FEED Autumn 2023 Web

FEED: By founding this company, you have recognised a bridge between podcasting and broadcasting. Can you share your thoughts on this?

ERIN TRAFFORD: Right now, what I’m seeing in North America is that podcasting is seen as a weird little sister to terrestrial broadcast. The questions that are posited around it only focus on how you can make money by podcasting. Instead, what we need to be asking ourselves is: ‘how can podcasting grow an existing broadcast brand?’, ‘how can podcasting better integrate into the current broadcast sales landscape?’ and ‘how can podcasting be used to enhance and grow our audiences?’. “SMART BROADCAST COMPANIES ARE GOINGTO INVEST IN UNLEARNING THEIR STRATEGIES”

What we know about podcasting and broadcasting, at least in North America, is that the broadcast audience segment is old and dying – usually 55 and older. As a result, broadcasters are stuck catering to retaining this audience that is going to fall off a cliff. They’re losing sight of the fact that, with a strong, integrated strategy, they could well be pulling new audiences from this pool they are not currently touching. What they are generally doing is taking something that was on the air and adding a new top and tail, repackaging it and throwing it on an RSS feed. That’s not deepening the relationship or using podcasting to its advantages. Smart broadcast companies are going to invest in unlearning and redoing their strategies. I say this phrase all the time – we’ve got to ‘flip the telescope’. The smart ones will flip it the other way and start investing in pulling that audience up.

ERIN TRAFFORD: If you look through the list of major private broadcast companies and study what they’re calling podcasting, you’ll see they are literally taking bits from morning shows and adding new tops and tails. I had a hallway chat with an executive from a large network and he admitted to me that’s what they do. Instead, broadcasters need to think about how to reinvigorate and reeducate the sales language on both sides. Broadcast sales associates and media buyers are so used to this one metric of listeners – just audience market share and that’s it, the only thing media has ever been able to sell. And that will be what kills it because if you’re not innovating what you’re selling and the content itself, at some point there’s going to be a huge dissonance that will ultimately cause a rupture. FEED: How deep are the misconceptions surrounding podcasting? “IFYOU’RE NOT INNOVATING, AT SOME POINTTHATWILL CAUSE A RUPTURE”

ERIN TRAFFORD: If you’re in a really crowded field, having a podcast is the fastest way to humanise your brand. From a tactical perspective, it gives you a reason to reach out to audiences you specifically want to engage with. That’s the marketing angle, but putting my content strategy hat back on, it’s a deep form of content that’s easy to adapt to other platforms. You can invest in a podcast for your brand if short on cash – look at the difference between a branded podcast series and a branded video series; you’ll instantly see a corporate video will cost you ten times more. FEED: What are the main benefits of businesses leveraging podcasts as aspects of their marketing strategies?


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