What We Can Learn From The Podcast Movement Evolutions Conference

Last week, I had the honor of attending The Podcast Movement Evolutions Conference, showcasing the latest trends, innovations, and insights shaping the rapidly evolving podcasting industry. Among the highlights of the conference was the discussion surrounding the emergence of the Value For Value (V4V) podcasting model, which promises to revolutionize the way creators produce, distribute, and monetize their content.

The Podcast Movement Evolutions Conference:

The Podcast Movement Evolutions Conference brought together industry leaders, podcasters, enthusiasts, and professionals from around the world to discuss the future of podcasting. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in panel discussions, workshops, keynote speeches, and networking sessions focused on a wide range of topics, including content creation, audience engagement, monetization strategies, and technological advancements.

One of the top new podcast stars, Amy Poehler, the star of TV’s Parks & Recreation was there to discuss her new scripted podcast, “Say More With Dr.? Sheila”.  It’s an hysterical, some what scripted show about a fake therapist giving the most self-involved advice on the planet. It’s rise in popularity can be credited to her star power sure, but what it really highlights is the boom in Fiction podcasting in the industry.  Not only shows like her, but Serial programming, much like radio used to put out before television, were scattered all over the conference. It was interested to see the marketing behind some of these podcasts, big stand up billboards that LOOK like movies.  With all star casts, high production value and the such, but “Coming Soon to Podcasts” instead of “Coming To A Theater Near You”.

Not surprising, jumping into the foray of this type of programming, was Netflix.  Ready to unleash an entire network of shows and serials to their own platform. Goes to show you, if Netflix is in the game, there’s money to be had

The Rise of Value For Value Podcasts:

Speaking of money, A major highlight of the conference, and main takeaway was the growing popularity of the Value For Value (V4V) podcasting model. Originating from shows like “No Agenda” and “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the V4V model operates on the principle of direct listener support, where creators produce content freely available to all listeners and rely on voluntary contributions from their audience to sustain their work.

The appeal of the V4V model lies in its ability to empower creators and listeners alike. By eliminating reliance on advertisers, creators maintain editorial independence and creative control over their content, while listeners have the opportunity to directly support the creators they admire. This symbiotic relationship fosters a sense of community and reciprocity within the podcasting ecosystem, promoting transparency and trust between creators and their audience.

Podcasters should note, If you’ve got a huge following and a respectable amount of downloads, you should be doing a pay for play podcast as well.  You’re fanbase will happily hand over a subscription of $2.99-$4.99 a month, if you are providing exclusive content to them.  So put out a free weekly podcast, but offer exclusive, EXTRA content for subscribers.  And make the topics juicy enough for listeners to want to pay!  Three bucks a month doesn’t sound like a lot, but if only 1000 of your listeners fork it over, that’s $3000 a month…EVERY MONTH. (And 1000 is modest for most shows) It’s a much bigger return on investment than waiting to cash in on Mid-Roll & Pre-Roll ads.

Key Takeaways and Future Outlook:

As the podcasting industry continues to evolve, the Podcast Movement Evolutions Conference served as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration. The rise of the Value For Value podcasting model underscores the shifting dynamics of podcast monetization, offering an alternative to traditional advertising-based revenue models.

And try to explore out of the box type of programming. The market place is flooded with interview, opinion and MURDER shows. Use that imagination of yours to come up with something new and exciting that you can market & monetize!

Pic designed by DC Studio for www.freepik.com.

Mike Ragz is the VP of Programming for Audio 1.

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