By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Dawn Ostroff says “a lot of people recognize that this is the next big medium.” The former 20th Century Fox/Lifetime/UPN/CW/Condé Nast exec and TV and film producer is Spotify’s chief content officer & advertising business officer, and she keynoted the latest installment of CNBC’s Evolve webcast series: “The Evolution of Content & Consumption.”
“People really seem to want to work in this space right now.”
Among those hosting Spotify’s repertoire are the Obamas, Joe Rogan, and Kim Kardashian. Beyond that Who’s Who quality, “the quantity has been a story in and of itself.” Having “over two million” podcasts helps “great subscriber conversion.” Ostroff shared that “about 60% of listeners” upgrade from the free to the paid tier.
“I can’t remember when I’ve seen so much opportunity on the advertising side.”
“As the user is migrating from linear to digital, and as people convert from radio to streaming,” she says “we’re seeing advertisers follow.”
- Ostroff described “a more intimate relationship that advertisers can have with the user.”
- Advertisers get listener data and analytics they can’t from other media. And it doesn’t hurt that ads are not skippable.
- Yes, podcasting is a proven platform for reaching younger consumers. But don’t typecast this audience. Michelle Obama “brought it 55+ women.”
“It’s always been about gut.”
While data demonstrate topic and personality opportunities, Dawn Ostroff asks “Where is there white space that hasn’t been explored?” She always has an open ear for content that will “allow listeners to use their imagination.”
Seeming to speak to the broadcasting community she came from: “It is SO important to stay relevant, and not sit fat-and-happy” with content-as-usual.
“The more that things cost, the less risk you take in story-telling.”
Also appearing on the CNBC event, filmmaker Jason Blum was asked “What innovations have surprised you?”
His reply, as radio has learned in remote mode during the pandemic: “Technology has streamlined production. If COVID had happened 10 or 15 years ago, production would have halted.”
Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America. Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke