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.

Pushkin Industries Acquired Creative Podcast Company Transmitter Media

Pushkin Industries, the audio company co-founded by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg, announced the acquisition of the Peabody-nominated independent podcast company Transmitter Media, marking a ramping up of Pushkin’s in-house production capabilities for both editorial and commercial opportunities.

Transmitter’s founder and CEO, Gretta Cohn, will join Pushkin Industries’ senior leadership reporting directly to Pushkin CEO Jacob Weisberg. Transmitter’s existing staff will continue to work on current projects as a newly formed department within Pushkin. This milestone marks Puskin’s first corporate acquisition.

“We’re delighted to welcome the team from Transmitter, which Gretta has built into one of the best audio production companies anywhere. Their track record and reputation for bespoke production speak for themselves,” said Jacob Weisberg. “At Pushkin, Gretta will continue to lead an ambitious team of producers and manage their superb client work, while taking on a senior leadership role at our company.”

“Pushkin makes some of the most dynamic and thought-provoking work in audio,” said Gretta Cohn. “Our producers are thrilled to join world-class audio talent – on both sides of the mic – and grow with a company whose commitments to inclusivity and editorial rigor reflect ours. I know our team will thrive at Pushkin.”

Transmitter Media was founded by Gretta Cohn in 2017 and developed and produced the critically acclaimed podcasts Finding Fred, Meltdown, and Rebel Eaters Club. In January 2022, they announced a multi-year strategic partnership with TED Audio Collective to produce a slate of ambitious podcast storytelling and conversation shows, including WorkLife with Adam Grant, which they’ve been partnering on since its inception in 2017, Am I Normal with Mona Chalabi, Body Stuff with Jen Gunter and TED Business. Transmitter’s clients and partners have included The New York Times, ESPN, Spotify and New York Magazine, among others.

This acquisition, brokered by Room Tone, comes on the heels of Puskin’s recent first-look deal with A24, the indie studio behind TV shows and movies like “Euphoria” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once”.

Pushkin is launching five new podcasts this fall, including shows with journalist Lauren Ober and bestselling author Emily Nagoski as well as co-productions with partners such as Bloomberg and Somethin’ Else/Sony Music Entertainment.

Additionally, Pushkin will be publishing an original audiobook with actress, writer, and director Lake Bell in November and has upcoming audiobook projects with Steve Martin and the estate of Mary Oliver slated for 2023. iHeartMedia is Pushkin’s exclusive sales and distribution partner. Granderson Des Rochers represented Transmitter Media, and Gunderson Dettmer represented Puskin Industries.

Pushkin Industries Reveals Female-Led Q3/22 Podcast Line-Up

Pushkin Industries, the audio network co-founded by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg, shared details of its podcast slate for fall 2022. The upcoming lineup features three all-new series including The Loudest Girl in the World, a personal exploration of journalist Lauren Ober’s autism diagnosis; Death of an Artist, a true crime series set in the 1980s New York City art world; and Come As You Are, a weekly show with sex educator Emily Nagoski.

Pushkin’s fall slate will also include new seasons of The Happiness Lab hosted by Dr. Laurie Santos, The Last Archive hosted by Jill Lepore, Bad Women, hosted by Hallie Rebenhold and Apple’s Best Show of 2021 A Slight Change of Plans hosted by Maya Shankar. “I am thrilled that this year Pushkin’s fall slate introduces a stellar group of fresh, smart, and provocative female voices to the podcasting space,” says Leila Molad, VP of Content Development at Pushkin. “The breadth of these shows, both by new and returning hosts, is a testament to our distinct ability to identify and partner with the best talent.”

Pushkin’s fall 2022 podcast releases are listed below in order of their launch dates.

THE HAPPINESS LAB – New season launching Tuesday, September 6

Our minds lie to us all the time about what will make us happy. In this season of The Happiness Lab, host Dr. Laurie Santos explains what we get wrong about a range of everyday experiences and explores myth-busting questions with surprising solutions, such as: What’s wrong with striving for a #NoRegrets life? Why do we make decisions in the heat of the moment? Why is there a generation catastrophically failing to thrive?

THE LOUDEST GIRL IN THE WORLD – Premiering Tuesday, September 13

For years, journalist and podcaster Lauren Ober wasn’t all that jazzed about herself. She was always getting in trouble, she had weird sensory issues and her anxiety felt off the charts. And then, she found out why – she was autistic. The Loudest Girl in the World tells the story of Lauren’s journey to understand what the hell it means to be on the autism spectrum and how to live life as a newly diagnosed autistic person. This is a co-production of Pushkin and iHeartMedia.

DEATH OF AN ARTIST – Premiering Friday, September 23

For more than 35 years, accusations of murder shrouded one of the art world’s most storied couples: Was the famous sculptor Carl Andre involved in the death of his up-and-coming artist wife Ana Mendiata? Host Helen Molesworth revisits Menditia’s death, taking a closer look at how she might have fallen out of the window of their 34th floor Soho apartment, and the following trial which has divided the art world since 1985. This is a co-production of Pushkin and Somethin’ Else/Sony Music Entertainment.

A SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLANS – New season launching Monday, October 3

Cognitive Scientist Maya Shankar returns with a new season of her award-winning podcast A Slight Change of Plans, which will feature incredible stories of change from people like Ruby Bridges, Jason Isbell, Lucy Kalanithi and Florence Williams.

STORY OF THE WEEK – Premiering Thursday, October 6

Most smart people will say that long-form journalism is essential; however, many no longer subscribe to the magazines where these stories are published. Story of the Week with Joel Stein fixes this broken market by delivering long-form stories in a format that doesn’t require reading. Each week, journalist Joel Stein chooses an article that fascinated him the most that week and delivers in an efficient, conversational style. This is a co-production of Pushkin and iHeartMedia.

BAD WOMEN: The Blackout Ripper – New season launching Tuesday, October 11

In February 1942, a very different threat than Hitler stalked the women of London’s theater and nightclub district: a sadistic killer whose depravity was immediately likened to Jack the Ripper. Using new research from police files, court transcripts and exhaustive genealogical studies, this new season of Hallie Rubenhold’s Bad Women reconstructs the lives of these murdered women who were ignored as the sex trade and criminality surged in the bomb-ravaged streets of the Blitz.

THE LAST ARCHIVE – New season launching Thursday, October 27

Harvard historian and _New Yorker_ staff writer Jill Lepore has unspooled a history of the United States’ post-truth crisis – of how we know what we know and why it seems lately as if we can’t agree on anything at all. In her third and final season, Lepore tells eight stories about solutions. From experiments with high school juries to profiles of cutting-edge animal scientists, Lepore offers a season of hopefulness, imagination, and the consolation of well-told history.

COME AS YOU ARE – Premiering in October

Each week, sex educator and bestselling author Emily Nagoski answers questions about sex, along the way dispelling the cultural myths we’ve been told. With guest appearances from other experts like orgasm neuroscience researchers, pelvic floor therapists, and gynecologists, Nagoski’s new weekly show will help listeners learn to live with more confidence and joy in their bodies. This is a co-production of Pushkin and Madison Wells.

Pushkin Industries Launches Direct Podcast Subscription Program

Pushkin Industries, the audio production company co-founded by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg, has launched its own direct podcast subscription program, Pushkin+. With Pushkin+, subscribers can listen ads-free across most of the Pushkin catalog of shows and will be given early access to shows like Lost Hills, Deep Cover, and A Slight Change of Plans and subscriber exclusive content from select shows including Revisionist History and The Happiness Lab.

Pushkin Industries launched subscription channel in Apple Podcasts Subscriptions in June 2021. “We’ve had an amazing experience with Apple Podcasts and continue to work closely with them,” said Jacob Weisberg, Pushkin co-founder and CEO. “We now want to make sure the same experience is available to listeners on other platforms.”

Upcoming Pushkin+ benefits include:

  • Four bonus “behind the scenes” episodes of Revisionist History
  • Early access to the conclusion of Lost Hills season 2
  • Exclusive meditations from Laurie Santos based on New Year episodes of The Happiness Lab
  • Binge drop of the full 11-episode second season of Deep Cover on Jan 24
  • Early access to new season of A Slight Change of Plans in February

“Innovation is a core aspect of the Pushkin brand and culture,” says Brandt Haynes, Head of Consumer Revenue, “We are always looking for new ways to evolve the audio industry, whether that is by pushing the boundaries of audio production or being at the forefront of new opportunities to directly engage with our listeners.”

Pushkin+ will be sold via Pushkin.fm for either $4.99/month or $39.99/year. Supporting Cast will provide the distribution support, as they do with Pushkin’s direct audiobook sales. In addition, Pushkin+ will be integrated with Spotify, providing a seamless experience for listeners. Pushkin+ benefits will continue to be available within the Apple Podcasts Subscriptions platform in addition to Spotify, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Downcast, Podcast Addict, Castro, Breaker, Radio Public, and other Android Players via private RSS feeds.

Planet Money’s Jacob Goldstein Joins Pushkin Industries Team

Veteran journalist, writer, and podcast host Jacob Goldstein joins Pushkin Industries as Executive Producer. Goldstein spent more than a decade as co-host of Planet Money, NPR’s incredibly popular business podcast, reporting stories that make economic journalism approachable. He’s also the author of the book “Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing”, which the New York Times called “a history of currency full of astonishing tales you might tell a friend in the pub.”

Before discovering podcasts, Jacob worked as a staff writer at the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. He has done stories for the New York Times Magazine, This American Life, and All Things Considered. Goldstein joins the executive team at Pushkin, the audio company co-founded by Malcom Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg in 2018, where Goldstein will head up a new business department.

He will also be developing his own business show to launch in 2022 and executive producing Hot Money which will be a partnership between Pushkin and the Financial Times. Goldstein will be reporting to Mia Lobel, Pushkin’s VP of Content and Production.

“I’ve admired so many Pushkin products over the past few years,” Goldstein says. “I’m delighted to be joining the ranks of Pushkin hosts and to be part of the amazing production team. I can’t wait to start making shows here.”

“Whenever I hear Jacob Goldstein on the radio or a podcast, I know I’m in for a great ride. He tells stories about money that entertain as much as they inform,” says Jacob Weisberg, Pushkin’s co-founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled that he’s bringing his unique and delightful voice to Pushkin.”

This Fall, Pushkin will release a wide range of new podcasts, including Bad Women, which uncovers the truth of the five women said to have been killed by Jack the Ripper, hosted by award-winning historian and author Hallie Rubenhold; Some of My Best Friends Are…, hosted by interracial best friends Harvard professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad and journalist Ben Austen, exploring the absurdities and intricacies of race using pop culture and history; and Backstage Pass with Eric Vetro, vocal coach to the stars, featuring intimate interviews with his students, from Ariana Grande to John Legend, about their singing process and careers. The rest of 2021 will bring new seasons of A Slight Change of Plans, hosted by Dr. Maya Shankar and Lost Hills, hosted by the New Yorker’s Dana Goodyear.

Pushkin Industries Announced PushNik Premium Subscription Service

Jacob Weisberg, co-founder and CEO of Pushkin Industries, announced PushNik, a premium audio subscription that will launch with Apple Podcast Subscriptions. Pushkin Industries is known for its thoughtful, chart-topping podcasts, including Revisionist History hosted by Pushkin co-founder and President Malcolm Gladwell, The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos, Against the Rules with Michael Lewis, The Last Archive with Jill Lepore, Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford, Broken Record, and the recent #1 Apple Podcasts hit Lost Hills.

“The advertising model has fueled a huge burst of creative output and will always be important to podcasting,” said Weisberg. “But Malcom and I have always believed that paid content — whether it be through membership programs or single purchase products like audiobooks — are what independent creators like us need to thrive over the long term.

At launch, the benefits of a PushNik membership include:

  • Ad-free listening across the catalogue of independently produced Pushkin podcasts, including Revisionist History, The Happiness Lab, and Against the Rules.
  • Extended “Producer’s Cut” episodes from the Broken Record archive, including iconic interviews with legendary host Rick Rubin.
  • The first in a series of “Where Are They Now?” Episodes from Against the Rules, in which Michael Lewis and his producers catch up with key figures from the show’s first two seasons.
  • Weekly news roundups from Deep Background host and Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, including his analysis on important Supreme Court decisions.

Over time, PushNik subscribers – “PushNiks” — will also have access to:

  • Behind-the-scenes episodes and other bonus content from fan-favorite hosts, including Malcolm Gladwell, Dr. Laurie Santos, Michael Lewis, Jill Leopore, Tim Hartford, and Rick Rubin.
  • Exclusive previews of upcoming shows and audiobooks.
  • Early or “binge” access to select new series.

Much-anticipated next seasons of Revisionist History, The Happiness Lab and Against the Rules are scheduled to premiere later this year, and the Pushkin content calendar also includes:

  • The Bomber Mafia audiobook, inspired by several episodes from the fifth season of Revisionist History, The Bomber Mafia is Malcolm Gladwell’s next audiobook, which expands on these episodes and has been produced intentionally for the audiobook format.
  • The Last Archive. Harvard professor and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore’s podcast returns for a second season and explores the evolution of doubt over the course of the 20th century.
  • A Slight Change of Plans. A new interview show hosted by Dr. Maya Shankar about navigating change.
  • Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi. The esteemed writer and scholar dissect the politics that contribute to racial inequality and social injustice in this co-production with iHeartMedia.

Monthly subscriptions to PushNik will cost $4.99 per month, and the introductory annual membership costs $39.99 per year. Annual memberships will increase to $49.99 per year in August. Pushkin shows will remain free with ads on Apple Podcasts and other podcast platforms.

iHeartMedia and Pushkin Industries Announce Partnership

iHeartMedia announced a co-production and distribution agreement partnership with Pushkin Industries, the audio production company co-founded by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg, that will make iHeartMedia Pushkin’s exclusive sales partner for its catalog of premium podcasts including Revisionist History, Broken Record, The Happiness lab with Laurie Santos, and many others.

As part of this deal, iHeartMedia and Pushkin Industries will co-produce a slate of new, original podcasts over the next two years.

Pushkin Industries has quickly become a highly esteemed startup, creating a host of award-winning audio content since its founding in 2018. Notable shows such as Gladwell’s Revisionist History, Michael Lewis’s Against the Rules, and Tim Hartford’s Cautionary Tales, have built sizable audiences, garnered widespread media attention and driven cultural conversation. Partnering with iHeartMedia will enable these unique and singular shows to reach even more listeners.

“We started Pushkin to share the joy Jacob and I have found in creating and producing podcasts,” said Malcolm Gladwell. “Working with the team at iHeart will allow us to spread this joy at an even bigger scale.”

“Conal Byrne and the team at iHeart have been instrumental in popularizing podcasts,” said Jacob Weisberg. “We’re looking forward to working with them to push the boundaries of what’s possible in audio even further.”

In addition to the expansive slate of podcasts that will join the iHeartPodcast Network, the companies today also announced two new Pushkin shows releasing in March 2021:

Double Date is an interview show hosted by American icons Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, who have been married for 40 years. The two will sit down with other celebrated power couples for fun, sexy, poignant conversations about what really makes a marriage last. Guests will include Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, and Sting and Trudie Styler. The first season will include 10 episodes.

Lost Hills is an investigative true crime series from The New Yorker’s staff writer Dana Goodyear. It tells the story of the 2018 murder of scientist Tristan Beaudette, who was shot in the head in front of his two daughters while camping in Malibu Creek State Park. Lost Hills is a tragic true crime story played out against the sometimes ridiculous backdrop of Malibu. The first of three planned seasons will include 8 episodes.