A Partnership that Sounds Profitable for the Podcast Industry

I vividly remember when Bryan Barletta first pitched me his idea for Sounds Profitable. It was August 2020, and I was heading up podcast research at Stitcher, just a couple months before the company was acquired by SiriusXM. Being the height of the pandemic, of course we were on a Zoom call, but I barely needed five minutes to think about Bryan’s proposal. I was immediately sold, and I’m pretty sure I told him on that same call.

Why the snap judgment? It was clear that Bryan’s extensive expertise in adtech would fill a gaping hole, benefiting the entire industry. Moreover, it was crucial that Sounds Profitable would be an independent voice.

Sounds Like Progress

Today, I’m very happy to report that my initial enthusiasm for the project was well founded. In just a shade over two years Sounds Profitable has become a hub of the industry, centered on a weekly newsletter that is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how podcast advertising really works. On the way Sounds Profitable has broadened its scope, conducting thorough podcasting tech deep dives, producing “The Download” podcast, hosting in-person events, and bringing on board Tom Webster, the dean of podcasting research, as a partner.

So it’s an honor and privilege for Signal Hill Insights to be chosen as partner  on Sounds Profitable’s quarterly research reports, equipping advertisers and publishers with the data to invest intelligently, reap substantial returns, and grow the medium wisely. To say that I’m also chuffed to do this work alongside Tom would be an understatement.

As a sponsor with SXM Media, I had the opportunity to participate on the first two reports last year, After These Messages and Safe and Sound. Now, as Chief Insights Officer and Partner at Signal Hill, I have the chance to dive in deeper, to help formulate the hypotheses, design the tests, field the studies and analyze the results.

Serving the Industry’s Diverse Stakeholders

It’s important that these studies are supported by a diverse mix of stakeholders, including brands, agencies, publishers and tech platforms. To be blunt, this keeps everyone honest, and fair. We also benefit greatly from their input and guidance. Even though our goal is to move podcasting forward, this arrangement ensures we’re not giving undue weight to one industry pillar at the expense of another, keeping our focus locked on delivering objective findings.

As I recently wrote, in joining Signal Hill my mission is fixed on holistic insights for both advertising effectiveness and audience development, developing predictive models. I anticipate that our partnership with Sounds Profitable will make a significant contribution to this mission.

There are so many fascinating and relevant questions to answer and ideas to test, all in service of podcating. I’m convinced that collaboration is a vital ingredient to this recipe, and I’m ready to get cooking.