In case you haven’t heard yet, it’s official. Podcasts are mainstream. In 2018, more than 50% of people 12+ in the U.S. listened to a podcast at least once. That marked the tipping point of the once-obscure audio format into part of mass media. Now, in 2020, Podcast Insights reports there are over 1 million podcasts out in the world (in multiple languages), with over 30 million episodes.
Podcasting’s boom lowered barriers to content creation, presenting a powerful platform for anyone with something to talk about and aggregating disparate audiences with common interests—even on the most niche topics. But with thousands of podcast options available and little centralization of how podcasts are distributed and organized, knowing where to begin to discover the best ones remains challenging for both consumers looking for their preferred flavor of listen as well as advertisers looking for the right opportunities for their brands.
Recent industry research says that listeners turn to their podcast apps for discovery, often selecting based on cover art, or they rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from friends with similar tastes. Listeners and advertisers have to vet their many options on their own. Both question whether they will get quality, reach and voices they can trust.
That’s where Entercom, a leading media and entertainment company and the #1 creator of live, original, local audio content, recognized a need in the still amorphous podcasting space. Pulling from 50+ years of experience and credibility in audio entertainment and forging smart partnerships with rising stars in the emerging territory, Entercom has formed what can arguably be called the most influential podcast network in the U.S. Made up of established players Cadence13 and Pineapple Street and a fresh new entrant, Ramble, Entercom’s Podcast Network has the most top 100 ranked shows of any network, according to Triton and is proud to have won ten 2020 Webby Awards across eight categories.
Cadence13 launched with a dedicated focus on guiding established personalities, influencers and brands to expand into podcasting, with a very selective and strategic creative approach on premium-level shows in their respective categories. After several successful early partnerships— including The Tony Kornheiser Show, Pod Save America, Origins with James Andrew Miller, Views with David Dobrik, Up and Vanished and goop—the team branched into originals, launching its C13Originals documentary studio, with franchise hits that have included the Peabody Award-nominated Gangster Capitalism series, Root of Evil, and the music documentary series, Long May They Run. Additionally, Cadence13 created Ramble, a digital creator and tastemaker-focused podcast network, in a joint-venture with United Talent Agency, with hits that include Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link, Pretty Basic with Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz, Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain, Smoshcast and a soon-to-launch podcast with digital superstars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio. Cadence13 was named one of Fast Company’s “World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019.”
Pineapple Street Studios was founded in 2016 in Brooklyn, with the mission of working with “the most interesting and ambitious creative and corporate partners to create the highest quality audio stories in a variety of forms and across a range of genres, from hosted talk shows to investigative documentaries to innovative audio fiction.” The New York Times, New York, The Guardian and The New Yorker have described the Studio’s podcasts as being among the most narratively groundbreaking, moving, and technically innovative in the field. Nine Pineapple shows — including The Clearing, Stay Tuned with Preet Bharara, and Missing Richard Simmons — have claimed the # 1 spot on the Apple Podcasts chart.
All together, Entercom’s Podcast Network adds up to an ever-expanding roster of chart-topping shows that Americans plan their lives around. Reaching over 28M people each month, Entercom’s 2500+ owned and operated podcasts and on-demand content feature some of the most well-known and influential voices in culture, politics, business, sports and more.
“For listeners and partners, this equates to reach, quality and credibility in the audio landscape that is unmatched anywhere else,” says Paul Suchman, CMO, Entercom. “Most importantly, it comes down to trust. The voices leading the podcasts are ones listeners know and trust, and the creators are people brands know and trust. We have high expectations for our podcasting business and believe it will be an important driver for Entercom and our role in shaping the future of audio.”