iHeartMedia And Pushkin Insures Reveal Growing Consumer-Marketer Disconnect

iHeartMedia, the No. 1 audio company in the United States which reaches nine out of 10 Americans every month, and author and podcaster Malcolm Gladwell’s Pushkin Industries, released the results of a major study conducted by Morning Consult and Advertiser Perceptions, that explores the growing disparity between consumer values and behaviors and marketing priorities in the U.S. 

The report underscores the increasing urgency for marketers to reset and realign their marketing and media plans with American consumers to ensure the success of campaigns in an increasingly polarized post-COVID economy.

This research is a reminder of how different we marketers are from today’s consumers, especially post-pandemic. Based on these results, we need to challenge ourselves as we build marketing and media plans to be sure we use real consumer data and not just trust our instincts and personal experiences. These personal biases are too detached from the consumers most marketers are trying to engage, and which are often behind major marketing misfires,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia Inc. “This study aims to level-set the conversation to benefit both our audiences and advertisers.”

“This report illustrates a cultural chasm between what consumers hold dear and the compass by which marketers navigate. It’s high time that marketers acknowledge that chasing the new and shiny isn’t always the path to hearts and minds,” said Gladwell. “There’s nothing more critical to understanding what people want than looking beyond your personal perspective.”

Key findings from the report included:

Marketers sometimes chase trends Consumers don’t care about: Is bias toward shiny new things a problem? The research showed that marketers often chase the ‘shiny and new’ at the expense of reflecting the values and priorities of real consumers. For example:

While 40% of Consumers report that they’ve never heard of NFTs, that number drops to 0% for Marketers.

For Lifestyle items the gap widens, as 50% of all Consumers responded that they’ve never heard of an Aperol Spritz, and only 3% of Marketers reported unfamiliarity.

33% of Consumers have never heard of ‘charcuterie’, while ALL Marketers are familiar with it.

62% of Consumers have never heard of the TV show “Succession,” while less than 5% of Marketers have never heard of “Succession.”

Almost 1/3 of Consumers have never heard of pickleball, while ALL Marketers have heard of pickleball.

Snacking and Podcasting: The two things American Consumers won’t give up: Podcasting and snacking tied for No. 1 for Consumers’ hardest habits to give up – while the hardest thing for Marketers was to give up online shopping.

Twice as hard to give up — Favorite Podcasts vs. Social Media: Giving up social media like Instagram is twice as hard for Marketers as it is for Consumers; for Consumers, it’s twice as hard to give up their favorite podcasts.

“Cool” vs. “Cringe” looks different on Main Street vs. Madison Ave, with ‘traditional American’ activities reported as “Cool” for Consumers: The top 2 activities that scored the highest as “Cool” for Consumers were traveling around the U.S. and BBQs, while travel to Europe and going to the gym were ranked Top 2 for “Cool” for Marketers. And among the top choices for “Cringe” for Consumers were NFTs and being vegan or vegetarian, while the top choices for “Cringe” for Marketers were making a recipe using cottage cheese and watching NCIS, both of which consumers put in the “Cool” category. Additionally, 1/3 both of Marketers and Consumers think radio is “Cool.”

Electric Vehicles: Marketers are 4 times more likely than Consumers to drive an EV.

Consumers are motivated by friends and family, Marketers are motivated by fortune, fame, and fear: When it comes to motivation, Consumers’ top two motivators are family and friends. Consumers are motivated by family more than twice as much as Marketers are, and by friends almost as much as Marketers, whereas Marketers are motivated by fortune more than twice as much as Consumers, and by fame almost three times as much. Additionally, Marketers are three times as motivated by fear as Consumers.

Attitudinal differences:

80% of Marketers say my career is the major part of my identity while only 42% of Consumers said the same.

66% of Marketers are excited about the potential AI will unlock for society, while only 39% of Consumers are; however, 63% of Consumers and 68% of Marketers are scared of the threats AI poses to jobs in the future.

77% of Marketers are optimistic about their financials; only 54% of Consumers are.

Despite prioritizing similar values including family, health and safety, Marketers miss key consumer concerns: Consumers value religion, the military and freedom of speech to a much greater extent than Marketers do.

Both Consumers and Marketers want to hear from real people, not influencers: Both Consumers and Marketers say that they hear too from too many influencers – and not enough real people – in marketing.

And different spending priorities means missed marketing opportunities: When given a hypothetical $1,000 to spend, Marketers reported they would spend the money on travel, whereas Consumers would rather spend that money paying off existing bills and debt.

The Biggest Thing Consumers and Marketers Agree On: Both Consumers and Marketers agreed that if they had an extra hour, they’d use it for sleep.

Coleman Insights Launches Ascend Brand Lift Study Services

Media research firm Coleman Insights announces of the debut of its Ascend Brand Lift Study service, designed to track and prove the effectiveness of radio, podcasting, and streaming audio advertising campaigns. These studies, customized for each client, can measure components including Brand Awareness, Brand Favorability, Purchase Intent, Message Association, and Trust.

Radio, podcasting and streaming clients will have two methodological options when conducting Ascend studies, depending on the goals of a given advertising campaign. An analog methodology is based on survey research conducted with consumers meeting specific criteria; a digital methodology employed pixel-based technology that matches ad exposure each respondent. Furthermore, Ascend studies offer the option for clients to test spots for favorability and message retention so that advertisers can assess the performance of their creative.

According to Coleman Insights President Warren Kurtzman, the launch of Ascend follows more than a year of custom research for clients seeking to demonstrate the brand lift advertisers achieve through effective radio, podcasting, and streaming campaigns. “We are big believers in the effectiveness of audio advertising when it is executed correctly. With Ascend, we provide deep insights to our clients that will help improve the effectiveness of audio advertising campaigns.”

More information is available about Ascend Brand Lift Studies from Coleman Insights.

About Coleman Insights

Raliegh, North Carolina-based Coleman Insights has helped media properties in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia build strong brands and develop great content since 1978. Coleman Insights works with clients that include Audacy, iHeartMedia, Urban One, Hubbard Radio, Key Networks, Educational Media Foundation, Bonneville International, Spotify, Blubrry Podcasting, and Locked On Podcast Network. Additional information about Coleman Insights is available at Colemaninsights.com.

Herb Scannell To Retire As CEO And President Of Southern California Public Radio

Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) announced that President and CEO Herb Scannell, 66, is retiring after a 40-year career in media. He has agreed to remain in his role until a successor is named. The board plans to immediately begin the search for a replacement.

“Herb has helped accomplish precisely what we hoped when he joined us four years ago,” said Drew Murphy, chair of the Board of Trustees of SCPR, “including building platforms to reach new audiences, aligning the organizations to be more diverse in its staffing and its journalism, and creating a unified and more visible brand position in Los Angeles and the region. He has laid the foundation for the next era of contributions SCPR can make in the community as a reliable news source for everyone, even while managing effectively through the pandemic. SCPR is well positioned for the changing future we face that is fact-based and with a mind always on diversity, equity, and inclusion to reflect the Los Angeles community it serves. We are grateful to Herb and wish him well as he moves into retirement.”

“I’m immensely appreciative of being a part of SCPR and to have helped enhance our role as an essential voice of and for Los Angeles,” said Scannell. “I will retire with confidence that the extraordinary team at SCPR can continue to bring a multiplicity of compelling voice and programming to an ever-more diverse audience within Los Angeles and beyond.”

Scannell’s tenure focused on five key goals set forth with the Board of Trustees at the start of his tenure:

Becoming more multi-platform – SCPR established LAist Studios in 2019 to make more podcasts and compliment its internet (LAist.com) and radio (LAist 89.3) offering s to reach more Angelenos more readily. Recently, the organization restructured to dedicate more reporting resources for LAist.com to grow and sustain a daily readership. In September 2022, LAist.com received an Online News Association Award for best website.

Broadening its audience – LAist Studios championed diverse voices, with almost all of its podcasts featuring diverse talent and stories. This includes notable shows like How to LA, which is hosted by Brian De Los Santos and tells stories especially relevant to young Angelenos. More than two dozen podcasts were launched to tell “L.A. stories to the world” and convey the diverse voices of Los Angeles beyond the city limits, with a number receiving awards and “Best of” recognitions.

Focusing the brand – SCRP’s once numerous brands are now unified under the single consumer facing LAist name across its offering: LAist 89.3 for radio, LAist Studios for podcasts, LAist.com for digital news via rebrand implemented this year.

Continuing to advance excellent local broadcast news – Anchored by Larry Mantle’s flagship show AirTalk, new voices were added with hosts Austin Cross (mid-afternoon / Friday Air Talk) and Julia Paskin (weekends) to complement favorites Susanne Whatley (mornings) and Nick Roman (drive time) supported by a robust daily news team and outstanding local beat reporters. Raising visibility in Los Angeles – with the greater brand clarity, SCPR was able to launch its first marketing campaigns in 13 years.

Under Scannell, SCPR saw a 38% growth in revenue, including substantial contributions during the pandemic that enabled the preservation of jobs and initiatives.

Added Scannell, “SCPR’s employees are remarkable for their commitment to and accomplishments in public service. These past few years – with Covid-19, George Floyd’s death, the insurrection – have been the most difficult years of many of our lives and their journals was more essential than ever. Our journalists, fundraising teams, and general staff kept the organization centered in the community and made sure we could provide L.A. with the information, solutions, and support to meet the challenges we experienced. Our radio hosts – led by Larry Mantle – have been voices of reason and calm during it all. This level of excellence is the hallmark of the SCPR team, not just in challenging times, but in daily life here in Los Angeles – they bring a commitment that is unlike any I’ve seen in my long career in media.”

Sounder and Betches Media Partner To Bring Precision And Scale to Premium Podcast Advertising Inventory

Sounder, the AI-powered, end-to-end intelligence platform, today announced a new partnership with Betches Media, the most influential and powerful humor brand for women in the market. The partnership will enable contextual and brand suitability targeting across Betches Media’s top-tier lineup of podcast programming, thereby opening up precise targeting at scale for advertisers.

Sounder’s Audio Insights platform uses proprietary AI and ML models to analyze the content of podcasts, providing publishers with show- and episode-level brand safety and suitability scores, as well as contextual topics. These insights are then used to package Betches Media’s inventory to create targeted and effective advertising campaigns.

“We’re incredibly pleased to partner with Sounder, a podcast industry leader and best-in-class innovator,” said David Spiegel, Chief Revenue Officer, Betches Media. “Sounder’s AI technology is a powerful tool that will help us amplify our audio content and create more engaging experiences for our listeners.”

“Betches Media is a premium podcast publisher and a leading voice for authentic and engaging female-driven narratives; we are thrilled to partner with them to help unlock even more value for their advertising partners,” said Brittany Hall, Vice President of Sales and Client Success, Sounder. “This partnership brings unprecedented precision and scale for their advertising partners and opens up additional monetizable inventory.”

The Sounder and Betches Media partnership is the latest example of the growing demand for AI-powered solutions in the podcast industry. As the podcast market continues to grow, publishers are looking for ways to better understand their content and create more effective advertising campaigns. Sounder’s Audio Insights platform is a valuable tool for publishers who want to meet the needs of their advertisers and their listeners.

Claritas Acquires ArtsAI

Claritas, a data-driven marketing leader that leverages a proprietary identity graph to help marketers achieve superior ROI, announced the acquisition, which will integrate ArtsAI’s patented, performance-enhancing technology into Claritas’ all-in-one marketing solution will accelerate client success by enhancing users’ ability to predictably drive highly personalized and profitable campaigns. 

Claritas and ArtsAI collectively serve over 1,300 clients, including brands like Progressive and T-Mobile, agencies like Horizon, MediaCom, and Hearts & Science and publishers like iHeartMedia and SXM.

Claritas’ acquisition of ArtsAI is the fourth in a series the company has made during its mission-based, five-year transformation to become the top closed-loop service provider in the industry. Leveraging an industry-leading proprietary identity graph, Claritas addresses the massive multichannel marketing sector’s need for an independent, 3rd party suite of solutions that make it easy for agencies, publishers, and brands to identify ideal audiences, deliver effective multichannel engagements and optimize campaigns through a robust set of measurement solutions.

“We’ve spent the last five years transforming the Claritas business to expand and enhance our value proposition to better meet our customer’s evolving needs”, said Claritas CEO Mike Nazzaro. “We are hyper-focused on providing our clients with unparalleled ways to win, and the acquisition of ArtsAI helps achieve this objective. This acquisition will give us a significant advantage in the field of AI-based marketing measurement and optimization, and we fully expect it will help us continue and even increase the amazing growth we’ve experienced in the last five years.”

“Claritas’ acquisition of ArtsAI creates something very unique. The proprietary capabilities Claritas will now bring to the market provide the advantages of AI across the entire marketing lifecycle, from customer identification, and message delivery to campaign measurement and ROI optimization.” Says Jim Brennan, Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group. “The acquisition of ArtsAI will add new levels of intelligence that will deliver product advancements that do not exist today. It is another example of how Claritas continues to transform its business to meet the changing needs of marketers across all industries.”

“At Horizon Media, we are dedicated to delivering the best data-driven solutions for the brands we represent,” said Lauren Russo, EVP Managing Partner at Horizon Media. “Claritas’ acquisition of ArtsAI adds another layer of expertise & insights that we can leverage on behalf of our clients. Claritas is uniquely positioned through its identity graph to offer a single suite of solutions to help with industry-leading audience insights, campaign activation and attribution measurement.”

With the acquisition of ArtsAI, Claritas will be able to provide marketers with a one-stop marketing optimization solution that allows them to leverage artificial intelligence throughout the entire lifecycle of their multichannel marketing campaigns. For example, marketers can use the lightning-speed testing enabled by AI to measure how specific audiences respond to ads such as email, audio, CVT/OTT, or digital display in near real-time. They can then use that data to dynamically adjust audiences and messages to boost ROI.

“Combining the proprietary capabilities of Claritas and ArtsAI offers significant value for the marketplace,” says David Shiffman, EVP Research and Measurement and iHeart Media,” said David Schffman, EVP Research and Measurement at iHeartMedia.” This acquisition showcases Claritas’ commitment to evolving audio measurement and helps ensure that publishers and marketers have access to strong, independent, third-party measurement of audio advertising.”

“We are big believers in an open ecosystem and transparent third-party measurement,” said Keri Degroote, SVP of Sales Research & Analytics at SXM Media. “So we’re thrilled to see two of our key collaborators in Claritas and ArtsAI join forces to create an even stronger, more seamless option that will deliver for both our business and our clients.”

Claritas is owned by Carlyle Group, a global investment firm with deep industry expertise and $381 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2023. Under the terms of the acquisition, management change/move details. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Sounder Named To Will Reed’s Top 100 Class Of 2023

Sounder announced it has been chosen for Will Reed’s Top 100, an award spotlight early-stage companies that are shaping the future of workplace culture. 

“We’ve worked with hundreds of early-stage B2B tech companies who are on a mission to transform the way we live and work,” said Paige Robinson, Founder & CEO of Will Reed. “We believe the most successful companies are those like Sounder, who are committed to building human-first cultures that offer purpose, belonging and growth.”

“We are deeply honored to be recognized as one of Will Reed’s Top 100 companies shaping the future of workplace culture. At Sounder, we transform audio content into data insights and automated solutions that help the audio ecosystem as a whole. We are shaped by a founder mentality, in that we all mutually own and share our success as a team. This award reaffirms our commitment to building a human-first culture that not only benefits our team but also revolutionizes the way audio content is discovered, monetized, and optimized. We are grateful for this acknowledgement and excited to continue our journey towards redefining the possibilities of audio intelligence.”

Visit www.willreedtop100.com to learn more about Sounder’s commitment to purpose, belonging, and growth.

About Sounder

Sounder is the end-to-end data-driven intelligence platform that is shaping the future of the entire audio ecosystem. Our proprietary technology brings together publishers, brands and agencies, ad tech marketplaces, and data partners to revolutionize how audio content is discovered, monetized, and optimized. We’re proud to deliver unparalleled value to our partners and customers and maximize their audio advertising potential through AI-driven insights and solutions. Unlock the true value of audio content at https://www.sounder.ai/

About Will Reed

Will Reed is the only go-to-market (GTM) executive search firm built exclusively for early-stage founders. The firm equips Seed, Series A and Series B founders to build exceptional GTM leadership teams through search, enablement, community and heart. With an operator-centric approach, the team is led by GTM operators who are supported by a curated team of tenured search professionals. The firm has worked with incredible founders backed by a16z, Bessemer, Craft Insight Partners, Redpoint, Sequoia, etc. More information can be found at www.willreed.com and www.linkedin.com/company/willreed

Acast Reveals Podcasts As The Most Influential Media Channel In Singapore

In a digital age where distractions are abundant and mindless scrolling prevails, podcasts have emerged as a beacon of authentic, motivational, and useful content and connection.

According to the latest data from Acast – Sounds Smart Asia 2023 – Singaporean consumers are turning to podcasts as their preferred media choice, positioning podcasts as the most influential media channel in the country.

Acast commissioned Attest to survey individuals in Singapore aged 18 or over, who regularly listen to podcasts at least once a week. The research was designed to replicate the focus of the 2022 study, delving into aspects such as podcast consumption, engagement, and receptivity, to provide an up-to-date outlook on the current podcast landscape.

Podcasts are part of daily routines: 93% of respondents in Singapore embrace podcasts in their daily routines.

Podcasts demand focus: When asked about focus while consuming various types of media, podcasts ranked at the top (72%), surpassing streaming TV (68%), and social media (64%).

Podcasts fuel minds: Over a third of respondents stated that podcasts are motivational, thought-provoking, and highly useful for learning. 95% of respondents stated that podcast discuss “things of interest.”

Podcasts positively impact brands: 74% of respondents agree that podcast advertising improves brand perception and 62% believe podcast advertising to be more influential than other media.

Podcast advertising drives consumer action: Over half of Singaporean podcast listeners admitted to making a purchase after hearing a product advertised on a podcast.

Podcasts offer authentic and trustworthy media: 86% of listeners regard podcast hosts as authentic and highly knowledgable, 66% of respondents trust podcast hosts to genuinely endorse brands, while 64% believe them to be more trustworthy than most people in the media.

Timi Siytangco, Key Account Director, International (Asia), said: “What every podcast listener has always known to be true is now unequivocal – podcasts are an effective, integral part of the media funnel. Their impact on consumers is unparalleled, presenting a game-changing opportunity for brands. In our study, conducted in 2022, we saw immense potential for podcasts, and now in 2023, it has become evident that podcasts are delivering on that promise.

To truly resonate with their audiences, brands must adopt a smart, tech-savvy approach to podcast advertising. Podcasts are a rare combination of measurable long-form storytelling. This opens up a unique opportunity for brands to use podcasts as a gateway to niche, engaged communities. A brand can flex their creative muscle while also leveraging industry-leading targeting and measurement features, all of which Acast can help with.”

Megan Davis, Managing Director, International at Acast, added: “Trust is crucial for any successful advertising campaign. It hinges on consumers’ belief in the brand, the product, and the advertising. Our results speak volumes, with 64% of respondents finding podcast hosts more trustworthy than most media figures. In my experience, this evidence alone underscores the significance of podcast advertising. Having partnered with leading brands like UOB, Glefiddich, Chanel, and Adyen, we eagerly anticipate witnessing more brands embracing the transformative potential of podcast advertising in Southeast Asia.”

Luminary Partners With Acast To Bring Luminary Original Podcast To Wider Audiences

Acast, the world’s largest global podcast company, and Luminary, the premium podcast network have announced a strategic partnership to broaden the reach of selected Luminary Original podcasts.

Six shows – including Under the Skin with Russell Brand, Joking Not Joking with Mo Amer and Aznar Usman, and How I Masaba with Masaba Gupta – will be made available to listeners across all listening platforms, via Acast. Acast will also serve as Luminary’s exclusive monetized partner for these podcasts across all platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Under the terms of the partnership, later this month Luminary will also leverage Acast+ Access capability, which launched earlier this summer, to allow subscribers to access exclusive content on the listening app of their choice. With Acast+ Access, publishers and other companies, like Luminary, have the most powerful, centralized solution for all their podcasting and subscription-based needs – allowing them to manage advertising, distribution, and membership benefits seamlessly in one single, easy-to-use platform.

The partnership will complement Luminary’s subscription business model, as it makes use of Acast’s advanced distribution and monetization technology to reach an even wider audience. Since launching in 2019, Luminary has established itself as a prominent player in the podcast industry, offering exclusive content accessible through its app or via Apple Podcast Subscriptions.

In that time, Luminary has worked with some of the most renowned voices in podcasting and entertainment – including Guy Ran, Mo Amer, Trevor Noah, Radio Rahim, Lena Dunham, Dave Chapelle, Corine Fisher, Krystyna Hutchinson, and more – to identify the distribution strategy that best fits each creator’s content and resonates with their unique audience.

Veronika Taylor, SVP Creator Network at Acast, said, “Acast has consistently advocated for an open, barrier-less podcasting environment, and this partnership underscores our dedication to making exceptional audio content easily accessible to all and monetizable everywhere. Podcasting is not a one-size-fits-all environment, and Luminary’s decision to leverage Acast’s technology and expertise highlights our shared commitment to an innovative strategy which has listens at its heart.”

Chairman and co-founder of Luminary Matt Sacks said, “Luminary was founded with a vision to produce high-quality shows that move listeners. Our partnership with Acast will allow us to highlight culture-defining content like star-studded interview shows Under the Skin with Russell Brand and Joking Not Joking with Mo Amer and Aznar Usman, while giving these artists – and their excellent work – the wider audience they so deserve.”


Disney And ESPN Alum Amy Pilewski Joins Realm Sales Team As Senior Account Director

Realm, the world’s largest growing independent podcast network with nearly 300 shows, announced the hiring of Amy Pilewski as Sr. Account Director.

Pilewski brings 26+ years of experience leading sales efforts in audio and podcasting to the growing Realm sales team. Most recently, Pilewski was Senior Director, West Coast & Midwest Audio Sales at Disney Advertising Sales where with her management team she oversaw audio sponsorships and ad campaigns encompassing the full portfolio of Disney Audio podcasts including ESPN, ABC, and National Geographic representing over 40 million podcast downloads per month.

During her time at Disney, in addition to podcasts, Pilewski was also one of the founding members of the team behind the launch of Radio Disney Network, a radio network for children, tweens, and their parents.

This news comes on the heels of Realm’s expansion into kids and family audio with the acquisition of Pinna and its slate of 150+ award-winning series in addition to partnerships with Rebel Girls and GoKidGo.