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Is Consolidation Ruining Podcasting?

· Time to read: ~2 min

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One might get that impression by reading the latest column by Ashley Carman at The Verge. Carman interviews several direct response advertisers who claim their relationships change for the worse when big companies buy smaller podcast companies and jack up the number of ads in shows.

Direct-response advertisers that rely on promo codes to measure which show or show host is delivering them the best bang for their buck were the early believers in podcasting. Companies such as Casper, Manscaped and Tommy John could be heard on many podcasts. Carman writes that as big networks step in and gobble up shows in multi-million dollar deals, the DR advertisers say they are getting pushed aside or priced out.

One anonymous advertiser told Carman “We did have a show that we really loved working with. It wasn’t small, but it was part of a smaller network, and everything about that felt like a true partnership. It did not feel like it was a transactional sale from a salesperson." But, the advertiser adds, that all changed when the show was bought by a larger company. “I was just shocked by the difference. If we’re not spending like half a million dollars, you don’t care if your listeners get sick of hearing our ads?”

Carman says she spoke to multiple people who say the podcasting industry is stratifying, “the top shows are going exclusive in million-plus-dollar deals, cutting off access to the protein shake makers of the world while smaller, newer podcasters stream in, hoping for the protein shake makers to buy an ad. The direct response advertisers, they say, should look in new places and for new talent.”

Read Ashley Carman’s column HERE.

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