“It’s a gift to listeners. If you make your podcast a gift to listeners, they’ll appreciate the fact that you gave them that gift and they’ll remember you for that and they’ll think better of you for that as a brand.”
This week’s guest has remained at the forefront of changing audio landscape. From his start as a radio station manager and program director, he’s spent more than twenty-five years in research, sharing his passion for audio with North America’s major broadcast companies. More recently, he’s been doing the same with podcast publishers. His name is Jeff Vidler and we’ll be talking about his insights into this steadily growing media segment. For those of you curious to learn more about the world of podcasting and how things have changed over the years, this is definitely the interview for you.
Listening to the Funnies
Jeff tells us how he grew up with an older brother who wanted to become a radio DJ and, as a child, helped his brother cut demos for his first radio job using a portable record player and the family’s home stereo system. Radio had a powerful early influence on Jeff, and he tells us about the radio program that awakened his passion for broadcasting and the audio industry: a local show that turned the newspaper comics into comedy skits every Sunday morning. “I can remember even thinking,” he tells us, “this company is so cool that they’re allowing me to hear the funnies brought to life.”
A Really Exciting Time
Next we take a closer look at Jeff’s career and how much it’s evolved and grown since those early days in front of his brother’s turntable. After starting his audio career as a copywriter, music director, and radio consultant, he moved on to media research in everything from print and digital media to television and radio. “In the last four or five years the whole audio world has opened up with the growth of music streaming and particularly the growth of podcasting,” he explains. “It’s a really exciting time for audio.”
Nobody Really Knows
One of the challenges that he’s working to overcome is the lack of marketing research into podcasts and new media. As Jeff puts it, “nobody really knows that much about what gets listened to and who’s listening… and is it working for the advertiser.” Although podcasts have seen incredible growth over the past five years, ad spending has
lagged behind it for a variety of reasons such as segmentation, measurement, and the sheer number of podcasts out there.
Podcasts By Brands
We also talk about his research into the emerging market of branded podcasts, or, as one of the companies that Jeff’s worked with prefers to call them, original podcasts by brands. “They’re not trying to sell,” he explains, “they’re telling stories.” Despite having no editorial impact and having a very light brand touch, they’ve turned out to be surprisingly effective at garnering brand recognition and creating a positive association with the podcast’s listeners.
Be sure to check back next week for part two as we take a closer look at the rise of smartphones and smart audio, Clubhouse’s impact on podcasting, and some of Jeff’s latest market research.
If you’d like to know more about Brand Lift Studies for podcasts, radio, and streaming, you can visit Signal Hill’s Brand Lift Help page: https://signalhillinsights.com/brand-lift-help/ to access their free videos on Brand Lift Studies for audio, as well as a checklist you can use to help set you up for success on your next Brand Lift Study.
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.
Connect with Jeff
Follow Jeff Vidler on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffVidler
Connect with Jeff Vidler on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffvidler/