Do People Listen To An Entire Podcast?

The duration of a podcast is a touchy subject among many legacy podcasters.  Some producers run hour and longer podcasts with pride.  Most are confident that their "fans" are on board for the full ride. Indeed some are.  

However, producers coming from commercial and non-commercial radio tend to be more wary of program length and watch the clock more closely. This is often the result of years of experience with PPM meters and viewing other listening metrics, which for broadcasters, means recognition of the tyranny of radio buttons and for podcasters the stop and delete buttons.  

Radio broadcasters know the average time spent listening per occasion to a station is 10 minutes. TV producers run short segments during news broadcasts.  The average length of a YouTube video is 4 minutes 20 seconds.  People graze, lose attention and change content sources.  

Holding attention is ever more challenging even when people are self-selecting a topic of interest as they do with podcasts.  

My daughter listens to a great food podcast and when her commute is done, so is her time with the podcast.

Many years of radio programming has conditioned me to urge efficient content packaging - regardless of length - and always respectful of self indulgence.  

The item below from RAIN NEWS Chief Brad Hill includes a quote from me - thanks Brad -  but more significantly it focuses on some of the science of podcast length. The recently released Infinite Dial study, which is self-reported data, indicates high completion rates for podcasts. That's great news and indeed it is likely that podcasts have longer "time-spent" than most audio media.  It is also true, however, that not all podcasts are created equal. NPR, which includes some of the best crafted podcasts in the business has evidence to show how tough it really is to engage and hold an audience for a long period of time.  

My advice will always be; go on as long as you need, then stop.  And, if you don't edit, the audience will do it for you.  Everyone's time is a precious commodity.

The article below originally appeared in RAIN NEWS.  

The Download on Podcasts: Podcast completion rate — it’s still about length

One of the most interesting, revealing, and uplifting results of The Infinite Dial consumer survey revealed last week by Edison Research and Triton Digital is the podcast completion metric. To the surprise of many in the industry, 40% of listeners stick through entire podcast episodes, and another 45% listen to “most” of their shows. So, 85% of podcast listeners hear pre-roll and mid-roll advertisements (if they don’t skip through them), and nearly half of those people could hear a post-roll too.

Obviously good news for the ad-driven podcast economy. Also, it must be mentioned, good for Edison/Triton to ask the question, cutting through a bit of black-box mystery which shrouds consumption data across podcast networks.

Individual podcast platforms, hosts, and podcatch apps do collect detailed analytics of how people listen. That’s fine for network-specific storytelling to advertisers, but having network-agnostic data across the U.S. listening population brings authority to the information like nothing else.

Specific network measurement deepen the story of completion rates, resulting in a fuller picture of how podcast producers can encourage listeners to stick with the program. In this week’s edition of Hot Pod, Nick Quah’s newsletter, there are pointers to two networks which emphasize that podcast length is an important predictor of how sticky the shows are.

First, Nicholas DePrey, Analytics Manager at NPR, furnished a graphic illustrating how long length encourages drop-off:

Second, an on-demand audio app called th60db corroborated that reality from its measurements:

Stickiness and length have been tied together in Steve Goldstein’s mind since he founded Amplifi Media. In a RAIN News guest column from 2015, Goldstein gathers other datasets: “Recent analysis of listening habits from the NPR One app reveals that a mere 18 words into a segment, people are deciding whether they will continue listening. Another recent and equally compelling set of data from one of the podcast aggregators, shows an attrition rate of 40% in the first 7 minutes. Longer podcasts should expect that 2/3rds of the audience is gone sometime between 20 and 60 minutes.”

Of course, some shows thrive in long form, with their loyal fans probably wishing they were longer. That level of success is usually hard-won. Steve Goldstein’s recommendation: “In a time-starved world, the empirical evidence is overwhelming; the longer the podcast, the less chance there is for completion.”



5 Key Takeaways From The Infinite Dial About Podcasting

Edison Research and Triton Digital released its 2017 edition of the Infinite Dial which is always a treasure trove of data about all audio consumption.  Here are a few observations about podcasting:

Over half of podcast listening takes place at home – 52% of all podcast listening occurs in and around the home. We have seen a drop in the number of linear radios in the home and thus listenership deteriorating for years. Go to Best Buy and try to find a radio.  Owned music, Music Choice from TV, streaming and other sources have benefited.  Add podcasts to the list. The popularity of Bluetooth speakers has likely aided the ascension of podcast listening at home.

In car listening is on the rise –  18% report listening most often in cars.  To date, in car listening has been low because of complicated connectivity issues and bad infotainment experiences. All of this is becoming easier with effortless Bluetooth and smartphone cable connections.  Streaming has also benefited greatly from improved connectivity. Look at car company commercials today for affirmation that connectivity sells autos.  The rise of in car listenership is largely before the ascension of Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, which is on the increase.  

7% of Americans have voice assisted devices – That was fast. The Infinite Dial projects 20 million people with devices are out there today.  Estimates of how many have been sold vary greatly, but forecasters expect 24 million Amazon Echo and Google home devices will be sold this year. Voice Assistants are great for podcasting - it removes the friction of choosing and downloading.  Now all one must do is “ask.” Voice Assistants will be good for all audio.  Radio stations have high hopes it will get them back into the home, but will music streaming and podcasts be bigger beneficiaries?

Podcasting is becoming more like streaming – Podcast listening has rapidly changed from downloads to on-demand streams. In this year's Infinite Dial study, 77% report clicking on a podcast and listening right away. This is great for advertisers and potentially great for enhanced measurement.  And of course, it is a great reminder, we live in an instant gratification world.

350,000 podcasts out there and people choose 6 – On average people subscribe to 6 podcasts.  By their own reporting, 23% listen to half or fewer of their downloaded podcasts.  Mental shelf space is critical.  How will podcasters succeed in getting onto the listener's short list?  Discovery is increasingly a critical issue for podcasters.  While great content is the starting point for success, distribution and discoverability have ascended to the top of the success wish list.  Public radio stations have benefited greatly from masterful cross-promotion of their content.  

You can find the full Infinite Dial report here



Why Better Podcast Metrics Matter

At last week’s RAIN streaming audio and podcasting advertising summit in New York, Spotify and other streaming audio suppliers boasted of mining endless torrents of data with “mood booster” playlists and addressable moments for advertisers. 

It is a level of consumer understanding way beyond anything a legacy broadcaster has ever seen.  They know who is listening, what is being listened to, when it is being heard  and can profile personal habits to enable "precision" targeting of ads to runners who are running and background energy music for people in the workplace

At the Summit, I moderated a session on podcast metrics.  On that panel, there was little discussion of rich data to profile listeners and fine-tune content.  There was a certain resignation to the paucity of data from Apple, which is the platform from which most podcasts are consumed. With limited download information, there is no reliable means to even prove a podcast was heard, never mind any of the great analytics of the audio streamers. 

The panelists, Lex Freidman from Midroll and Mark McCrery of Podtrac are smart, knowledgeable and optimistic.  Indeed, the business of podcasting is growing even with Apple providing minimal data to creators and aggregators.

Some legacy podcasters fear change to the current system as it will likely reveal small audiences for many shows.  Regardless, public radio and the IAB have made great strides to establish standards, yet rich measurement remains elusive. 

That was last week.

Fast forward to this week where I attended the Borrell Local Media conference in New York. It is a large gathering where legacy media, including newspapers, TV and a few radio broadcasters combine uneasily with various data suppliers and digital firms to bang around terms like omni-platform and customer profiling. 

A few years ago, the conference was dominated by talk about whether to develop a digital sales staff.  That seems quaint. Now the conversation centers on the need to unify buys and draw traffic across websites, apps, Facebook and other platforms. 

Companies like Facebook and Google are collecting big data and have rapidly ascended to domination of the local digital ad market to the chagrin of local media companies. More buys are going digital and so the legacy companies must rapidly develop new solutions and integrate terms like platform-messaging instead of “we’ll run your ad at 8pm in Grey’s anatomy.”   

Facebook was on hand. Watching them is both remarkable and intimidating.  They know so much about their 210 million mobile users and have quickly become the Goliath of the growing local ad spend. 20% of all smartphone time is spent on their apps.  

Who will keep track and measure across platforms and devices?  Nielsen is feverishly responding with “total audience” metrics being rolled out now.  Others will certainly pursue.  

Which leads me all the way back to podcasting.

Nielsen does not yet measure podcast listening (nor does anyone else).  That’s a big issue. 
In a local, and national eco-system relentlessly focused on cross-platform metrics, can podcasting remain an outlier and still grow and capture the escalating shift to mobile phones which are quickly becoming audio entertainment hubs? 

As with all media, sales dollars chase rating points and traffic.  Podcast measurement will need to become more robust to attract the big bucks and to learn more about their listener's desires and habits.  

Or maybe the metric thing is overblown and all of this is really a lot simpler.  As Lex Friedman said on the panel, “if they would just start measuring ears, we would instantly double our audience.” 






Katie Couric video: The Power of the Podcast

Podcasting continues to be talked about in many circles and the enclosed video is a treat.  Katie Couric, who has her own podcast, put together a video published on Yahoo News. It captures some of the energy and magic of podcasting and includes interviews from some leading podcasters including Marc Maron, Alec Baldwin, Jon Favreau, Anna Faris and others . Enjoy.  

And thanks Katie.  

Read the full article "The Power of the Podcast" here.  

I will be speaking about podcasting and radio's pathway there at "Talk Show Bootcamp" in Atlanta this week.




Why Isn't Podcasting Bigger?

Often we read a blog or tweet asking “Why isn’t Podcasting bigger?”

Indeed, it is becoming bigger.  But the lens needs to be adjusted properly to see the growth.   

Music and spoken word are generally presented together as “audio.” Podcasting, is a subset of spoken word.  

So, let’s separate.  

As one might guess, Americans spend more time listening to music than spoken audio.  Music can be consumed in the background, while speech usually requires the ability to ‘lean-forward’ and listen with intent.  For the overwhelming majority of people, the available time for the involved listening that speech (Talk shows, podcasts, sports, newscasts, etc.) requires is significantly less than what is available for music. 

Edison Research’s “Share of Ear®” study measures time spent with all forms of audio. Overall, music accounts for 79% of time and speech 21%. That means spoken audio is roughly one-fifth of all audio listening time, and taking the Edison data down one more level,  the average American (age 13 and older) listens to about 48 minutes of speech-audio per day.

That’s a lot.

When one drills into the speech-audio market, where podcasting lives, we see that it has quickly made a significant mark.  Podcasting has quickly taken 10% of the speech-audio market.  

Importantly, that number rises sharply when focusing on millennial and teen listeners.  Among 13-34 year olds, fully 29% of speech goes to podcasting.  That is approaching a remarkable 1/3 of all spoken word audio among younger listeners.  This more than suggests habits are being formed now that will likely impact audio listening of all forms. 


Broadcast radio, with its hundred-year head start, is the biggest player in the space --- talk radio, news, and sports stations - and satellite radio is a factor.  But podcasting is rapidly transforming the spoken word space from its historical form as a river of content that listeners dip their cups into as it flows along, to an on-demand medium that provides the exact content they are seeking at the time they wish to listen.

In a short period of time, podcasting has grabbed a sizable portion of the speech based market.

As technology becomes easier with smartphones, voice assist devices such as Amazon's Echo become more prevalent and infotainment systems in cars become friendlier, podcasting is poised to grow more rapidly.

Thanks to Edison's Larry Rosin for the data and inspiration.  


I will be presenting at the upcoming Talk Show Bootcamp in Atlanta on March 9.

I will be presenting at the upcoming Talk Show Bootcamp in Atlanta on March 9.



Car Infotainment Systems Are in the Slow Lane

Don't do this!

Don't do this!


In spite of the onslaught of audio from a variety of sources including satellite radio, streaming radio, owned music, podcasts and new sources including devices such as Amazon's Echo, linear radio has held up rather well. 

Many in the business claim it is the high appeal programming. Certainly that is a significant factor.  

Some claim ubiquity and ease of use help keep radio in the game. That must be a factor too. Punching up the AM/FM buttons in the car is mighty easy.

It is also possible that a good deal of radio's longevity can be credited to remarkably lame infotainment technology in automobiles. These difficult to learn systems have greatly impeded growth of smartphone use and other audio sources in radio's last moat.

Largely, infotainment systems in cars have been an epic fail.  They can be weird, ugly and hard to figure out.

In today's Wall Street Journal, personal tech writer Joanna Stern says; "I’ve uncovered the world’s dumbest computer… in my car’s dashboard." 

Today, people express frustration with byzantine audio menus in cars, and annoyance with tethering their Bluetooth enabled smartphones.  However, people are more determined than ever to unlock the trove of content on their smartphones and move beyond being limited to AM and FM in their vehicles.

Stern provides a guide to replacing the car's poor voice control and moving to easier and more hospitable software including Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto.  She digs into the best car mounts so people can use their smartphones safely.

Most car manufacturers have been in the slow lane when it comes to building a good audio experience. Many people have reluctantly opted out in frustration and in the short term, that's been good for traditional radio.  The car companies, however, are improving and the software is getting better so with each new car and each new smartphone, it is becoming significantly easier for people to be empowered and use the content they have curated on their phones.  

The bottom line - people want greater control of their mobile listening experience, and as the Journal article illustrates, will go to great lengths to get there. As that happens, radio's wide-moat in the car will shrink at a much faster pace. 

Watch the car ads on TV.  Ask a car dealer what sells cars these days.  Connectivity is what moves vehicles. 

Radio should be thankful that the car companies bungled the infotainment experience.  But the car companies are getting smarter.  And so are the listeners.  




Never Make A Podcast Unless .....

Richard Davies was a long time ABC Radio News anchor and recently turned podcaster. His excellent series "How Do We Fix It?" focuses on solutions to big cultural and political issues. With an endless sea of podcast introductions, his thoughts are spot-on. His post originally appeared on Medium.



I've been into audio ever since I was a little kid who slapped 45 rpm green, red, yellow and orange Disney discs onto the record player my parents gave me when I was six years old.

The stories, voices and jingles really were music to my ears.

Not long after college, to no-one's great surprise, I landed my first job in radio. I spent well over thirty years at stations and networks doing the thing I loved.

Last year, with my pal Jim Meigs and producer Miranda Shafer, I started "How Do We Fix It?"- a weekly podcast. We're having a fun ride and I feel privileged to meet a lot of great people along the way. Our 86th weekly show is currently in production.

At its best, podcasting is remarkably intimate and honest?-?without noisy distractions. Just you and another human voice in your ear.

Unlike broadcast radio or TV, listeners are the programmers, deciding exactly when and what they want to spend their time with. They give us podcasters their pure, undivided attention. In every way they are our equal?-?never to be manipulated, pandered to nor shouted at.

Sounds like the perfect environment for a content producer.

But let's face it: many podcasts are crap?-?weeds in the ever growing audio jungle.

And not just the two-guys-in-a-garage kind of spontaneous podcasts. Even well-made, sophisticated shows are often way too long, self-indulgent and without a clear purpose.

Your audience is busy and has a vast array of audio offerings to pick from. Many of us listen on the go?-?in the car or at the gym. The average American commute time is about 25 minutes. Most podcasts last at least half an hour. Mistake.

The first "don't" of podcasting is: Never waste their time. Make a show with purpose that doesn't last quite as long as you?-?the podcaster?-?want it to. Don't be afraid to slice out a few minutes.

Leave your listeners wanting more after each episode. Also answer this question: "Who is your audience?"

The second "don't:" Forget about making podcasts unless your brand, company or cause already has followers or subscribers. This medium is a great way to forge deep, authentic connections with your people, but on its own?-?without a website, blogs and other forms of content?- you won't make a splash. The only exception is if you're already famous. Anderson Cooper, Alec Baldwin, Snoop Dogg or Shaq can operate by their own rules.

Podcasting is special?-?different from radio and certainly not merely the audio track of a You Tube video. Respect your audience.

Third "don't:" making a podcast "live" or on the fly is rarely a good idea. Edit it and listen with a critical ear.

The fourth "don't" is about lack of commitment. While podcast equipment is cheap and the launch costs are small, the process can be surprisingly time consuming. Unless you are prepared to go long and deep with your podcast project, don't start.

A weekly show may not be necessary. You could release a new series every few months. But whatever the plan of action, successful podcasts require follow through.

Google "how to make a successful podcast" and you'll get lots of enthusiastic ideas about equipment, theme music, social media and the need for passion. Much of the advice is helpful. But be wary of those who only explain the "do's" and not the "don'ts" of podcasting.

Learn more about Richard Davies at



Forecast: Podcast Ad Spend To Hit $500m in 2020

This originally appeared in Inside Radio 1/10/17

Podcast ad spending will grow over the next four years at a considerably faster clip than originally expected, according to new projections to be released Thursday by Bridge Ratings. The firm’s updated Podcasting Audit Study says on-demand audio will bill $243 million in 2017, 17% higher than forecast in March 2016 when it called for $207 million.

In fact, the firm has raised its projections sequentially higher for each year through 2020. For 2018, Bridge expects podcast revenue to hit $316 million, 23% above its original estimate of $256 million. And by 2020 podcasting will cross the half-billion dollar mark ($534 million), 35% more than the original forecast’s projection of $395 million.

The revised numbers are based on a combination of the firm’s projected audience growth and interviews conducted in December with ad buyers at 25 national and regional agencies that Bridge shared its updated growth data with, Bridge president Dave Van Dyke told Inside Radio.

What’s driving podcasting’s swift revenue growth? “There is a lot of momentum in the sector,” Amplifi Media CEO Steven Goldstein says. “Anecdotally, many advertisers are looking for new platforms and fresh ideas. The ‘live reads’ and limited commercial loads are attractive.” Goldstein also sees more experiments with branded podcasts attracting new content ideas and new dollars.

But while radio has the “megaphone” to drive traffic to podcasts, giving it a distinct advantage in “a sea of podcasts,” to grow its share of podcast dollars requires a clearer understanding of the sector. “It’s like bagels and donuts – they mostly look the same but they’re different,” Goldstein says. “Fresh content will make the most impact, but a better job repurposing current shows would go a long way.”

Ismar Santa Cruz, VP and managing director of Radio Strategy at Univision, agrees that it comes down to the content. That involves “ensuring we are providing compelling and engaging content that will appeal to our listeners and, therefore, advertisers, regardless of platform,” he says. “Podcasting provides a concentrated avenue for great content, on the users’ terms.”

Original posting here

Steven Goldstein is CEO of Amplifi Media, LLC, an advisor in strategy and content development for media companies and podcasters. Steve can be reached directly at (203) 221-1400 or Twitter @sjgoldstein


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Is Content Still King?

On conference calls and in conference rooms, how many times have you heard, “content is king?” Indeed, for me it was a tried and true axiom which came out of my mouth or keyboard often. Great content, whether in movie theaters, on TV, the radio or the internet, generally found an audience and surfaced to the top. 

But what if that is no longer the case? 

Media is different today.  

New avenues of content have developed; endless websites, cable networks, Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, iTunes.  Over a compressed period, content choices have become more plentiful.  There were 455 scripted TV shows in 2016.  That's up 71% in 5 years.  In 2011, there were 266.  Anyone can create their own custom music channel on Pandora or upload their own show on YouTube.  

There is so much great content available today that no one can possibly find, listen, read or view it all and the result -- a lot of great content goes unnoticed.  

This has crystalized for me as I view the ever increasing sea of podcasts.  A lot of wonderful content is undiscovered. There are exceptional shows that deserve to be heard but have not connected with an audience because they lack effective bullhorns, platforms or means of cross promotion.  So, while the content may be of high quality, it languishes in the “cut-out-rack” of podcasting.  

On a Recode podcast, music industry blogger Bob Lefsetz contends that the balance has changed. “No matter how great something is, if people do not have exposure to it, it doesn’t get amplified, nothing happens.”

Reach and distribution are rapidly becoming more vital and essential parts of the media discovery equation. 

Those with megaphones – cable networks, social media outlets, print, popular websites, marketing dollars, radio stations and the like, stand a far better chance of being found.

Being noticed is much harder today then when Bill Gates coined the phrase "Content is King" in 1996.

Good content has always been hard.  Good distribution is now essential.

You can't sell stuff if you aren't in the stores.

 In today's messy media environment, good content needs great distribution. 

So there it is.  Today, distribution is king.  

Steven Goldstein is CEO of Amplifi Media, LLC, an advisor in strategy and content development for media companies and podcasters. Steve can be reached directly at (203) 221-1400 or Twitter @sjgoldstein


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Follow These 4 Mega Trends in Podcasting for 2017

The past year has shown how difficult it can be to make predictions.  So, lets do something different and follow the trends. Here are four "mega" trends which will likely affect podcasting in 2017.

1. It’s getting easier to listen, but still not easy enough – Podcasting is all about mobile. And mobile is all about on-demand content via the smartphone. The stats are clear.  Libsyn reports 84% of podcasts are consumed on mobile devices and that number is rising. The catalysts for podcast growth are the same as all media; breakthrough content and ease of use. One of the primary reasons the median age of podcasting is young, is the mastery and comfort of smartphones among millennials.  Many younger podcast listeners for example, discovered public radio shows via podcasts.  Not broadcast.  

Podcasting is all about downloads and streams on the phone. More education of "how to" listen is key.  

2. Two new technologies make podcasts easier to find and listen to – New tech is podcasting's friend. The proliferation of Connected Cars and AI (Artificial Intelligence) removes much of the friction in the process of downloading and streaming podcasts.  

The Connected Car will go into hyperdrive with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto in 200 car models.  Google also released an app enabling greater connectivity with any connected car.   Podcasting buttons move front and center.  

The rapid growth of Artificial Intelligence is already showing signs of impact. Calling out the name of a show for instant play puts podcasts on equal footing with other audio choices. According to industry reports, Amazon has sold over 5 million Echo devices. Google Home had a significant television campaign and robust sales over the holiday. Car manufacturers are planning announcements for AI integration at this week's CES.    

3. The flood of podcasts will continue.  For now. -  Every day we see announcements about new podcasts.  It's an undeniable trend.  Podcasts are hip and companies want a presence. Some industry observers have called it “peak podcasting.” Doing great audio, however, is hard and the mortality rate will rise.  Already, estimates show about one third of podcasts series have ceased production.  

4. Discovery is difficult – We are talking about podcasts but could easily be speaking of TV, video, news and websites. While historically media success comes from great content that people seek out, it is becoming more evident that in a sea of podcasts, good content alone is far from a guarantee of discovery and sampling. There are many great podcasts languishing. Podcast ascendancy has always had a tie to social media but will increasingly be linked to cross-promotion proficiencies with other media and deep marketing skills beyond social.  Discovery is the defining problem for podcasters and most content creators on all platforms.  Discovery is the venerable "needle in a haystack" in a content rich environment.

One prediction - Facebook’s new “Live Audio” may turn out to be a win for podcasters – OK, this one is a prediction, since it hasn’t happened yet. In first quarter, Facebook will put audio into its news feed algorithm, and if it follows the trend of print and video, it may open the gates for audio discovery. It potentially gives podcasting some elusive virality including easier sampling of show clips. From Facebook's blog;  “We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video.”  Facebook has changed the calculation for many of the other media platforms.  

Follow the "mega" trends in 2017.

Steven Goldstein is CEO of Amplifi Media, LLC, an advisory firm focused on strategy and content development for companies and podcasters.



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It's Like the Radio, but on Facebook

The velocity of change in podcasting this year has been non-stop; new shows announced almost daily, Google Play, the ascension of Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, new networks, advertising success, consumer growth .. the list goes on. In fact, Apple announced 10 billion downloads via iTunes this year.  

All of those events are significant and clearly illustrate the momentum in podcasting, but the year appears to be closing with potentially the biggest announcement of all.  

Facebook is rolling out "Live Audio."

After having spent the past year pushing publishers to broadcast "Live Video," Facebook is now offering the option to broadcast audio onto the social network.  On Facebook's blog they write "We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video."  

One of podcasting's challenges has been the discoverability and virality that news and video publishers have had. That may change significantly with Facebook's announcement. Soon, users can listen to audio interviews, book reviews, newscasts, talk shows, and more. Content providers would also end up with an instant feedback loop with user comments.  

Sharing of audio clips has been pursued by various organizations ranging from This American Life's Shortcut to Clammr with limited success.  "Live Audio' may be the innovation that makes audio sharing a thing.  

Notifications of posting can be sent to a Page's Live subscribers. That would be a big win as well. 

Facebook "Live Audio" is now in beta, working with the BBC and a few publishers including Harper Collins. They expect to roll out more aggressively "early next year."    

The Facebook blog says that "We know that people often like to listen to audio while doing other things."  That's a new and passive experience for Facebook users.

When Facebook opened up its news feed to major publishers, there was an instant change in consumption patterns.  Buzzfeed reported that 70 million referrals came from Facebook viewers in the second quarter of this year. Other major publishers saw much of their traffic shift to Facebook as well.

Anything that reduces the friction of discovering and listening to podcasts will likely boost listenership. Audio publishers could see vast traffic increases from Facebook in the new year, which would be a magnificent holiday gift to podcasters.  



Steven Goldstein is CEO of Amplifi Media, LLC, an advisor in strategy and content development for companies and podcasters. Steve can be reached directly at (203) 221-1400 or



How the NBC Chimes Became The First Trademarked Sound

There is nothing more powerful in the audio business than a recognizable sound signature and yet sound branding has remained largely elusive. In fact, while many companies have tried, only about 100 sounds have been accepted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  

The MGM Lion roar, The Lone Ranger, The Harlem Globetrotters “Sweet Georgia Brown,” AOL’s famous “You’ve Got Mail," ESPN’s Sportscenter intro, the Looney Tunes theme song, and the "Intel Inside" bong are all examples of identifiable audio that are registered marks.  

The iconic NBC chimes however, is without peer and easily the most famous sound in broadcasting.  It has endured for 90 years and was the very first sound recognized by the USPTO.

The great podcast 99% Invisible, in cooperation with Twenty Thousand Hertz tells the story of 3 little chimes (started as five, actually) and its impact on generations of listeners and viewers.  

It's a great story and a reminder that audio branding is not new, and in a crowded soundscape should be on the mind of audio creators everywhere to cut through the "noise."

Enjoy the video which is a tour of NBC's audio and video branding through the years starting in 1926.  There is also a website museum for the NBC Chimes

The link for the podcast is here.






Steven Goldstein is CEO of Amplifi Media, LLC, an advisor in strategy and content development for companies and podcasters. Steve can be reached directly at (203) 221-1400 or