There was a time not so long ago when it was unusual to meet people who had their own podcast. Now, it is becoming a rarity to run into an accomplished person, celebrity, or athlete who doesn't have a podcast. Similarly, all kinds of companies are starting their own podcasts, telling their stories, and trying to bring their products and services to life.
Podcasting has truly become a movement. And that's why we have once again partnered with Podcast Movement for this summer's event – one that promises to be the biggest yet. We've watched this event grow and mature. There are more podcasting companies, new platforms, partnerships, and other collaborations that are making on-demand audio the hottest space in the digital geography.
The other big change at Podcast Movement the past few years has been the flood of attendees from all aspects of the radio industry. Thanks to Seth Resler (who introduced us to the conference soon after we hired him), we couldn't help but notice the stark lack of broadcasters in the hallways and meeting rooms in Chicago back in 2016. So we met the organizers of the event – Dan Franks and Jared Easley – and sold them on the concept that radio broadcasters represented a bit growth opportunity not only for their conference, but for the podcasting space overall.
The first year, they gave us 20 free registrations which we shared with friends in radio. Their response was so favorable, we went back to Dan and Jared to propose a partnership – a special track at their event called “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters.” We saw the need to bring these two parallel audio worlds together to learn from one another. The first year, we produced one day of sessions, and once again, due to the favorable response, expanded it to two days last year.
This August, we're back at it again, and will now host 3 days of sessions at Podcast Movement, this year in Orlando. The growth of our effort has echoed radio broadcasting's increasing interest and investment in dollars, resources, personnel, and energies. When we first got involved with Podcast Movement, Hubbard's investment in Podcast Movement and Scripps' ownership of Midroll represented the only real focus on the space. Of course, Public Radio was way ahead and we have to admit, the success of Serial added a lot to this energy.
But looking at the radio industry today, most broadcasters are doing something in podcasting. There have been more acquisitions (like iHeart and Stuff Media, Entercom and Cadence 13), and more stations than ever have dipped their collective toes in the podcasting waters. And fortunately, dollars and ears have followed, as podcasting has emerged as a hot, competitive space.
But podcasting is not a slam dunk for radio broadcasters. It's hard to one-up Serial, much as it is to motivate many air personalities to buy in and create a great podcast. Salespeople require retraining, as well. And finally, garnering attention for a podcast remains an ongoing challenge for radio, despite the industry's reach and ability to sell virtually anything.
Today, we're happy to unveil our 2019 lineup of sessions at Jacobs Media's “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” at Podcast Movement. Once again, we've reached out to all areas of the space – branded podcasts, leadership, Public Radio, and more – to provide a wealth of knowledge and information to our attendees.
You can find the entire agenda here, but here are some of the highlights and issues we're going to be covering this year:
Conal Byrne (Stuff Media) – Back in September as iHeart was emerging from bankruptcy, they announced a bold purchase of podcast producer Stuff Media for $55 million, the latest evidence of the growing importance of podcasting as a growth business for broadcasters. Their CEO, Conal Byrne, founded the company and was the guiding force behind its iconic podcast, How Stuff Works. Conal will be keynoting “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” because he's living it, and will share what he's discovered when a podcasting company becomes part of a broadcasting entity.
His is a voice the radio industry will become more aware of over time. He has a tremendous world view of the podcasting platform, and now with hundreds of iHeart stations providing their megaphones, this partnership is one to watch.
Eric Nuzum – Public Radio pros know Eric well. Early in his career, Eric Nuzum (pictured right) was NPR's programming head, working to help grow and develop many of their iconic programs. Eric was instrumental in the early days of NPR's podcasting efforts, including the award-winning Invisibilia and the TED Radio Hour.
From NPR, Eric moved to Amazon's Audible, where he headed up their podcasting efforts. Eric has been involved in the creation of over 130 podcasts, and will be releasing a “how to” book on podcasting later this year, Make Noise: A Creators Guide To Podcasting And Audio Storytelling, providing all the wisdom, advice, practical information, and big picture thinking that anyone needs to make a successful podcast. Eric's a compelling presenter, and will bring big ideas and big thinking to the gathering.
And of course, we've put together a roster of other great panels and presentations. For our “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” track, we've created our own version of “TED Talks,” featuring four successful broadcasters who have made the leap to podcasting. All focus on the popular “True Crime” genre. Participating podcasters include Michigan Radio's award-winning Believed, WTOP's new monster hit 22 Hours: An American Nightmare, WDIV-TV Detroit's Shattered, and Fox 25/Boston's Unsolved. The people behind these podcasts will share their stories about how local news events can become successful podcasts, expanding their station's voice and impact on their local communities.
Strangely, many podcasters have not dialed into the power of voice. Amplifi Media's Steve Goldstein heads up a panel devoted to the importance of smart speakers and voice command technology. Former Jacobs Media consultant Dave Beasing, now the founder of Sound That Brands, will focus on the incredible opportunity for broadcasters with branded podcasts.
This year's radio leadership panel will feature an international flavor, with Chris Duncombe from Canada's Corus Communications, along with Hubbard's Wheeler Morris and Bonneville's Sheryl Worsley – moderated by podcasting superstar Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty (pictured left). These broadcasters are doing great work in the space and we're excited to highlight them.
Why does Public Radio lead the radio leagues in podcasting? We're going to find out why. In “What Public Radio Knows That You Don't,” we'll showcase the best and brightest in Public Radio as we hear from PRX's Kerri Hoffman, WFAE's Joni Deutsch, and American Public Media's Natalie Jablonski. They are among the best in the medium.
On Friday, we're taking the “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” theme out of the conceptual and into the practical. We'll be hosting “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters Speed Mentoring.” We are bringing experts from all walks of podcasting life, and making them available to everyone who attends. The rotating roundtable approach will enable interaction, discussion, relationship-building, and learning as podcasters will have the opportunity to talk directly with these experts, get advice, and improve their craft.
We hope to see you at the 2019 Podcast Movement and in attendance at our “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” sessions. Once again, we've procured registration discounts for individuals, as well as group rates if a lot of people from your company are attending – shoot Paul an email – firstname.lastname@example.org, and he'll give you the not-so-secret code.
Podcast Movement is August 13-16 in sunny Orlando. Our sessions are on the 14th through the 16th. You can register and see the entire agenda at www.podcastmovement.com.
Jacobs Media has created “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” as an opportunity to learn together in order to truly take advantage of the on-demand audio opportunity. Podcasting represents a huge opportunity for broadcasters, but they must learn the craft. And podcasters can greatly benefit from connecting with broadcasters, as they seek out exposure, discovery, and support.
We hope to see you there.
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 1,200 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.
Fred was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2018.