Midroll Media predicts podcasting will replace talk radio and satellite, and other predictions

Podcasting content and advertising company Midroll Media has post a top-of-the-year round-up of its business, and predictions for podcasting as a whole. The manifesto comes in the form of two articles.

Erik Diehn

The first quotes in-house leaders like Midroll CEO Erik Diehn, Chief Revenue Officer Lex Friedman, and VP of Marketing Amy Fitzgibbons. they discuss the company’s marketing and content efforts.

The second article is directed at the whole podcast industry more than the first, covering advertising, metrics, revenue, and a bold prediction.

“At the end of 2018 none of the objections we get from brands will be based on measurement.”
-Lex Friedman, Chief Revenue Officer, Midroll Media

Lex Friedman

Lex Friedman believes that measurement issues which have plagued podcasting for years are on the cusp of elimination. Part of that confidence results from Apple releasing its podcast analytics. Those numbers from the industry’s biggest (by far) distributor might represent a good news / bad news situation, insofar as quotable listening metrics might get reduced for some shows across different publishers and distribution points. But Erik Diehn points out that in the bigger picture, growth is still strong. Friedman predicts that by the end of 2018 the industry will be talking about listens, and no longer about downloads. “By the end of 2018, we’ll be able to sell on a listen basis,” Friedman predicts.

Midroll-owned Stitcher is an interesting use case, giving the company an advantage of comparing Stitcher analytics of consumer behavior to the metrics from Apple. “We can’t say that Apple listeners are like podcast listeners on other platforms,” Friedman says. “So, we’ll be able to compare listening behavior to Stitcher. I’ve long believed that Stitcher listeners are different, and now we’ll know.”

Alternative (to advertising) revenue sources are discussed, including premium membership subscriptions, which can deliver special content and ad-free listening. The article discusses PodSwag, which might be a new concept for many observers — Midroll has built a platform for selling merchandise like coffee mugs and t-shirts. The company hired an experienced merchandiser to grow that revenue division.

Smart speakers are briefly mentioned in the wide-ranging article, characterizing them as a natural fit for podcasting.

Can podcasting replace talk radio? That is “on track” according to CEO Erik Diehn, who predicts podcasting will roll over talk radio and Sirius XM in three to five years.

Brad Hill