Industry News

Audacy Hosting Infinite Dial Webinar

Audacy is hosting a webinar tomorrow (4/3) to look at data from Edison Research’s latest edition of its Infinite Dial study. The company says, “The Infinite Dial has become a critical resource for understandingim consumer behavior and technology adoption across smart platforms. Marketers and media buyers turn to these insights for important media trends in key channels such as radio, streaming audio, podcasts, social media, and more. Audacy will host a webinar on April 3 with head of research & insights Idil Cakim and Edison Research president Larry Rosin, who will share key trends from The Infinite Dial 2024, including: Media consumption and device adoption, in-car listening habits, podcast trends among key demographic groups, and observations and advertiser insights. Find registration information here.

Industry News

Edison: Podcast & Online Audio Listening Hit All-Time High

Edison Research announces the latest data from its annual survey The Infinite Dial – with support from Audacy, Cumulus Media, and SiriusXM Media – and reveals that “the portion of Americans who listen to any kind of online audio, and the portion who listen to podcasts, have both reached new record highs.” Some of the key findings include: 1) Podcast listening reach is up overall: 47% of the U.S. 12+im population has listened to a podcast in the last month, up 12% year over year; 34% of the U.S. 12+ population has listened to a podcast in the last week, up 10% year over year. Despite changes in how downloads are being delivered and counted, listening levels are up markedly; 2) Growth in podcast reach is driven by large increases among the number of female listeners: 45% of women in the U.S. age 12+ have listened to a podcast in the last month, up from 39% in 2023, an increase of 15%; 32% of women in the U.S. age 12+ have listened to a podcast in the last week, up from 27% in 2023, an increase of 19%; 3) Online audio listening hits the highest mark ever: 76% of those in the U.S. age 12+ have listened to online audio in the last month, an estimated 218 million people, 90% of those age 12-34 and 85% of those age 35-54 have listened to online audio in the last month; 4) 70% of those age 18+ who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month currently ever listen to radio as an audio source in their primary car; 55% listen to online audio and 32% listen to podcasts; and 5) 60% of those age 12+ have a traditional AM/FM radio set in their home. See the full study results here.

Industry News

Edison Research: Urban, Suburban, and Rural Listening Matters

According to data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear study, the listening habits of Americans change depending on whether they live in an urban, suburban or rural setting. Edison says, “Those who live in rural areas spend a much higher portion of their audio listening time with AM/FM radio, as compared withim those living in suburban or urban areas. Rural listeners spend 43% of their daily audio listening time with AM/FM radio and radio streams, compared with urban listeners who spend 34% of their time with AM/FM radio and radio streams. Meanwhile, Urban listeners spend over twice as much of their daily audio time with podcasts as rural listeners. Urban listeners spend 13% of their daily audio time with podcasts compared with rural listeners who spend 6% of their daily time with podcasts.” Interestingly, if you combine the AM/FM listening and podcast listening numbers for Urban, Suburban and Rural listeners, these numbers are essentially the same – between 47% and 49%. Edison notes, “It appears that the ‘time budget’ for radio and podcasting combined is consistent across locations; it is just the apportionment of that time that varies.”

Industry News

Good Karma Brands Unveils Milwaukee Bucks Content

Good Karma Brands launches Bucks+ Audio, a new audio platform created by the company and the Milwaukee Bucks. The first five podcasts dropped at Bucks.com/Plus. The initial podcasts are: “Behindim the Bucks,” presented by Gallagher; “Hear District,” hosted by Marques and Kris Johnson, “Bucks in Six,” hosted by Greg Matzek, “Thanalysis,” hosted by Thanasis Antetokounmpo and “Courtside with Gale Klappa.” GKB Milwaukee market manager Greg Scalzo says, “Bucks+ Audio connects Bucks fans to the team in an innovative audio format. The first podcasts provide a deeper look into the Bucks and share untold stories of the team and organization.”

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Crossover Media Group Acquires Equity Interest in Take On The Day LLC

Production and audio ad rep firm Crossover Media Group announces it is acquiring an equity interest in Take On The Day, LLC, owner of the “Dr. Laura Program” on SiriusXM and the “Dr. Laura’s Call of the Day” and “Dr. Laura’s Deep Dive” podcasts, all hosted by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. This transactionim follows a multi-year advertising sales and production partnership between the two organizations. Terms were not announced. Crossover Media Group managing member Sue Freund states, “Throughout her more than four decades in talk radio and now podcasting, Dr. Laura has amassed an enormous following with her frank, direct, captivating style, which is sometimes provocative, always interesting and insightful, and never dull. After many years of working with her and her team at Take On The Day, we’re proud to expand our relationship and commitment to her programs, and to continue to grow our presence as a leading partner to the nation’s top audio-talk hosts.” Take On The Day LLC president Geoff Rich comments, “Crossover Media Group’s investment in Take On The Day adds so much to our ability to reach more listeners and help more sponsors. With Sue and her partners Ron Hartenbaum and Scott Calka joining the management team, we are supercharging the future of the Dr. Laura programming and brand.”

Industry News

WWO: New Apple iOS 17 to Benefit Podcast Creators

The Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Blog says the changes to auto download policy in Apple’s iOS 17 will benefit content creators as well as advertisers. It used to be that if a consumer subscribed to a podcast and signed up for auto downloads, their iPhone would often download all, of theim back episodes published before they subscribed. Since many if not most of those were never listened to, the data about listening habits was inaccurate. As the blog notes, podcasts that publish frequently will be most affected. “This is a crucial reset for the podcast industry, a much-needed rightsizing of audience data. This is a defining moment advertisers and podcast creators should both welcome. As hosts look at their downloads and reach for the Advil, they should know Apple is putting the podcast industry on the road to more accurate data. Better audience data inspires more confidence among advertisers and agencies.” Another new feature in iOS 17 is that users who haven’t listened to five downloaded episodes over the past two weeks will stop getting automatically downloaded podcasts. See the blog post here.

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TALKERS News Notes

OutKick announces that FOX News contributor, New York Times best-selling author and former professional wrestler, Tyrus, a.k.a. George Murdoch, joins the platform to host the new show, “Maintaining with Tyrus.” The first episode launches on February 1 featuring a sit-down with talk TV host Piers Morgan, followed by interviews with Wolf of Wall Street inspiration Jordan Belfort, and “How America Works” host Mike Rowe.

ESPN is expanding the reach of its ESPN podcast offerings starting January 29 as ESPN2 will televise an ESPN video podcast every weekday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET. The premiering lineup will include: “First Draft,” “The Hoop Collective,” “The Lowe Post,” “The Mina Kimes Show” and “The Elle Duncan Show.” Mike Foss, ESPN SVP, production says, “This strategic content initiative provides our ESPN podcasts with a tremendous opportunity for continued growth and audience expansion, while simultaneously lending compelling content to our ESPN2 television lineup.”

New England Public Media promotes Elizabeth Román to managing editor – daily and digital news. NEPM says, “Although her title did not dramatically change, her responsibilities have evolved and Román will now be taking the lead on delivering daily news programming on the radio, NEPM website and social media channels.” Román says, “As a lifelong Springfield resident and Western Massachusetts native. I’m excited to continue working with our skilled news department to bring you even more stories that highlight the needs, concerns and successes of the people living and working in this community.”

Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting play-by-play coverage of this weekend’s NFL Conference Championships presented by lead sponsor Intuit Turbo Tax. Doubleheader coverage begins with the pregame show at 2:00 pm ET on Sunday before the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens meet for the AFC Championship game and the Detroit Lions battle the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.

Industry News

Report: “The Incredible Shrinking Podcast Industry”

A piece by Max Tani at Semafor looks at the ramifications of Apple’s September 2023 changes in reporting how many people listen to podcasts has dramatically affected the official listener numbers for many of the biggest podcasts. About Apple’s change, Tani writes, “The dominant podcasting platformim had begun switching off automatic downloads for users who haven’t listened to five episodes of a show in the last two weeks. But while few users noticed the shift, some of the biggest podcasts in the world saw their official listener numbers drop dramatically. Long-running shows that publish frequently were hit particularly hard. A user who listened to a show like The New York Times’ ‘The Daily’ a few times, subscribed, but stopped listening would continue to count as a download indefinitely. Even better under the old rules: For people who listened to a show, dropped off for a while, but started listening again later, Apple would automatically download every show in between. The arrangement drove big download numbers, a crucial metric for ad sales and a sign of the vast reach of podcasts as a medium.” Read the full story here.

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iHeartPodcast Awards to Emanate from SXSW in March

iHeartMedia announces that its iHeartPodcast Awards will take place live and in-person during the SXSW Conference and Festivals in Austin at the Fairmont Hotel on Monday, March 11 at 8:00 pm CT.im The awards “honor the best and most innovative industry podcasts and creators of 2023.” The ceremony will broadcast live on select iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, through the iHeartRadio app and via a video stream in partnership with YouTube on iHeartRadio’s YouTube Channel. iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne comments, “Each year we look forward to celebrating the podcast industry’s most groundbreaking and innovative voices as the medium continues to evolve and explode. Over the past few years, SXSW has become a dynamic and effective setting for us to host many of our interactive podcast panels, discussions, and experiences. There’s no better location to bring this celebratory industry event back, live and in person, than Austin at South by Southwest.”

Industry News

Good Karma Brands Launching Bucks+ Audio

The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and Good Karma Brands are introducing Bucks+ Audio, an audio broadcast platform that will offer exclusive, compelling on-demand content, available for download this spring. Bucks chief sales and marketing officer Dustin Godsey says, “We continue to hear from Bucksim fans worldwide who want more in-depth content about the team and behind-the-scenes access and Bucks+ Audio will provide this with podcasts and on-demand audio. Good Karma Brands Milwaukee market manager Greg Scalzo states, “We are excited to partner with the Milwaukee Bucks and redefine the on-demand listening experience for fans. Bucks+ Audio introduces a new era of immersive sports content, from the episodic allure of ‘Behind the Bucks’ to the passionate ‘Hear District’ and the concise, detailed recaps of ‘Bucks in 6,’ the platform is a perfect audio companion for Bucks and NBA fans.” Additionally, Good Karma Brands is currently seeking an editor-in-chief to oversee content strategy, collaborate with creators, represent the brand, ensure a positive user experience and more for the platform. Learn more here: www.goodkarmabrands.com/careers/

Industry News

WWO: Audio Personalities Drive Advertising Effectiveness

This week’s Westwood One Audio Active Group blog reports on a study by System1 investigating the effectiveness of talent-read ads on podcasts or AM/FM radio. The study is based on the assumption thatim a host-read ad on a podcast or AM/FM radio show drives powerful brand impact and sales effect and positive emotional impact is what measures a successful campaign. System1 studied host-read ads and devised a rating system that correlates creative quality with long-term share growth – in layman’s terms, “the more you feel, the more you buy.” But the study found that only 17% of the ads tested rated high enough to have the sufficient emotional impact necessary to lift long-term brand share by between 1% and 3%. See the complete blog post here.

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Bloomberg: Audacy Gambled on CBS Radio Merger

A piece at Bloomberg by Ashley Carman looks at the $1.5 billion 2017 merger of Audacy (formerly Entercom) and CBS Radio and concludes that the deal has been a back-breaker for the company as Carman writes, “Now, six years later, Audacy is struggling under the weight of $1.92 billion in debt and shriveling demand for radio advertising, an industrywide plague.” The piece goes beyond just Audacy’sim financial struggles and looks more broadly at how radio as a legacy medium is facing “the same headwinds as other traditional media.” Carman adds, “Stations are losing their grip on younger audiences, and advertisers are tuning out. Fresh sources of revenue, like podcasts and streaming audio, are going to new contenders such as Spotify Technology SA or just failing to make up for the lost radio ad dollars.” The U.S. radio business has always touted its reach, but according to Lauren Russo, EVP at ad buyer Horizon Media, broadcast radio faces real problems. “The broadcast marketplace is extremely soft for ’23 and similarly for ’24. The overall audio ecosystem continues to grow from a streaming and podcasting perspective, but at the expense of broadcasts.” Read the Bloomberg piece here.

Industry News

NPR and Edison Research Unveil Spoken Word Audio Report

The fifth edition of the The Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research was unveiled during a webinar presented yesterday (11/9). The 2023 edition concludes that spoken word audio listening time and audience size “attained record highs in the U.S.” This report places special focus on listening locations and explores spoken word audio consumption at home, at work, in-car, and other locations. Some of the key findings include: 1) Almost half (48%) — approximately 135 million people — of those in the U.S. age 13+ listen to some type of spoken word audio daily, up two percentage points (46%) from last year. Listeners in the U.S. age 13+ spend 31% of their daily audio time with spokenim word, which is a 55% increase over nine years ago (20%); 2) Spoken word listening at home has grown dramatically: 60% of the total daily audio time spent with spoken word audio is at home, 24% in the car, 13% at work, and 3% at some other location. The time spent listening to spoken word audio at home has grown to 41 daily minutes in 2023 from 27 daily minutes in 2014. Increases in at-home spoken word audio listening are seen across every hour in the listening day; 3) Spoken word listening in-car has shifted post-pandemic, but AM/FM radio remains on top: Of all the daily time spent listening to spoken word audio, time spent listening in the car has declined from 36% in 2014 to 24% in 2023. In the car, 62% of spoken word audio consumed by those in the U.S. age 13+ is to AM/FM radio content, including over the air and streams; 4) For the first time ever, the mobile device is the primary way people listen to spoken word: 39% of spoken word audio consumed daily by those age 13+ in the U.S. is on a mobile device, followed by 35% on an AM/FM radio receiver. At home, 41% of spoken word audio is consumed on a mobile device, and at work, 47% of spoken word is consumed on a mobile device. AM/FM radio receivers still dominate in-car, garnering 60% of the spoken word audio listening there; and 5) Podcasts represent a large and growing share of spoken word listening: Podcasts now represent over one-third (36%) of time spent with spoken word audio. Twenty-eight percent of time spent listening to podcasts goes to NPR/public radio. At home, 40% of spoken-word audio listening goes to podcasts. See more about the study here.

Industry News

Salem Partners with Just The News for Podcasts

Salem Media Group announces a new partnership between the Salem Podcast Network and Just Theim News for its podcasts from John Solomon, Victor Davis Hanson, and “Bauer and Rose” on the SPN platform. The agreement allows Salem to market and sell the podcasts to its array of advertisers and provide additional promotional support. Salem SVP Phil Boyce says, “John Solomon and his team are a perfect fit for Salem and will provide an additional layer of news credibility to the stories he covers. When you add Victor Davis Hanson’s podcasts, and those of Bauer and Rose, it makes the partnership complete.” Solomon comments, “Salem Podcast Network has amassed one of the most formidable audiences and lineups in the industry. We are excited to be joining the team and introducing our news and analysis to a whole new audience.”

Industry News

Audacy Releases Modern Blueprint for Audio Advertising

Audacy is releasing the fifth installment of its bi-annual audio thought leadership series, State of Audio: Level Up, that it calls “a modern blueprint for audio advertising, designed to provide a go-to playbook – including planning tips, creative how-to’s and innovative trends – to help advertisers level up the performance of their audio investments.” Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman says, “Audio is proving itself as a must-have media for marketers. Our advertisers are embracing the power of multiim-platform audio with media plans that utilize radio, digital audio and podcasts, working together to reach audiences with unprecedented precision and drive quantifiable outcomes for their brands.” Some of the findings within the guide include: 1) Audio advertising works harder – driving more than two times the attention of TV and social media at more desirable CPMs; 2) Radio and digital audio are stronger together. A multi-platform audio strategy is so powerful that advertisers see 1.5 times the return on ad spend compared to digital-only campaigns; 3) Advertisers are leaving upwards of $6 billion in revenue on the table by not including total audio – a balanced mix of traditional broadcast radio and digital audio – in their media mix, according to a study conducted by Audacy and Neustar. The report also offers actionable tips for producing effective ads under the section titled, “5 Ways the Best Audio Ads Crush the Status Quo.” Here, Audacy says, “Advertising on the #1 reach media — Audio — will get you the most ears. But to keep them, your creative can’t just be good — it needs to be really freaking great.” See the report here.

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Report: Good Karma to Pass on WEPN-FM, New York After Lease Expires

According to a report by Andrew Marchand at the New York Post, Good Karma Brands – which is currently leasing WEPN-FM, New York from Emmis Communications for its “ESPN New York sportsim radio brand – will not continue the lease after it expires on August 31, 2024. Good Karma owns WEPN-AM, New York and company chief Craig Karmazin tells the Post, “We’re committed to serving the New York sports fan and with the combination of our AM signal, the ESPN New York app, podcasts, smart speakers, YES and other additional audio and video distribution, investing in an FM signal was not relevant in the way it was a decade ago.” The piece states the lease price for the signal is “in the $12.5 million per year range.” It also reports that sources indicate Emmis is seeking roughly $50 million in a purchase deal. Read the Post piece here.

Industry News

“The Daily” Stays Atop Podtrac’s August Podcast Ranker

According to data from Podtrac (based on U.S. unique monthly audience), The New York Times’ “The Daily” stays atop its Top Podcasts chart for the period of August 2023. The Daily Wire/Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” stayed in its spot at #7, iHeartPodcast’s “Stuff You Should Know”im remained at #9, Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” rose one spot to #11, and FOX Audio Network’s “FOX News Hourly Update” fell one spot to #16.  Other data from Podtrac from this report includes: 1) U.S. unique monthly audience increased for all but one of the Top 20 publishers in August 2023 over July 2023; 2) The average U.S. unique monthly audience for the Top 20 publishers was up 13% month-over-month and down 3% over July 2022; 3) Total global downloads for the Top 20 publishers were up 7% month-over-month and flat year-over-year; and 4) The combined audience for the Top Sales Networks was up 15% month-over-month.

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Jake Kemp and Dan McDowell Agree to Cease Podcasts Until Mediation with Cumulus

The latest chapter in the disagreement between Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas-Fort Worth and former midday air personalities Jake Kemp and Dan McDowell includes the duo agreeing to not produce any newim podcasts, including “The Dumb Zone,” before they and Cumulus go into mediation over Cumulus’ charge that the two have violate their non-compete and other clauses in their contracts with the company. The court-ordered mediation was moved from yesterday (8/22) to next Tuesday (8/29).