Podcast Networks Are Gathering Data On Their Listeners. Are You?
October 11, 2016
My weekend routine involves listening to several podcasts while I cook and clean around the apartment. For years, Slate's Political Gabfest has been in regular rotation in my home. This election season, I've also found myself listening to Trumpcast, Slate's podcast exploring the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Slate's podcasts are part of the Panoply network, which not only monetizes its podcasts through sponsorship and advertising, but also by helping companies create branded content. Their biggest success in this arena is The Message, a podcast produced for GE.
Recently, Slate's podcasts have been using the valuable pre-roll position to ask listeners to complete an online survey with questions about their listening habits. Data like this can be helpful for podcast networks as they develop new programming, design marketing plans, and try to close deals with advertisers. The fact that Panoply is dedicating resources to research suggests that like many other upstart networks, it's preparing to take its game to the next level.
For decades, the key to closing radio advertising clients was reach. The more people who listened to your radio station, the more you could command in advertising dollars. But in the digital age, it has become increasingly important for advertisers to target the right consumers, not just the most consumers. A beer company doesn't care about reaching minors, and a baby clothes store doesn't need to reach single men. This means that media outlets now need to help advertisers reach the right customers.
To do that, they're going to need data on their listeners.
There's no need for radio stations to passively wait for Nielsen to compile data for them. Panoply's survey was created using SurveyMonkey, an affordable tool that every radio station has access to. In short, radio stations have the same ability to gather data about their listeners; all they need to do is set up an online survey and promote it on the air.
The revenue in the podcasting space is dwarfed by the money generated by the radio industry, but the fact that they're already gathering data suggests they are serious players with serious plans in this arena. Radio would be wise to take some cues from them.
NEXT STEP: Develop an online survey for your listeners and promote it on the air.