It will air throughout next week on almost 80 iHeartMedia radio stations across the country, including many famous names like KOA, WIOD, and the station I will forever associate with the legendary Jean Shepherd (who was one of the inspirations for this project), WOR New York.
I have long argued that the pool of amazing podcast content should be tapped by broadcast radio, but arguing for something is different from making it happen. Great thanks to iHeartMedia’s Chris Peterson and Wondery’s Hernan Lopez for taking this one over the finish line. And make no mistake: This is not a fad – it will be a trend.
Why is this kind of thing good for commercial radio? Here are just a few reasons:
This hour is uniquely promotable. It stands out from regular programming and gives listeners a new hook for a new reason. And that creates impressions and impressions lead to ratings.
This is quality content, better than whatever you substitute it for
This is an event – it’s special. And as such it has particularly magnetic appeal
This show is about a movie everyone knows and most people are interested in, especially during the Halloween season
This show is already a hit – it has been listened to by hundreds of thousands of listeners on demand
You can make more money for the company through a series of special events than you can without them
This show targets a younger demo than your station’s average audience age. That will bring in new Cume for new reasons, thus introducing them to the rest of your station’s offerings
To invent our future we need to experiment. This is an easy experiment. One hour of quality content tuned to the Halloween season.
This kind of thing is the future of spoken word radio – new forms of spoken word content that are already strongly popular on other platforms. None of this is new to public media, of course, but why should the commercial folks be left out? Great content is great content and it belongs in front of as many ears (and as many advertisers) as possible.
Every commercial broadcaster should weave in popular content regardless of whether or not it was born on the radio. That’s what will keep us relevant to up and coming demos.
Yes, it’s only an hour, but I think this is HUGE for the podcast category because somebody always needs to break the ice and be the first so that others can follow. From now on NO BROADCASTER will be able to say “yeah, but who has ever done that – put a native podcast on commercial radio?”
The answer is iHeartMedia on almost 80 stations.
Great news for podcasters and great news for commercial radio.
It now justifies that native podcast content CAN be on commercial radio and be there at scale.
Listen on your local radio station – or wherever you hear your podcasts. And happy Halloween.