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Podcasting Is Ready For Its Close-up.
Posted by PodcastOne Sales Staff  on 05/12/2015 at 12:22 PM

With podcasting a new frontier for radio, new ways to monetize the fledgling medium have emerged that go well beyond direct response ads read by hosts. Ad insertion has entered the ring, along with native advertising.

Targeting podcast ads based on behavioral data and demographics is becoming more prevalent. Using third party providers, CBS Radio, PodcastOne, audioBoom and other podcast players dynamically insert ads. CBS Radio stitches them into Play.it podcasts, whether the listener is streaming on demand or downloading the audio to their device. Here’s how it works: When there’s a call to the server for a specific podcast, it instantaneously sees what ads are available for that podcast or the demographic behavior purchased by the marketer. It then inserts the ads into the file before it’s downloaded or streamed.

“We made the audio on demand business very marketer-friendly,” says CBS Local Digital Media president Ezra Kucharz.

Data plays an increasingly important role. “There’s plenty of data, both digitally and through surveys, that can provide all the needed info to brand advertisers on who the audience is and their purchasing makeup,” PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz says.

Native advertising is becoming part of the playbook, too. At its SoundFront presentation, iHeartMedia’s pitch to marketers included inviting them to participate in the creative process for a new slate of podcasts. “We have some ideas, and we want to do it with your brands,” CMO Gayle Troberman said.

Client-branded podcasts are a big push at CBS, too, which is working with several brand advertisers to launch podcasts of their own original content toward the end of second quarter.

When PodcastOne launched two year ago, 90% of its business was direct response ads. Audience deliveries were small. But engaged, loyal followings produced strong results and high CPMs. “The podcast audience is worth more for an advertiser because they had to perform a positive act to access the content,” Pattiz says. The company’s national brand advertisers have surged from six to 46 during the past two years and it expects to end 2015 with a 50-50 ratio of direct response to brand advertisers.

“National brands are starting to use the medium in much more effective ways,” Pattiz says. The company expects to bill $20 million this year, ten times what it booked when it launched two years ago.

But despite the runaway success of NPR’s “Serial,” which amassed 80 million downloads, podcasting gets only a sliver of ad dollars. There is no precise tracking of its annual revenue with estimates ranging from as low as $34 million to as high as $60 million with potential to reach $100 million in the near-term.

Podcasting’s ace in the hole is a loyal and engaged audience – users seek out and subscribe to specific shows on topics that interest them. Being able to demonstrate a deeper emotional attachment could lead to higher CPMs than your average music stream. “We’re in the early stage and everyone’s trying to assess value,” Kucharz says. “A lot of brands like to associate themselves with passion plays and that’s what this is about.”

One-third of the country’s 12+ population has listened to a podcast, some 89 million people, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital. While the trend is one of solid growth, measuring how many people listened to a specific podcast after downloading it is one hurdle the industry will need to overcome to give marketers the metrics they’re accustomed to.

Companies like RawVoice, Libsyn and Podtrac measure the number of podcast downloads but they aren’t able to convert them into audience impressions. PodcastOne uses Edison to survey its audience and then fuses that demographic and psychographic data with the raw downloads to convert them into impressions. It also tags spots to validate the number of impressions the commercial received at the time it was consumed or downloaded.

The way Americans listen to podcasts is changing. There’s more consumption through on demand streaming than downloads, digital executives say. PodcastOne says 60% of its listeners stream its podcasts. As usage continues to shift away from downloads to streaming, podcast measurement is expected to improve.

But even without precise measurement, the trend line is clear. PodcastOne programs are downloaded 140 million time a month and generate 100 million monthly impressions, according to the company. Listening to Play.it has increased more than 30% since it launched.

Kucharz sees nothing but blue sky ahead for the medium, thanks to consumers already trained to use services like Netflix and Hulu to access on demand video and platforms like Spotify and Rdio to access music on demand. “You’re training consumers to access content when they want it,” he says. “Now it’s spoken word’s turn.”



 
Friday At The Worldwide Radio Summit: Music, Talent, Digital, Social, Security
Posted by PodcastOne Sales Staff  on 04/24/2015 at 12:10 PM

FRIDAY's agenda at the annual WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT at the HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT HOTEL included looks at audio's new platforms, breaking artists and picking the hits, social media, international radio, air talent, and security.

It Can Happen To You

VALORIANT SAFETY Senior Consultant TOM HUGHES opened the day's proceedings with a talk about security, dealing with issues from getting through airport security to a station's vulnerability to attack, both physically and online. He warned that those who exercise freedom of speech "without limits" can expect "bad guys" to "exercise freedom of action," and advised stations to have an emergency plan and safety training, including escape plans. He pointed out that broadcasters are "valued, and soft, targets," because they can offer a route for publicity and because everyone knows where the stations are. HUGHES, who handles security for MIRANDA LAMBERT, also offered checklists of best defenses for live events and against stalkers.

New Platforms, New Issues

PODCASTONE Founder NORM PATTIZ moderated FRIDAY's first panel on radio's challenges and opportunities competing on and with new audio platforms, joined by iHEARTMEDIA's ANDREW JEFFRIES, NIELSEN's JON MILLER, MEDIAMONITORS/RCS/MEDIABASE's PHILIPPE GENERALI, and MUSICWATCH's RUSS CRUPNICK. PATTIZ asked the panelists what they thought the audio industry would look like five years from now, and MILLER noted that the pace of change for radio has been "glacial" compared to television, which he noted has changed enormously in the last 18 months, with a huge shift to on-demand streaming video like NETFLIX. MILLER also cited the need to figure out measurement of digital audio, which prompted PATTIZ to raise the podcast industry's attempts to shift from direct response to brand advertising and how raw download numbers were being filtered through several proprietary formulas, which did not lead to agency acceptance.

Asked about how programming radio has changed for him with more competition and audience fragmentation, JEFFERIES said that he does not work in radio, but is a "curator of a brand" working in many platforms; his job, he said, is to provide the audience with the best content on all platforms.

PATTIZ asked whether programming is more important than platform, and GENERALI pointed out that operations like SPOTIFY and PANDORA don't own their content and that a spoken word programming company like PATTIZ's are in different positions. MILLER suggested that a third factor might be in play, the experience, because the content, especially music, is becoming the same across platforms. Asked if NIELSEN will ultimately measure PANDORA and SPOTIFY, MILLER said yes, but that measurement needs to be separated when different listeners are served different ads. CRUPNICK called technology "the price of entry" and noted that anyone can license the same music, meaning that, as MILLER posited, "it's somewhere in the middle ... it's about the experience."

PATTIZ asked whether technology is leading society in the right direction, and whether, for example, a news app that only serves up news the user wants to hear is a healthy thing; CRUPNICK noted that younger audiences are going to pick and choose what they hear, "for better or for worse, and I'm on the for-worse side." MILLER, however, noted that despite that, when major news stories like natural disasters hit a market, listeners flock to traditional all-News outlets, with the trick being to "do it every day."

Breaking Big

After DMR/INTERACTIVE's ANDREW CURRAN offered a mini-keynote on keeping P1 "super-fans" engaged by collecting and analyzing data about them and treating contest winners "like PPM panelists" to encourage sharing their good fortune with others, THE MUSIC BUSINESS REGISTRY's RITCH ESRA headed a panel on developing and breaking new music and artists.  COLUMBIA's LEE LEIPSNER, DISNEY MUSIC GROUP's MIO VUKOVIC, WARNER BROS. RECORDS' PETER GRAY, iHEARTMEDIA SOUTHEAST Regional SVP/Programming ROD PHILLIPS, SONGS MUSIC PUBLISHING's RON PERRY, and BMG's EVP Writers Services THOMAS SCHERER comprised the panel, which discussed the cost of breaking artists ("it's a range," GRAY said, declining to be more specific), whether potential radio play is a consideration in signing an artist (yes, VUKOVIC and PERRY agreed), the link between A&R and promotion (closer than ever, LEIPSNER said, leading to a discussion of how HOZIER's "Take Me to Church" managed to become a multi-format hit), breaking international artists in the U.S., and other issues.

#Radio (Or Maybe #TacoEmoji)

JACOBS MEDIA Digital and Social Media Strategist and ALL ACCESS columnist LORI LEWIS hosted a presentation and panel on radio's use of social media to build connections and trust with fans, with the assistance of panelists including CUMULUS Corporate PD and Country WNSH (NASH FM 94.7)/NEW YORK PD BRIAN THOMAS, ATLANTA-based syndicated "THE BERT SHOW" Executive Producer JEFF DAULER, FLUX FM/BERLIN Managing Partner/PD MONA RÜBSAMEN, and TACO BELL Sr. Director/Digital Marketing Platforms and Social Engagement TRESSIE LIEBERMAN.

LIEBERMAN gave insight into how TACO BELL has used social media to connect with millennials, saying that the company decided to be "human," speaking to fans as friends rather than a corporation.  While the company generates 15% of its social media content, 85% is fan-generated, including a promotion focused on some teens' propensity to use TACO BELL as part of prom proposals.  LEWIS noted that the TACO BELL social campaigns do not show a "need to be seen" as some other companies display, and highlighted the brand's "Taco Emoji" campaign to create a taco emoji to its emoji choices as a particularly shareable concept; LIEBERMAN explained that the company, finding out that the Unicode Consortium was indeed considering a taco emoji, started a CHANGE.ORG petition.  And the campaign to promote the chain's mobile ordering app by going dark on social media was examined as an example of using social media as a "supporting character" rather than the star performer.

The discussion turned to creating "holy crap" moments, such as THOMAS' station giving tickets to a fan who tweeted that she was on her way to a concert hoping to find tickets, adding backstage passes.  LEWIS noted that station staff should be checking Twitter throughout live events, connecting with listeners.  DAULER said his show took a page from TAYLOR SWIFT's "stalking" of fans online -- when she surprised them by delivering CHRISTMAS gifts they'd expressed interest in receiving -- by buying random social media followers dinner and engaging them about it, and loading a STARBUCKS card and posting the QR code to let followers have a coffee for free (warning, though, to turn off auto-reload).  "Read your teets, favorite them, respond," DAULER advised.  THOMAS counseled to start early in developing relationships with new artists.  As for FLUX FM, RÜBSAMEN showed examples of how the station did a home concert promotion with JAGERMEISTER using social media.

"Social media is not a volume business," LEWIS closed, "it is a differentiation business."

Three-peat!

Two-time defending champion CUMULUS Hot AC WPLJ/NEW YORK's DAN KELLY won his third IRON IMAGER contest held by BENZTOWN, besting challenger SEAN GALBRAITH of EVANOV Top 40/Rhythmic CIDC (Z103.5)/TORONTO in a battle of Classic Hip-Hop IDs and imaging.

The winner was just one of the announcements at the WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT 2015 INDUSTRY AWARDS LUNCHEON, sponsored by WESTWOOD ONE with INGRID MICHAELSON performing three songs ("The Way I Am," "Girls Chase Boys," and "Time Machine") and ZACH SANG of the syndicated ZACH SANG & THE GANG joined ALL ACCESS' JOEL DENVER and A&R WORLDWIDE's SAT BISLA hosting.  See the complete list of Industry Awards winners by clicking here.

It's Got A Good Beat And It's Good To Dance To

The post-lunch sessions began with the annual interactive record-rating panel, with panelists and selected audience members wielding meters to register their opinions on several new songs.  BISLA moderated the segment with Top 40 BBC RADIO 1/Urban 1XTRA Head of Music GEORGE ERGATOUDIS, CUMULUS VP/Programming and Top 40 WRQX (DC'S 107.3)/WASHINGTON PD GILLETTE, SIRIUSXM VP Programming/Pop KID KELLY, CUMULUS Corporate PD-Urban/Rhythmic MAURICE DEVOE, FLUX FM/BERLIN Managing Partner MARKUS KUEHN, SOUNDOUT CEO DAVID COURTIER-DUTTON, and MID-WEST FAMILY BROADCASTING Active Rock WJJO (94.1 JJO)/MADISON PD RANDY HAWKE on the panel.

The International View (Not Too Positive About U.S. Radio)

DENVER returned to host the international radio panel sponsored by PHIL DOWSE MEDIA, which included OXIS MEDIA (JACK FM)/OXFORD, ENGLAND CEO IAN WALKER, AUSTRALIAN RADIO NETWORK CEO CIARAN DAVIS, BROADCASTING LAGARDÈRE/PARIS Senior Foreign Advisor ANDREW MANDERSTAM, and KAGISO MEDIA/SOUTH AFRICA Executive Director/Deputy CEO OMAR ESSACK.

DAVIS opened with a discussion of how his company started over with new management, new marketers and salespeople, and slowly rebuilt, culminating with the signing of KYLE SANDILANDS and JACKIE O for the successful relaunch of what is now KIIS 106.5/SYDNEY.  MANDERSTAM detailed his company's expansion efforts, while ESSACK discussed the revamping of EAST COAST RADIO/DURBAN from a small, primarily white station to an integrated station on air and audience-wise; observing American radio's racial polarization, he said, he decided not to bring that kind of segmentation to his station, instead seeking to concentrate on a lifestyle/economic segment.  WALKER talked about his experience working with private radio in VIENNA, learning from mistakes made there, coaching talent, and the value of a local strategy for commercial radio to combat the dominance of the BBC in local markets.

The panel also addressed staffing issues, including ESSACK touting the success of his diverse staff and DAVIS relating the value of hiring young employees who cost less but work hard.  MANDERSTAM noted the history of government-controlled radio in EUROPE and the explosion of private radio after Communist rule ended.  And ESSACK said that his station is not a radio station but a lifestyle brand, showing a video highlighting several successful events sponsored by the station.

And WALKER mentioned being inspired many years ago by hearing KQMQ/HONOLULU but that nothing he hears presently on his trips to AMERICA sounds as good.  DAVIS said that he felt a level of depression in the room at THURSDAY's sessions and added that the American radio industry "needs to wake up really fast.... (or) the radio industry in AMERICA will become like the newspaper industry."

Star Time

The Summit's sessions closed with an air talent panel moderated by iHEARTMEDIA Top 40 KIIS-F/LOS ANGELES morning co-host ELLEN K and featuring BEASLEY Rock-oriented Adult Hits WBRN-F (BUBBA 98.7)/TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG syndicated morning host BUBBA THE LOVE SPONGE, iHEARTMEDIA Top 40 WKSC (103.5 KISS FM)/CHICAGO morning team CHRISTOPHER (FRED) FREDERICK and ANGI TAYLOR, ENTERCOM Alternative KRBZ (96.5 THE BUZZ)/KANSAS CITY morning host AFENTRA BANDOKOUDIS and her husband, PD/afternoon host SCOTT (LAZLO) GEIGER, "ASIA POP 40" host DOM LAU, and NELONEN MEDIA/FINLAND radio division Content Director and host SAMI TENKANEN.

BUBBA admitted to having had to do things he didn't want to do, but noted "I'm gainfully employed" as a result; he offered details of the launch of WBRN ("a JACK format on crack... I can't believe anyone would give me my own radio station") and joked that he doubts that BEASLEY giving him WBRN to program will set a precedent.

TAYLOR discussed being "thrown together" with FRED at WKSC and being successful after a few years together, with Chicagoans finally accepting the team, prompting ELLEN K to discuss her own relationship with co-host RYAN SEACREST after being "thrown together" with him as well.

AFENTRA and LAZLO related the beginnings of their relationship while working in DETROIT and, prompted by a question from TAYLOR, said that they bring their personal lives onto the air -- LAZLO said that "it would be foolish.. to shut that part of my personality off."  LAU discussed his show and how it airs in several nations, with CHINA next on the list; he jokingly pointed out that he hosts the show in English in his natural, unaccented speaking voice.  TENKANEN talked about being both talent and management, leading to the panel joking about being hotlined (AFENTRA, married to the boss, said that the hotline always should be picked up).

Asked about the best and worst advice they got from their PD, TAYLOR said that the best advice was to "be your authentic self," and FRED added that the best (study and embrace improv comedy) and worst (that the PD was the PD because he could do FRED's job better than FRED) came from the same PD.  LAZLO, as a PD and talent, said that he has never quit a job but he was always fired from every job; as for the best advice, one PD told him that as he changed jobs, people will keep telling him to be "less and less you," and while that would get him a job, "it won't get you the job you want."

BUBBA decried the loss of PDs like MARC CHASE, B.J. HARRIS, or BUDDY SCOTT in favor of the current crop of PDs and the lack of talent development that has led to voicetracking.  "There's not a lot of RANDY MICHAELS out there," he said.  "We're big f--king PPM jukeboxes now."  LAZLO said that talent should be standing up for talent, but BUBBA noted that talent has no power now.

On cameras in the studio, BUBBA said that he does not like them -- it's "the old zookeeper mentality" and he wants to keep some trade secrets -- but, he said, it's a "necessary evil."  He also praised HOWARD STERN as a "trailblazer in our industry... he's brilliant, he's the best" and termed STERN's endorsement of him by signing him to his SIRIUS channel his proudest moment in the business.

On what makes her proud AFENTRA said "I'm proud to compete with penis... and win."  Her husband voiced pride in working for ENTERCOM, which allows him to play the music he chooses and to talk about politics from a liberal perspective and talk about the Internet and other things he brings in from home.  "I know she (AFENTRA) loves JOY DIVISION and I know JOY DIVISION doesn't test... and I don't give a sh-t," LAZLO declared.



 
Mike Agovino, ex-Triton, joins PodcastOne
Posted by PodcastOne Sales Staff  on 03/17/2015 at 11:47 AM

Mike Agovino, formerly COO of Triton Digital, has pivoted quickly into a new role as Executive Vice Chairman of PodcastOne. As we reported yesterday, Agovino left Triton in the wake of its acquisition by Vector Capital.

“The timing is finally right,” said Agovino, who has known PodcastOne founder and CEO Norm Pattiz for years. “I have long-admired Norm’s leadership style and success in all endeavors. Norm has spearheaded the reinvention of audio technology and entertainment, and I am excited to join forces with someone for whom I have so much respect, and with a company so well positioned to lead in the on-demand audio space.”

Agovino was President of Katz Radio until 1999. He moved to Clear Channel where he was President and COO of Radio Sales. Mike Agovino co-founded Triton Digital, a technology company which provides audience ratings and technology platforms for the online audio industry.

Norm Pattiz appreciates Agovino’s experience and scope: “Mike has been a pioneer in the audio industry and brings a unique global perspective of the digital audio business to PodcastOne. He shares our vision that on-demand premium content is a key driver in the future of audio.”

PodcastOne has created news with a series of announcements over the past three months:

  • partnership with Associated Press to create real-time injection of news bulletins
  • Dana Senit hired as regional sales manager
  • PodcastOne enters the Hispanic market with the signing of Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo to exclusive podcast


 
Fortune: 'Serial' Is Small. PodastOne Is Building A Podcasting Empire!
Posted by PodcastOne Sales Staff  on 12/18/2014 at 10:46 AM
Fortune.com

The podcasting network, home to Snooki and Adam Carolla, boasts 120 million monthly downloads.

Serial is the media story of 2014. The podcast series, which investigates a 15-year-old murder case, has averaged 3.1 million listeners each week. More notably, it’s become an Internet phenomenon, with dozens of articles, recaps, conspiracy theories, and parodies. Twitter is obsessed. Reddit is obsessed. There are discussion groups. There are tip jars. There are social media gaffes. It has captured the Internet’s fascination the same way that, before now, only a television show could. The success of Serial, combined with the launch of Gimlet Media, a podcasting startup (producing a podcast show about starting a podcast startup, no less), is enough for the media to declare we are in a podcasting renaissance.

Should the radio industry be scared? Not yet. Terrestrial radio still reaches 92% of Americans, and only 15% listen to podcasts. Within that sliver of listeners, Serial’s audience is small potatoes.

The radio listeners of the world won’t switch to podcasts overnight. But the shift from scheduled programming to on-demand content that is happening in TV also applies to radio. Just ask Norm Pattiz, a radio industry veteran who started Westwood One, a syndicator of talk radio shows, and grew it into a half-billion-dollar company. He’s a radio guy for life—“I’ve been a cheerleader of radio for 35 years. I’m not changing my stripes,” he says—but he believes the only way to grow in radio industry is to embrace digital. He saw an opportunity in podcasts, because, unlike radio, which depends on broadcasters to pick up your shows, podcasts have their own distribution.

What’s more, the big radio companies have ignored podcasting, because “it isn’t a major needle-mover for them,” Pattiz explains. Two years ago, podcasting was “pretty much a mom and pop business,” he says. New York ad agencies weren’t buying ads on podcasts, even though podcasts report very high engagement among listeners.

The engagement part is important: “[These] were people who had actively gone out and downloaded this. If you get one million listeners who are active listeners, the engagement for an advertiser is pretty much off the charts,” Pattiz says. That’s how Serial’s advertiser, MailChimp, has spawned its own set of jokes and memes online.

But Serial is only one show with one advertiser. (In later episodes, the show added additional sponsors; it also asked listeners for donations.) Major brands haven’t poured money into podcasts because they aren’t prepared to write small checks to individual shows. Big brands have huge budgets and need to buy at scale.

That’s what Pattiz’s company, PodcastOne, hopes to fix. The company aggregates shows and sells ads in bundles across their combined audiences. It shares the revenue with its programmers. PodcastOne partnered with talent agencies to bring on celebrity podcasters such as Snooki, Dr. Drew, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Radiolab, and Penn Jillette. (Pattiz pitched the idea to Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel during a Los Angeles Lakers game, where they have adjacent seats.)

PodcastOne now offers 200 different shows that are downloaded 120 million times per month. (This equates to 100 million listens, the company says.) Pattiz has 200 more potential shows in the hopper, but the company is rolling them out slowly to meet demand.

That’s where Serial comes in. The show’s fame has translated to more interest in the category of podcasts from listeners and advertisers. “It’s been great for the business because it’s bringing attention to podcasting,” says Pattiz, who is a Serial listener.

The next step is to make the podcast experience even more like radio. Today, the company announced it will partner with the Associated Press to insert up-to-date news briefs at the beginning of each of its podcasts. When a podcast is downloaded, the most recent 60-second audio news clip from the AP will be inserted at its beginning. The majority of podcasts are listened to within a few hours after they’re downloaded, according to Pattiz. There’s a business proposition here, too: Radio networks are increasingly abandoning the news, Pattiz says, so advertisers that want to be positioned alongside news content have fewer options.

In its first year, PodcastOne was happy to snag six major brand advertisers. This year, it landed 36. Pattiz says he expects the podcast category to be worth $100 million next year, with PodcastOne taking the biggest share of it. It’s nowhere close to the $16 billion radio industry. But it might be the future of audio.

 



 
Jacobs Media - Radio's Most Innovative
Posted by PodcastOne Sales Staff  on 10/03/2014 at 12:23 PM
If you’ve never known otherwise, you may not even think about how much syndicated programming has changed the face of radio programming, personalities, and content delivery.  But in 1976, when Norm Pattizlaunched Westwood One, there weren’t satellite receivers at every station, let alone FTP sites for distributing content.  Syndicated programming wasn’t common like it is today and it surely wasn’t widely recognized as an effective advertising vehicle.  But over the course of his 35 years at Westwood One, Pattiz played a major role in changing the game by growing the popularity of syndicated programming among listeners, while upping its value for advertisers.  Today, it is a staple of the industry.

Norm Pattiz 1Now he is on the front lines again, championing another new method for delivering audio content to consumers:  podcasting.  With PodcastOne, Pattiz has created a place where a star-studded group of hosts create compelling content about a nearly limitless variety of topics consumed by rabid fans. And where there is an audience, there are advertisers, with whom Pattiz is working to educate about the value of podcasting, or as he calls it, on-demand audio.

So, for this week’s innovation Friday, we asked Norm to share reflections on his time at Westwood One, insights about the world of podcasting, thoughts about how the radio industry can adapt to the changing audio landscape, and, most importantly, what his beloved Los Angeles Lakers need to do to return to the glory days of “Showtime.”

JM:  Let’s start with Westwood One.  During your time there, what was the most innovative thing the network did and what inspired it?

NP:  I founded the company and was there for 35 years, so narrowing it to one thing is impossible.

There’s producing, distributing, and monetizing our first program, The Sound of Motown, a 24-hour weekend special and producing individual programs for my first four advertisers which really got us moving.  Getting into the concert business, building three state-of-the-art mobile recording studios and crisscrossing the nation was a big deal.  And hiring KMET’s “The Burner,” Mary Turner, was important both because she’s been my wife for 30 years and she knew Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, The Who and every other major rock star.  Her show, Off the Record, is the longest-running music interview show on radio, though no longer hosted by her. 

Going public in 1984 and acquiring the Mutual Broadcasting System, the NBC radio networks, and Radio and Records are right up there, too.  Our management deal with CBS was huge for Westwood One shareholders, and becoming a multi-billion dollar company with revenues of over half a billion dollars annually certainly made me smile.  Being a middle class kid from West L.A. who figuratively gave birth to this company, which still exists decades later and opened the doors to other opportunities I could have never imagined, has been quite a trip.

JM: What led you to identify the opportunity for PodcastOne?

NP:  A mutual friend introduced me to Kit Gray who was representing podcasts and selling them to advertisers. He reminded me of myself when I started Westwood One.  He was working out of his apartment doing everything himself and having good success, though on a small scale.

PodcastOne 3Podcasts, which are really radio/audio on demand, looked interesting.  Upon further investigation, I was surprised to find there were no major players in the space.  No one had the critical mass or deep enough pockets to go to Madison Avenue and create demand.  I got very excited.  It’s Westwood One for the digital age without the restrictions of radio formats, program directors’ individual tastes or the difficulties of navigating radio programming during a time of ultra-consolidation, heavy debt loads and 400-pound gorillas.

JM: So what makes a great podcast?

NP:  There are a ton of things that make a podcast great.  But to be great for me it has to have an audience in the hundreds of thousands, a host who understands the importance of content to an advertiser, and someone who thinks PodcastOne is a good place to be.

JM:  What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve encountered so far in launching and growing the platform?  How did you overcome it?

NP:  Having the experience of launching and building Westwood One has helped a lot because the hurdles are similar.  In the early days, the radio syndication business was very much like podcasting is today, lacking reliable metrics, general visibility, and players with critical mass.  Advertisers haven’t gotten what they required to get comfortable with the medium, which has resulted in major brands with a lack of knowledge and interest.

But it hasn’t been that difficult to overcome.  I’ve got almost 40 years of relationships with associates, advertisers, talent and all the other areas that support them.  Plus, in addition to Kit Gray, it helps having Gary Yusko and Greg Batusic, who were with me at Westwood One, as part of the executive management team.  And even though the rest of our 25 team members seem like teenagers by comparison, they’re not.  They are young, bright, eager and excited to be part of an enterprise that’s radio, audio, and digital all rolled into one with no limits in sight.

JM:  What trends are you seeing in the types of content and consumption patterns on PodcastOne?

NP:  The trends are no trends, all trends, and no limitations.  If there’s a fan base, interest in a subject and the potential of attracting an audience, we’re interested.  Comedy and technology launched podcasting when consumption wasn’t the easiest thing.  Today, iPhones, Androids, tablets, computers, and Bluetooth make podcasting so simple, mobile and available whenever and wherever the consumer wants to access the content.  So, spoken word on demand audio content on any subject — sports, politics, music, lifestyles, entertainment, business, science, the arts, or Snooki’s latest pregnancy — are all out there with millions of social followers and podcast consumers creating billions of impressions for advertisers.

JM:  You have some big stars on PodcastOne.  How essential is that to the success of a podcast?

NP:  PodcastOne stars?  Sure, plenty.  Adam Carolla, Radio Lab, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Nicole Polizzi (aka Snooki), Dr. Drew, Dan Patrick, Dennis Miller, Kathie Lee Gifford, Brett Easton Ellis, Penn Jillette, Jay Mohr, with Larry King, Pawn Stars’ Rick Harrison, and Rich Eisen on deck.  Plus, a couple of hundred others who are downloaded over 120 million times every month.  Yeah, we’ve got stars.

JM:  How do you “identify” and “recruit” the next generation of stars?

NP:  When was the last major national star created in radio?  It’s been quite a while.  National stars are created in podcasting weekly.  They come from other mediums, social media, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, TV and radio, music and parts unknown.  They are unconstrained by formatics, station groups, program directors, and tastemakers.  This is audio democracy in its ultimate form.  Let the listeners, consumers, and the market decide.

JM:  Adam Carolla is probably best known as the first mega-radio star to step away from a successful broadcast career to make his way in the world of podcasting.  What’s something we don’t know about him that’s really interesting?

NP:  His middle name is “Lakers.”  That’s no bull.  It’s true.  He doesn’t have a middle name and when he went to get his driver’s license, they asked for one.  “Lakers” was the first thing that popped into his head.  We’ve been in love ever since.

JM:  In an LA Times article, you said, “You can’t look at radio as a brick and mortar operation, and consumed on a radio over a certain frequency.  That’s a recipe for disaster.”  What suggestion could you give broadcasters trying to adapt in this rapidly changing audio environment?

NP:  Embrace the change.  Make it part of radio and think of the possibilities for local engagement.  The old definition of radio shouldn’t exist anymore because growth in that area alone is over.  But by embracing the content and making it additive to traditional terrestrial radio, the medium will grow, as will every segment that contributes to it.  And stop giving it away as value added; it has significant value on its own.

JM:  What do you say to those who claim that monetizing new media – like streaming or podcasting – will never be successful or profitable?

NP:  Bullshit!

JM:  What is the largest impediment to innovation in the broadcast radio business?

NP:  Ownership and debt loads.

JM:  What would you say to someone with an innovative idea for radio who isn’t sure how to get it going?

NP:  Start it online.  You may find traditional radio unnecessary.

Clockwise from upper left: Norm, the ultimate Lakers fan, Norm with Adam Carolla and Bill O'Reilly, Norm with Ashton Kutcher, Jason Biggs & wife, Jenny Mollen with Norm & Mary Pattiz,

Clockwise from upper left: Norm, the ultimate Lakers fan, Norm with Adam Carolla and Bill O’Reilly, Norm with Ashton Kutcher, Jason Biggs & wife, Jenny Mollen with Norm & Mary Pattiz,

JM:  And finally, as a fan who has sat courtside for over 30 years, what kind of innovation do the Lakers need to adopt in order to become an NBA powerhouse again?

NP:  I have had such joy being a Lakers fan that it causes me real pain to say that I have no brilliant insight into that subject.  Players, coaches, ownership, and I all pray to God that Kobe returns as the player he wants and needs to be to keep fans like me from slitting their throats.

Thanks to Mike Stern for writing this “RMI” profile.



 
4 Minutes and 93 Seconds with Norm
Posted by PodcastOne Sales Staff  on 01/13/2014 at 5:27 PM
Celebrity Podcasts Fuel Second Act for Radio Mogul...

 
NMX14 Keynote: The Future of Podcasting
Posted by PodcastOne Sales Staff  on 01/13/2014 at 9:15 AM

Leo Laporte (Owner and Chief of TWiT.tv) moderates a discussion on the future of podcasting with Norman Pattiz (Founder of Westwood One and PodcastOne) and Noah Shanock (Founder of Stitcher) during the New Media Expo '14 keynote. The discussion centers on the trends and direction of traditional syndicated radio, on-demand audio and audio podcasting.




 
Bloomberg Businessweek: Celebrity Podcasts Are Fueling a Second Act
Posted by PodcastOne Sales Staff  on 12/06/2013 at 2:20 PM

Three decades of courtside seats at Los Angeles Lakers games gave Westwood One founder Norm Pattiz not just a front-row view of Kobe Bryant--he's built a Rolodex of Hollywood's top names. Now Pattiz is getting his celebrity pals to create talk shows for a venture he began in February, PodcastOne, which sells ads in its free, downloadable radio programs. Read more…

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-05/celebrity-podcasts-are-westwood-one-founder-norm-pattizs-second-act



 
Brandi Glanville Unfiltered to Premiere on PodcastOne
Posted by PodcastOne Sales  on 11/04/2013 at 9:39 AM

Sassy star to dish with celebrity guests and talk about gossip, dating, sex, beauty, fashion and celebrities

LOS ANGELES, November 4, 2013 - 
Brandi Glanville, star of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," debuts her podcast, Brandi Glanville Unfiltered, tomorrow on PodcastOne, the leader in audio on-demand programing and a division of Courtside Entertainment Group.  Glanville welcomes actress Jennifer Gimenez and television personality Dr. Will Kirby as her first guests.  In addition to interviewing star guests on the one-hour show, Glanville dishes about pop culture, fashion and celebrity gossip. New shows will air on a weekly basis.

"It’s great being the one who gets to ask the questions," said Glanville. "We're making the show entertaining, informative, fun and as spontaneous as possible, so you never know what someone is going to say next."

PodcastOne Chairman/CEO Norm Pattiz said, "Brandi is a natural, in every sense of the word.  No thought goes unspoken and what you hear is who she is.  She was born for this medium. We're glad to have her at PodcastOne."

Available at www.PodcastOne.com, Glanville joins the popular line-up of PodcastOne personalities and brands which include Kathie Lee Gifford, Dan Patrick, Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew, Steve Austin, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Jay Mohr, Jillian Michaels, NPR New York, NPR Los Angeles, 60 Minutes and more.

About Brandi Glanville
Brandi Glanville is one of television's most recognizable personalities, a bestselling author, actress and model.  Known to millions of fans as the sassy and outspoken star of the reality series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Glanville is also a best-selling author.  Her first book, Drinking and Tweeting and Other Brandi Blunders debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Sellers list where it remained for 10 consecutive weeks. She's currently working on a second book.

About PodcastOne
PodcastOne is the leader in audio on-demand programing and a division of Courtside Entertainment Group.  Launched in February, 2013, PodcastOne hosts approximately 200 top podcasts including the ones previously mentioned, as well as Radio Lab, 60 Minutes, Freakonomics Radio, Rooster Teeth, The Nerdist, CBS News, Loveline, Laura Ingraham, Penn Jillette, Ross Tucker, Yahoo! Sports Radio, Ask Women and more at www.PodcastOne.com.

About Courtside Entertainment Group
Norm Pattiz, founder and chairman emeritus of radio giant Westwood One, founded and launched Courtside Entertainment Group (CEG) in 2010.  Based in Los Angeles, the company produces and finances multi-platform, quality programming.  It's also the radio home for such high profile personalities as Laura Ingraham, Bill O'Reilly, Dr. Drew Pinsky and Ron Paul. 

Press Contacts:
Amir Forester, for PodcastOne
310.857.6207
amir@foresterpublicrelations.com

Steve Honig, for Brandi Glanville
818.986.4300
press@honigcompany.com



 
Dan Patrick Partners with PodcastOne
Posted by Launchpad Digtial Media  on 10/17/2013 at 12:09 PM

Contacts:

Amir Forester, PodcastOne
310-857-6207
amir@foresterpublicrelations.com 


Sharon Fish, for Dan Patrick
847-384-3907
SFish2@DIRECTV.com


Dan Patrick Partners with PodcastOne

 

LOS ANGELES, October 17, 2013 -- Sportscaster Dan Patrick partners with PodcastOne, the leader in audio on-demand programing and a division of Courtside Entertainment Group.  Patrick's podcast is now available on demand via PodcastOne and is exclusively represented to national advertisers by PodcastOne Sales, the company's in-house rep firm.  With exclusive insider access, Patrick brings A-list guests from the world of sports and entertainment to The Dan Patrick Show.  Sharing his perspective on pop culture and sports, Patrick also brings a dose of humor to his fans.

          "Nobody does sports talk better than Dan Patrick," says PodcastOne Chairman/CEO Norm Pattiz.  "Nobody does on demand audio better than we do. So it should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that we're teaming up for the benefit of listeners and advertisers. With the addition of Dan Patrick, the list of stars on the PodcastOne platform has just become significantly brighter."

          Available at www.PodcastOne.com, Patrick joins the popular line-up of PodcastOne personalities and brands which include Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew, Steve Austin, Kathie Lee Gifford, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Jay Mohr, Jillian Michaels, NPR New York, NPR Los Angeles, 60 Minutes and more.

About Dan Patrick

Dan Patrick is one of America's legendary sports journalists. Patrick spent 18 years at ESPN before pursuing his own independent brand in 2007.  Patrick evolved and perfected The Dan Patrick Show over the last six years with the best guests, breaking news, and entertainment.

The Dan Patrick Show is distributed nationally through DIRECTV Entertainment and the weekday radio program can be heard on over 270 affiliate stations and seen on television in over 90 million homes on both DIRECTV's Audience channel and on NBCSN.

Patrick has received multiple awards and nominations for his work. He has won and been nominated multiple times for a Sports Emmy Award, has been named Sportscaster of the Year, won a Marconi award, and has had many more accomplishments. Patrick continues to build upon his independent brand by growing his distribution platforms in radio, TV, digital, magazines and even movies. By continuing to innovate, Patrick remains as one of the leading sports broadcasters and premium brands in the business.

About PodcastOne 

PodcastOne is the leader in audio on-demand programing and a division of Courtside Entertainment Group.  Launched in February, 2013, PodcastOne hosts approximately 200 top podcasts including the ones previously mentioned, as well as Radio Lab, 60 Minutes, Freakonomics Radio, Rooster Teeth, The Nerdist, CBS News, Loveline, Laura Ingraham, Penn Jillette, Ross Tucker, Yahoo! Sports Radio, Ask Women and more at www.PodcastOne.com.  

About Courtside Entertainment Group

Norm Pattiz, founder and chairman emeritus of radio giant Westwood One, founded and launched Courtside Entertainment Group (CEG) in 2010.  Based in Los Angeles, the company produces and finances multi-platform, quality programming.  It's also the radio home for such high profile personalities as Laura Ingraham, Bill O’Reilly, Dr. Drew Pinsky and Ron Paul.  

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