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Podcast Growth & Monetization With Buzzsprout Ads
Episode 108th June 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
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Evo Terra:

Growth and monetization are at the top of every podcaster's wishlist.

Evo Terra:

Or at least every podcaster who's yet to achieve those two things.

Evo Terra:

Or perhaps not at the level, said podcaster is happy

Evo Terra:

with for their own show.

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

Evo Terra:

Buzzsprout aims to change the growth and monetization question

Evo Terra:

with a new product they've just released called Buzzsprout Ads.

Evo Terra:

And interestingly enough, they're tackling both of those challenges, growth and

Evo Terra:

monetization, with the same solution.

Evo Terra:

Buzzsprout is the Branded Benefit Sponsor of this week's episode.

Evo Terra:

And I recently sat down with Alban Brooke, Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout,

Evo Terra:

and a good friend of mine, and I asked him what it is about Buzzsprout

Evo Terra:

Ads that makes podcasting better?

Alban Brooke:

The things people always want to know about are

Alban Brooke:

how do I actually grow my show and how do I monetize my show?

Alban Brooke:

And so over the last few years, we've been kind of toying with the ideas

Alban Brooke:

of what does it look like for us to start solving these problems at scale?

Alban Brooke:

Especially for like the indie podcasters.

Alban Brooke:

And our solution has been Buzzsprout Ads.

Alban Brooke:

Buzzsprout Ads is the easiest way to grow podcasts by running podcast promotions.

Alban Brooke:

Anybody with a show can quickly go and set up a promo, and then your promo,

Alban Brooke:

it will be dropped into many of the 115,000 active shows on Buzzsprout.

Alban Brooke:

So, if you want to get really massive reach with podcast promos,

Alban Brooke:

Buzzsprout Ads is a great way for you to start growing your show.

Alban Brooke:

And then on the flip side, it's a great way for Buzzsprout podcasters

Alban Brooke:

to start monetizing their podcast.

Evo Terra:

So it's interesting, you're combining those two

Evo Terra:

things, growth and monetization.

Evo Terra:

I agree with you, many podcasters would say those are the things I need help with.

Evo Terra:

So when a podcaster places their promo into Buzzsprout Ads and it is available to

Evo Terra:

those 115,000 podcasts, is that automatic?

Evo Terra:

Uh, how, how does that work?

Alban Brooke:

Sure, so you go to buzzsprout.com/ads, and you sign

Alban Brooke:

up with an advertiser account.

Alban Brooke:

And then we collect a little bit of information.

Alban Brooke:

What is the title, description, and up to a forty-second promo.

Alban Brooke:

And we get all this information from you, and then you place an

Alban Brooke:

order based on how many promos you want, uh, people to listen to.

Alban Brooke:

And then what we do is we match you with podcasts that are similar to your show.

Alban Brooke:

Uh, we've seen this with podcast promos for a long time, they're most

Alban Brooke:

effective when these shows are similar.

Evo Terra:

Yeah.

Alban Brooke:

So we find people who are also in your same podcast categories,

Alban Brooke:

then we reach out to them and say, hey, we think we've got some matches for you.

Alban Brooke:

Based on some data we have about the shows we say, I think this is a good match.

Alban Brooke:

And once the podcaster says, yeah, that actually does look like a promo that I'd

Alban Brooke:

be interested in running, um, they can start dropping it into all their episodes.

Alban Brooke:

We recently just saw this kind of hiccup where Spotify was dropping a bunch of

Alban Brooke:

Wild Turkey ads into random podcasts.

Evo Terra:

Yeah.

Alban Brooke:

It was funny, that was the day that we started

Alban Brooke:

the beta for Buzzsprout Ads.

Alban Brooke:

And we always thought for, especially for podcaster safety, it's very important

Alban Brooke:

for podcasters to opt in to the ads that they want to be on their shows.

Alban Brooke:

So

Alban Brooke:

- Evo Terra: Of course.

- Alban Brooke:

that's an integral piece of Buzzsprout Ads.

Evo Terra:

Now, how much work does it take for a podcaster on Buzzsprout to

Evo Terra:

have those ads show up on their show?

Evo Terra:

Do they, they need to go in and create pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll locations?

Evo Terra:

What happens there?

Alban Brooke:

So, it's almost no work on the podcaster's side.

Alban Brooke:

Mid-rolls are by far the best ad spots for podcasts.

Alban Brooke:

And so we wanted all of these promos to be in mid-roll slots.

Alban Brooke:

The downside was a lot of indie podcasters, maybe you're only

Alban Brooke:

getting a thousand downloads a month.

Alban Brooke:

At that point, going back through your back catalog, you know, maybe

Alban Brooke:

50 episodes, and finding mid-roll spots, that's a lot of work.

Evo Terra:

Yes, it is.

Alban Brooke:

And so we're now automatically finding the very

Alban Brooke:

best spots for mid-rolls for you.

Alban Brooke:

And if you want to adjust these later, you can.

Alban Brooke:

But right off, as soon as you say, I'm ready to start using Buzzsprout Ads,

Alban Brooke:

we will go through every episode and automatically find those slots for you.

Alban Brooke:

And then when you accept ads, we will start stitching them into

Alban Brooke:

your audio files automatically.

Evo Terra:

So that covers how the podcasters on Buzzsprout get paid.

Evo Terra:

And they're getting paid by other podcasters who want to use Buzzsprout

Evo Terra:

Ads, but use them to promote their show.

Evo Terra:

Are you opening up to people who just want to run ads for products and services?

Alban Brooke:

Right now, we're trying to solve this problem of podcast promos.

Alban Brooke:

We saw a lot of issues where, you know, it was really heady for people

Alban Brooke:

to try to go into a Twitter thread and pair up with someone and find

Alban Brooke:

a fair trade with another show.

Alban Brooke:

And they're putting in so much work for sometimes something that would only end

Alban Brooke:

up being, you know, maybe 200 downloads.

Alban Brooke:

Now you can run that, you can get 200 downloads on Buzzsprout

Alban Brooke:

for something like $4.

Evo Terra:

Oh, wow.

Alban Brooke:

Uh, so it's, uh, we're trying to make this

Alban Brooke:

much easier for podcasters.

Alban Brooke:

There, I'm sure, are thousands of ways we can make this better.

Alban Brooke:

One of them would probably be opening it up to more people,

Alban Brooke:

um, more types of advertisers.

Alban Brooke:

But right now it's a hundred percent focused on podcast promotions.

Evo Terra:

And what are we shooting the CPM rate to be?

Alban Brooke:

So the CPM, um, how much you pay for a thousand downloads is $20.

Alban Brooke:

70% of that goes directly to the podcaster.

Alban Brooke:

This is directly from the person placing the ad.

Alban Brooke:

Uh, Buzzsprout runs the marketplace, and then 70% of

Alban Brooke:

that goes right to the podcaster.

Evo Terra:

Right, which is in line with what industry standards should

Evo Terra:

be, but without all those middlemen.

Evo Terra:

So let me ask you the second question, what is it about

Evo Terra:

Buzzsprout Ads that is better than what the competition is offering?

Alban Brooke:

Well, let's split it into the two different pieces.

Alban Brooke:

So, the monetization side for people who actually host shows on

Alban Brooke:

Buzzsprout and now want to monetize their podcasts with Buzzsprout

Alban Brooke:

Ads, it's completely transparent.

Alban Brooke:

You see how much we are charging the advertisers, and you're also

Alban Brooke:

seeing how much comes to you.

Alban Brooke:

And then we make those payments quickly and get you your money.

Alban Brooke:

We're going to be able to identify all of those mid-roll spots for you

Alban Brooke:

so that you can monetize your back catalog without any additional work.

Alban Brooke:

We're going to make sure that your ads are brand safe because it's not appropriate

Alban Brooke:

for a children's podcast to have, you know, alcohol ads in them or something.

Evo Terra:

Sure, or even a true crime podcast probably shouldn't

Evo Terra:

be run on a kid's show, right?

Alban Brooke:

Right.

Alban Brooke:

And we're doing just smart things like we're normalizing all the audio so

Alban Brooke:

that you're not stuck in one of these weird spots where you have your content

Alban Brooke:

and then the ad is like 3x the volume.

Evo Terra:

Right.

Alban Brooke:

We're going to make sure that everything is normalized

Alban Brooke:

and it sounds really good.

Evo Terra:

Okay.

Alban Brooke:

So we're trying to do a lot to improve the experience for people

Alban Brooke:

who are monetizing podcasts and solving each of those problems individually.

Alban Brooke:

Then, when we go over onto the promos side, uh, the main thing that we're

Alban Brooke:

doing there is we're making it very easy for people who want to experiment

Alban Brooke:

with podcast promotions to do so.

Alban Brooke:

All you need to do is pull up your podcast, create a forty-second promo,

Alban Brooke:

and then you're able to start running podcast promotions right away.

Alban Brooke:

This isn't going to be just with an individual podcaster, often when

Alban Brooke:

people place really large orders, um, they're probably working with

Alban Brooke:

hundreds of different podcasts.

Alban Brooke:

So you're getting a really good opportunity to experiment with are podcast

Alban Brooke:

promotions going to work for my show?

Alban Brooke:

And then when you find an ad that does work for you, well, now you can double it,

Alban Brooke:

triple down on it to significantly grow your show without a ton of added effort.

Evo Terra:

What's the minimum buy for someone who wants to run

Evo Terra:

promo ads to grow their show?

Alban Brooke:

Minimum buy, um, when we're launching is $100 and you will

Alban Brooke:

get 5,000 plays of your podcast promo.

Alban Brooke:

And this is a level where we feel comfortable a lot of people are going

Alban Brooke:

to hear about your podcast, a lot of those listeners are interested in

Alban Brooke:

podcasting, obviously, and probably interested in a show like yours.

Alban Brooke:

So you can start seeing, uh, does this ad work?

Alban Brooke:

Do I maybe need to change the copy or change the language?

Alban Brooke:

You, then, you're able to actually start running experiments to find something

Alban Brooke:

that's going to help you grow your show over the long-term with sustained success.

Evo Terra:

So what's on the roadmap?

Evo Terra:

What's next with Buzzsprout Ads that people might be looking forward to...

Evo Terra:

eventually?

Evo Terra:

Where you wanna go next?

Alban Brooke:

Well, the next step is telling everybody about what we've built.

Alban Brooke:

We've been working on this for the last, um, almost, I think, eight months of

Alban Brooke:

going through the ideas and getting this out to the world, really working on some

Alban Brooke:

of these features like that automatic identification of mid-roll spots.

Alban Brooke:

And I'm sure there are tons of other improvements, but the way that Buzzsprout

Alban Brooke:

has always worked is that we don't plan anything more than six weeks in advance.

Alban Brooke:

And so I don't have a, uh, an actual next step that we've planned.

Alban Brooke:

But, um, we're always open to feedback, especially from Buzzsprout podcasters

Alban Brooke:

and would love to hear what everybody thinks and, uh, ways that we can improve.

Evo Terra:

Well, I'm going to wrestle up a hundred bucks and write a promo

Evo Terra:

and start running it, uh, hopefully, uh, this weekend and see if I can grow

Evo Terra:

even my show, Podcast Pontifications.

Alban Brooke:

Awesome.

Alban Brooke:

Well, we would love to do that.

Alban Brooke:

Um, and, uh, yeah, I would love to hear your experience once you've done that.

Evo Terra:

Great.

Evo Terra:

Alban Brooke, thank you very much for being on the show today.

Alban Brooke:

Evo, thank you so much for having me.

Alban Brooke:

I appreciate it.

Evo Terra:

Special thanks to my friend Alban for coming on to talk about

Evo Terra:

Buzzsprout Ads and for being the Branded Benefit Sponsor of this week's episode.

Evo Terra:

And I wasn't kidding when I said I was going to put $100 of my own

Evo Terra:

money where my proverbial mouth is.

Evo Terra:

I literally just did it.

Evo Terra:

I wrote an ad.

Evo Terra:

I produced the audio.

Evo Terra:

And then I spent maybe ten minutes uploading it to Buzzsprout?

Evo Terra:

It was really, really simple.

Evo Terra:

And pretty soon, 5,000 sweet, sweet impressions will all be mine.

Evo Terra:

I'll post about the progress on my Twitter account, @EvoTerra,

Evo Terra:

if you want to follow along.

Evo Terra:

And if you want to, go to buzzsprout.com/ads and give

Evo Terra:

it a shot on your own podcast.

Evo Terra:

Let me know how it goes.

Evo Terra:

With that, I shall be back next week with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Evo Terra:

Cheers!

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

Evo Terra:

He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

Evo Terra:

Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

Evo Terra:

section of your podcast listening app.

Evo Terra:

A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

Evo Terra:

podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

Evo Terra:

transcript, both created by Allie Press.

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.