I’m a big believer in the power of podcasting, so it was a real pleasure to catch up with Bryan Barletta, who created and runs Sounds Profitable, a company dedicated to the proposition that podcasting can be profitable. The company’s mission statement is “to educate and empower the podcasting industry at all levels” by providing insightful content, events, research, and advisory services.
I wanted to quiz Bryan about Sounds Profitable’s origin story and then plunge into specific issues germane to podcasting planning and production. We discuss best practices with regard to podcast frequency and ad delivery, along with the importance of treating podcasting like a business, investing in it, and building quality content to stand out in the crowded podcast ecosystem.
Bryan highlights the need for podcasters and marketers to define success beyond mere download numbers, and to focus on building relationships and creating value through their podcasts. We delve into the issue of attribution, which can be challenging due to a lack of platform-level data sharing but can be addressed via various available solutions.
Bryan notes that podcasting has mainly been a performance-based media channel in the past, but this may be changing. He notes that “there are estimates showing that brand advertising will overtake performance advertising this year in podcasting, which is exciting. What I caution people about — when they look at the data – is that while brand advertising has had a banner year in podcasting, we’ve also had a loss in growth for demand. And that’s because a lot of those companies don’t have zero interest loans anymore to get out there and pump into the ROI slot machine.”
We discuss the potential for niche podcasts in both B2B and B2C contexts, with examples such as sports podcasts in the offseason and election-related podcasts during election years. We address the issue of budgeting, with Bryan providing examples of different types of podcast production budgets. We chat about the growing trend of podcasters recording with video, which allows for more visual cues and the ability to create graphical assets for branding and social media deployment.
Finally, we trade notes on the importance of having the right equipment in place to properly execute professional podcasts, and the importance of consulting with a professional to produce a polished podcast.