Matt Cundill is the host of The Sound Off Podcast and CEO of The Sound Off Media Company, which he launched back in 2015. On his podcast Matt interviews broadcasters, podcaters and new media moguls.
PBJ: How would you summarize podcasting in 2019
Matt Cundill: Infinite. Believe it or not, there was a time when podcasting felt remote, cumbersome or out of the realm of possibility to creators. When I tell people I work with podcasters, there are fewer “What’s that?” and more responses to the podcasts they listen to or are creating right now.
PBJ: What surprised you the most about 2019?
Matt Cundill: The Innovation. Every week a company is creating something new or elevating their brand to improve the quality, creation or promotion of podcasting. I found myself trying out things like Squadcast, or using Overcast’s Clip sharing feature, or editing a podcast with Descript. I look forward to waking up every morning to the future.
PBJ: What three things do you expect to happen in 2020?
Matt Cundill: Privacy and data tracking will become a hot button topic amongst creators, podcast hosting companies and those aggregating advertising.
There will be more accessibility for podcasts with less than 10k downloads per episode to connect with advertisers, and to monetize their back catalogues through affordable dynamic insertion.
Dead podcasts will find their way to a podcast cemetery. Either Apple, Google or another player in the industry will find a solution to remove inactive podcasts from search results or podcast catalogues, while keeping other inactive yet popular content (Like Serial) prominent.
PBJ: What’s with the anger toward radio from the podcasting industry?
Matt Cundill: I empathize with long standing podcasters who get frustrated when radio markets podcasting as if it were created in 2017. I think radio believes that its greatest strength is audio creation when in fact its biggest offering is marketing and promotion. Even beyond the megaphone and ability to reach the masses, radio has been very good at promoting its audio since the 1920’s. In Canada, when Rogers and Corus started actively promoting podcasts on radio, there was a significant spike in podcast consumption nationally. Radio’s involvement is a good thing for all involved.
PBJ: Will subscription models survive the long haul?
Matt Cundill: If they do succeed it will be farther down the road. The hurdle is that there are 800,000 other free podcast options once a podcast disappears behind a paywall.
PBJ: What will advertisers think of podcasts over the next 1-3 years?
Matt Cundill: Opportunity. Great advertisers always find a way to get their messaging out there. The number of people willing to connect advertisers to podcasts will also grow, while the audience size to qualify for advertising will fall slightly. However, as advertisers grow comfortable with the download as a metric, the podcast industry will question its viability as podcast content get consumed in alternate ways.
More from our series with:
Traci Long DeForge
Daniel J. Lews