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Last week, the Spotify team joined the podcast industry in Dallas, Texas at Podcast Movement, a conference celebrating everything and anything relating to podcasting. We had a wonderful time seeing our partners and learning from some of the best minds in the industry.
Chartable founder and Spotify product manager Dave Zohrob returned to the Podcast Movement stage to share the latest trends in podcasting after looking at data from more than 16B downloads in 2022. Dave was joined by Eric Sandler, Director of Audience Development at Pushkin Industries who shared how he leverages this type of data to accelerate and elevate Pushkin’s podcast business.
Missed our session? We’ve got you covered! Key takeaways below:
- Growing listenership remains the number one problem for podcasters. Struggling to grow your audience? You’re not alone. A Chartable survey found that 83% of podcasters consider this their biggest challenge.
- Social is key. Social media sites drive the most traffic to podcast downloads by far. SmartLinks from Chartable are a great way to track conversion - we’ve found that 40% of downloads will happen within the first hour from a link posted to social.
- Podcast promos are a great way to grow - but it takes time. Just 10% of conversions will happen within the first day, whereas 90% of conversions happen after 30 days. Preroll promotions perform best. Traditionally, midrolls are the coveted ad spot. Conventional wisdom is that if an ad is placed in the middle of an episode, a listener is less likely to skip the placement and more likely to convert. Chartable data says otherwise! If we assume postroll performs at 1x (a baseline), then midroll performs at 2x postroll, or double the new listeners. Prerolls outperform midrolls with 2.4x post roll conversions.
- Feed takeovers can lead to major growth - but use them sparingly. Feed takeovers can lead to 7x the growth of a post-roll promo, but make sure to curate these takeovers so as not to annoy listeners.
- Find the right shows to collaborate with - quality over quantity. According to Eric Sandler, “more isn’t better - better is better.” He continued, “A million scattered out impressions from cross promotions are not necessarily always as valuable as 30,000 super targeted ones.” Take the time to find shows that have an audience match before setting up cross-promotion or feed takeovers.
- Start small. “Go micro on how you’re thinking of marketing your show,” says Eric. “We’ve seen so much success from promoting specific episodes. Find 15 seconds that’s interesting - if you can find one moment to post on TikTok or elsewhere, you might find a totally new audience.”
- Don’t limit yourself to a few KPIs. Downloads aren’t king, according to Eric. “Downloads aren’t the be all, end all. There’s ad sales - is this a category advertisers are really interested in? Is it driving conversation? Engagement happening on other platforms? Maybe there’s a small listening audience but huge conversation happening on Twitter. There’s a lot of factors outside of downloads that can tell you about success.”