Tag Archives: Michael Smith

Tom Webster with the Insider Scoop on Audio Research



Tom Webster, SVP of Edison Research, describes his job as “telling the stories of numbers.” He definitely make numbers come alive, and he’s a great storyteller overall. So you’re generally okay with Tom as your guest if you didn’t discuss podcast topics in advance.

My industry acquaintance may be self-effacing, but he has a steel trap mind for the insights Edison regularly uncovers about all things audio, and he shared quite a few in our ad hoc but fascinating conversation for  Insider Interviews.

The custom market research company helmed by Larry Rosin may be best known as the sole providers of exit polling data during U.S. elections, but Tom is best known for his big research reveals on webinars (now Zoom presentations) or at conferences. Research junkies lean in to hear which platform has the biggest “share of ear” and how differently are consumers engaging with Alexa. Basically, he’s the go-to guy for sharing and interpreting our evolving involvement with radio, podcasting, voice…even IoT and our social media habits.

As Tom describes it, “I make sure that the data that we collect on behalf of our clients is understood contextualized, put into action and valued, and that people come back for more.” Here’s what’s “more” about Tom and a topline of our discussion: Little known fact? Tom likes words as well as numbers. This former English Lit professor is also the principal author of some widely cited studies and the co-author of The Infinite Dial, America’s longest-running research series on digital media consumption, and The Mobile Commerce Revolution.

In Episode 16, Tom shares some insider scoop from Edison’s audio research – and his considered POV on the current state of radio broadcasting and the growth of podcasting (including some tips that can help you grow your own podcast).

[00:01 – 03:25] Opening Segment

  • More about Tom Webster, his role in Edison Research and a moving from academia to a marketing career

[03:26 – 17:20] The Insider Scoop on Audio Research

  • About Edison Research’s broader offerings – like that exit poll and vote count data – and Tom’s area of focus: Audio
  • More insider scoop from Tom WebsterVoice vs. Audio
    • The growth of “smart speakers.”
    • Where are we – if anywhere — with an FM chip for mobile phones?
    • The general state of radio
    • The uptake on podcasting (Joe Rogan notwithstanding)
  • Tom talks about some Edison partnerships (and E.B. held back “insider” jokes about her old boss, John Rosso of Triton Digital!)

[17:21 – 25:40] Diverse Voices

  • The diversity in podcast listeners and podcast content
  • Growing your podcast in today’s competitive market:
    • Having a distinct voice
    • Showing your unique, distinct point of view
  • How Tom is sharing HIS unique POV, via his own newsletter I Hear Things

[25:41 – 31:27] Closing Segment

  • Tom’s go-to resource gathering platforms
  • The Tom and Tamsen team: “freenoting”with his wife, Tamsen Webster
  • Final thoughts

 

 

E.B. and Tom on the first (last?) VOICE panel at CES 1/20

Resources Mentioned:

You can connect with Tom on LinkedIn and Twitter. Subscribe to his I Hear Things newsletter. Listen to The Freenoter with Tom Webster and Tamsen Webster.

Follow Edison Research on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also visit their website https://www.edisonresearch.com/

Please share the podcast if you liked this episode, and Follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

And reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss, please reach out at podcasts@mossappeal.com. I’m “hear” for you!

 


Marketing NPR – The Insider Scoop from CMO Michael Smith



Michael Smith joined National Public Radio as chief marketing officer at a time when the nation — and the world — had just entered crisis mode. In addition to adapting to his new job he’s needed to shift the company’s marketing message, outreach and the very stance the brand has taken over the past years. Part of that shift was motivated by more digital audio listening given more at-home workers during our pandemic. The parallel motivation was to amplify more multicultural voices and drive greater diversity within the halls of the company itself. 

In Episode 15, Michael shares his observations, his approach and some insider scoop from his winged-back chair in New Jersey. For example, he explains how different audiences respond to NPR’s content. Michael tells us that “among regular users when we look at people of color versus white listeners, their satisfaction levels are actually higher. So it’s an exciting thing in the sense that if we can get more people to know that we’re there and to get us into their consideration set, when they come, I think they’re going to love it.” 

Michael had primarily been focused on network video, developing strategies to reach younger and more diverse audiences on streaming platforms for Cooking Channel, and Food Network — where he and I worked together during the last big crisis for the country, 9/11! He has quickly learned to apply his know-how to linear radio and on demand audio.

“When they start to know some of these shows where there are young, diverse hosts, a Sam Sanders or [they get to know the] hosts of Pop Culture Happy Hour, that creates so much more engagement than when they just see the three block letters, NPR.”

The fast 35-minute discussion includes suggestions all brands can appreciate from a world-class marketer like Michael Smith. We talked about:
  • The challenges most media companies are facing right now
  • How to move from linear to on demand streaming digital platforms
  • Balancing linear, podcasting and the NPR One app
  • How has Coronavirus Daily evolved as a show…and the ongoing need for that content?
  • How NPR itself has evolved since its origins in the 60s, and why its signature audio style is intentionally like a mental “exhale”
  • Working with the sponsorship team, NPM
  • Michael’s optimism — and any pessimism — for the future.

Follow Michael on LinkedIn. Follow NPR on Twitter.

Follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And reach out to be considered for an episode or for your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss. 

Michael’s “studio” chair