Simple to Implement Title Best Practices for Podcasters

There are a variety of things you can do to get more listens on your podcast. Below are a list of a few things that can help.

As always, the great data from PacificContent has a few suggestions.

Show Title Name Tips

Show titles should be clear, concise, unique, specific, and evocative. They need to telegraph a show’s content, tone, treatment, and values. Show titles also need to be optimized for search, avoid redundancies with other metadata, and display cleanly in major podcast apps.

What is the Average Length for a Podcast Title?

  • The mean average show title is 23.9 characters (From 658,957 podcasts)

What about the Titles of the Most Popular Shows?

  • From the itune top 200 podcasts, the average title length is 22.6 characters
  • Best Practice: Don’t use all 250 characters for Title. Keep it short < 25 characters.

To add “Podcast” or Not to add “Podcast” within the Title

  • 21% of the analyzed podcasts have “podcast” in the title
  • Best Practice: — Don’t add the word “Podcast” in your title
  • As more and more podcasts enter the market, search and discovery engines like Google Podcast and iTunes will start to look at this like they look at the web with website keyword stuffing.

Don’t Keyword Stuff

  • Best Practice: Just like webpages, if you start to keyword stuff your title and description, some podcast search engines will demote your podcast within the algorithms or completely ban you from the site.

Q1 of 2019 Has Been the Best Quarter Ever for Podcast Related Investments

The Venture Capitalists are not only investing in the podcast industry at an all-time high, they are also embracing this medium in ways we haven’t seen since they started blogging a decade ago.

Some of the VCs who also have a podcast. From Fortune.

In Q1 of 2019, there has already been a total of $160.3MM raised for podcast technology companies. The second highest quarter raised was Q3 of 2017 at $135.7. (Q4 2007 is off — Only $75MM raised for 1 company (HowStuffWorks)

According to CrunchBase, since 2004, there have been a total of 130 funding rounds for podcast related companies with $716.3M in total investment.

Of these 255 companies, there have been a total of 16 acquisitions.

The types of funding by stage vary but 51 companies raised a seed round that added up to about $20MM in funding or roughly $390k per seed round.

The category of podcasting is by far the most funded category.

The top 3 most funded podcast related companies are Patreon (4 rounds and $105.9M in funding), Luminary Media (2 Rounds and $100M in funding) and Himalaya Media (1 Round and $100M in funding)

The Road to 3 Million Podcasts

We believe we are in the first inning of a double header as it relates to the podcast industry. In the relatively near future, podcasts will be as easy to produce as it is to produce blog posts today. And like blogs today, most businesses and individuals will be producing audio content at a scale and quality we can only imagine.

Audio files will be the new HTML and text of the future. Search engine algorithms will go from ranking web pages to ranking audio. By 2020, it is estimated that 50% of all searches will be done without a screen and via voice.

Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar on Unsplash

Before we dive into the estimated podcast future numbers, let’s examine the historical and current state of the blogging market. (data from TechJury)

  • In 1999 there were 23 blogs on the Internet
  • In 2005, there were 50 million blogs
  • In 2019, there are now more than 505 million blogs (350 million of these are on the dying Tumblr platform)
  • There are approximately 5.8MM new blog posts everyday
  • On average, bloggers take 3.5 hours to write a blogpost
  • 77% of the Internet reads blogs
  • On average, readers spend 37 seconds reading a blog post
  • Companies with 16+ monthly blog posts have more traffic than companies with fewer blog posts
  • For 55% of marketers, blog content creation is the top inbound marketing strategy
  • 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing
  • 85.5% of people think blogs add credibility to a site
  • In 2018, the number of bloggers surpassed 30 million according to Statista.
  • A blogger, on average has multiple blogs.
  • The 80/20 rule — 80% of the bloggers never make money from their blogs.

Now, let’s do some back of the napkin math to see how many podcasts there are today, determine the estimated total ad spend / revenue from these podcasts and extrapolate that out to see what it would take to get to 3 million active podcasts in the future. (assuming all else is equal)

According to WARC Data, it is estimated that by 2022, total podcast ad spend will reach $1.6B.

Let’s look at the actual data for 2018 to determine the amount of podcasts we must have assuming average growth stays relatively constant. In 2018, there were approximately 550,000 podcasts and ad spend was $649.8 MM. A simple approach would be to determine the average ad spend per podcast. This would equate to $1,182 per podcast. Obviously there are many podcasts making $0 in ad spend / revenue but for the purpose of this exercise, let’s assume each new podcast receives $1,182 in ad revenue per year. At this pace, it would take about 12 years from 2019 to 2031 to reach 3MM active podcasts and total podcast ad spend would reach $3.8B.

Now, let’s assume massive adoption of podcasting occurs when technology allows for a podcast to be professionally produced as easily as a blog can be produced today. What could this potential look like? According to Statista, audio CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) on mobile will be 37% from 2015 to 2021.

At that rate, assuming all else is equal, the 3MM podcast mark would be hit by 2026 and would produce nearly $4B in audio podcast ad spend.

If we take a more aggressive approach, could podcast ad revenue surpass that of the $18.2B radio ad industry? Well, if the total number of listeners for podcasts could get to 70% + of the population through new ways of listening. (i.e Amazon Echo for the car) and the CAGR of ad revenue to 50% starting after 2022, theoretically, the podcast ad revenue business could surpass the $18B mark by 2032.

Now, before you say, “That could never happen,” remember what some of the brightest minds said about their industry in the past. With that said, only time will tell.

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” Steve Ballmer (2007)

“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty — a fad.” Horace Rackham (1903)

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”
Darryl Zanuck, executive at 20th Century Fox, 1946

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” William Orton (1876)

“Almost all of the many predictions now being made about 1996 hinge on the Internet’s continuing exponential growth. But I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”
Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, 1995

“Apple is already dead.”
Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft CTO, 1997

Podcasting 101: The Beginners Guide to Podcasting

Podcasting is, without a doubt, one of the most transformative media formats on the market today. It has done for radio what print on demand has done for publishing — democratized the process in a revolutionary way. Anyone can make a podcast, and so the possibilities in this industry are wide-open.

If you listen to podcasts, chances are you’ve thought before about making a podcast yourself. The good news is that with only a few hundred dollars in equipment and software, you can launch your own podcast. Read on for a quick guide to podcasting 101.

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Develop Your Concept

The first thing you’ll need to do when getting ready to launch your own podcast is decide what you want your podcast to be about. Because you don’t need to get the approval of a major corporation, a podcast can be about anything. In fact, there are already podcasts about almost any subject you care to name.

If you don’t already have a strong idea about what you want your podcast to be about, a good place to start is with your passions. What excites you, and what do you enjoy? If there’s a subject you’re an expert in, that’s also an excellent place to start.

Once you’ve decided on a general topic, you need to start narrowing down your niche. Let’s say you’re doing a podcast about gardening. Are you talking about vegetable or flower gardening, beginner gardening, master gardener courses, or gardening equipment? Will you have discussions about large-scale gardening, hydroponic gardening, etc.?

There are a thousand niches you can choose from. Inside of those niches, there are more ways to make money. Are you going to rely on sponsors or lead your listeners to a website built for affiliate marketing sales? These factors all have an impact on what you’ll talk about.

So you’ve narrowed down your specific podcast topic, and now it’s time to decide what to call it. As with any title in media, you want it to give some information about your podcast right up front. Try to use a term specific to the industry you’re talking about in the title.

At this stage in the game, it’s a good idea to start running your idea by some other people. Get feedback from others interested in your topic about your concept and your title. You should also start brainstorming specific episode topics with them.

Invite in Guests

Remember those conversations you’re having with other interested parties? While you’re chatting with them, it’s not a bad idea to ask if they’d be willing to come on your podcast sometime as a guest. Having guests involved with your podcast can be a great way to add variety and expertise to your show.

There are a few criteria you’ll want to have for your guests. First and foremost, they should have some level of expertise or interest in your chosen field. For instance, let’s go back to our gardening podcast example. If you can get the owner of a local nursery to come on your podcast, they can provide some valuable content.

How often you bring on guests is up to you and depends on what you want your podcast to be. Some podcasts are purely interview podcasts; if this is the case, you’ll have guests on every week. For non-interview shows, you may only have a guest appearance once every few months or so. Here are a few tips on how to interview for a podcast.

You’ll want to write out your questions for your guest before you actually begin recording and perhaps send them to your guest for review and approval. (Depending on the nature of the podcast, you could even have listeners send in questions to ask your guest.) Try to make the questions a good mix of entertaining and informative.

Set Up Your Studio

After developing your concept, setting up your recording space is going to be the biggest step in launching your podcast. As technology progresses and recording equipment gets better, podcast listeners expect higher and higher quality from their podcasts. There’s a fair amount of expertise involved in producing a good recording, so you’re going to want to do your homework.

The first step is to designate a recording space, assuming you aren’t recording your podcast on the go. You’ll want to choose a space with as few noise distractions as possible. These include ambient noise (such as from air conditioning vents and street traffic) and household noise (nurseries, dishwashers, washing machines, etc.). Even a little bit of noise can be a distraction and lower audio quality.

Make sure you test your recording space extensively before you start recording your first episode. You may be so used to the sound of the TV going in the next room that you don’t think about it until it shows up in the recording. This is to say nothing of the learning curve you’ll need to go through with your recording equipment.

When you record, you’ll want to make sure you stay close to the microphone and don’t move around. Even something as simple as turning your head can make a big difference in audio quality. Stay right up on the mic when you’re speaking, and back off a little when you aren’t to make sure you aren’t breathing into the mic.

Speaking of recording equipment, thanks to modern technology, it’s possible to record a quality podcast even without a designated recording space. The trick is to have a high-quality microphone and good recording etiquette.

For about $1,000 you can have a state of the art podcast studio. Here are some of the technology we recommend.

– Heil PR-40 Broadcast Quality Microphone
– Heil Microphone Shock Mount
– Fine Mesh Metal Screen Microphone Pop Filter
– Heil Heavy Duty Mic Boom Arm w/ C-Clamp

Mackie Mixer –

https://www.amazon.com/Mackie-PROFX8V2-8-Channel-Compact-Effects/dp/B00VUU77XW?th=1

Sony Headphones:

https://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR7506-Professional-Diaphragm-Headphone/dp/B000AJIF4E

Different Types of Microphones

Choosing the right microphone for yourself can seem like a daunting task. There are dozens of microphone options out there. These options range from inexpensive Snowball mics to multi-thousand-dollar professional audio equipment. The important thing to keep in mind is which recording factors are important to you and how much money you want to spend.

There are two primary types of microphone: USB and XLR. USB microphones, as you might expect, have a USB connection that allows you to hook them up to a regular computer. XLR microphones need a professional audio interface (a mixer), so they can be a little pricier.

You’ll also be able to choose whether you want a dynamic or a condenser microphone. You don’t have to plug dynamic microphones into a power source, and they can accommodate almost any vocal range. But they also don’t adapt as well to abrupt dynamic changes (ironically).

You have to plug condenser microphones in, and they are usually a little smoother than dynamic microphones. They sound a little brighter than dynamic microphones, and they have a higher sensitivity.

If you’re recording in one studio that has good soundproofing, a condenser mic is your best bet. They are a little more sensitive and create a slightly better sound. But if you’re recording somewhere with a lot of background noise (such as mobile podcasting), a dynamic microphone will do a better job isolating your voice.

Editing Your Podcast

Okay, so you’ve developed your concept, arranged for guests, set up your studio space, chosen your mic, and recorded your first session. You’re off to the races with your podcast, right? Well, not quite.

To have a high-quality podcast, you’re going to need to edit it. Even the most professional among us say “um” and trip over our words from time to time. Unless you script out your entire podcast (which won’t work for an interview podcast), you’re going to have lulls in the recording that aren’t interesting. No one wants to hear empty spaces of silence when listening to a podcast.

When you’re editing your podcast, you’re going to want to keep a close ear on your tone between edited sections. The goal is to remove as many distractions for the listener as possible. Having a sentence that jumps from one tone of voice to another will not accomplish that goal.

You should also keep a good awareness of the pacing of your podcast while you’re editing. Space between words can have a powerful effect on the listener, for good or for ill. Think of every good dramatic pause you’ve ever heard for proof.

Another powerful tool in your editing arsenal is music. If you’ve ever listened to an old movie with no background music, you’ll know how much difference some good background music can make. Adding in some environmental tracks for tone or fun interstitials can be a great way to bring interest and character to your podcast.

Managing Your Branding

You’ve finished your editing, the recording sounds great, and you’re ready to make your podcast available to the whole world. But what cover art are you posting with your podcast? What does your description look like, and where are you advertising your new show?

Branding and marketing are as crucial to having a successful podcast as choosing the right microphone. After all, there are more than half a million podcasts out there. How are you going to make yours stand out?

Having a good piece of cover art for your podcast is very important. While you may have always heard not to judge a podcast by its cover, people do anyway, and you want your cover to be as amazing as your show. Hiring a good graphic designer is an excellent idea to make sure you get the best logo.

Social media is also going to be crucial to making your podcast a success. A recent estimate showed that about 68 percent of U.S. adults have a Facebook page. You’ll want to pull together a strong social media marketing plan to make sure as many listeners as possible find your podcast among the crowd.

Posting Your Podcast

At last, at last, it’s time to post your podcast. You’ve got the recording equipment, the concept, the branding, the social media campaign, the edited episode, and a whole wealth of experience. So it’s time to release your beautiful creation into the world.

The first step to posting your podcast is to find a podcast hosting company. These businesses provide a reliable platform where you can upload and store your recordings and then publish them. They’ll provide you analytics to show how many people are listening, as well as RSS feeds and more.

You will have to pay for any reputable podcast hosting platforms, so be sure to factor that into your budget. This fee will cover expanded storage and prevent you having uncontrolled ad content inserted into your show. Fees vary based on platform and plan, so you should be able to find one that fits into your budget.

Most podcast hosting companies will post your podcast to the five biggest podcasting platforms: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, PodBean, Stitcher, and TuneInRadio. Spotify is also a major platform, and they only work with certain approved companies.

Going Beyond Podcasting 101

Starting up a podcast isn’t something you do in an afternoon, but it is accessible to anyone. With a little planning and care, you can start your own show from the comfort of your own home and have it available for the whole world to hear. Step up to the mic and add your voice to the industry that’s changing the media world.

What is the perfect amount of time for a podcast episode?

As the podcast industry surpasses over 700,000 individual podcasts and over 29MM episodes, there is a large trove of data to gain insights from. One question we wanted to help answer is “What is the perfect amount of time for a podcast episode?”

Photo by Claus Grünstäudl on Unsplash

PacificContent analyzed over 10MM audio podcast episodes going all the way back to 2005. Here is what they found:

  • The average length of all podcasts was 43 minutes and 24 seconds.
  • The length of podcast categories varied quite a bit. Gaming and music related podcasts were the longest at around 67 minutes and language courses being the shortest at around 9 minutes.
  • The average length over time from 2005 to 2018, we have seen an increase in average length of podcasts from 2005 to 2013 and now we are starting to see a decline in the average minutes per podcasts as short form audio is becoming a bit more popular.

When looking at the top podcasts on the Apple top 400 list, the average time per episode 47 minutes and 30 seconds.

When deciding how long your podcast should be, you can get a little more scientific and look at other data that might dictate the direction you should go. For example, the average commute time within the US is 26.4 minutes. 22% of podcast listeners listen to the podcast in their car/truck. 90 Million Americans listened to a podcast last month. That means roughly 19.8 Million people listened to a podcast while driving. So with this logic, a good podcast episode length would be less than 30 minutes.

At the end of the day, it is up to you. If you provide great audio content, your listeners will continue to listen; regardless of length.

The Science Behind Breathing, Gratitude and Visualization

The Science Behind Power Posing

What is up with the “Superwoman Pose?” Also known as “power posing, “ Harvard business school professor Amy J.C. Cuddy and coauthors studied the effects of various high-power and low-power poses on 42 male and female participants. In “Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance”, they wanted to see how various poses would affect cortisol and testosterone levels as well as if various poses would induce higher risk-taking and feelings of power.

Photo by Jessica Castro on Unsplash

Participants were randomly selected to either do two high-power (similar to the Superwoman pose) or two low-power poses (standing with arms and legs crossed tightly) for one minute. Saliva samples were taken before and after the test to measure cortisol (the stress hormone) and testosterone (hormone linked to dominance and power) levels. To evaluate risk tolerance, participants were given $2 and told they could roll the dice for a 50% chance of either doubling or losing it. In the end, participants were asked to share how “powerful” and “in charge” they felt on a scale from one to four.

What were the findings? Cuddy and her coauthors found that those who participated in the high-power poses had a 25% decrease in cortisol levels and a 19% increase in testosterone for both women and men. For the low-pose participants, they found that cortisol levels increased by about 17% and testosterone levels decreased by 10 percent. Essentially they were more stressed and felt less powerful.

They also found that the participants in the high-power pose group felt more in power and being in charge as well as they took the risk and gambled 86% of the time compared to the low-power group who only took the risk and gambled 60% of the time.

Just do the powerful “Superwoman pose” for two minutes each and experience the difference.

The Science of Breathing Exercises

There have been numerous studies on the positive effects of doing breathing exercises. , they found that breathing regulates your blood pressure. they found that breathing exercises may boost the immune system and improve energy metabolism. And in In one study Another study found that counting breaths increased the brain activity in the brain related to emotion, memory, and awareness. In another, another, a study showed that regulated breathing can help improve memory.

We are all familiar with the “Fight or Flight” stress response where our body kicks in to get us out of potentially life-threatening challenges. However, this same stress response can also be triggered during the day to day activities like worrying about money, waiting in traffic or job and relationship challenges. One result of this stress is health problems like higher blood pressure, suppression of the immune system, and even depression. A way to counteract these problems is to do breathing and relaxation exercises.

A book written by Harvard physician Herbert Benson called, “The Relaxation Response,” found that being in a state of profound rest like doing meditation, relaxation and breathing exercises can help decrease the stress response.

Dr. Darshan Mehta, medical director of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital argues that it even goes much further than that.

“It does even more than that: when you elicit the relaxation response, you secrete beneficial hormones and reduce the activity of harmful genes,”

The Science of Gratitude

People who are grateful report feeling healthier and experience fewer aches and pains than those who are less grateful according to a study in 2013 entitled, “Examining the Pathways between Gratitude and Self-Rated Physical Health across Adulthood.” Within the study, they said their findings “suggest that grateful individuals experience better physical health, in part, because of their greater psychological health, propensity for healthy activities, and willingness to seek help for health concerns.”

The Science of Visualization

Ask any successful athlete if they use visualization to practice in their mind, and all of them would say yes. It has been proven that visualizing your success, can increase the probability of success dramatically.

There have been numerous studies that show the brain cannot differentiate between a real memory and an imaginary one. When we visualize our success and feel the emotions associated with the act, we change the chemicals in the brain to make it believe the memory is real. For example, if you visualize over and over again what it feels like getting a standing ovation during your next speech, your mind will record this as if it already happens. This will decrease your anxiety of speaking dramatically and enable you to confidently give that speech just like you did 50 times before in your head.

How To Generate Amazing Business Ideas

Generating Business Ideas

Below are a few simple tricks to help spark the creative idea generation process.

Use Personal Frustration for Inspiration

Over the years we have learned that frustration can be the catalyst for innovation. If you harness the power of your personal frustration and combine it with something you are passionate about, amazing ideas and solutions can come from it.

For example, in 2005, our CEO, Dan Daugherty began to become more and more passionate about real estate. Within 9 months, he invested in 9 different rental properties. As these properties remained vacant, he needed to find more creative and resourceful ways of getting them rented or he eventually wouldn’t be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments. With his knowledge of how people search, he knew he couldn’t just post the properties in one newspaper or even one rental site. He needed to post on many. He began to post his 9 rental properties on 10 different rental sites. That equates to 90 postings. If he wanted to change the rental price, he would have to do it again 90 more times. This major personal frustration was the catalyst to try to solve it.

Dan began to write down ideas on how to solve this problem. It didn’t’ matter how crazy the ideas were. He didn’t worry about resources. He just wrote them down. He had ideas ranging from paying neighbors to put signs in front of their houses promoting his properties to developing a network of real estate agents to show and rent the properties out for him. He finally ended on the idea of building software to automatically post rental property listings on multiple rental related websites with a click of the button. This personal frustration has led to a solution that has generated 8 figures in sales and has outlasted many competitors.

See into the Future for Inspiration

Another exercise you can do to generate new business ideas is to look into the future to see what products you think will have mass adoption based on the current technology. For example, in 2008, Apple launched the app store. If you believed that this phone and platform was going to be a massive success, you could have thought of new business ideas or apps that you could have built to be part of this new revolution.

You can also leverage market research to determine where technology is going and build your business ideas around that. After reading some market research about the home automation market growing to $79.57 billion by 2022,we decided to figure out how we could solve problems associated with home automation within the multifamily industry. For example, if an apartment wanted to add home automation they would need to solve challenges for both the renter and the onsite property management team.

A renter needs to be able to control their thermostat, locks and lights from their phone but the property managers also need to have access to changing lock codes, changing app access, detecting moisture if there is a leak, setting rules to ensure thermostats don’t fall below a certain temperature, allowing access to communal areas and all of this needs to be incorporated into their property management software. We took all of these unique problems and launched a solution for them called remotely.com. Remotely was the first to offer home automation specifically designed for the multifamily industry. It won numerous competitions and rewards and was off to a great start.

Think 10x Better

Many ideas you might come up with are probably already out in the business universe. This is actually a good thing, it means there is a market for it. Some of the world’s greatest inventions piggybacked on top of products and ideas that were already out in the market. Thinking 10x will help you expand your mind to think of ideas that you may have thought were impossible to create before. When you eliminate mental barriers, your creative conscious and unconscious mind will begin to take over.

Take a leading competitor or two within your industry and begin writing down ideas, products and or features that you believe would be 10x better than the competition. Don’t limit yourself to your current resources right now, assume you have unlimited resources. This will not only help you do some competitive research, but it will also help you focus on some of the customer problems that may exist.

In some service-related industries like property management, your 10x could be focused on improving the service levels for both renters and owners. For example, over 50% of all renter leads that currently come into property managers go unanswered. This is an absolutely horrible experience for renters looking for their perfect home. One idea to increase this service 10x is to develop a strategy to ensure 100% of the incoming phone leads are answered by a human and to ensure email leads are responded to within minutes. What if you made it dead simple for the renter to book a time to see the property with one click of the button? What if you used automation to help renters do self-showings? What about developing an app to submit maintenance requests, pay rent, give feedback and book local restaurants or services at a steep discount for being part of your property management network? What if you supplied your owners with semi-annual filter replacements and services to increase the longevity of their AC, heater, and appliances in their home?

Even though we do this exercise assuming we have unlimited resources, it is important to keep in mind that if all or most of the ideas you come up with need significant amounts of capital or time to get started, then it is time to think about a different industry or product. Remember, we want to build a long-lasting, impactful and profitable business with very few resources. If your idea is to build a better rocket ship or a self-driving car, you will need significant amounts of money and people, which doesn’t align with the IDEAL Method for Resourceful Startups.

At the end of the day, with the IDEAL Method, you don’t necessarily need to be 10X better than your competition. In reality, you could have a marginally better product or service in a large growing market and still be incredibly successful. Your competitive advantage will actually be your resourcefulness. You don’t need to be 10x better, you just need to think 10x differently.

Amazon Should Acquire a Satellite Radio Company

Amazon Echo for the car is going to dramatically disrupt the satellite’s existing radio business model. This may even impact the way we listen to am and fm radio over the next decade.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUU56QrjjkU

Amazon Echo for the car is a small device that leverages the internet on your phone to connect to Alexa.

It’s design is simple with only two buttons, the action button and the microphone on/off.

  • With eight microphones and far-field technology, Echo Auto can hear you over music, A/C, and road noise.
  • Use your voice to play music, check the news, open the garage door, find the nearest gas station, and more.
  • Play Audible audiobooks, stream podcasts, or listen to Amazon Music, Apple Music (coming soon), Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, or NPR.
  • Make calls, set reminders, add items to your shopping and to-do lists, or manage your calendar.
  • With over 50,000 skills and counting, Alexa is always getting smarter. Skills are like apps and let you do more with Alexa.
  • Set location-based routines — automated actions Alexa can start when you leave the office or get home.
  • Ask for directions and Alexa can start navigation on your phone with supported apps like Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps. Echo Auto is not compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

With Internet everywhere now days, one might ask, “what is the purpose of satellite radio if I can get everything I want via the Internet, virtually anywhere?” The satellite radio execs will tell you that you have exclusive content with satellite radio that you can’t get anywhere else. They will also tell you it is already integrated in most new cars. They will also tell you that they can beam radio and audio content to you when there is no Internet access. All good points now, but what will all this look like within the next 10 years.

  1. More quality content is being produced now than ever before. The cost to produce high quality shows no longer means paying more for audio content that historically was expensive to produce. This cost will continue to decrease allowing for new audio media companies to enter the space.
  2. The barriers to entry for these smart speakers to enter the car is now virtually 0. Google Home , Amazon and even Sonos will continue to develop hardware that will make it easy to self install into any car, regardless of car age.
  3. Within 10 years, every sq in of the world will have Internet access. Access will come from satellites and even weather balloons.

In 2017, Nielson found that 50% of American discovered new music via online radio and online music services. This is compared to only 14% for satellite radio.

At the end of the day, audio content is becoming more democratized and accessible at anytime and anywhere. The need to pay monthly subscriptions for this type of quality content will no longer be the only option. With the digitization of audio, the future of audio will be free for listeners and be monetized through other ways including rich audio ad content that will be delightful to the listening audience.

So, with all that said, why should Amazon buy a satellite radio company? Here are a few reasons why it would make a ton of sense.

  1. Access to exclusive content that could be rolled into the Amazon Prime subscription model. (Amazon could sell many more Prime memberships.)
  2. The satellite network of a SiriusXM for example could help Amazon within other divisions of their business like logistics, Internet access, etc.
  3. AmazonMusic would benefit greatly with the additional music and unique content, differentiating them from Spotify and others.
  4. In the short term, the additional internet access in rural areas could boost Amazon listening and Alexa adoption.
  5. Amazon would gain immense listening and other forms of data to make other Amazon products better

Podcasts Now More Popular than Blogs

The US podcast market is expected to reach $1.6B in podcast advertising revenue by 2022. At its prime, blogging was a major way for businesses to evangelize, educate customers, reach new customers and even monetize in ways they weren’t able to do before. Blogging had a good decade run but now there is an even more powerful medium that is taking over. Podcasts. Below is the interest overtime for the term podcast. As you can see it has been accelerating rapidly since around October 2014.

In May of 2018, the search interest in podcasts surpassed the search interest in blogs.

The search phrases associated with blogging have also been declining. Below are the terms “wordpress” and “plugins.” Both are synonymous with blogging.

Comparatively, podcast related terms are on the rise. Below are terms for “how to podcast” and “podcast app”

Suggested search queries on Google when typing in “how to monetize..” shows audio monetization number 4 with soundcloud and number 5 with a podcast. How to monetize your blog is down to number 10.

So where is the podcast industry going? With the proliferation of smart speaker devices, a screenless computer feature and social media burnout, we believe the podcast market is poised to continue to rise at a dramatic rate.

Developing New Podcast and Business Ideas by Focusing on Customer Problems

If you are looking to start a new podcast or business and don’t know what topic or industry to start with, we recommend focusing on two things, 1) an industry you are passionate about and 2) customer and personal frustrations within that industry. Let’s do an exercise together.

Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash

Define something you are passionate about. It can be anything from writing, to real estate, to teaching, to sports. Whatever it is, write it down. Next, write down all of your individual pain points you experience related to this passion that consistently frustrates you. If you have multiple passions, do this exercise for each passion. You will eventually have a list of problems for each of your passions. From there, we need to group similar customers problems and see if we can see any themes resonate with them, this will allows us to focus on solving one big problem.

If you already have a podcast or business idea you are passionate about, write down all of the personal or customer frustrations you hope to help your listeners solve for. Write down as many as you can.

Let’s do an example together. Let’s say, ever since childhood, you have always been passionate about playing and helping others play sports. As a child you played a variety of sports including baseball, soccer, tennis and basketball. Now as an adult, you are currently the assistant coach for your 15-year-old daughter’s JV softball team. You have been helping out in practice and games trying to learn as much as you can from the head coach. During this time you have been frustrated by a few things including coaching inefficiencies during practice, sub-optimal strategies and manual data entry during games, inconsistent umpires and a lack of a real-time and continuous feedback loop for athletes when no coaches are present.

You take these frustrations and combine them into a single problem question you would like to solve for. “How can I help athletes and coaches in all sports dramatically improve performance?”

Let’s now write down as many ideas as we can that will help us solve for the current challenges we are experiencing. If you are just developing a new podcast, don’t add business and app ideas, just stick with the audio content that best provide answers to your problem question like the one above.

Here are the top ideas we came up with out of over 50 for both developing a podcast and a new business.

  1. Develop a podcast full of coaching strategies. Interview the top coaches within their field
  2. Invent a physical tool to help athletes swing, kick or shoot properly in real time
  3. Give umpires and referees video glasses and have the fans vote whether a foul took place, the ball beat the runner, they were offsides, whether it was a ball or strike, etc
  4. Develop an app to help with scorekeeping
  5. Develop an artificial intelligence app that acts like a coach, umpire and score keeper
  6. Take videos of athletes and watch what they are doing well and not so well so they can change their form during the next practices
  7. Develop a game theory podcast to help coaches make better decisions during various times of the game
  8. Have a team of ex-sport professionals go to each game and take score, offer game strategies and offer real-time feedback for each player to help improve their game
  9. Develop a live wisdom of crowds app to help fans vote on the best strategy to take during a game

Let’s revisit the problems we are trying to solve for and see which of these ideas can eventually solve for them all. (the number tied to the idea is added if it can solve the problem)

Coaching inefficiencies during practice (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Manual data entry during games (4, 5, 8)
Suboptimal strategies during games (5, 7, 8, 9)
Inconsistent umpires and referees (3, 5)
Lack of real-time feedback for athletes when no coaches are present (2, 5,)

Idea 5 (Develop an artificial intelligence app that acts like a coach, umpire and scorekeeper) is the only idea that will allow us to eventually solve all the problems we have been experiencing. It also is the one that will require the least amount of resources to scale rapidly. The others involve physical products or more people as we scale.

Now that we have a business idea and have brainstormed all of the problems this new product or service will solve for, we need to narrow down our initial product launch to solve for one large problem rather than many. This will dramatically help in future feature creep which we will discuss in further chapters.

In our example, the lack of real-time feedback for athletes when no coaches are present is essential to helping athletes become better. It not only is a big problem but it affects nearly every athlete in the work since most can’t afford to have a personal coach helping them every time they are practicing.

A common denominator for successful athletes is what Malcolm Gladwell calls the “ deliberate practice.” In his book, “Outliers: The Story of Success”, he shares numerous success stories of how people who consistently practice at least 10,000 hours over their life, become an expert in their realm.

When psychologists talk about deliberate practice, they mean practicing in a way that pushes your skill set as much as possible. What if, by providing real-time, analytical and data-based coaching feedback, we could dramatically improve the athlete’s performance in half the time? What if we developed an app on the phone that would use real-time video, artificial intelligence and learning algorithms to give athletes constructive feedback on their form, weight distribution, and velocity just as Tiger Woods or Pete Rose would give you if they were standing right behind you?

When athletes are playing without coaches and with their peers during offseason or if they are practicing by themselves in the backyard, they need real-time coaching feedback in order to improve. If they develop bad habits while practicing, these bad habits will carry over to the game.

This will be the major problem we will initially focus on in future posts as an example; to give high school athletes the tools to self-coach and improve even when no coaches are present.