdom.
10:15 am: What Public Radio Knows That You Don't
Let's be honest: By and large, public radio has led commercial radio in the podcasting space. Commercial broadcasters have been playing catch-up for the last few years, and many of them have made impressive strides in the space. But there's still a lot that commercial broadcasters can learn from their public radio brethren. These two radio worlds rarely collide, so we figured we'd put them in the same room and let the public radio share their secrets.
Who Should Attend: Anyone who grew up idolizing Casey Kasem and Howard Stern, but thinks they could learn something new from Ira Glass and Terry Gross.
11:30 am: Real Listener Feedback: Podcast Movement's First Live Focus Group
One of the surest ways to improve a show is to solicit feedback from the audience. At Jacobs Media, we've been conducting focus groups with radio station listeners for more than three decades. But the practice is completely foreign to the podcasting space. So we're going to show you how it's done by conducting a live focus group on a real podcast — the money management hit Stacking Benjamins – and real listeners.
Who Should Attend: Podcasters who want to grow their audience; podcasters who have seen a decline in listenership and want to know how to turn it around; podcast networks who want to know how to conduct research before the launch of a new show; and anybody who wants to know how to get audience feedback before signing a multi-million dollar investment check.
1:30 pm: Raise Your Voice: Smart Speaker Strategy for Podcasts
We all know that the next frontier in technology is voice-command devices like Alexa and Siri. But what does that mean for podcasting? Steve Goldstein of Amplifi Media has gathered together a group of experts to address that question.
Who Should Attend: Anybody who's not a mime.
2:45 pm: Podcast Makeover: Professional Broadcasters Critique Up-and-Coming Podcasts
In radio, there's a time-honored tradition known as the “aircheck session”: DJs listen to recording of their show with their Program Directors, who offer constructive feedback. This is how DJs get better at their jobs. Unfortunately, podcasters don't have Program Directors, so they have a hard time getting feedback. In this session, I have gathered a panel of professional broadcasters and podcasters to offer feedback on two up-and-coming podcasts. Their criticism is sure to offer lessons that all podcasters can learn from.
Who Should Attend: Fledging podcasters who want to learn from the best in the business.
3:45 pm: Popular Music in Podcasts: Here It Comes!
Podcasters have been chomping at the bit to use mainstream music in their shows for years, but there's been no way for most of them to legally do so. That's about to change. How? We'll tell you in this session with the folks that have invested years into finding a way to make it happen.
Who Should Attend: Anybody who wants to use copyrighted music in their shows without incurring fines and penalties.
Friday, August 16th
9:00 am: Keynote: A Conversation with MSNBC/NBC's Steve Lickteig
When it comes to podcast initiatives, many of us are tasked with enlisting air talent who are already successful in their primary medium. That can be uphill challenge. But what if that air talent were Chuck Todd or Rachel Maddow? Steve Lickteig will share the inside story of how he helped these successful television personalities also become successful podcasters.
Who Should Attend: Anybody who wants to turn broadcasters into podcasters.
10:00 am: Speed Mentoring: Talk Directly with Podcasting's Leading Experts
We love speed mentoring. It's like speed dating, but with less pressure. We've assembled a group of experts in a broad range of different topics related to podcasting — from legal issues to social media marketing to show development — to offer advice to podcasters.
Who Should Attend: Fledgling podcasters hungry for answers.
We hope to see you in Orlando next week!