A major challenge for just about anyone with a podcast these days is the issue of discovery. As more and more publishers invest in producing podcasts, it becomes increasingly difficult to find and grow an audience. At A+E Networks, one way to overcome this problem is to cross-promote, both internally and externally.
“Cross-promoting your podcast and other podcasts remains the most effective way to find a new audience,” said Jessie Katz, vice president of audio programming and podcasting for A+E Networks, on Wednesday at Digiday. Publishing Summit in Key Biscayne, Florida. .
A+E Networks offers 13 podcasts, with a mix of podcasts paired with TV shows on the A&E, Lifetime, and History channels; podcasts derived from these original shows and podcasts.
A+E Networks markets its podcasts to its large television audience, with the coordination of marketing teams that support the company’s podcasts and television shows.
“We get a lot of airplay, with promos and bumpers and lower thirds promoting our podcasts,” Katz said. On the podcast side, “we always reserve promotional space on our podcast to promote our on-air initiatives, our specials and our premieres”.
As a result, A+E’s podcasts often experience a surge in listeners for at least a few weeks when the shows are promoted on TV. “For example, we might see a 40% increase in listens after promoting a podcast on air. audience after that,” Katz said.
That tactic doesn’t always work, Katz admitted, and A+E is still testing that strategy.
On the other hand, getting deals with other production companies and platforms “has been huge for us,” Katz told DPS. A+E Networks is working with WNYC and Cadence13 on some of its podcasts, which are “companies that already have their own massive, highly engaged audiences,” and content roster, Katz said. Working together has “boosted” A+E Networks’ efforts, bringing production and sales resources closer together.
Partnerships are also helpful for podcasts to reach larger audiences, Katz said. Both companies can advertise the shows they do together, as well as run promos for other shows on their own networks. Co-produced podcasts find an audience “faster” than those without a partner, Katz said.
But the trade-off is to split the revenue with someone else. A+E Networks makes money from its podcasts with advertising, specifically host-read and dynamically-inserted ads, or programmatic ads that run in unsold inventory.
A+E considers a number of factors before deciding to bring in an outside company: whether or not the show can be produced in-house by A+E Networks’ small in-house team, where intellectual property and how much money each partner will market the podcast, Katz said.
“These things are all the pros and cons that we weigh when we think about how much revenue we’re willing to share,” she said. But spitting out some of a podcast’s revenue is worth it, if it means reaching a “really large audience,” Katz added.