Podland News

Apple's new subscriptions? Spotify's failing strategy? Does Clubhouse need moderating? Interviews with Podpage, MatchCasts, Podchaser and A Million Ads

January 21, 2021 Season 1 Episode 8
Podland News
Apple's new subscriptions? Spotify's failing strategy? Does Clubhouse need moderating? Interviews with Podpage, MatchCasts, Podchaser and A Million Ads
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join James Cridland and Sam Sethi on this week's show.

We talk about Apple's proposed new subscription service and what it means for podcasters?

And has Spotify's foray into podcasting failed? Citi Research said "The only thing podcasting seems to have influenced is Spotify’s valuation.” They suggest that clients sell the stock.

We'll discuss whether we think they are right or premature.

Also, we ponder if Clubhouse needs better room moderation to prevent hate speech and misogyny? 

Also on this weeks show:

  • Brenden Mulligan, CEO Podpage talks about how podcasters can make a google SEO optimised webpage in less than 5 mins.

  • Bradley Davis, CEO Podchaser, the IMdB of podcasting, talks about their new $4m funding round from Greycroft, and what they plan to do with the money.

  • Jaime Ng, CEO MatchCasts talks about being the first Asian podcasting ad platform and also her thoughts on the Tencent acquisition of Lazy Audio and what it means for Himalaya.

  • Sam Crowther, Executive Creative Director at A Million Ads talks about their use of data to create personalized advertising and how this can work for both Radio and Podcasters who use dynamic ad insertion.

  • We also talk about how they plan to use Descript's Overdub voice synthesis service to create a million ads.

Previous Episodes: https://podland.news
#podlandnews #podcasting #interview

Podcast hosting and a whole lot more

James Cridland: [00:00:00] Welcome to Podland. Podland is sponsored by buzz sprouts. The easiest way to host, promote and track your Podcast there@buzzsprout.com. It's Thursday, January the 21st, 2021. I'm James Cridland the editor of pod news here in Australia. 

[00:00:16]Sam Sethi: [00:00:16] Hello, I'm Sam. Sethi the editor of Sam Talks Technology here 

[00:00:19] Jaime Ug: [00:00:19] in the UK and I'm Jamie and CEO of MetCast.

[00:00:22] And I will be on later to talk about AMU audio. I guess advertising platforms and 

[00:00:27] Bradley Davis: [00:00:27] I'm Bradley Davis, and I'll be on later to talk about pod chaser and our new funding round. 

[00:00:32] Brenden Mulligan: [00:00:32] And I'm Brendan Mulligan from pod page.com. And I'll be talking about Podcast website 

[00:00:36]Sam Crowther: [00:00:36] and I'm Sam Crowder. I'm executive creative director at a million ads, and I'll be on later to talk about dynamic creative and personalization for digital audio, particularly for Podcast.

[00:00:47]They will. 

[00:00:48]James Cridland: [00:00:48] Podland is a weekly podcast where Sam and I delve deeper into the week's podcasting news, which I cover daily@podnews.net. Or you can get involved in Podland. We'd love that you can send us a voice message to questions at Podland dot news, or you can tweet us where it's Podland news. So this week's 

[00:01:06] Sam Sethi: [00:01:06] big stories.

[00:01:07] We're going to start off with a story that James wrote about Apple's potential entry into subscription services, James, what's it all 

[00:01:13] James Cridland: [00:01:13] about? . So there's a bunch of reports started in the information and there's a bit more in the Hollywood reporter about. And Apple podcast, subscription service. I think that Apple are looking at a subscription service, much like they have for Apple music or Apple TV, or various other things where you get exclusive shows.

[00:01:36] At least I think that's. Part of what the story is. I think the other part of the story might be, and our other hope it is that we, as podcasters will be able to charge if we want to for specific shows. So if we wanted to, we could make the next season of Podland available for $2. If we wanted to, that might be a plan, but of course, Apple is saying nothing has it as it 

[00:01:59] Sam Sethi: [00:01:59] always does.

[00:02:00] . I think. They've got the whole mechanism. So the $99 developer account, if you're an app developer. So I wonder whether they're going to charge a subscription to Podcast creators in the same way. So you have to pay so much to have your Podcast enabled as a subscription service. That's one way they might tie.

[00:02:22] Podcast is into it. Secondly, obviously they've got all the ways of making those payments to the Podcast creators themselves, and thirdly, they can do micro payments. So this would be a no brainer. I think, where it might go, those this could kill or try and kill Spotify. That's what, one of the reports I read, which is why they bring it out because Spotify has no micro payment system built within it.

[00:02:45]And if you. Put your Podcast into Apple. You might want to lock it into Apple and then make it not available on any other platform and suddenly Apple sucking all of the podcasts that people think they can make money from. And the other podcast platforms may wither on the 

[00:03:01] James Cridland: [00:03:01] . That might well happen.

[00:03:03] And I think, interesting to see. Also that Apple are apparently testing Apple music and Apple podcasts on Microsoft and windows. Now that's interesting because the only reason that Apple would be investing in an Apple podcasts app for windows would be if they could earn some money out of it, that probably underlines the fact that they are looking at some form of paid for podcasts.

[00:03:27]It does also beg the question that Apple podcasts for Android  they've already got. Apple music for Android. They've already got the Apple TV app for Android as well is an Apple podcast app for Android coming soon, who knows? You talked about 

[00:03:43]Sam Sethi: [00:03:43] the sale of pocket cost. Could they have bought and used pocket costs?

[00:03:46]James Cridland: [00:03:46] This is new news since our last Podland. So pocket costs, which is a, quite a decent app. It's on Android first, but also on iOS. It's owned by a consortium of. Public radio companies in the U S and they've  said that they've agreed to sell it. My understanding is that w NYC was amazingly bullish about what pocket casts could do for the Podcast industry, but the person whose bright idea it was then left w NYC, and nobody else really knew what to do with it.

[00:04:17]And that's my understanding. They seem to be losing an awful lot of money. The company is quite it's quite fierce in saying that I'm stupidly wrong by working out that they're losing $2.4 million in a year, but whatever the figure is, they're losing a fair amount of cash. It strikes me that may be that's a route.

[00:04:37] If Apple wanted to up the game, make their Apple podcasts app better and get onto Android as well then actually. . Re-skinning pocket casts might be a good plan. It's a much better out than the Apple podcasts app. . 

[00:04:50] Sam Sethi: [00:04:50] Apple seemed to have been busy this week cause they also announced and launched, I think a service called Apple Podcast spotlight, which he wrote about it's quite 

[00:04:58] James Cridland: [00:04:58] interesting.

[00:04:59] Move from Apple. If you look at the Apple top 20 podcasts in. 2020, which I put on to pod news a couple of weeks ago. The one thing that you really get out of that is there's lots of public radio in there. There's lots of the big names that you would expect. And those are the shows that Apple are really pushing.

[00:05:18] Apple Podcast spotlight appears to be the reverse of that. It appears to be deliberately looking for under represented voices, new voices to the Podcast world. And it's something that Apple are going to be doing every single month from here on in, an interesting in many ways, change of tack for Apple to be deliberately promoting under represented new voices in.

[00:05:45] The podcasting world. It 

[00:05:46] Sam Sethi: [00:05:46] just annoys me though. I have to say, because it means it's another way of having to find the person or people in Apple that you have to go and schmooze. And in order to get your Podcast listed, if I was a PR company and I was working for a Podcast, I would just go and find who that person is.

[00:06:01] Who's responsible for spotlight and I'd be banging on their door constantly. . 

[00:06:04]James Cridland: [00:06:04] . And I'm sure that they have plenty of free lunches. Put it that way. 

[00:06:08] Sam Sethi: [00:06:08] . Now, Spotify this week, they had a report out from city research saying that  their Podcast strategy hasn't 

[00:06:16] James Cridland: [00:06:16] worked. . So they're an investment bank and, or the research arm of an investment bank.

[00:06:21] And they're quite snooty about Spotify. Really. They'd  say that Spotify hasn't meant that they've been more app downloads for Spotify. It hasn't meant that there has been more. Premium subscribers. And then they say the only thing podcasting seems to have influenced its Spotify valuation and nice way of  saying that the only people who care about the podcasting in Spotify is wall street and not human beings, which I think is probably a little bit wrong.

[00:06:47]The client note, which I've seen in full has lots of graphs and lots of comparisons between Spotify and people like Pandora and and other companies, as well, but they  say if you own stock in Spotify, sell it because it's going to be worth less in the future. I wonder whether they're measuring the right things, this particular company.

[00:07:06]Cause they're talking about app downloads, which we don't really know  because the numbers aren't that public, they're talking about premium subscribers. You don't need to be a premium subscriber. You don't need to give Spotify any money to listen to any of the podcasts which they have. So of course, it's not going to make a change in terms of that, where it might make a change is in terms of time spent using Spotify time spent in app, that's probably the right measure.

[00:07:33] And I'm not sure that we know whether or not it's been a success,  in terms of that yet it's because I don't think Spotify have released any information about that. So I'm not sure, but it's interesting at least seeing some of the investment community looking at Spotify and going well, is it really a success?


[00:07:51] Sam Sethi: [00:07:51] I personally think Citi's wrong and I think they should be bullish about Spotify given that. The way that I think the industry is going to evolve in terms of ad supported, it will be interesting to see if Apple allow you and I to do subscriptions, or is it just going to be the level of Rogan and the extremely exclusive Podcast that will only be allowed to make subscription services.

[00:08:12]If it's not democratized and the long tail can't participate. And I think, is not going to have any benefit for all of us. . 


[00:08:18]James Cridland: [00:08:18] I'm not sure that they're barking mad they're Sam, but I think that there's certainly something to be said for having a look at what Spotify is doing and whether or not, investors are getting good value out of that.

[00:08:27]Sam Sethi: [00:08:27] Who's bullish on Spotify is Bradley Davis. He just raised $4 million from Greycroft. And also last week they announced on pod chaser. It supports reviews, credits, lists. I'm more from Spotify 

[00:08:40] James Cridland: [00:08:40] exclusives. Yes, that's right. So Sam talks to Brantley Davis, the CEO and co-founder, and started by asking what pod chaser was.

[00:08:47] Pod 

[00:08:47] Bradley Davis: [00:08:47] chaser is like an IMD DB, but for Podcast. So it's a place, it's a directory where you can go and rate and review things, contribute your credits. So if you've been a host or a guest or a producer and editor, you can house that all in one place, you can make custom lists. I organize all the data around 

[00:09:08] Sam Sethi: [00:09:08] Podcast.

[00:09:09] Congratulations. You recently raised $4 million. Well done. Who was that from? And what are you going to do with the money? , so 

[00:09:15] Bradley Davis: [00:09:15] that was led by gray Croft and a few other investors. Greycroft was an investor in Wondery chartable. Snackable Veritonic, they're very bullish on podcasting. So it was led by them.

[00:09:29] And what we plan to do with the money is really keep doing what we're doing. So making for an incredible experience on the website for both the community, the listeners, but also podcasters, helping to foster that relationship between the two tied to an archive as our whole thing. We love conversation.

[00:09:48] We love discussions. We also love data. So we want to make sure that. Any discussions or comments or ratings reviews are all tied to that archive. So that can unearth this long tail of podcast episodes to somebody five years from now. And then we're also bolstering our pro tools. So we released our pro tools in October of 2020, which seems like a long time ago, but it wasn't that long ago.

[00:10:14] And these tools are used for professionals. So brands, agencies, PR firms. Publishers are unlocking insights on all of podcasts. So we have data on every single podcast. So we have a lot of plans to make that smarter and better this year. 

[00:10:31]Sam Sethi: [00:10:31] Excellent. Bradley, thank you so much. Congratulations, once again, and good luck with what comes in 2021 for you.

[00:10:37] James Cridland: [00:10:37] Thank you so much. Brantley Davis from pod chaser. So Podcast is one way of having a page about your Podcast on the web pod page is also a thing you've had a play with it recently. Sam haven't you 

[00:10:50]Sam Sethi: [00:10:50] be quick, fairly simple to do you just go in, you give it your RSS feed. It, picks it up from your host and you've got.

[00:10:58] The ability to customize it, colors look and feel it does a lot of SEO work in the background. I think they're going to find an interesting market space because. Most hosts have underdeveloped a bit where they support you having your own webpage with the host. So I think pod page might be a way of actually upping the game.

[00:11:16]James Cridland: [00:11:16] I think so. I spoke to Brendan Mulligan. Who's the CEO. I asked him why a Podcast. Needs a website. Anyway, 

[00:11:24] Brenden Mulligan: [00:11:24] one of the most wonderful things about it, all these different platforms like Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify is it makes it really easy for a podcast or to distribute their content to a large number of people.

[00:11:33]The caveat is that they're handing over the relationship they have with their listening audience, to these platforms. Most people don't have a connection to the actual podcast, or they have a connection to Apple or Google or Spotify. And one of the few ways that a podcasts or can. Very easily form. A direct connection is having their own website.

[00:11:49]People go to Google, to search for Podcast names. And in most cases, if you don't have a website, the first place people are going to be sent is going to be to one of these players. But if you have your own website and your own domain name, you automatically almost, unless your Podcast name is pretty generic, you'll automatically.

[00:12:05]Always have the number one spot, bring people to your website, send them from there to the players, to get them to sign up for your mailing list. It's just a really important part of the whole process of being able to build an audience that's sustainable over time and an audience 

[00:12:16] James Cridland: [00:12:16] that you own. So looking at a pod page, there's lots of different customization options.

[00:12:21] You can even use your own font. If you use a particular font from Google as I do, which is really cool. What's wrong with? The pages that some podcast hosts give you why. Pod page a little bit better than that. The obvious thing 

[00:12:34] Brenden Mulligan: [00:12:34] is it depends on the host. There are certain hosts that have actually like really well-designed really well structured, incredible pages.

[00:12:41]There's other hosts that have, I'll just say their pages are lacking. A lot of hosts actually do a wonderful job at being a podcast host and building a great looking website. That's really well. Search engine optimized, customizable. That's not their number one priority. And so it's  that these hosts don't have amazing websites, but whatever their website platform is what you're stuck with.

[00:13:00]Again, your miles may vary depending on what your podcast host is. But I think the biggest thing that I haven't seen any Podcast who has spent any time doing, and actually don't necessarily think that should be their top priority is making your website a really great place to interact with listeners.

[00:13:12] Typically, these podcast hosts pages are really great. Usually attractive ways to show off the content, but you can't interact with the people that are visiting them. And so with pod page, we want to make it as easy as a website that you have with your host, but full of different ways to interact with the people who are actually visiting to listen to your podcast.

[00:13:31]James Cridland: [00:13:31] So you have an interesting sort of microphone looking thing on the bottom of the pod page.com pages.  So tell me what that does. So 

[00:13:42] Brenden Mulligan: [00:13:42] that is the way for a listener to leave a voicemail. And so what'd, you can do or the way that a lot of people will use it is at the end of a podcast, they might say, thanks for listening.

[00:13:50] If you have any. Feedback, you can go to our website and you can leave a comment or send us an email. Or if you want, leave us a voicemail, just click the microphone icon. So your listener, your audience will go to your website, click that, and then they can leave you a two minute voicemail. It'll be saved in your pod page account.

[00:14:04] You can download it. And what we've seen, a lot of people do is say Hey, we'll play the top 10 voicemails on the next episode or something like that. Again, just it's closing this loop where you have this podcasting, you have a one-way interaction, which is. You put out a podcast, it gets on to Apple.

[00:14:19] People listen to it, and there's no way for those people to actually interact back to it very easily. So having them come to your website, leave you a voicemail, playing their voicemail on your Podcast. Suddenly it starts to build an actual community and an actual interaction with 

[00:14:30] James Cridland: [00:14:30] your audience. How long has pod been going and what are your plans for 2021 started 

[00:14:36] Brenden Mulligan: [00:14:36] developing it around this time, last year for a friend that had a decent audience, but hadn't same kind of thing.

[00:14:42] He hadn't, he had a personal website and he used his simple cast player as the Podcast website, but that was it. And so he and I started just chatting about this and over a couple of weekends built the initial version. The official launch was more in the March, April timeframe. That's when we started bringing on external.

[00:14:58] Podcast is that I didn't know personally. And it's been about eight months and it's been great. It's when you build products and this is like this, it is incredibly arduous and slow at the beginning and then starts picking up. So it's, we're in that phase where a lot of people know about us.

[00:15:11]When someone asks about websites on Reddit or on a Facebook group, a lot of people will suggest pod page, which is always, that's a really fun part of the journey. 2021. We just pushed out a massive upgrade to how you edit your podcast. Website in our dashboard. That's been on the list for a long time.

[00:15:28]And so we're trying to make, just make the website's easier to easier to update. And then we want to start taking the next step in engaging with your listeners and building that relationship. So right now people submit their email addresses and we connect with MailChimp or a Weber or convert kit, or any of those for someone who has a big newsletter system already.

[00:15:46] But there's a lot of podcasters that just want to send episode alerts. And so we might start offering things like when a new episode is posted. We will email your mailing list with just information about the episode and links to go listen to it, or we'll publish on Twitter or Facebook about the new episode, and then publish, four hours later.

[00:16:02] And let you set up a schedule of promoting the new episode. I really don't want to go too many steps away from that core, building a great web experience to engage your audience. And so you won't see us ever building. We'll never do Podcast hosting. For example, a lot of our users are like, Oh, if you can just do that, then I can stop paying Buzzsprout.

[00:16:18] And we're like, no, they. They should be paying someone. Who's very good at that focus on that. And 

[00:16:23] James Cridland: [00:16:23] so especially our excellent sponsor Buzzsprout  , you're absolutely right. So that's really interesting. And actually just building in more stuff. I noticed blueberry has been running a little product called subscribe by email for a long time now.

[00:16:36] And that seems relatively popular, certainly from pod is. Podcast pages. Oh, cool. Brendan, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it. 

[00:16:45]Sam Sethi: [00:16:45] . Thank you so much. James. So it looks like you might be a fan of clubhouse. Eventually you've added clubhouse events to pod news. What's 

[00:16:52] James Cridland: [00:16:52] that all about? So pod stock events, which is a free events website, all about podcasting.

[00:16:59]I thought maybe I can add. Links to clubhouse rooms on there. So if you have a clubhouse room which talks about podcasting, then do go along to pods.events and submit it and get it in that list. I've been on a few clubhouse rooms so far, which has been quite interesting. The ones that I take part in are called podcasts late at night, and I'm listening while I have my lunch.

[00:17:21] So it's a very confused time zone thing, but still there we are. And you've been having a look a little bit more at clubhouse as well. 

[00:17:29]Sam Sethi: [00:17:29] , I'm over it. Now. I'm over clubhouse. I tried to, I created a room this week and then tried to create an event. And strangely the event is not listed in the room, although they're from the same person.

[00:17:42] So you then have to send out different messages for people to come to your event. When they could be a member of your room, but wouldn't know what events your room's hosting. So I'm frustrated by the fact that this is a product. Most people say it's new. It's actually been out in the States quite awhile and some of the basics are missing.

[00:17:57] And I just think I think it's going to be one of those two week, three week hiatus, when everyone was doing four square. Down at South by Southwest. And they've got a real big, this is the next big thing. And then now look where there's nowhere 

[00:18:09] James Cridland: [00:18:09] that's fighting. Talks 

[00:18:10] Sam Sethi: [00:18:10] Sethi is indeed. I genuinely think the house has got a lot of problems.

[00:18:14]And actually this week we had a lady called Claudia full conjecture. Talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of clubhouse. And I tend to agree with her. First of all, she's talking about the good, the networking, the teaching, the collaborating. And I don't have any issue with that, but . I thought it was more interesting, which you talked about the bad, the inference of wave has taken over.

[00:18:34] Everyone's going, Oh, follow me. Follow me. I'm so special. There's loads of scammers in there selling new courses, how to Podcast what to do to get SEO. And again, there's that fear of missing out. Cause you can't record anything. But the ugly part of clubhouse is there is a lot of misogyny harassment.

[00:18:52]There are root hate rooms. She says for LGBTQ Muslims, Jews, and black peer power women, there are people who've been deep platform from Facebook and Instagram who are on there. Now there's literally neo-Nazis and white supremacists that are very active on clubhouse, Holocaust, revisionists. Alt right.

[00:19:09] Conspiracy theories. There's a known sexual predator. Who's on there promoting clubhouse with rape jokes. This is not good. And then not actually moderating this. There's no way to record it. And I don't even think clubhouse at this moment is bothered about it. It reminds me of the early days of Twitter.

[00:19:27] They're more worried about getting more users onto the platform so they can raise more money with VCs. But they're missing out on some of the key fundamentals. And I actually think this is a bigger story about podcasts and audio.  If you put up the word Nazi on Facebook or Twitter, they'll track the words that you're looking at and they will flag it, but who's policing.

[00:19:48]Podcast or should I say, should podcasting be policed? 

[00:19:53] James Cridland: [00:19:53] That's a interesting conversation to have, isn't it? If you have a look at what's gone on last week, pro Publica, which is a big website, has been focusing on the fact that Apple podcasts is being used by people, banned from other platforms to reach large audiences and points that Steve.

[00:20:11] Bannon's Podcast Bannon's war room only yesterday, there was a protest which to me from the TV pictures look like three different people shouting outside a window, but still, nevertheless, you I'm sure it was a protest in a Podcast studio in Niagara falls, in New York state in the U S and that's all about that.

[00:20:30]Allowing white supremacists to use his studio to spread hate speech. The difficulty, with all of this is . Any tool that is used online can be used for good or for bad. And the Americans are particularly fierce about free speech. There's no such thing as free speech on Podcast of course, because everything is run by a private company.

[00:20:54] There is that, but on the other side, if you start in inverted commas, censoring people, then that's it. A difficult thing as well. And I'm really don't know what the answer is other than, I suspect that this will be something that runs and runs in terms of the thing that happens when you allow anyone to have a voice, is that everyone has a voice.

[00:21:13]Sam Sethi: [00:21:13] I've got a piece that Sean should, Pula member shows the more things change, more things. They stay the same. My wife used to run MSN UK and they had the chat rooms. And Jill would say that they had the police in there constantly.  , because there was Peter file-sharing imagery, there was conversations in those chat rooms.

[00:21:30]So Microsoft was on the hoof to put moderators in and try and prevent that type of information being shared. And they couldn't, they just could not follow. There was too many chat rooms, there was too many people and so they closed it down and I suspect this is going to be a problem for both. Twitter spaces and for clubhouse, because if you don't moderate this stuff, all you're doing is creating silos again of hate and misogyny.

[00:21:56]And that can't be healthy. I bet they don't have this 

[00:21:58] James Cridland: [00:21:58] problem in China. 

[00:21:59] Sam Sethi: [00:21:59] No, they don't. China seems to be just going along very nicely in the Podcast in well, this week 10 cent bought Chinese Podcast platform. Lazy audio for 2.7 billion Rimbey or 416 million users dollars. If you prefer 

[00:22:09] James Cridland: [00:22:09] $416 million.

[00:22:12] For essentially a Chinese Podcast platform, 10 centers, essentially, Spotify in China. And they've bought this Podcast platform. Podcast platforms in China are a little bit different because you do charge for some podcasts in China. There is a subscription model. There's also a paper listen model.

[00:22:31] So it is a little bit different, but that's a big. Big purchase. 

[00:22:35] Sam Sethi: [00:22:35] We caught up with Jamie Elon, the CEO of match cast to ask her thoughts about the acquisition of lazy audio by 10 cent and how that would help them. But match cast also had some big news last week. So we're 

[00:22:45] Jaime Ug: [00:22:45] actually the first Asia Podcast advertising platform.

[00:22:49] So we're more than just Podcast. We rebranded ourselves to be an audio and Podcast advertising platform. So the way we do it is by helping podcasters engage with brands directly. On our app platform. So  I'll add some marketplace, enabled them to register for an account, and then we immediately get paying from brands that are actually looking to advertise on their Podcast for native sponsorship.

[00:23:10] But beyond that, we're also looking at the spool spectrum of all things, audio, including obviously the dynamic ad insertion, including press potentially using streaming ad insertion. So that's integrated with all the different players and then last but not least also working with partners to actually look at potentially audio and different media, such as maybe gaming 

[00:23:31] Sam Sethi: [00:23:31] platform.

[00:23:32]Wow. Now, brands that come to you, what are they looking for? Specific audiences verticals. What's their pitch to you. 

[00:23:39]Jaime Ug: [00:23:39] , that's a great question. So we're definitely not a performance. So think of audio as a traditional medium. So the way we do things is obviously the taking the traditional format, but looking at it from a digital way where you can actually account for how many listeners, how many streamers, how many people would download it, how many people follow right.

[00:23:56] But on top of that, I think the most important thing is you look at all your landscape itself. It's part of a brand budget. So a lot of the brands that we work with, a lot of agencies that we work with actually park part of that budget for audio advertising. And they're looking for specifically, and they, I think where we see the trend is they like Podcast because they could crash.

[00:24:15] So the message which then resonate with either the listeners of that podcast and be able to then immediately see. That resonate within the 

[00:24:23] audience itself. 

[00:24:24] Sam Sethi: [00:24:24] Now you were talking before we came on air about how podcasting is very different in the East compared to the West. Could you elaborate a bit more on that?

[00:24:33]Oh, absolutely. 

[00:24:34] Jaime Ug: [00:24:34] If you look at the landscape itself in Asia, we actually don't have that much data. When you look at the us, there's a lot of data around podcasting, how much everyone's spending this even tools for advertise the brands and agencies. There's very little of that happening in Asia. And on top of that, actually the hosting platform, the service that Asians use may not be very similar to what you're typically a us, or if you're a Podcast or we'll be using.

[00:24:58] And the other thing is also important is look at the publishing landscape. If you look at China, obviously there's today's Himalaya and they will turn over to Taiwan. They're even new podcast hosting platform showing up there. And then obviously in India, that's Ghana and then, and Jill seven. So all of that landscape is very different.

[00:25:17] So as an Asian podcaster in a satisfying, and just being connected to all the us, Podcast a player it's not sufficient. You actually, in order to grow your landscape, you actually have to be well connected within the Asia listenership. And if you look at that, I think that's very different. I think the other thing that's very different is also just from a concept of how us has audio players and landscape has developed in that you have specific.

[00:25:45] The players that play music, which is what Spotify started. And then you have the lead that you have Podcast player, and then you have all of this, and then you have to choose one which you use for  becoming a patron off the Podcast. All of these is independent ecosystem, but they don't really work together.

[00:26:01] Where else, if you look at the landscape in Asia Himalaya, obviously in China, Has payment has subscription, has audio books has even, I was talking to you having audio drama already on their platform. And then having like comedy, like literally a stand up comedy on the platform itself. So there's a Verizon different entertainment.

[00:26:22] That's within what they call a super app and obviously sustained by paying for subscription. It's also sustained by having a whole player subscription. So you think about that it's very different landscape as opposed to what. Like us in a Europe sort of player landscape is, . 

[00:26:37] Sam Sethi: [00:26:37] Apple are allegedly or rumored to be bringing out subscriptions or turning on subscriptions because obviously they can do it for the app store.

[00:26:45] So hoping that Podcast cars now can start to charge for their Podcast, that may make a big difference over here. Himalaya has been doing this for 12 or 13 years. You were saying, I know last year they made $7 billion. The market is so very different. . And that brings me onto a quick story that I wondered what your thoughts were.

[00:27:05]10 cent recently bought lazy audio for $417 million. Are they trying to compete with Himalaya? Is that why they're doing? What was the acquisition in your opinion? Oh, 

[00:27:16] Jaime Ug: [00:27:16] absolutely. So for many years, Himalaya is just like the top leader in terms of Mau, which is monthly active listeners. That's using the app.

[00:27:24]And if you look at where our 10 cent is, it has been, I would say the most aggressive in terms of acquisition. It's not just done acquisition within country itself is also gone out and bought right games, which is spits me game staple. Now it's actually turning its eyes into entertainment. I think COVID-19 created a knee jerk reaction in China.

[00:27:43] What entertainment is really needed. And interestingly, I was looking at some stats because I know we were going to talk about this. Is that a lot of the entertainment within China, even the top movies, I was looking at the last 10 top movies out of China in the last 20, 28 of them actually, China make production.

[00:28:01] So that means the Chinese appetite. For locally made content is on the high. And what is interesting about the lazy audio acquisition, which in Chinese is called , which means you're lazy person. And you want to listen to a book and don't want to read a book. You would subscribe to the app. That is just me.

[00:28:20] Absolutely chapters. , absolutely. It's catering, I think to a large group of listeners in China who is willing one. To pay for education to pay for knowledge and to, I think the content in itself would give a 10 cent really leg up in terms of what its content fulfillment on the app itself. Because at the end of the day, think about these super apps in China.

[00:28:44] All they're doing is fighting for content. So if you know that there is an appetite for local content, you have to actually find ways to create, which is why I think if you look at the content in China is also interesting. It's not just reading a books, it's not just Podcast, it's not traditionally like the interview that I have with you or even drama series.

[00:29:01] They actually literally would take like a TV show, adapt it into an audio, which we talk about that some of the us Netflix is trying, but they're doing that. They literally have an audience for that and they would do stand up comedy. On the platform itself and people would subscribe to it. So if you think of that content, I would say appetite.

[00:29:21]So obviously this is a great acquisition. And to be honest, looking at the price tag 417 million, that's not the most expensive that 10 cent has gone. On into it is able to give it that leg up in terms of user acquisition that monthly pay wall increase in subscribers. I think it's a good acquisition strategy.

[00:29:40] Sam Sethi: [00:29:40] Are there any other big players in the far East you've mentioned obviously Himalaya and 10 cent, who else is worth keeping an eye out for? , that's a 

[00:29:48] Jaime Ug: [00:29:48] great question. I think India will have its own ecosystem. That will be very strongly and hotly contested. So obviously you have Joe who is also doing the music app, looking at podcasts.

[00:29:59]Going into that, but the question is, can they extend beyond their own geographical boundaries, then you have in Taiwan where we see also Podcast companies, hosting companies going there within that region. And they're also doing something amazing because they have a completely different ecosystem as well.

[00:30:16] So I think the challenge for the next couple of years is, and we're seeing that we're seeing all these divergent within this ecosystem, but at the same time, We start seeing also local audiences, local listeners start supporting more local content. So traditionally, if you look at the charts around all of Spotify or even Apple podcasts, and most of the content in the podcast ranking would be traditionally us based content, UK based content.

[00:30:43]But if you look at it now, you would see some of that top clock. Has it actually been produced in country by. The local. So local podcasters talking about things that are relevant to the listeners. And I think that trend is changing because we have heard from brands that would say, look, if I ever Tyson us, Podcast goes around the world.

[00:31:03] Why do I need that? But we take a very different philosophy the way we look at listeners. So Metcons does it in a way, what we call as audience influence. So you can have a Podcast, but what if your audience influences actually Taiwan? Even though you're producing out of the U S one of the top show in UK rice to meet you is actually has tremendous audience in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

[00:31:26] So that would be fine advertising Podcast. I want if I want to reach audience here within Asia. So I'll methodology from that stretch, how we looked at it, it's also very different and the Asians is going to see from a Podcast perspective, I'm going to listen to podcasts that are relevant to me. I don't really care where it's produced.

[00:31:44] As long as it speaks my language, 

[00:31:46] Sam Sethi: [00:31:46] which brings me onto my last question. Buzzsprout who sponsored, Podland have recently integrated with garner and Joe in India. And I'm sure they're going to extend out to other platforms. Is it worth European animal American Australian? Podcast registering themselves on those platforms.

[00:32:05]So as we are on Buzzsprout, I could actually then say semi RSS feed to Ghana. Are people in the far East interested in European Podcast or Western Podcast. 

[00:32:16]Jaime Ug: [00:32:16] Absolutely. I think you will always find a small percentage of audience. Who's going to be discovering your podcasts from that and looking at the size of India, even if you get like a percent of say 40 million listeners on that platform, that is still huge.

[00:32:30] That's 400,000. That's huge. So you look at, from that perspective, I would say yes. And I think, but then over time, I think it would be an interesting perspective of how Podcast around a region. Do they continue to look at just what they're producing for that core listener or do they also consider other listeners from other region?

[00:32:50] Then taking into consideration that told the landscape, because if you're a Podcast or right now, you're probably monetizing it with a us advertiser and that advertises not present in Asia, that's just waste of space. So again, the question of the region, but definitely from what your perspective is, Podcast there should be on those platforms and be discovered, and then over time, learn to understand whether that listener is different.

[00:33:14] And if there's enough of a listener on that platform to actually. Invest in producing a locally based content for that group of 

[00:33:22] Sam Crowther: [00:33:22] audience, 

[00:33:23] James Cridland: [00:33:23] Jeremy owned from match casts. So you spoke to a man called Sam Crowder, who I first knew when he worked in leads for radio station called radio air, which is so good.

[00:33:35] They closed it down.  Why were you talking Sam to a man called Sam a 

[00:33:41] Sam Sethi: [00:33:41] part from he being a fellow Liverpool fan. He also works for a company called a million ads. Now, one of the products that I'm very bullish about is called D script and the script have a service in it called overdub, and overdub allows you to synthesize your own voice or a professional voiceover.

[00:33:58]And then after that, you can use the script to write out your ad or your podcast, and the voiceover will actually then use your synthesized voice.  A million ads is using the scripts overdub to create more and more ads. But also they're very bullish as well on Spotify, which we talked about earlier because a million ads uses dynamic ad insertion in real time over IP to get real time data about when you're listening to where you're listening to and what the weather might be.

[00:34:31] So Sam talk to us about how they use a million ads with. Real time data, and also how they using overdog to create their a million 

[00:34:40] Sam Crowther: [00:34:40] ads million ads. The clue is in the title, we are dynamic creative and personalization for digital audio. We've hired, aired this technology, which allows it to create huge numbers of audio ads very easily.

[00:34:53] So that's essentially what it is. . So how do you do it? What's the process. Imagine it's creative, that's delivered via an IP address. It's gotta be online advertising and you imagine an audio ad. There are data signals in that return via IP. That means we can change the data. So there's different boxes where we have data in terms of that stuff that we can apply to every single campaign.

[00:35:15] There's a data that's specific to different publishers. And then there's third party stuff, which is a bit more complicated. But the main one, they, after the box is like the time of day, the day of week, all of the stuff, when we know we're serving ads, we can change the creative. So what the system does is it takes the template of it.

[00:35:33] An audio ad, imagine a radio script where it says the music bed, and it might have some sound effects that would have the different voices coming in. Now, any one of those elements can be changed by data. So for instance, the music bed. So if someone's listening to classical music and the music that could be a classical bed and the pot could be pop.

[00:35:51] So the time of day, the day of week, all of that time-based stuff can be changed how you're connected to the internet. So the device that you're using, the iOS.  Or Android, if it's a mobile or a laptop, we can identify those. And then from IP address, we can take location if that is passed to us. And then we look up weather.

[00:36:09] Cause if we know city or where you are, we know the weather conditions and the temperature and things like that. And those are the kind of main out of the box. Now. Is 

[00:36:17] Sam Sethi: [00:36:17] this work with both radio and 

[00:36:19] Sam Crowther: [00:36:19] podcasts as well? . All digital listening. So it can be any form of ad supported audio in that sense. So it can be a Podcast, it can be radio station dynamic ad insertion into those streams via the app and stuff like that.

[00:36:34] And now the audio stuff, and we do video as well, but audio is our heritage and where we started. 

[00:36:39]Sam Sethi: [00:36:39] . So last year you launched the studio. Podcast what is that? Tell Podcast is how they might 

[00:36:46] Sam Crowther: [00:36:46] use that. So all of the, out of the box stuff that I talked about, then we can do, but what Podcast specifically is identifying individual Podcast, that's being listened to.

[00:36:56] So that allows us to either we have had ads that we'll mention that Podcast, that's being listened to in some way. And it can reflect that subject matter. So someone like Podcast or whatever can put a lot of different subjects together. And we could talk about that and change the lines, depending if it's a business series of podcasts and that could be multiple brands, but it could actually then shout out.

[00:37:17], Ft. Whichever the Ft one is and mentioned that in the creative. . Put 

[00:37:21] Sam Sethi: [00:37:21] me through, cause you're talking about using Dai dynamic ad insertion. Is that the critical way of doing this? I guess you have to be using 

[00:37:28] Sam Crowther: [00:37:28] da , that's the thing, because we can make a decision if it is downloaded or if it's streamed, but streaming.

[00:37:33] Allows this sort of live delivery of an ad in that sort of sense. And it also gives flexibility to the back catalog of Podcast inventory. That's out there. And because of the vast majority of our impressions today have been like radio stations or Pandora in the U S. Those sorts of services, the MP3 that has been pre-built in our software that is ready to go.

[00:37:56] The one that's relative to choose day and it's raining outside and I'm in wheelchair or what have you, those particular lines have been set up for that when I'm listening to a podcast or what have you, that data could be passed to us. And a decision gets made on the correct bit of creative and that MP3 then goes back and point to have a second.

[00:38:15] And is delivered, ready to go in that stream depending on the ad server. So we don't actually serve the ads, but we feed them. It's an, and an ads with people like that. Now you mentioned 

[00:38:23] Sam Sethi: [00:38:23] streaming versus download. Do you have a preference? Spotify are pushing very hard because their model is based on streaming.

[00:38:30] It's better for advertisers and there's a. Big contention right now about how you measure the value of a Podcast in terms of downloads. There are people out there who are saying, look, that's an irrelevant number. What's more important is actually the time that was listened to all of the Podcast because the third ad may be in a time that's not listened.

[00:38:51] So downloading doesn't really matter. What's your opinion. I come from 

[00:38:54] Sam Crowther: [00:38:54] a broadcast background. My whole heritage was. Global and bearer and people like that. And occasionally I'd write an ad and I'd voice it and cast it and get it out there. And occasionally I'll be listening to the brand and then I'd hear it and be like, ah, and you wouldn't get any other feedback because the planning was all done on a radar diary that was filled in three months ago and that was held by the salespeople.

[00:39:13] And it was you weren't really part of that process, but now we see. Impressions being delivered live. And because of the type of infrastructure that we have, this is very clean infrastructure. It's radio stations, it's podcasters, it's Spotify. And so the live data, the feedback, and we do a flow diagram in our analytics page.

[00:39:32] So you can see every single impression that's being served. And if you've written a dynamic script and you've got a load of locations and you've got the weather's really interesting, cause obviously we've had snow this week in some parts and you can actually see from the analytics. Which lines have been aware.

[00:39:46] Those impressions have been served that take that into account. And so that to me is really fascinating, but in terms of the creative, I think about my own impersonal preference. So when I make a decision either to stream or to download it. Surely on my behavior. So I think I'm in London or what have I done?

[00:40:05] I've got to do a commute. I've got to go on the tube and then I'm getting on a train. I'm going up to Manchester for a meeting. And I consciously think, I want to listen to Adam Buxton or what have you, his latest episode. So I might just go, I'll download that because then I don't have to worry about the streaming.

[00:40:17] It might be all right on the train, but I'm not sure. So it's easy just to download it and listen to it. And so from a creative perspective and the conversation that I would have with the clients is do we looking at the script. Is it relevant that we mentioned London when it was downloaded, because we might get that information.

[00:40:33]Is that still relevant to somebody that might listen to it on a train up to Manchester? Yes. Where they download it is relevant to that person's life in that sense, then it depends on the creative script. What other decisions get made? Obviously, if you're shouting out and saying you're having .

[00:40:47] Enjoying breakfast at the moment or something, and it's very kind of conscious use of data, then it might not be so relevant to make that decision. But quite often we write default lines. Cause if we don't know a location, we've got to have a line that makes sense to somebody wherever they are. And obviously you don't get the data unless it is live stream.

[00:41:03] If it's live stream, everything about that person, essentially where they are, what they're doing, how they were connected to internet. And how many of you serve the downloads? You're not quite sure when they're listening to it, is it they're going to listen to it on a train? Like I just mentioned there or is it they're downloaded it and they're actually going to do it at the gym.

[00:41:17] In two weeks time, you don't really know 

[00:41:19]Sam Sethi: [00:41:19] exactly. You talk about creating the ads. You're working with a company in the U S who is called de script told, tell us more about what you're doing with the script. 

[00:41:28]Sam Crowther: [00:41:28] , it's fascinating. We right from the start, we've always used real voices. Like voice actors.

[00:41:33] We give them more work in the sense that now they're doing dynamic script too. They also get paid for the usage on radio. So there's extra money for them. And the way that we build these ads is if you think about a 32nd ad, it's usually you aim for 85 words, max, to get it read in a good time in 30 seconds for a dynamic script, you might have a couple of thousand words, but what we realized coming from the radio industry, Is that the efficiency of some agencies when they record a 32nd radio ad is pretty poor in the sense that they are a good voice actor or an actor themselves, they will nail a good read, probably I reckon on the sixth or seventh take.

[00:42:08] So they'll get up in a direction. They're warm up to the script, they learn it and then they start delivering it. Now, if you've booked a voice and you paid good money for a decent actor, or what have you, then you've got them for an hour. That's the minimum. And what most agencies then do is they just get them to redo it again and again, and they end up going on, take six.

[00:42:25] So it's quite inefficient. And they order the joke is they order Marmite toast and they have their lunch at a recording studio. So it's a really fatty thing. But when like me and Steve who founded the business, he started an XFM and Simon who's, our head of creative development was a kiss and we're all radio people.

[00:42:41] Now, when you work with a DJ like yourself, you're doing a load of promos or whatever. You don't have that time. You don't have a button for an hour, so you warm up, you do exactly the same process. They nail it on the fifth or sixth read, and then you're onto the next thing. And that's what we do when we record these sessions.

[00:42:56]Is that we get them warmed up and then we do a list of locations and they rattle through them. And I've never had a voice on Mike more than two hours, but the difference with these scripts, so D script is synthetic sampling of clones of voice, and then recreates, or they can use their own voices. What we're interested in is the cloning.

[00:43:15] Part of it. So let's say if you've booked an example, when we had a chat, was Kevin bacon who represents he now they get, I think about an hour with him every whatever, six months or something, he gets paid an extraordinary amount. Most of the work they do is on TV and they get an hour to do any radio stuff.

[00:43:32]So even though we've written scripts dynamic for him, he just doesn't have the time to fit it in. Now, if, as part of that contract, we could synthetically sample all of his delivery on the TV for radio, whatever, and then recreate it. He just then reads the one 32nd script, but then we can actually go through every city in the UK.

[00:43:51] And because we've recreated that voice and it's agreed that it can be used that way. He doesn't have to sit on a mic for hours and particularly, so it's an efficiency sort of thing that we're exploring with them. And the test is as a human being, as a listener, you hear that ad and you can't tell which bits were the ones that were recreated or ones were actually recorded live.

[00:44:12] And the moment you get to that point where you can't tell the difference. You have got this very clever efficiency tool. And when you go to the U S where there's five, 6,000 locations for a retailer, or what have you, that voiceover would really struggle to get through in a couple of days, it really makes it much more accessible.

[00:44:29]So the 

[00:44:29] Sam Sethi: [00:44:29] script called that product overdub, and it's . You train it with your voice, then they synthetically produce it. Now that's a bit like the Alan Turing test is what you're saying is can you tell that this is a computer or this is a human, which will be amazing. How close do you think?

[00:44:44] Because I've heard multiple overdubs and I'm not a trained audio production person like yourself. How close do you really believe we are to that? Are we there yet or are we nearly 

[00:44:55] Sam Crowther: [00:44:55] there? I think it depends on the lines, because the difference with when you hear is any sort of emotion is the tricky thing with a synthetic voice, because there's ways that humans talk where you can instantly know that they're human.

[00:45:08] And partly because of the little mistakes they do. And it was producers quite often, we take out breaths and ums and ours, and they are very natural parts of conversation. And actually the way that Google have been experimenting. I've been listening to that and they've added those. So they did a demo for duplex where they had it.

[00:45:26] Roy's ring up a pizza and order a pizza. And if you hear that recording, when the computer is thinking and processing, they've added the things that humans do, the ums, the RS, the bait, the breaths, and all of that sort of stuff. And then it sounds more natural. Yes, it does. Exactly. So I think we're getting very close.

[00:45:44] I wouldn't have them doing a very emotive line. I've talked about demoing up a conversation between a husband and a wife and the husband's in the car and the wife wants him to go shopping or something like that. Now that male voice could be synthetic and it could reel out, Oh, I'm just going to this store or what have you.

[00:46:02] Now, if he says that. Flat then I recommend that it be quite easy and because it's, you'd process it as if he's in the car. So it sounds slightly different. You might be able to cleverly disguise the fact that the voiceover recorded 50 of those lines, not 5,000, but the female may be getting more animated.

[00:46:19] I think that would be more tricky to do as a synthetic overdub. But again, we'll, we're happy to test it. And the moment that you start putting it through the script and hearing it, you go, Oh, that one's right. That one's wrong. The other thing with locations, which is tricky is pronunciation. So you end up doing a lot of phonetic spelling of stuff.

[00:46:36]UK is full of the most bizarre locations. 

[00:46:39]Sam Sethi: [00:46:39] . Again, an American say less to share or Norridge. That's wonderful. So you've rolled this out. What sort of clients are currently using a million ads then? 

[00:46:48] Sam Crowther: [00:46:48] All of the big radio ones have been very loyal right from the start it's British gas, I think is still probably the biggest radio broadcast advertiser in the UK.

[00:46:56] So we do a lot with British gas. We've done a lot with E-bay everywhere around the world. I'm in LA in multiple markets. So it's generally. The biggest advertisers that are already spending in audio, because it's not a big leap for them to go from. . I buy into radio broadcast and then digital audio makes a lot of sense.

[00:47:12] And then, Oh, this dynamic, this let's give this a go. So that's the logical sense. So in the U S in the UK, we've worked with big global advertisers, but there's still a place for local and smaller advertisers and global have been very good with Dax and Spotify are being good with local regional international clients.

[00:47:29] And then people like Pandora in the U S have been pretty good with that sort of. Regional clients as well. So I think there is a good spread and I think it's pertinent for all sides of appetizers. . So 

[00:47:38] Sam Sethi: [00:47:38] from a Podcast to where do I go? Do I come to you or do I go to a third party? Like global index?

[00:47:45]How do I, as a Podcast let's say I've got a decent size audience. I dunno what decent means right now, but I've got a decent size audience. How would I engage with a millionaires or do I not engage 

[00:47:56] Sam Crowther: [00:47:56] directly? Oh, cost the perspective you wouldn't necessarily engage because your inventory would need to be made available via someone to sell it for you.

[00:48:03] So a sales house. So in a cast or a Spotify or somebody who would sell that advertising for you, then they can put the details of your audience into their databases. And if it's made available. Programmatically then that's the audiences is what the ad agencies are buying now. So they will say, I want people, small business owners who are aged at this sort of age, or what have you, or in this geographical location.

[00:48:28] So I just want them in the UK or wherever, and they will make all those decisions. Now, an ad agency will come to us and say, we need some creative to talk to those people. And it might not be the whole creative, actually, there might just be certain lines that are for the business community. There might be other lines that are for different types of people or people who home and don't work or what have you.

[00:48:48] There could be all sorts of different audiences within that. And then the creative can take that all into account. 

[00:48:53]Sam Sethi: [00:48:53] And last question you talked about hyper-local in knowing the individual. He gave a great example when we were talking offline yesterday about. The fact that you're a biker, but you're also happened to be somebody who happens to listen to a certain style of music.

[00:49:07] Can you talk us through where that hyper-local would work? The thing is like we 

[00:49:12] Sam Crowther: [00:49:12] talk about dynamic personalization and those are two different things. There are ads that are dynamic that don't have to be personal. And to explain this what drives human attention is three things. Main thing. So the first is personal relevance.

[00:49:25] Now, cherry and Broadbent talked about the cocktail party effect. So if you're in a noisy cocktail party, someone mentioned Sam, both of us are going to look towards the person, even though we weren't paying attention, we would get drawn to it. And what that proved was we have selective attention is that human beings can't take in all the data that's being thrown at them.

[00:49:41] Since orally through a day. So we split when we work out. So that's the kind of premise of that. Now personal relevance then goes right through. So if that's the top of your name is the top of the pyramid and underneath, that might be that I'm a Liverpool fan. And so , you are as well. There you go to Sam's to Liverpool fans and we consume maybe Liverpool podcasts or what have you.

[00:50:01]And that is a very personal thing. And that's unlikely to change in your lifetime. So it's like your name, the music that we listened to when we were younger, when we were teenagers, Stone roses. I've got a poster up here in my office here, very early gig of the stone roses, things like that will take me back to certain times.

[00:50:16] Now those are personal things. Now, any of our scripts that take that into account are personalization. They identify who you are and they have very deep psychological triggers within us. Absolutely. The second thing. So personal relevance, the second is contextual relevance. Now contextual relevance is different from personal relevance.

[00:50:34] Cause it changes almost on a minute by minute basis. So the context in which we are in things like the weather, isn't personal to me, it's personal to everyone in devices at the moment, or it might be the same way that you have wherever you are. And so that's more contextual relevance. So things that change like that can still be interesting creative and they can still be pertinent.

[00:50:53] I should be taking an umbrella out for the dog walk later or whatever is if it's chucking it down, but that's slightly different than personal relevance, but it's the same thing I talk about. No, other than the cocktail party effect, it's like the breakfast traffic reports effect. I E when you, if you're in the kitchen, you got the kids or making noise, everyone's having breakfast and I'm riding on my motorbike up to London for a meeting that day.

[00:51:14]And then. The traffic says the M four is completely stuffed from Redding. . I was talking to my wife and I would go, did they just say that there were problems on them for, and I've got a choice. I either go on the  or I go on the MP3. You go South and I intimate automatically. We go over just head South.

[00:51:29] I go on them and avoid the sitting in a queue. And so that is contextual. Now. That's not something that's like personal relevance, but it changes all the time. And so contextual and personal are two separate things. The third thing out of interest is things that are threat or unexpected. So if you hear a loud bang, that's always going to dry out, grab your attention, and then you look to confirm what it is.

[00:51:46] Sound is brilliant at doing this. And it's also not just the stuff that you pay attention to, but things like Birdsong where you don't pay attention to it. So actually when birds are singing happily, you know that there's not a predator, so it naturally relaxes human beings. And the moment they stop singing, then you know that there's something up or they go into an alarm call and they repeat the same sound, which is then why smoke alarms, things like that.

[00:52:08] Repeat the same sound. So we take in all of this stuff. And that's how we think about what it means to do dynamic personalization, because these are really deep, fundamental things that humans have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. It's only in the modern age where now we talk about low attention orders.

[00:52:25] I'm sorry. That's absolutely nonsense attention. Hasn't been getting less. You can do data to prove it, but you'd say locate tick tock. These short little videos that everyone watches. I'm sorry, my kids are addicted to it. They sit on Tik TOK for hours. You tell me that's a suppression of attention. I would say that's an algorithm that's absolutely designed to keep you locked in.

[00:52:46] Very focused. And it's the same with Podcast podcasting is it's fantastic. I love podcasting. Steve. Our founder had said to me, don't run to music, run to podcasts. I started listening Westtown. And it's, I ended up going for two runs a day because it got so absorbing. I wanted to go for a run to know what was happening next.

[00:53:03] It's absolutely genius. And so for me, that's podcasting is just, it's just on demand audio, and it's going to come in all shapes and sizes. We're going to get short form. We're going to get long form. We're going to get all this. Brilliant variety. We've got the big players throwing money at it and doing all of this sort of interesting stuff, but ultimately it's just good content.

[00:53:22] It's great content that we love. Last 

[00:53:24] Sam Sethi: [00:53:24] question. I did say last question before, but this is the last question. Apple live. Just announced that they're going to start a subscription payments now as a Podcast I've got a fairly sizable audience to my Podcast and that's great because I know that by download numbers, but I don't know.

[00:53:40]Who they are. And I don't know fundamentally much more about them. I know a little bit about what device now, in terms of the personalization you talked about. If I moved the model to a subscription paid model, then I should know their name. I should know their country. So do you think the next stage for podcasting is subscription payments so that we can get that next level of personalization?

[00:54:02] So that. The ad that is listened to in my podcast is, Hey Sam, did you know that the Liverpool's game is on tomorrow? And you can get tickets right now as opposed to hello, generic person listened to Podcast who supports the generic football team. There are tickets to premier league matches available. 

[00:54:21] Sam Crowther: [00:54:21] The value of the clues will be, if you look at the most valuable companies in the world, the moment they are, data-driven businesses that Google that Facebook, that Amazon and these guys have clocked this 15 years ago.

[00:54:32] 10. 12 years ago, whenever. And the value in human data is now more valuable than oil. And so if you've got a podcast and you've got access to people, then you should be thinking, I need to know who these people are. And the value is to show, you've got to show the listeners that there's value in that, that, that exchange of data.

[00:54:52] Spotify will be in their strategy meetings. We'll be discussing how do we add this value to them so we can get that implicit consent to use this. And to me, it goes right back to bow. When I was at Bauer, we bought absolute radio and absolute radio was, am music, service terrible, but always done brilliant stuff.

[00:55:08] Thanks to James Cridland back to the Virgin days was that collection of IP data and getting GDPR compliant, access to name and gender and age and all those things. And it doesn't mean you have to apply it. You won't want to hear an ad with your name, shouting out Sam every, all the time. So there's conscious use of this data or there's subconscious use.

[00:55:28] And actually the longer term stuff is subconscious, but it's a Bower, knowing that I'm a biker that I read MCN. I'm on their database. And that wasn't the same database as the one that I had the login for absolute radio and listening through their app. And I, when I was there, I was saying, that's crazy because that's what Facebook's all about.

[00:55:45] They want to know all these little things that we're into, and then they build them at scale. And if you can deliver marmalade lovers worldwide, there's a massive audience that you'd be able to reach. Ru Facebook and that's, that is the value. So even whatever size you're Podcast listenership is knowing some data and exchanging the data for some benefit to them as a listener.

[00:56:07] And that's the key when we talk to Spotify and things. The management. If you heard a personalized message from your favorite artists, then that might make you go, wow, I understand this trade-off that I've given that data. And I've got some, my favorite artists delivering and telling me that there's a concert locally and inviting me to it.

[00:56:27]So that's not necessarily advertising, but it's using that data, but in a more product focused way. And so I'm sure James will be able to say, that's exactly what Virgin did. And then absolute have been doing is just show the benefit to the listener. Then the advertising stuff comes on the back of it and there's benefit to a listener for me.

[00:56:44] If I was listening to absolute and I was delivered a targeted message from somebody selling like waterproof clothing for motorbikes, I'd be like, brilliant. And it's a sale. Get me in there because it's relevant. 

[00:56:55]Sam Sethi: [00:56:55] Exactly. And an ad is only spam when it's not relevant when it's relevant, it's actually highly useful.

[00:57:00]Sam Crowther: [00:57:00] , absolutely. And that doesn't mean, I don't believe in broadcast to war. There's lots of occasions where I think playing an ad that everybody listens to that cultural. Shared experience is still valuable. If you were launching a brand that would make a lot of sense, but then there are other occasions where the targeting and the personalization, or just the dynamic ad, that sounds different, becomes very valuable.

[00:57:22] I was listening to, I was doing a lot of painting, obviously lockdown, and so I listened to a lot of radio and audio painting, and I hear a lot of repetition. Now, the number one thing in my entire career, 20 odd years. That's always come out and research of why people don't like the mediums. I work for the number one thing, and every single one of those years is that repetition of ads, a million ads, the very basic is trying to make better ads just by making them not so repetitive.

[00:57:47]And that doesn't mean that each ad shouldn't be branded that should have the same voiceover. They should have the same Sonic logo. They should have the same music. Potentially, but maybe it should be a remix of that. Melody. If I'm listening to classical music in a classical sense or jazz, if you listen to jazz or what have you, but at least the words in the ad should change should be slightly different.

[00:58:07] And when you're doing a lot of painting, you realize which ones actually are really nice because they don't repeat. And the ones that do repeat, just drive you a bit mental. . 

[00:58:15] Sam Sethi: [00:58:15] Can you actually show data tangible? I guess you must do otherwise you wouldn't have a business. That shows that your ads deliver better return than the standard radio ad.

[00:58:26] Can you show that the return IP actually delivers some more value? 

[00:58:30]Sam Crowther: [00:58:30] We do a lot of research, obviously with the bigger advertisers that come back, they, it's almost like it's a inbuilt thing. And obviously a lot of it's sensitive, so we can't make loads of it. Public because someone like British gas, I've made those public in the sense that they looked at every single ad that we deliver.

[00:58:46] And they look at the conversion so they can identify the same person that was served, a personalized ad. And then when they went to the website, they could identify them and then they followed them right through to conversion. Now this is Wheeler cover. It's like the most, it's pretty dull thing until your boiler breaks.

[00:59:00] And then you wish you had it. And what we have in those ads is all it does is it talks about the weather and it talks about how cold it is because actually the, in your head, the colder, it becomes the more of a worry your boiler breaking becomes. So they see this correlation and the uplift is 2.4 times just talking about the temperature and the weather.

[00:59:20] 2.4 times more conversions. But those ads than the generic ones that didn't mention it. But then we have other data, it shows up lists  of intention and engagement. And they're all around increase of 40, 50% sometimes. But some of the more personalized ones can jump even higher. Sometimes the data is not available.

[00:59:37]Talk about publicly Sam crowd 

[00:59:39] Sam Sethi: [00:59:39] that thank you so much. Can you tell everyone where they find more about your company? 

[00:59:44]Sam Crowther: [00:59:44] , of course. A million ads.com. If you are a creative agency or you just want to try it out, we give logins so you can engage us. Email me. Sam at a million ads.com. We will give you a tour.

[00:59:55] You can have a play with it until you put a campaign live. You can have a. Practice have a play, put stuff in, and we actually think longer term the tool could be used for like short form Podcast content. So you could actually do a personalized message. It doesn't have to be an ad. It doesn't have to be 30 seconds.

[01:00:12] It can be a minute, two minutes long. So it could be some sort of messaging that you do to your audience that becomes this sort of personalized messaging. That's a different business model because obviously the CPM model that. That we would do in the ad world, but it's something that we'd love to explore with Podcast is we'd love to hear your ideas in how you might approach and use the technology in interesting ways.

[01:00:32]. That's, dot-coms, Sam at a million ads.com and we'd happy to . Help 

[01:00:34] James Cridland: [01:00:34] Sam crowds from a million ad, such a clever company. And I had some talking at a radio conference that I ran called next radio a couple of years ago where he. Dives into the power of audio. It's well worth having a look at on YouTube.

[01:00:48] So Sam, what's coming up in Podland for you later this month. 

[01:00:51] Sam Sethi: [01:00:51] I'm have to say actually guests today, I interviewed doc sells the author of Cluetrain manifesto and the intent economy, as well as Esther Dyson, one of the early investors in Google and we had a conference. Chat about web three centralization decentralization.

[01:01:05] So if you're interested in hearing that conversation, check me out on mashup, which is a platform that I use. I'm also interviewing the ex CTO of Ocado. He built the online shopping. Platform. He's the technology guy, Paul Clark. And we're going to be talking about generically. What's going to happen in the future for online shopping and e-commerce.

[01:01:26]James Cridland: [01:01:26] . So Acardo is one of those online grocery services in the UK is, which is a very clever, I used to use it when I lived in the UK. But I. Don't anymore. Anyway, I'm doing some planning for radio days, Asia, which has a Podcast session radio days. asia.com is where to learn more about that. And that's it for this week.

[01:01:45] If you've enjoyed your trip to Podland, don't make it your last, you can subscribe on all the major Podcast players or visit our website at Podland dot net. 

[01:01:52]Sam Sethi: [01:01:52] And if you enjoyed this episode, thank you. And please tell your friends by sharing us on your socials. . We'd love to have comments from anyone on the show, send a voice comment to questions at Podland dot news or send a tweet to, 

[01:02:03]James Cridland: [01:02:03] and the same goes, if you want to be a guest as well, we'd love to hear from you.

[01:02:06] If you'd like daily news, you should get pod news. It's free pod news.net. You can ask your smart speaker to play the news from pod news, podcasting news as well. And that's where you'll find the links for the stories that we've mentioned this week as well. Music is from ignites jingles. We use clean feed pro for some of the audio you heard today.

[01:02:24] I edited Podland on Hindenburg journalist pro Sam edited his interviews on descript and used zoom. And we're hosted and sponsored by Buzzsprout 

[01:02:34]Sam Sethi: [01:02:34] see you in Podland next week. Keep listening. 

Introduction to this weeks guests
Will Apple launch subscriptions for podcasting?
Apple launch Spotlight, what is it?
Is Spotify's podcast strategy failing?
Interview: Bradley Davis, Podchaser raise $4m
Interview: Brenden Mulligan, Podpages, super easy webpages for podcasters
Does Clubhouse need moderating?
Interview: Jaime Ng, MatchCasts, Asia's 1st Ad Platform for podcasters.
Analysis: Tencent acquire Lazy Audio for $417m
Interview: Sam Crowther, A Million Ads, using DAI and OverDub