Entercom’s “fundamental transformation,” podcasting, film, and company definition

Entercom CEO David Field

In Entercom’s Q2 earnings call on August 7, CEO David Field held forth with a considerable portion of his opening remarks focused on digital audio and cross-category business in the U.S.’s second-largest commercial radio group. In fact, “radio” is subsumed in Field’s broad definition of Entercom.

“Entercom is now a scaled media and entertainment company.” –David Field, CEO, Entercom

DavidĀ  Field claimed a “leadership position in virtually every segment of audio.” That includes radio, podcasting, digital music, news, network sports, and live events. He noted that Entercom is “one of the country’s two largest podcasting publishers.” (We are uncertain whether he includes NPR or iHeartRadio as the other one. In the recent iHeartMedia earnings call, CEO Bob Pittman said, “It’s no surprise that the two largest podcast publishers, iHeart and NPR, are both major broadcast radio companies, and we both have a 2:1 lead over the next largest publisher.)

The three pillars of Entercom’s digital audio content are RADIO.COM, part of the CBS Radio acquisition and “the fastest growing digital audio platform in the country” according to Field, podcast content factory Cadence13, and Pineapple Street Studios.

The CEO rattled off a few podcasting stats. He noted that Entercom owns more podcasts on the Top 100 trending podcasts chart in America than any other company over the past five months — he didn’t identify the chart; perhaps it is Apple. Field also disclosed that Entercom podcasts are consumed by 26-million unique listeners a month, a metric that seems aligned with the most recent Triton Digital U.S. Podcast Report, where Entercom is the #3 network serving 6.6-million users weekly.

Field seemed to position Entercom in relation to SiriusXM, observing at one point that Sirius had acquired Stitcher. Just as SiriusXM is executing a cross-platform strategy with Pandora and probably will with Stitcher, Field raved about what he called “symbiotic benefits”:

“We continue to be very excited about the opportunities in the podcasting space, and the powerful symbiotic benefits of the combination between podcasting and broadcast radio, particularly spoken world broadcast radio where we excel. The opportunities to work across audio platforms to drive listenership, launch new products, repurpose content, and capitalize in integrated sales and marketing programs for customers are highly attractive.”

Finally, DavidĀ  Field noted that the company’s smart speaker usage had grown 92% in the second quarter — perhaps a singular fortuitous benefit of the COVID shelter-at-home period which created so much damage to over-the-air listening and advertising among radio companies.


Brad Hill