Media Voices has launched the Publisher Podcast Summit, the first and only event dedicated exclusively to supporting publishers on their podcasting journeys. Co-founder Esther Kezia Thorpe explains why they created the Summit and what publishers can expect.
Sitting and reading through the entries for the Publisher Podcast Awards over Christmas last year, I was struck by how far podcasts and podcast strategies have come since the Awards launched in 2019. Our main goal has always been to help publishers to improve their podcasts along the way. , first through a mini series of podcasts talking to each year’s award winners. But we could do more than that by bringing people together in person.
Current Covid restrictions have forced us to postpone the first summit, instead focusing on price maintenance. But now, with a successful third year under our belt, we are once again turning to our mission to help publishers improve and deliver world-class sound.
The Publisher Podcast Summit will take place in London on October 5th. We’ll be sharing more about the speakers and the agenda over the next few weeks, but first we want to explain why we’re considering a summit (and why you should come, whether you have a podcast or are looking to attend one). throw a).
Publishers face a unique set of challenges in podcasting…
… but also a unique set of opportunities. There are other podcasting shows, newsletters, and outlets providing news, tips, and updates for anyone who wants to podcast. But publishers come from a different starting point.
They usually have strong brand credibility and existing audiences. This is beneficial when starting a podcast because it’s much easier to build listeners, shape a show, and close business deals right from the start. But it also carries its own risks. Publishers can’t afford to make the same mistakes individuals do with things like sound quality or structure. The product must meet public expectations for standards from the outset.
Publishers also have resources to consider. They can add podcast development and hosting to the responsibilities of existing editorial staff. This has the advantage of bringing editorial expertise and in-depth audience knowledge to a podcast early on. However, it can also represent an additional burden for the staff. The technical barrier to entry for podcasts is low, but the time commitment – especially in the early days – is high.
Through our time at Media Voices running workshops, writing reports, and of course, arranging awards, we’ve come to understand what publishers need to navigate when looking to start a podcast. The summit will feature sessions aimed at helping publishers identify the opportunities podcasts can present for their brand and how they can avoid the pitfalls.
Networking is highly valued
Covid has helped reinforce the value of connection. Since podcasting is still a relatively new field for many publishers, it can be quite isolating for staff working on it within an organization. Guests at the Publisher Podcast Awards have always said how valuable it is to be able to come together and share experiences with people working on podcasts at other publications.
We carefully build the networking experience to better enable these connections. Our venue, Proud Cabaret City, is intimate, with plenty of spaces to allow both chance encounters, but also to sit somewhere and carry on a conversation. We’ll have tables dedicated to certain topics, so if attendees are nervous about starting random conversations, they can come over and discuss a podcast-related topic with like-minded people.
Networking doesn’t have to involve fancy apps, badges, or other high-tech solutions. Our goal is for a well-designed event with a small but influential attendee list to bring together the people who will benefit most from everyone’s knowledge and expertise. The Publisher Podcast Awards have already forged lasting bonds between publishers, producers, editors and vendors. Our goal is for the Summit to do the same, and we can continue to build the community beyond the events.
Classes must be accessible to all
Many events appear to have regressed since the Covid restrictions were lifted. Although companies praise the benefits of virtual events, the costs and technical requirements of offering virtual streams alongside in-person events have resulted in an increasing number of conferences taking place only in person.
Podcasting, and many of the topics we cover at the conference, are universal for all types of publishers. There are travel costs and potential health risks associated with attending in-person events, so we will be streaming the Publisher Podcast Summit live for those unable to attend in person.
We chose to stream rather than try smart event platforms, partly to keep costs manageable, but also to keep the networking and roundtable sessions as an in-person perk. This helps keep the learnings of the speakers and sessions accessible to people around the world.
However, we also charge for virtual tickets. There is a price to pay for the expertise of speakers and panelists – and yes, we all pay them. This needs to be reflected in what we ask of attendees, so while we’ve worked hard to keep costs low, we’re putting a price on watching the event online.
Why should you come
First and foremost, there are no other conferences tailored for publishers with podcasts. If you’re a publisher contributing to a podcast, whether it’s presenting, editing, producing, selling advertising, or providing strategic direction, you definitely need to be there. Our four priority areas for the agenda – editorial, marketing, sound and production, and monetization – have been carefully crafted with input from professionals like you.
But if you don’t have a podcast yet or are wondering what benefits it could bring to your business, this is for you too. Come and be inspired by case studies and stories of publishers who have found huge success in the audio space, and what challenges they had to overcome to get there.
We will also be hosting a number of panel discussions in the afternoon, with an expert speaker and a Q&A session designed to help you make the most of the time. These will be offered at different levels, depending on experience and podcasting maturity.
What’s New in Publishing are media partners, so we have a exclusive discount code for you. Use code WNIP15 at checkout to 15% off individual, team and virtual tickets.
We’ll see each other there!
For tickets and more information, including agenda and speaker announcements, see publisherpodcastsummit.com