Simmons Thrives In The Podcasting Space


Bill Simmons left ESPN in 2015 and launched his website The Ringer. AdWeek details how the site now hosts 30 podcasts, which had 53.5 million downloads in May, and revenue in 2018 was over $15. 2019 ad revenue is expected to top that number. Here’s a quote from his AdWeek interview…

“This is the biggest reason why I was battling with ESPN behind the scenes those last 18 months, because I saw what was happening with podcasts. We were at a point at ESPN where I think we had nine of the 10 biggest podcasts they had, and they couldn’t monetize them, and it made no sense to me. So I just knew. Did I think we’d have 30 podcasts in three years? I don’t know. I knew we’d have a lot. With the podcasts, some things worked in our favor, like the industry has really grown. Sponsors are coming around, but we could feel that in 2014 and 2015, because that was the first time I felt like A-list sponsors were starting to at least stiff around with podcasts. We always believed that there was going to be more available ad money. Now as we’re heading to this end of the decade, you’re definitely seeing a shift. People spend so much money on TV advertising right now, and yet, when you think about who’s watching TV and where they’re watching it—Netflix, Amazon, HBO—there’s been a shift where younger audiences are watching a lot of TV that doesn’t have ads. And you’re also seeing like local radio and that kind of stuff. All those audiences are going down too, and what’s going up is the podcast audience. So where’s that ad money going to go? We feel like a lot of it’s going to go toward podcasts. Not tens of billions but in three years, could it be like $2 billion, $3 billion, $4 billion for the entire podcast industry? Yeah, it could.”

Read the full interview HERE.


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