Megaphone is a podcast technology company that provides hosting and ad-insertion capabilities for publishers and targeted ad sales for brand partners.

Reston, VA, United States
Founded: 2015

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Searching for the "New Normal" of podcasting with AdvertiseCast

by John Durham

26 October 2020 19:24pm

With the pandemic causing businesses to evolve everyday, Catalyst SF’s CEO, John Durham, had the privilege to sit down with Executive director of network content and publisher acquisitions of AdvertiseCast, Justin Hull, to discuss the differences of radio and podcast and how the “new normal” has yet to be defined.

JD: What is your current day job like?

JH: This is an intriguing question as it makes me reflect on how my day-to-day has evolved in the last 2-years, considering how the industry continues to evolve. I am the Executive director of network content and publisher acquisitions at AdvertiseCast. Meaning, I help our publishing partners learn the AdvertiseCase system by assisting them in managing their listings and support them so they feel comfortable with our online marketplace.

JD: What gets you excited about the programmatic ad model?

JH: The programmatic ad model. It is a great opportunity for podcasts that have an extensive back catalogue to monetize paired with your traditional, baked in ad reads. While baked-in ad reads are measured on downloads within the first 30 days, programmatic ads create a passive way to monetize long term and deploy ads past the beyond 30 days. This gives long standing podcasts a way to monetize their past content as new listeners discover it. Megaphone’s MTM (targeted Marketplace) is a great example of this.

JD: What are some of your personal favorite podcasts?

JH: Before COVID, I would listen to a lot of sports podcasts like Locked On Bucks and B.J. and the Bear, a Wisconsin based sports Podcast with former Wisconsin Badger Brian Butch. But COVID has unlocked new hobbies which has influenced me to new genres and podcasts that I would not have considered before. For example, Real Vision’s Daily Briefing is a podcast that I really enjoy listening to as it brings listeners in depth analysis about that day's market events to help people understand finance, business and the global economy during the ongoing pandemic. I still enjoy sports betting podcasts such as Beating the Book with Gill Alexander. It’s a great listen, especially on Monday’s where they guess the point spread of every NFL game for the upcoming week. Plus, Gill looks a lot at analytics which I enjoy looking at.

JD: What surprised you about the podcasting business?

JH: Coming from 14-years in the radio industry, it is amazing how different it actually is from the podcast space. There are a lot of people transitioning from radio to podcast, and most believe it will be a simple switch, but they quickly realize how overwhelming it really is. The monetization of podcasting is, generally, based on your analytics compared to your level of talent or years of service dictating this. Also in radio, ratings come from an estimate from a surprisingly small sample of the population. In Podcasts, your download numbers are directly counted on your RSS Feed giving you a more direct audience measurement.

JD: Is there a solid level of comfort with how measurements of Podcasts are moving along?

JH: Definitely. You continually see industry news and news articles on attribution as the industry keeps it a major priority. With the number of hosting platforms that are in the space, it amazes me how specific attributions are. With the IAB 2.0 (Interactive Advertising Bureau) measurement guidelines in place, for those that use them, you do see more consistency, especially compared to what I was used to in radio.

JD: What has changed in your new world of work? Any big lessons/observations from COVID?

JH: At first, COVID was seen as a distraction with a lot of the conversation surrounding the idea of “when we return to normal.” Reflecting on the last 6 months, I think people are quickly realizing a new normal is being defined. With the workplace becoming increasingly virtual for many, daily routines have changed. For some, commutes, workout routines or other listening opportunities have changed altering when and how much content is consumed. At the same time, others have discovered new opportunities to listen and found new hobbies that have brought on new podcasts. While some shows may have seen fluctuation both up and down, overall, the numbers continue to rise. COVID has put us in a spot where these questions are brought up, but, overall, it is still too early for the final answer because people are in the middle of adjusting to the new normal.

From the working side, I do not feel anything has changed within our space in terms of day to day workflow being more on the operation side. With that being said, we are still waiting to see what the new normal will be and what is next in this, still, thriving industry. Nothing feels or looks different because the new normal is still developing and we are waiting to see what that “normal” is.


New Normal