5 Things I Didn't Expect At Podcast Movement
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Podcast Movement has become the country’s largest annual conference for the rapidly growing on-demand audio space of podcasting. This year, over 3,000 people attended, from newbies starting a podcast in their bedroom (yes, there was a panel session on how to turn your bedroom into a podcast studio!) to representatives from the biggest audio companies in both broadcasting and podcasting.
Because Point-To-Point Marketing provides audience development for the podcast space, I went to Podcast Movement expecting to learn from the sessions and grow from the others in attendance...but there were quite a few things I did not expect to see. Here are the top five (in no particular order):
#1 - Puppies and Beer
You might question if it’s OK to have a corral of super-cute puppies that people are picking up, petting, and cuddling all day long. You also might question the available consumption of beer all day in a conference exhibit hall. But you can’t question the marketing savvy of LaunchPad DM, who garnered attention and conversation by having “Free Beer & Puppies” at their display! Certainly, the most creative way to induce interest in a company I saw all week, as well as an excuse to have a cold one while getting some puppy love.
#2 - iHeartParty and Podcasters
Sure, iHeartMedia is one of the biggest players in the podcast space. Sure, they had a really cool interactive display on the exhibit floor. But the off-site party on the final full day of the conference with all attendees invited was over-the-top. The entire Tin Roof bar was rented out and branded with iHeart logos, videos, and servers. Open bar and free food for all. Shuttle buses to and from the event. Live DJs. No expense spared! When I asked Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network, the podcast division of iHeartMedia, if he had anything to do with the party planning, he gave all the credit to his staff. But he did say, “iHeart really knows how to throw a party.” That may have been the biggest understatement he made all week.
#3 - Binge a Birding Podcast
One of the first things to catch my eye when I arrived was a woman wearing a t-shirt with “Bird Call Podcast” on the back. My first thought was that she was a fan of the NBA Pelicans podcast called “The Bird Calls.” But no, she was a fan of “This Birding Life”—a podcast that has 89 episodes all about birds! It was a reminder that even though the space is maturing and evolving, podcasting and podcasters really are still a community full of niche interests, and there really is something for everyone! It also caused me to search Nancy Grant, author of “Binge Birding, Twenty Days with Binoculars” which had not been on my to-do list.
#4 - Podcasting and Painted Nails
As #PM19 was winding down, the “Color Your World” conference was cranking up at the host hotel. When I asked what “Color Your World” was, they told me it was a conference of 4,000 nail stylists there to learn about a new product from Color Street which allows them to stick color strips on nails instead of traditional polish. I could only think of one thing...they should create a branded podcast! Podcasting was clearly getting into my head.
#5 - Enthusiasm and Energy
Finally, while I expected to find a large group of diverse people focused and excited about their roles in podcasting, I did not expect to find such an extremely high level of engagement and excitement at #PM19! From the smallest independent podcaster, to the largest host network, and everyone in between...it is clear podcasting has not only arrived, but this on-demand audio sector will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years. All of us at Point-To-Point Marketing are just as excited as all the other #PM19 attendees to be a part of the podcast space, and look forward to helping it grow. See you next year in Dallas!