As it expands its podcast measurement practice, Toronto-based audio research firm Signal Hill Insights has announced the addition of Paul Riismandel (pictured) in the role of Chief Insights Officer and Partner.
Riismandel joins from SXM Media, the ad sales division of SiriusXM/Pandora, where he led podcast advertising research. He came to SXM as part of its $325 million acquisition of Stitcher (previously known as Midroll Media) from E.W. Scripps in 2020.
According to President and founder of Signal Hill Insights Jeff Vidler (pictured, below), Riismandel will help solidify the company as an independent third-party voice providing industry-wide and custom research solutions. He will focus on furthering innovation in podcast measurement — combining ad effectiveness, creative analysis, and audience insights — in order to help partners and the industry at large understand how best to serve both listeners and advertisers.
Vidler added, “I’m thrilled that Paul has agreed to join us as a senior partner. The podcast industry is hitting an inflection point as more major brands are coming into the medium looking to understand how to best harness the power of podcasting. No one has Paul’s passion for finding research insights to move podcast advertising forward and no one but Paul has the experience to make that happen.”
Riismandel brings a wealth of experience to Signal Hill Insights as one of the industry’s first researchers in podcast advertising. Since beginning with Midroll Media (acquired by SiriusXM/Pandora) in 2014, Riismandel has overseen hundreds of ad effectiveness studies for nearly every major brand that advertises in the space, across such verticals as direct-to-consumer, consumer packaged goods, automotive and financial services. In that time he established the playbook for educating advertisers about the unique value of podcasting, and built one of the industry’s largest opt-in research panels of podcast listeners.
“I’m excited to take podcast research to the next level,” Riismandel said. “I’ve worked with Signal Hill as a client, and I know first-hand the expertise and acumen they bring to market. I’ve always thought of Signal Hill as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of podcast measurement, because of their innovative thinking and can-do approach to solving even the toughest analytic questions.
“In particular, I’m looking forward to developing a predictive performance model with Signal Hill that would advise advertisers and publishers on how to optimize their podcast strategy, even before launch.”
Signal Hill Insights is an audio research firm with a core focus on brand lift studies for podcasts and radio, and survey-driven audience insights, with clients that have included Acast, Cumulus/Westwood One, iHeartRadio, NPR, Pacific Content, SXM Media, and Triton Digital.
Read a February 2022 interview with Riismandel on the True Native Media website here.