Do We Need A Trade Association?


(By Rob Greenlee) You might be asking the simple question of “Why?” Yes again — we have been here before and it was called the Association of Downloadable Media (ADM). It was a grassroots-initiated organization formed by some of the larger players in the podcasting space back in 2008.

Now, 10 years later, much maturity has occurred in the market but most newcomers to podcasting will not have known this history. It is also true that it doesn’t much matter now what happened in the past, but what we do now going forward. I agree with that thought, but some lessons can be learned from that experience to make an organization work this time.

The ADM was mostly a failure by most measures with group infighting and backroom closed-door communications in a bid to control the efforts of the group — but some good came out of it. We did set some very basic measurement standards that have carried the overall podcasting industry until the more recent efforts by the IAB Podcast Metrics Working Group to establish v.1, and more recently IAB v.2 Podcast Metrics Standards.

The thought is to create an industry group that can collaborate to create more standards in the industry around advertising formats, best practices around dynamic ad insertion, and programmatic ad buying. The large brands and agencies need some white papers with examples of successful advertising campaigns.

As we see hosts/talent read ad spots converge more with programmatic buying platforms, we will see revenue grow in the podcasting medium.

Clearly, we also need to keep working on audio-playing client-side metrics to realize the complete picture of listening from downloaded podcast audio files.

This new unnamed podcast industry association would enable everyone to come together around growing the listening side of the podcasting industry with the potential of co-op online and offline marketing and promotion.

I have a couple of proposed names for the new association: “Professional Podcast Association” (PPA) or “Global Podcast Association” (GPA). Please reach out and let me know if you have any other ideas about this proposal at [email protected].

Rob Greenlee is VP of Podcaster Relations at Voxnest’s Spreaker and a 2017 inductee of the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame. He can be reached at [email protected]