PodMov Daily: Monday, May 16
Episode 645: Your Monday Mix
A Spotify News Roundup: Ups, Downs, and Changes
- Leadership is shuffling for Spotify’s podcast content operations. Parcast co-founder Max Cutler and Bill Simmons are moving into expanded roles after the departures of Courtney Holt (Global Head of Podcasts and New Initiatives) and Lydia Polgreen (Gimlet’s Managing Director). Both announced their exits in April.
- A home feed layout in testing has a toggle between music and podcasts, discovered by Chris Messina. Users have long been frustrated by the lack of distinction, telling the company that “podcast-specific search, prioritization and discovery is much worse when mixed up with musical content.”
- Spotify uses the term ‘baked-in’ ads in a new post about the superiority of streams to downloads. However, they’re labeled as ‘burned in-ads’ on a graphic comparing them to Spotify’s proprietary adtech. Time to summon the judges from The Great British Bake Off.
- Spotify Australia has launched its first ‘pod club,’ More Than Talk. The series is “the equivalent of a book club for podcast enthusiasts,” according to B&T. Host Melissa Leong and Australian guest podcasters discuss and compile playlists to promote discovery on the platform.
- Car Thing reviews have been lukewarm in its first three months of wide release. Spotify’s $90 clip-on ‘smart player’ is “essentially unnecessary,” says Nena Farrell of NYT Wirecutter. Setup is frustrating for cars without Bluetooth, but it also doesn’t make sense for cars with newer systems.
To Survive Beyond Launch, Plan for Listener Retention
Podcasting’s biggest challenge isn’t awareness or discovery, writes Amplifi Media CEO Steven Goldstein. Listener retention – keeping them engaged long-term – is where the competition gets brutal. His advice for podcasts of all kinds is to focus on a flexible strategy for marketing beyond launch.
“The average listener gets to five shows each week. That’s it. That’s the shelf space.” While core favorites will remain, others will be rotated off the shelf. Our queues are loaded with podcasts we intended to listen to and then forgot about. In other words, they haven’t survived beyond the initial interest stage.
No matter the strength of a show’s launch, a set-it-and-forget-it approach will make listeners forget as well. “We often talk about the three key ingredients for podcast happiness: heat, awareness, and trial,” Goldstein says. Retention is the fourth, and the only way to defend your shelf space.
The Dr. John Delony Show: Because Mental Health Matters
Now more than ever, the world feels like it is spinning out of control. Millions of people are struggling with their mental health, marriage, parenting, and family relationships. The Dr. John Delony Show, a podcast from the Ramsey Network, answers life’s messy questions.
Host and Ramsey Personality Dr. John Delony, a leading voice on mental health, relationships, and wellness, takes a practical approach to tough topics we all face. Dr. Delony’s caller-driven conversations help listeners work through anxiety, depression and disconnection with new tools and plenty of humor.
Ready to take charge of your mental health? It’s time to cut through the chaos and start building a more confident future. Send in your questions and join the conversation three times a week. Listen and follow wherever you get your podcasts.
Here's what else is going on:
- Fashion line: What a podcaster chooses to wear on video will impact their show’s brand, writes broadcaster Jeff McHugh. Podcasting is still show business, after all. If professionalism is your goal, “observe what your target listener wears, and go slightly better.” (Treat them to the nice sweatpants.)
- Magic words: “Show Me the Money: Getting Grants for Your Podcast” from Radio Boot Camp is this Saturday, May 21. Former PRX CCO John Barth will discuss how to identify aligned funders, court them, prepare a pitch, complete a proposal, and prepare for the in-person interview. $100 registration.
- Center stage: The first in-person Blk Pod Festival is coming up May 28-29 in Atlanta. Built from a need to showcase and connect Black audio creatives, the conference focuses on podcast education and growth for hosts, service providers, and entrepreneurs across the industry. $250 registration.
- Sweet spot: Yes, podcast launch dates do matter, says Elizabeth Hames. In audience development at Pacific Content, she’s found that there’s no secret date, time, or season. Instead, ask: “What is the routine of my ideal listener?” From launch to episode timing, make it easy for them to form a habit.