Podcast producers know very little about their audiences. On the whole, there is significant user friction for soliciting even the most basic listener feedback and interactions, the current conversion funnel everyone uses basically works against you. For instance, saying an email address aloud when you want to solicit listener feedback is awkward - especially with a long URL, a hyphen, or if you want to sound professional but only have a Hotmail address.
"Quick - give me a five-star review on a podcast platform that you don't use!"
As a network, we even resorted to using live events to gain information about our audiences, because it was the most effective solution available. Even the best most efficient events have a lot of overhard though.
Our Pod platform helps podcast producers interact with their audiences by giving the listener and producer communities a central hub and easy-to-use communication tools. Instead of saying, "email us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org," the producer can put a link to a Pod survey in their show notes or listeners can easily find the show's interaction page on the talktothepod.com site.
Later versions of the platform beyond the MVP will add a suite of other communication tools beyond the basic listener survey system, keeping listeners engaged.
In building this project we will also be building an extensible framework. The first use case is podcasts, but if it's built right this can be used for many other kinds of communities. Think about what online forums looked like ten or twenty years ago. They look pretty much the same today. What if we gave them more than a facelift? What if we rethought the idea of what a niche online community can be... and then sold it a couple of thousand times over?
We have run a business-focused podcast network for over five years and we have over a dozen shows in verticals such as fashion, beauty, travel, and content marketing. Our team is intimately familiar with the problems of opaque analytics data and disconnected listenership. We've dealt with the difficulties of driving listeners to share the most basic vital demographic information that is so readily available for any other medium, and not only is it difficult for us, everyone in the space has the same problems.
This is a platform and toolset that we know we need. We've searched for solutions extensively without success. This is how we know other podcast producers need a solid solution for these issues as well.
There are over 750,000 podcasts out there right now, with deep penetration into the American home (over 50% of homes contain a rabid fan). 45% of podcast listeners have household income over $75,000 and they engage more deeply with brands and advertisements than the average American, making them an extremely desirable demographic.
But it is really, really hard for a podcaster to know who they are actually reaching and even harder to build a direct relationship.
This is a SaaS platform with tiered subscription fees. Podcast producer clients will pay escalating fees to turn on premium features (features which will let them charge more to sponsors and advertisers). We will also add features that listeners can pay to access down the road.