2018 Podcast Ad Revenue Grew 53% from 2017 and will reach $1B by 2021

The annual PwC and IAB podcast revenue numbers are in and they did not disappoint. As we have said numerous times before, the podcast market is in the first inning of a double header game. We will see innovation within this space we can’t even think of today. Just like search advertising completely changed the advertising landscape, podcast monetization and audio will do the same.

According to a study published on Monday (June 3) by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC, self-reported podcast advertising revenues (“revenues”) by 22 reporting companies in the United States totaled $344.7 million for the full year (“FY”) of 2018, in a market estimated to total $479.1 million.

Year-over-year growth from 2016 to 2018 was significant for both
self-reported revenues and the total market estimate.

In 2018, self-reported podcast advertising revenues grew, increasing 49%
between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018, and yielding a 15% compound quarterly
growth rate.

Dynamically Inserted Ads increased from 41.7% to 48.8%; Edited-in / Baked-in ads still represent the majority of podcast ads delivered in 2018.

Brand Awareness and Branded Content campaigns continue to make up a larger part of how advertisers choose to reach their audience.

Host-Reads Ads continue to be the preferred Ad Type, representing a little less than two-thirds of Ad Types in 2018. Announcer-Read / Pre-Produced Ads make up most of the other one-third.

The majority of ads are purchased / sold on a quarterly basis. Programmatic activity is increasing.

Cost per thousand continues to be the dominant pricing method in 2018. Cost per acquisition is no longer significant.

60 second advertising spots were the most popular spot length in 2018. 90 second advertising spots were not far behind.

Of the 14 program genres measured, the top five constituted more than 65% of advertising revenue captured.

Of the 13 business categories measured, the top five represented nearly 75% of advertising revenue captured, with Direct-to-Consumer Retail serving as the category leader.

By 2024, Every Business With a Blog Will Also Have a Podcast

It’s absolutely inevitable. We are forecasting that by 2024, every single business that currently has an active blog will also have a dedicated podcast. It may sound crazy now but the future will allow anyone, anywhere to create high quality audio and podcasts with just their computer and mobile phone in much less time than today. The days of $10,000 audio equipment and expensive studios will be no more.

Photo by Konstantin Dyadyun on Unsplash

There are roughly 5.72MM B2B businesses within the US. Of these, roughly 4.2MM also blog consistently to generate leads. According to Hubspot, B2B marketers have found blogging to be significantly more time and cost-effective than traditional lead generation methods. Why would a business spend time on generating free content for others to enjoy? Well, these businesses understand that being a thought leader dramatically increases their trust and revenue within their market. In fact, a content preference survey found that 96% of respondents want content with more input from industry thought leaders; and 47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. In the near future, podcasting will be an essential part of all businesses content strategy.

B2B companies that blogged 11 times or more per month got 3X more traffic than those blogging only once or less per month. In 2017, 70% of B2B marketers prioritize delivering high-quality content over quantity

Over time, businesses have spent more time on an individual blog post, focusing more on quality over quantity.

In 2016, people spent about 3 hours and 16 minutes per blog post. In 2019, this number has stayed about the same as it is easier to write posts, add photos, videos, research, etc to blogs. For the companies that blogged at least 11 times per month, they spent about 40 hours on blogging alone.

For podcasts, as you develop a cadence unique to you, you can currently expect a 4:1 ratio. This means that for every 1 minute of audio content, it will take you about 4 minutes to produce. If your show is 1 hour long, it would have taken you about 4 hours to produce. In the future, technology and services will eventually get this ratio down to closer to 1:1.

Even finding people to interview for your podcast is becoming easier. Both Interview Valet and Interview Connections can help you find the perfect interviewee for your podcast.

Let’s run some pretty mind boggling numbers. If we are right and there are over 4.2MM B2B US podcasts by 2024. And we assume an average of 45 minutes per podcast and 1 episode per company a week. There will be a total of 756,000,000 minutes of new audio content produced each month.

In a previous post, we made an argument that we were on a road to 3MM podcasts.

Total estimated number of podcasts per year

This conservative estimate looks a lot like the total number of websites over time.

Total number of websites on the internet (2000–2018)

Just like 10,000 years ago when communication, stories, entertainment and knowledge spread through audio via the spoken language, the next 10,000 years will be the same. As the modern technical world becomes more and more screenless, audio will make a huge quantum leap forward. Why? Because audio is one of the most intimate forms of media; just like it has been for the last 10,000 years. With audio, we visualize the images within our minds as we hear the stories being told. That is the power of audio.

The Art of Creating Amazing Podcast Show Notes

Think of podcast show notes as another way to reach your listening audience by providing a description of what your podcast episode is about. It not only helps increase your ranking in podcast discovery sites like iTunes, Google Podcasts and Stitcher, it also helps increase your SEO when you add these show notes to your website or blog.

Show notes are also an important part of the podcast ecosystem. Many podcasters add their advertiser’s links as well as mandatory credits within the show notes.

Photo by neil godding on Unsplash

How do Podcast Show Notes Work?

Most podcast hosting sites allow each show and episode to have show notes which are also known as descriptions. While some podcast hosting sites just allow text, others allow for HTML so you can add links and bold certain content. While there are some advantages to adding your Show Notes as HTML, there are also some drawbacks as well. For example, some podcast discovery sites don’t respect the same HTML tags. They may strip out certain content like urls, images, etc.

In addition to show notes, some podcast hosting providers allow for an itunes summary of around 255 characters. It is recommended that you take advantage of this summary as well.

The Importance of Adding Show Notes to Your Podcast

The most important reason for adding show notes to your episodes is simple; to increase your listener base for free. Would you develop a new website but forget to add content? If so, very few people would find you. This is the same for podcasts.

The PodNews Show Notes Test

PodNews did a nice analysis where they tested 19 different elements within their show notes to see how they displayed on 40 different podcast discovery apps.

From the PodNews findings, they found that not a single podcast app got a perfect score displaying all of the elements but the ones that did the best were Castbox, Overcast and Castro. Here are some more numbers:

  • 71% of all apps displayed the test show notes in full, without truncating them.
  • Only 60% of podcast apps supported web address links in show notes.
  • The worst-performing podcast app was Spotify, which passed less than 50% of their tests

You can view the total results here. These tested the following elements.

The Results as a Percentage of Podcast Apps that Accept Various Elements

Some podcast apps have virtually no users. So here are the support figures, based on the total number of downloads from all of the top podcast apps.

Top Podcast Apps that Support Various Elements

Accents (in unicode, like é) — 98%
Accents (in HTML entity, like é) — 98%
Accents (in a numeric code, like é) — 98%
A naked HTML link — 98%
Displays full (not truncated) — 98%
A raw email address (clickable) — 91%
Paragraphs (<p>) — 86%
An unordered list (<ul>)— 86%
An “a href” HTML link — 86%
An ordered list (<ol>) — 83%
A separate itunes:summary — 78%
A visible episode number — 77%
italics (using the em code) — 9%
bold (using <strong>)— 9%
A blockquote — 9%
Small text — 9%
An embedded image (800px wide jpeg) — 7%
The <code> tag— 7%
A <center> tag— 6%
A donation link using rel=”payment” — 3%

7 Tips to Perfect Your Podcast Show Notes

  1. Before creating an episode, write out a loose outline or mindmap of talking points
    Instead of just free wheeling it for each episode, it is always a good idea to write down a loose outline and if your interviewing someone, potential questions you are going to ask.
  2. Create a Show Notes Template that fits your style
    To streamline and keep your show notes consistent, you can create a template that you can follow. It could be something simple like:
    – Quick episode summary
    – Things you will learn in this episode
    – Resources mentioned in this episode
    – Optional time stamped transcript
  3. It’s ok to use a rich text editor when adding show notes.
    A recommendation is to just use the following edits to ensure the show notes look good on a majority of the podcast sites. (this may change in the future as more of the sites accept more elements but for now, this will do)

     — Paragraphs (<p>) — 86%
     — An unordered list (<ul>)— 86%
     — An “a href” HTML link — 86% (When in doubt, use a naked link like https://sounder.fm/)
     — An ordered list (<ol>) — 83%

  4. Don’t use the following elements as a vast majority of the top podcast apps will not take it or will make it look ugly:
     — italics (using the em code) — 9%
     — bold (using <strong>)— 9%
     — A blockquote — 9%
     — Small text — 9%
     — An embedded image (800px wide jpeg) — 7%
     — The <code> tag— 7%
     — A <center> tag— 6%
     — A donation link using rel=”payment” — 3%
  5. If you interviewed someone, have them send you their notes and info
    Your interviewee has a vested interest in helping you make the episode successful. Ask them for their bio and talking points or notes they took before the episode
  6. Write for the listener, not the search engine
    You may be tempted to keyword stuff your podcast show notes with lots of words that you want to show high for in search results. This is an absolute no no. Don’t keyword stuff. This will hurt your SEO and may even get your podcast banned from sites like iTunes.
  7. Share your show notes
    Your show notes will be unique content that can’t be found anywhere else. Make sure you take advantage of this fact and add these show notes to your podcast website or blog.

Spotify Paid $151MM for Anchor.fm

In February of 2019, Spotify announced they were acquiring Anchor.fm. We now know the total purchase price for the company was $151MM. The total purchase price consisted of $139MM in cash and $12MM related to the fair value of partially vested share-based payment awards replaced.

Photo by Alphacolor on Unsplash

In connection with the acquisition of Anchor during the first quarter of 2019, the Company granted 162,320 equity instruments to certain employees of Anchor. The grant date fair value of each equity instrument was US$145.21. Total equity granted at time of grant date equated to $23.5MM. As of today, May 23rd 2019, these share are underwater with a per share price of $121.58. This is about $4MM lower than when originally granted.

Anchor.fm was founded in 2015 and raised $14.4MM. In Feb, 2016 they raised a $1.6MM Seed Round, in March of 2017 they raised an additional $2.8MM and in Sept of 2017 they raised their final $10MM. This is one heck of a return for the investors and team in such a short amount of time. Based on these numbers, we wanted to estimate what the total return would have been for each of these investors, the founders and the rest of the team.

We have made the following assumptions. 1) We made a best guess estimate on pre-money valuation for each round. 2) We assumed a 1x liquidation preference for preferred shareholders. 3) We assumed founders just held common stock with no liquidation rights. 4) We assumed employee option pool did not dilute and shares came from the founders. 5) We assumed all employee options within the pool were distributed to employees. Obviously all of the above could be negotiated differently but this should give us a good guide.

Estimated Anchor.fm Simplified Cap Table

Estimated Return on Investment

Once you factor in the 1x liquidation preference for the preferred shareholders, the total return is very impressive. The early investors in March 2017 turned $1.6MM into most likely around $16.5MM in less than 3 years. The founders of Anchor.fm and most likely many of the early employees are filthy rich. Even the Series A investors turned $10MM into $41M in less than 2 years. Well done team. Well done.

Podcast and Audio SEO is the Future of SERPs

Historically, SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) have been primarily made up of text based web pages. Google dramatically changed the relevancy of search results with their Page Rank algorithm:

PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.[2]

Today, voice search queries are 35x times larger than they were in 2008. Comscore predicts that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be done via voice.

Voice search queries are 2 to 3 times longer than text queries.

Most voice search queries tend to be more question oriented using who, what where, when, why and how.

To complicate things a bit more for search result rankings, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of all searches will be done without a screen. Think about that for a second. With Google alone, that would equate to about 1.6 billion voice activated searches per day. If Google is unable to monetize these searches, this could equate to roughly $34.8 billion in lost advertising dollars a year for Google.

Advertising revenue of Google from 2001 to 2018 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Enter the new world of SEO. In the very near future, SEO will be primarily made up of audio, voice and podcast optimized search results. Google is already starting to serve podcasts within their search results. Here is what shows when someone types in Rentbits Rental Talk into Google:

In the future, the questions we will be asking our Google Android, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana and Siri, will yield back personalized results we can only dream about today.

Here is an example from Pacific Content.

“There’s this great episode of You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes, where [Green Bay Packers’ Quarterback] Aaron Rodgers talks with Pete about all sorts of things, including that he tried ‘The Impossible Burger’ and thought it was very tasty.

Pete Holmes and Aaron Rodgers

“Suppose you’re a Packers fan and you asked a smart speaker, ‘How does The Impossible Burger taste?’ What if you actually got Aaron Rodgers telling you what he thinks of The Impossible Burger? Right now most smart speakers have computerized voices, which are getting better and are already much better than they used to be, but hearing it from a voice that you recognize and a personality that you’re familiar with and trust could be a really cool experience.”

The future of search results will be less about how many links your website has but rather the quality of the content you produce. The type of content you produce will matter greatly. Text based production and consumption will never go away but it will soon be surpassed by new types of audio content and the ways we consume this type of content will change dramatically.

Audio production will become much more democratized, allowing anyone to produce high quality audio content for a fraction of the cost today. The way we search for and listen to this content will change dramatically as well. Don’t be surprised if within the next 5–10 years, when you enter into a Starbucks, the audio blaring from the speakers will be personally customized to you. You won’t even have to be wearing any audio devices, the sound will just follow you.

The Best Voice Generated AI Ever — Joe Rogan’s Voice

We still live in a robotic voice world. Siri, Alexa and OK Google are boring and still sound like robots underwater.

Photo by Przemyslaw Marczynski on Unsplash

All of this may eventually change. What if you were able to select your smart speaker voice based on your favorite actor, musician or athlete? Theoretically, if there is enough audio data from a particular actor for example, you could feed the audio into an AI voice machine and that voice could become your personalized voice assistant.

An AI company called Dessa has built some incredible deep fake audio using the trove of audio data with Joe Rogan’s Voice. This could be the first step into making our voice assistants less robotic.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Significantly Grow Your Podcast Listeners

The popularity of podcasting has been rising in the last couple of years. The amount of people who listen is increasing, too. Now, around 144 million people in America listen to podcasts.

Competition is high, and to get access to that huge pool of listeners, you’ll need to have more than just a good podcast. You’ll also need to use the right marketing strategies. In this post, we’ll tell you how to do that.

Read on to find out how to grow your podcast listeners.

Photo by Jeroen den Otter on Unsplash

15 Tips to Grow Your Podcast Listeners

Having great content and a show that’s produced well isn’t enough. Check out our handy guide to take your podcast to the next level.

1. Choose the Right Host

The first place to start is with a podcast hosting service.

This is where your podcast will live and how people will listen to it. Since the host is the foundation of your entire show, it’s crucial that you select the right one.

Here are a few things to look for in a podcast host:

  • Flexible storage space — Your podcast may start out small, but it has the potential to grow and generate a huge audience. Make sure you have flexible storage space from the start, so you don’t have to switch hosts later down the line. Free podcast hosting that offers unlimited storage is better than those that just give you a little bit of storage for free.
  • Unlimited downloads — Don’t put a cap on how many times people can download your show, unlimited downloads is a must-have feature.
  • An RSS feed — The host should have an RSS feed for you and syndicate it automatically.
  • Sufficient bandwidth — If your podcast goes viral, you need to make sure you have the bandwidth to accommodate all those plays and downloads. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on listeners.
  • Distribution — The host should automatically distribute your show to podcast applications, so you don’t have to.
  • Embedded players — So people can simply click to listen and you can embed the players on your website.
  • Analytics — To show you how many people are downloading and listening to each episode.
  • Podcast Transcription — So you can turn your audio into text for a better listening experience and SEO when search engines crawl your pages.

2. Build a Website

A website will act as a central location for everything related to your show. It will attract new listeners and give them everything they need to know about the team behind it, the episodes, and how to get involved.

Here, you can also host a blog about the show. Create regular posts to give people more information about episodes and guests, let people know about live shows and competitions, and keep people up to date on what’s happening.

The site can also act as an easy-to-access archive of all your episodes.

3. Use SEO

Good SEO is crucial for any business, and you’ll have to make sure you know how to use it in order for your podcast to be successful.

There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts on the internet these days, so how are you going to make yours stand out? First of all, you’ll need to increase its ranking on Google so that people can find it easily.

You can do this by starting out with some keyword research. Find out which search terms your audience is using and use these to create a list of keywords you need to rank for. These keywords should be placed strategically in your podcast descriptions, blog posts, and the titles of your episodes.

Use both short keywords and long search terms to make sure you’re covering all your bases.

Then, start building some links. Create new pages or posts for each episode, with links to other pages on your site as well as places where people can listen. You can also include links to related content, the social media pages of your guests, or other episodes you recommend.

This mixture of internal and external links will improve the Google ranking of your site. However, your work isn’t done there. You’ll also need to optimize the site, too.

If a site is too slow to load, users will abandon it rather than waiting around. You only have a second or two to make an impression, so speed up your site to make sure it doesn’t lag.

Make it mobile-friendly, too. These days, we spend more time on mobile devices than we do using computers, so your site will need to look good and be easy to use on a smartphone.

4. Make Your Podcast Available Everywhere

People find and listen to podcasts in a number of different ways.

Apple Podcasts is probably the most popular hub for podcasts, but there are lots of other podcast apps that people use, too. Stitcher, Spotify, Catcher, Pod Wrangler, Soundcloud, and Castbox are some of them to check out.

To give your podcast the best chances of building an audience, you’ll have to make it available on all these apps. Make sure it’s available for Android users and well as Apple customers so that you’re accommodating everyone.

The more apps your show is available on, the more listeners you’ll get. Lots of people find new podcasts by scrolling through the new or recommended shows on these apps, so don’t limit yourself.

Find out how people are listening to podcasts and then make yourself available on those platforms.

5. Use Videos

Not everyone likes to listen to podcasts. Some people prefer to watch videos.

When they can see their hosts and guests, they feel more connected and engaged. To appeal to those people, record videos of each episode you make. This can be done by recording your screen if you’re conducting interviews over Skype, or by setting up a camera in the studio to capture everything.

If you prefer, you can even live stream your podcast recording on Facebook or Instagram.

If you’re not comfortable putting up videos of yourself, you don’t have to. You can simply upload an audio-only file to Youtube or set the audio to an image.

If you put your podcast in video form, you’re expanding your reach even further.

6. Write a Press Release

Before the official launch of your podcast, write a press release.

This will give you the exposure you need when you’re first starting out. It will get people talking about the anticipation of your show and build links to your podcast site, increasing your web presence. It will cost you some time and money, but it’s worth it.

If you’re not sure how to get started, do some research on how to write a press release.

7. Use Advertising

It doesn’t matter how great your podcast is. If people don’t know about it, it will never grow. That’s why you should think about using advertising.

It can be hard to build your initial pool of listeners, so make sure you advertise it to get the word out.

Start by using Google AdWords, creating Facebook ads, or paying to boost your social media posts. This will help to get your name out there when you first start out. Depending on the type of podcast content you are producing, you can buy keywords like “comedy podcasts,” “real estate podcasts,” “business podcasts,” etc.

Photo by Charles on Unsplash

You can also record ads for other podcasts. Reach out to other podcasts that you think your listeners might be interested in and see if they’ll agree to feature your advertisements.

8. Create a Fan Page or Discussion Group

Your audience will drive the success of your podcast, so give people as many opportunities as possible to do that. One of the best ways is to facilitate online discussions.

Start a fan page or a discussion group on Facebook. People can post about their favorite episodes, connect to other fans of the podcast, and discuss the show together.

Don’t just create the group and then leave it, expecting it to flourish on its own. You’ll need to make sure you engage with listeners, find out what they want, and give them a reason to post and comment.

You can also create hashtags that people can use when they post about the show. This will encourage people to post more and help to link posts together, so people can find your show easier.

This way, you can build an online community of podcast fans, from brand-new listeners to die-hard fanatics.

9. Ask Listeners to Interact

One of the reasons that podcasting is so popular is that it feels so personal. When people spend hours listening to you talk, they start to feel as though they know you on a personal level. You can use this to your advantage.

Build on that personal relationship by asking listeners to engage with your podcast by doing more than just listening. You can do this in a number of ways.

The easiest is to use social media. Ask your listeners to comment on your posts, give feedback, and meet other fans of the show on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

You can also add a Q&A feature to your podcast. You can take questions that listeners post on social media and answer them on the podcast or even ask them to call in with questions over the phone.

Then, you can record voice messages, play them on the show and answer them. If people know they have the chance to hear their own voice on your podcast, it gives them an extra incentive to get involved.

10. Find Out What People Want to Hear

Do you know what topics your listeners want to hear you talk about?

It doesn’t have to be guesswork. You can use tools and strategies to find out which stories people want you to explore and which guests they’d like you to interview.

First of all, you can check out what topics are trending online. Use trend-tracking tools like Buzzsumo and Google Analytics to see what people are searching for and talking about online.

You can also check out your competitors to find out which of their episodes are the most popular. That will give you an idea of what kind of content you should be producing.

11. Get Ratings and Reviews

When existing listeners leave reviews, it helps new ones find your podcast.

It also gives them an idea of what to expect. If you have lots of five-star reviews, people will be more likely to listen and you may even find yourself climbing the ranks of top podcast lists online.

At the end of each episode, kindly remind your listeners to rate and review your podcast. Make sure they know that they can review individual episodes as well as the podcast as a whole, and you’ll have better chances of success.

Whether they write an in-depth review or simply give it some stars, every little review will help.

12. Collaborate with Other Podcasts

Other podcasts may be your competition, but you’ll improve your chances of success if you work together.

Do you have friends in the podcasting industry? See if you can work together by being guests on each other’s shows.

When you appear as a guest on another podcast, you open yourself up to their audience as well as yours. The same goes for when you invite other podcast hosts to feature on your show.

13. Remind People to Subscribe

It may seem tedious, but in each and every episode you make, you’ll need to remind people to subscribe to your podcast.

If listeners enjoy your show, they’ll want to get access to as many episodes as they can. Subscribing allows them to do this without any effort at all. Instead of seeking out each episode and downloading or streaming it individually, they’ll have them automatically synced to their podcast apps.

With subscriptions, you can turn one-time listeners into loyal fans who never miss an episode.

14. Invest in Great Podcast Artwork

You need to choose the right logo and artwork to represent your show.

When people are scrolling through different podcasts, the artwork is often the first thing they see. If it’s not eye-catching enough or doesn’t represent your show the right way, it will put people off. Remember, it needs to look great on a mobile device, too.

15. Create Great Show Notes

With the help of podcast transcription, you can create amazing show notes to help summarize what your episode is about. This not only helps with SEO but helps your listeners quickly find what they are looking for or what interests them. Within show notes, you can also add links to other sections within your site to sell products or offer additional information to your listeners.

Startup Center — OKRs — Objectives and Key Results

While at Google, we lived by the OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). Each quarter, the company would develop the quarterly OKRs. Each department would then align their department OKRs to the company’s. From there, each individual team member would align their OKRs to the department’s. This transparency aligned the entire organization to move in the same direction to accomplish stretch goals.

John Doerr, one of Google’s initial investors, introduced Google to the OKR framework in 1999. John’s goal formula is:

I will ______________ as measured by ____________.

As it relates to the OKR format, this formula would look like this:

I will (Objective) as measured by (this set of key results).

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

OKRs at a glance

  • Objectives are ambitious and should be very hard to reach (Stretch Goals).
  • Each key result are quantifiable and should be given a grade.
  • OKRs are public within the organization for transparency and accountability.
  • The “sweet spot” for an OKR grade is 60% — 70%.
  • Low grades should be viewed as data to help refine the next OKRs
  • OKRs are not synonymous with employee evaluations.
  • OKRs are not a shared to-do list


Objectives are descriptions of what you want to achieve. Pick 3–5 objectives. Too many will defeat the purpose of streamlined communication and alignment.

Key Results

A set of metrics that measure your progress. It is best to have around 3 quantifiable results per objective and they should describe outcomes, not activities.

Below is an example of an organizational OKRs that starts at the company level, then divisional level, then to the employee level. The divisional OKRs will align with the company OKRs and the employee OKRs will align with the divisional OKRs. (Some examples are from okrexamples.co/) With the resourceful startup method, you should have at least one Objective that automates something. For example, “Automate the entire sales process” or “Automate Customer Inquiries when issues are similar.”

Company OKRs Q1, 2018


Achieve Record Revenue While Increasing Profit

Key Results:

  • Surpass quarterly revenue goal of $1,000,000
  • Start sales in 2 countries and achieve first quarter revenue totaling over $100K
  • Increase gross profit margin from 54% to > 60%


Research and improve customer satisfaction

Key Results:

  • Exceed Net Promoter Score (NPS) of over 8.0
  • Get 1000 survey responses to annual satisfaction survey
  • Conduct 50 phone interviews with top customers
  • Conduct 15 phone interviews with recently churned customers
  • Present an action plan of 10 improvements for next quarter


Achieve record metrics in all areas of marketing

Key Results:

  • Surpass 170,000 website visitors
  • Acquirer over 23,000 signups
  • Perform over 7,500 trials

From here, each division will develop their own OKRs based on the company objectives. For example, the sales department would take a company key result “Surpass quarterly revenue goal of $1,000,000” for the objective “Achieve Record Revenue While Increasing Profit “ and make it their objective. Marketing and customer service departments would do the same thing.

— — — — — — –

Sales Department Q1 OKRs


Surpass quarterly revenue goal of $1,000,000

Key Results:

  • Increase call to conversion rates from 10% to 15%
  • Decrease average sales cycle from 15 days to 7
  • Participate in 4 national tradeshows and close 20%+ of the leads generated
  • Increase top of lead funnel by 30%

— — — — — — –

Marketing Department Q1 OKRs


Surpass 170,000 website visitors

Key Results:

  • Optimize SEM to drive 10% more traffic while decreasing CPC by 5%
  • Write 100 SEO optimized and value filled blog posts and articles
  • Guest post 10 articles on top 5 industry specific publications

— — — — — — –

Customer Service Department Q1 OKRs


Exceed Net Promoter Score (NPS) of over 8.0

Key Results:

  • Implement NPS widget on our site and send out one question survey after each closed service request
  • Increase average response time rates for customer inquiries from 1 day to 1 hour
  • Answer every customer phone call 24 hours per day

— — — — — — –

Individual Sale Rep Q1 OKRs


Increase call to conversion rates from 10% to 15%

Key Results:

  • Make 80% of the calls during the hours with the highest probability of reaching prospects
  • A/B test call script and language for vms and calls
  • Increase daily call volume by 30%

— — — — — — –

Individual Marketing Rep Q1 OKRs


Optimize SEM to drive 10% more traffic while decreasing CPC by 5%

Key Results:

  • Increase CPC for highest converting traffic keywords by 30% and optimize based on time, geo, device, and source
  • Decrease CPC for lower performing keywords by 35% based on time, geo, device and source
  • Add, test and iterate 3 new online advertising sources

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Individual Customer Service Rep Q1 OKRs


Increase average response time rates for customer inquiries from 1 day to 1 hour

Key Results:

  • Assign and respond to 100% of the service requests that come in within my working hours
  • Rotate and work different time zones 2 days a week
  • Develop 3 automations to streamline customer service workflow

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As you can see, this aligns the entire organization from top down. From company to division to employees, this tool dramatically increases communication, transparency and accountability.

What is Defined as A Podcast Download and What is RAD?

The term “Download” might be a little misleading as it is not just related to physically downloading the file to a device. In simplest terms, a download is when a listener actively downloads your podcast or episode to their device and / or when a listener actively streams your episode by pressing the play button within the app or website. The latter allows for more accurate listening data, since data is sent to the podcast’s host servers where data can be parsed in real-time. However, there are some limitations with just focusing on “Downloads.” For one, it is difficult, not impossible, but difficult to get data for those that download the episodes to their phone and computer. Did they listen to it? When did they listen to it? Did they skip the ads? etc.

Collectively, the industry is trying to figure out how to solve for some of these problems. Enter RAD.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

The Industry’s Attempt to Standardize Tracking Data

At the end of 2018, NPR released a new standard for podcast listening measurement. They call this Remote Audio Data or (RAD).

Remote Audio Data (RAD), a method for sharing listening metrics from podcast applications straight back to publishers, with extreme care and respect for user privacy.

NPR worked for over a year with 30 other podcast companies and open sourced it for others to leverage.

“RAD is not intended to replace download statistics as a point of measurement for the on-demand audio industry, but is designed to provide data on listening events to complement download statistics.”

Three groups must work in collaboration to successfully implement RAD:

  • Audio publishers add the specified tags to audio files.
  • Mobile client applications implement the specification to watch for and report events.
  • Publishers or analytics services provide a tracking URL to a server that is equipped to accept reported RAD events and make the data available for analytics.

Downloads or Listens?

In a perfect world, the go to “Download” metric would be replaced by “Listens”. If podcast apps, websites and publishers used the RAD method, we could answer many more questions and do it in a more accurate way.

For example, How many total monthly listens did you receive? How many of them were unique? Where did they come from? How many were done offline? How many were streamed? When did listeners leave my episode? What content should I focus on for the next episode?

How does RAD Work?

From the NPR RAD website:

Podcasters mark within their audio files certain points (quartile or some time markers, interview spots, sponsorship or advertising messages, etc.) with RAD tags (ID3 tags) and indicate an analytics URL. A mobile app is configured to read these RAD tags and when listeners hit those locations in the file, bundle and send anonymized information to that analytics URL. The publisher can then use that data, from all devices, to get holistic listening statistics.

Here are some of the listening events. (Event labels in quotes.)


The eventTime for events with this label should always equal “00:00:00.000”. This event indicates that a podcast has been downloaded by the client, but does not confirm the episode has been played.


The eventTime for event with this label should always be set to “00:00:05.000”. This event confirms that the episode has started to play.


The eventTime matches the start time for the piece of sponsorship with the “adId” indicated in the event object.

Multiple adStart events may included in the “events” array to match the number of sponsorship pieces included in this episode.


The eventTime for “adEnd” corresponds to the end time for the piece of sponsorship with the “adId” indicated in the event object.

Multiple adEnd events may included in the “events” array to match the number of sponsorship pieces included in this episode.


The eventTime for events with this label should be equal to 98% of the duration of this episode.

Overall, we think a decentralized standardization of podcast metrics is better for the industry as a whole. Listeners will have a better user experience over time, podcasters will have better data to make better decisions and advertisers will be able to better quantify their podcast ROI.

How Much do Podcast Jobs Pay?

Similar to how Google and Facebook created new job opportunities within the advertising space, the podcast industry is on a similar path.

According to ZipRecruiter, there are currently 751 podcast specific podcast jobs within the US. Obviously, this isn’t every single job but just the available podcast jobs within ZipRecruiter.

How much do podcast jobs pay?

SimplyHired says they have 2,193 podcast related jobs within the US. 65 posted within the last 24 hours, 332 within the last 7 days, 599 within last 14 days and 1,052 within the last 30 days. Their data show that the average podcast job salary is rough $74,000 per year.

The median national average salary for podcast related jobs according to ZipRecruiter is $54,321. The low-end is around $20,000 and the high-end is around $130,500.

The top companies with current podcast related jobs are:

  • iHeartMedia — 90 available podcast jobs
  • RiderFlex (Recruiter)— 28 available podcast jobs
  • Recorded Future — 25 available podcast jobs
  • WaitWhat — 10 available podcast jobs
  • Apple — 10 available podcast jobs
  • Vox Media — 9 available podcast jobs
  • Spotify — 7 available podcast jobs
  • Cumulus Media — 7 available podcast jobs

How much does a podcast producer make?

According to Glassdoor, the national average for a podcast producer is $65,133.

They also have 181 podcast jobs with a minimum salary of $105,000 and 552 podcast jobs with a minimum salary of $60,000.