Why Podcasts Are Becoming So Popular with Listeners and Sponsors

Comedy sitcom icon Norman Lear along with Podcast One CEO Jim Berk together in Los Angeles.

More and more top name stars are joining the podcast revolution

You can’t talk about the streaming content world and not add the world of podcasting to the mix. Our guest on this week’s edition of Stream On is one of the industry’s most forward-thinking executives and a true visionary in the rapidly growing world of podcasting.

He is Jim Berk chief executive office of Los Angeles based Podcast One. Their roster of podcast talent reads like a who’s who in the entertainment, sports, political and just about every category you can imagine.

Today, Berk sits down with me for an extensive conversation about the podcast industry where it is now and where it is going in the future. It is an entertaining and must listen to a podcast about, good podcasting.

Williams – You were a success in traditional media. What drew you to diving into the podcast world?

Berk – It is exciting to me with that television and film background because podcasting answers so many of the challenges of traditional media. Those are price point, time to market, and the all-important ability of talent being able to connect with their audience. That is what podcasts can do, by allowing the hosts to have a direct relationship with their audience. Meanwhile, the audience also strikes a relationship with the host building a very strong bond. Hosts can be provocative, be flexible, you can moderate and modulate, in the terms of format and style. This all can be done, unlike traditional media because of cost and time to market. These are just a few things that have drawn me into wanting to be part of this exciting new platform.

Williams: I spoke to some automakers and I was told that within the next three to five years there will no longer be radio’s in cars but tablet type media centers. That combined with apps on smartphones make accessing on-demand content easier than ever before and it will only get better.

Berk: “This is what’s exciting. Technology has removed barriers, and the wonderful thing for the world we inhabit now – this world of an on-demand digital solution to audio – is that there’s always going to be a need to consume content while you’re doing something else. Audio is the one format that you can consume while you’re doing other things – driving a car, working out, at your desk and so forth. It’s allowing you to have an intimate relationship with somebody, but not have it interfere with your day; not have it diminish your productivity.”

Williams: “Social media is driving so many things in this country that you can’t overlook the importance of making social media part of this.”

Berk: “Absolutely…I look at you, as a host of a show, as IP…you are now in the situation where I can curate that relationship with you through multiple touchpoints. So my primary one might be audio, but I want to follow-up with that by being able to have the website, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and all of these different ways in which I can keep connected to you, in a network. We’ve started to take this approach even in our shows, where the shows are no longer just, ‘Here’s the latest episode,’ but it’s now part of a stream. So in it, there’s the episode and then the person’s dropped in some photos they pulled off their Facebook page and their Instagram, there’s a poll in there, and there’s comments by people and answers from the hosts, and it’s part of a feed. This concept of an ongoing relationship that never stops – that isn’t defined by the start and stop of a show – is really where we’re headed. It’s this continuing, evolving conversation this IP creator is having with their audience. And it makes the IP creator much more powerful.”


Be sure to listen to the entire podcast to hear much more about the podcasting industry.

Check out a few of my favorite podcasts on Podcast One starting with Riggle’s Picks with Rob Riggle and Sarah Tiana, Red Circle Sports with Dennis Miller, Sessions with Randy Jackson, and Spikes Car Radio, should get you off to a good start. But take the time to check the whole catalog I am sure you will find plenty to enjoy.



Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.