Podcasting’s Crystal Ball With Jessica Kupferman

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Jessica Kupferman is co-founder of She Podcasts and, along with Elsie Escobar, launched the She Podcasts Live conference in 2019. Here’s what Jessica thinks about the year behind us and the year ahead.

PBJ: How would you summarize podcasting in 2019?
Jessica: Intense! Swelling with new people, hope, excitement.

PBJ: What surprised you the most about 2019?
Jessica: For me, it was how needed and maybe even overdue a women’s event was. By the time She Podcasts LIVE happened I was convinced we could have camped out on a busy street and people would have made the most of it and had a great time. This was a surprise to me! But it made me super happy.

PBJ: What disappointed you the most?
Jessica: The spread of bad or misinformation about podcasting. Seeing podcast companies try to establish themselves by giving horrible advice like buying downloads and reviews. All the “experts” in the field who have never recorded a podcast in their lives. This is very reminiscent of when social media started, and became a thing, so I know that the cream will rise to the top, as it always does.

PBJ: Most over-used phrase or term in 2019 was….
Jessica: Monetization! I’d like to see an overused word like ‘hard work’ or ‘hustle’ or ‘perseverance.’

PBJ: What three things do you expect to happen in 2020?
Jessica: More companies offering turnkey services, hosting, launching, marketing, money making. More events. More audience!

PBJ: There seems to be some anger toward radio getting into the space.
Jessica: #1) Do you believe that to be the case? #2) If yes, why is that? Isn’t it a good thing that more players – no matter where they come from – are joining the podcasting craze? I don’t think there is anger about radio getting into the space, but more the attitude that their content is the only valid content. But yes, I do believe that. I do believe that when you get into a space 15 years after it starts, you can’t purport to be the end-all-be-all. Podcasting is not radio. Radio (historically) has time constraints and is meant for the general public. Podcasting is the opposite of that – as long and as niched as we want – for a reason. I think it IS good that players from anywhere are a good thing. But I ALSO thing that the “OG” podcasters want more audience WITHOUT more players, so that their show blows up without much competition. People who are angry about anyone coming into the space are that way because they don’t want to work harder to keep or gain ay kind of notoriety or status.

PBJ: Will subscription models survive the long haul?
Jessica: I mean, I think they’re stupid in the podcasting space. But it seems to work for television, and I certainly pay for all the things.

PBJ: What will advertisers think of podcasts over the next 1-3 years?
Jessica: If they’re smart, they will stop going for BIG and start going for SPECIFIC. If they can successfully work with smaller and specific shows, then they will move significant budget to our space. But it has to be done right, and it has to be done smart, and right now the trend and knowledge is how to be on the most popular and large shows. When they do this, they’re missing what makes podcast ads so great. But they’ll learn. Hopefully.

PBJ: Name 3 podcasts you would love to see breakout in 2020
Jessica:
Exxxxtraordinary – a show about fat positivity and ending fat phobia. Briana Cavanaugh is a compelling, generous and brilliant woman, and I think what she’s doing is going to help a lot of people and hopefully educate at least one corner of society.

Brilliant Observations – traditionally this was MY comedy show until I got too busy and my friend Amy took it over. Those women, Amy and Melissa, are hilarious. HILARIOUS. And I don’t say that about just anyone and I don’t say that just because they’re like sisters to me. I say it because they make me laugh. HARD.

Hate to Weight – Emily Prokop and our editor, John “Jamingo” Bukenas have been doing a show that follows their weight loss journey and they have a group as well. It is, in a word, GREAT. Vulnerable, encouraging, honest. They are already helping so many people, and I can’t wait to see it get bigger.

Contact Jessica by e-mail at jess@shepodcasts.com

More from our series with:
Steve Stewart
Evo Terra
Matty Staudt
Robin Kinnie
Steve Goldstein
Emily Prokop
Rob Greenlee