Jake Shapiro at RAIN Summit: “Podcasting is a game-changing turn of events.” [AUDIO]

Jake Shapiro, Chief Executive of PRX, the largest marketplace of audio programs for public radio, gave the keynote address at RAIN Summit Atlanta on September 29. (Listen to it above.)

Presenting himself as “An emissary from the public radio and podcasting corner of the universe,” Shapiro talked about the rise of podcasting, its role in the audio ecosystem, and where it might be heading.

“Podcasting is a game-changing turn of events.” –Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX, at RAIN Summit Atlanta

While celebrating the extraordinary rise of aware in podcasting, and money flow to the category of on-demand audio, Shapiro noted, “We all need to be educating audiences and advertisers that this is a real thing.” He admitted that he doesn’t favor the term “podcasting,” named after the iPod which has faded as a relevant consumer electronics device.

The success of on-demand audio has created a competition for talent, Shapiro said. In public radio, some staffers are jumping across the divide to online-only programs and networks — “We’re trying to hire them, too,” Shapiro admitted, speaking for PRX.

Music services (e.g. Deezer, Spotify) have started embracing on-demand spoken-word shows, bundling them a new category into their content catalogs. Jake Shapiro predicted that this programming tactic will be transient: “In my mind, this is not going to hold. I don’t think bolting this kind of content into music services is going to stick.”

The future? Poddcasting is “up for grabs,” according to Shapiro. Although iTunes owns the largest share of distribution, by far, Apple has not taken over monetization. As to CPMs, reported to be selling in ranges from $20 to over $100, Jake Shapiro predicted a pricing curve. “CPMs are growing, but will decline.”


Brad Hill