The Podvader Has a Crystal Ball Too

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Jay “PodVader” Soderberg is a 25 year broadcasting veteran and 15 year podcasting veteran. He’s currently the Executive Producer for the Locked On Podcast Network. Here are his thoughts on your industry.

PBJ: Are you having fun?
Jay Soderberg: I have been involved with podcasting pretty close to its inception as a producer at ESPN…so close to 15 years now. I was the Vice President of Content at BlogTalkRadio – now Voxnest. I’m currently the Executive Producer of the Locked On Podcast Network. I host my own NFL podcast with 32 “co-hosts” called Next Fan Up. I co-host another podcast – Always Listening with my friend, Joel Sharpton – that puts the news about the podcast industry into the proper perspective especially for independent creators. I go by the nickname “PodVader”. Am I having fun? I’m having a blast!

PBJ: How would you summarize podcasting in 2019?
Jay Soderberg: BIG. Pretty simple. Big companies getting more and more involved with a growing space. And spoiler alert – BIGGER will be my summary of 2020.

PBJ: What surprised you the most about 2019?
Jay Soderberg: That Gimlet sold so soon in their existence. It’s a great story and congratulations to them, but in relative terms – Gimlet is just a baby (a Baby Yoda, but a baby nonetheless). And to listen to the back story on Start Up, it’s really eye opening (ear opening more appropriate?) to hear the self-doubt from a company many looked at as having a lot of the answers.

PBJ: What disappointed you the most?
Jay Soderberg: Those bigger companies getting involved in the podcasting space thinking they have all the answers. The OGs don’t have all the answers either. There is some wisdom and experience from the OGs that bigger media companies want to ignore. They should be careful…it’s why podcasting was born in the first place. Adam Curry, the Podfather, will tell you himself he just wanted a show where no one could tell him what to do and to stick it to the Man.

PBJ: Most over-used phrase or term in 2019 was….
Jay Soderberg: Discoverability Problem. Sigh. There is no discoverability problem in podcasting. There’s a discoverability problem for your podcast.

PBJ: What three things do you expect to happen in 2020?
Jay Soderberg: Here are the easy and obvious answers – More podcasts, more consolidation, more ads. I spoiled it before, the word for 2020 is BIGGER.

PBJ: Will subscription models survive the long haul?
Jay Soderberg: As one part of a diverse revenue strategy, yes. As the sole part of revenue generation, no. The battle for the dollar in your pocket goes well beyond podcasting. When the consumer is paying $10/month for this streaming service, and another $10 for this one and another $10 for this other one…there are only so many $10 bills to go around in a single month. And there are lots of free podcasts to listen to and enjoy.

PBJ: What will advertisers think of podcasts over the next 1-3 years?
Jay Soderberg: “Why didn’t we do this sooner? We left so much money on the table.”

PBJ: Name 3 podcasts you would love to see breakout in 2020
Jay Soderberg: Timesuck w/Dan Cummins. Scouts Honor w/Paul Crane and Dave-Te’ Thomas. Coffee With Kenobi w/Dan Zehr.

Reach out to Jay by email at podvader@lockedonpodcasts.com or on Twitter, @theRealPodVader.

More from our series with:
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Evo Terra
Matty Staudt
Robin Kinnie
Steve Goldstein
Emily Prokop
Rob Greenlee
Jessica Kupferman
Traci Long DeForge
Daniel J. Lews
Mark Asquith
Mathew Passy
Jack Rhysider
Matt Cundill