Top Podcast Networks Go Virtual for Second Annual Upfront Tour

Entercom’s Podcast Network, ESPN, Kast Media, NPR, PRX, Stitcher and Wondery present new programming and advertising opportunities at Podfront Virtual

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, seven of the industry’s top podcast publishers and platforms previewed new shows, partnership opportunities, and trends as the second annual Podfront tour continued. The podcast upfront went virtual this year, featuring presentations from talent, producers and industry executives, including a keynote presentation from Tom Webster, senior vice president at Edison Research.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, podcasting remains a thriving medium with ad revenues projected to grow by 14.7%, hitting $1 billion in 2020. Through its new digital format, Podfront Virtual gives advertisers, agencies and media from across the country the opportunity to discover the latest industry insights along with resources and strategies to optimize advertising budgets in the present climate.

Among the highlights at Podfront Virtual:

As part of Entercom’s Podcast Network’s presentation, Cadence13’s Chief Content Officer Chris Corcoran highlighted C13’s slate of best-in-class content and partnerships, including Kevin Durant’s The ETC’s; Jon Meacham’s It Was Said and other critically acclaimed series from the Peabody-nominated C13Originals documentary studio; and C13Features, the groundbreaking studio developing “movies for the ears.” Corcoran was joined by critically acclaimed actress Elle Fanning and science writer Jessica Wapner, who discussed One Click, their upcoming C13 investigative documentary podcast about the deadly diet drug DNP and dangers of the internet, along with Vespucci Group. Rachel Hollis, leading podcaster and two-time #1 New York Times bestselling author; and NBA star JJ Redick and Tommy Alter, co-hosts, The Old Man & the Three. Pineapple Street Studios co-founders Jenna Weiss-Berman and Max Linsky discussed PSS’s slate of Peabody-nominated, critically acclaimed series including the original shows Back Issue; The Clearing; and Wind of Change, hosted by New Yorker writer Patrick Radden Keefe and one of the runaway hits of 2020; Lizzy Denihan, VP, Sales, discussed the network’s industry-leading approach to the marketplace.

ESPN, as part of The Walt Disney Company, joined with ABC Audio and National Geographic with a panel hosted by Mike Greenberg. The panel included Wright Thompson, Bomani Jones, Brad Mielke and Peter Gwin.

ESPN launched its first podcast in 2005 and is a leader in the sports genre with more than 35 original offerings, plus shows from ESPN Radio and television. Offerings focus on “sports passions” (NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.), storytelling (30 for 30 and ESPN Daily ) and compelling personalities. Now representing FiveThirtyEight, ABC Audio podcast titles and National Geographic, all of the podcast brands since August are measured by Podtrac as one Ad Sales Network with a singular verified unique audience.

The entire new portfolio represents ESPN Podcasts 66.6 Million Downloads – a new record for the network, up 44% from last year.

Kast Media was joined by entrepreneur and celebrity host, Lisa Vanderpump, who just launched her interview podcast “All Things Vanderpump” on Kast’s network in September. Comedian and actress, Sarah Silverman, also joined Kast Media to announce her first ever entry into the space, “The Sarah Silverman Podcast,” which launches October 8th. Reaching over 12 million listeners this past month across 48+ shows, Kast is excited to further expand their impact with these new additions, continuing to create and represent shows with the goal to entertain, inform, and inspire audiences through amplifying conversations.

NPR and National Public Media, NPR’s sponsorship subsidiary, featured faces across the NPR podcast portfolio including hosts Linda Holmes and Aisha Harris (Pop Culture Happy Hour) and Tamara Keith and Asma Khalid (NPR’s Politics Podcast) who spoke about their shows and offered a preview of what’s ahead. Host Guy Raz (How I Built This) spoke with Co-founder & CEO of Barre3 Sadie Lincoln on the resilience of businesses today. National Public Media President & CEO Gina Garrubbo closed things out with Comcast Business Senior Director of Brand Marketing Melissa Lapp on the brand’s recent custom audio campaign with NPR.

PRX welcomed Snap Judgment creator Glynn Washington to present an exploration of stories the world needs now from iconic shows and organizations such as The Moth, 99% Invisible, Latino USA, and TEDx. PRX also introduced podcasts from New York Times best-selling authors and public personalities Nadia Bolz-Weber (The Confessional) and Kelly Corrigan (Kelly Corrigan Wonders). In addition, PRX unveiled more from TRAX, the first-of-its-kind podcast network for tweens, as well as a new audio partnership with Emmy Award-winning sports media company Religion of Sports and the return of Passenger List, a highly acclaimed mystery thriller from the Radiotopia podcast network. PRX was joined by representatives from its exclusive sponsorship sales partner, Market Enginuity. View the latest announcements from PRX here.

Stitcher Chief Revenue Officer Sarah van Mosel introduced Midroll, the largest pure-play podcast advertising network, and its range of podcast advertising products, from customized integrations and host-reads, announcer reads and programmatic activations. She then passed the mic to Daisy Rosario, an executive producer overseeing some of Stitcher’s top original podcasts. Rosario led a roundtable discussion centered around the intimate relationship that podcasters have with their listeners, and how this relationship empowers them to create content that is specifically suited to the audience’s needs. Rosario was joined by Defector writer and host of “The Distraction” Drew Magary. She was also joined by Jessica Cordova Kramer, CEO and co-founder of Lemonada Media, as well as Kulap Vilaysack and SuChin Pak, co-hosts of the upcoming Lemonada show “Add to Cart.”

Wondery, the largest independent podcast publisher in the world, was joined by Founder and CEO, Hernan Lopez and Chief Sales Officer, Laurie Pracher to showcase their premium content offering and creative ad formats to better fit the changes in current consumption behaviors. Wondery is a trailblazer in helping brands break through the clutter with listener-first innovation and is widely known for their focused approach to emotionally immersive storytelling, which helps listeners “Feel the Story.” Wondery introduced new podcasts from WB’s Bachelor Nation – “Click Bait”, “Mama Says”, and “Man Chat”, “Business Movers” a weekly show hosted by Lindsay Graham (“American Scandal” and “American History Tellers”), and new original event mini-series’, “The Apology Line” and “RIP: G.I. Joe”, a follow-up the hit series Over My Dead Body, to the 2021 slate.

The Podfront series launched in 2019 and is organized by Podfront LLC to create an upfront platform for all participating sponsors/presenting networks. For more information on Podfront Virtual and schedule of presenters, visit www.podfront.com.

Email podfront@allisonpr.com for more information.

Contacts

Media contact:
Julianne Rogers, Allison+Partners, 845-558-9672, podfront@allisonpr.com

Event contact:
Chris Hartnett, Events@podfront.com

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