The easiest way to measure the ROI of your branded podcast with Dave Zohrob

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Episode Summary

“Podcasts used to be treated just like radio, and they’re not radio.” By saying this, Dave Zohrob, today’s guest of Recorded Content, shows his love and dedication to the podcast medium. In fact, this love inspired him to start developing a platform called Chartable: Podcast Analytics & Attribution.

In this episode of Recorded Content, Dave, the CEO and co-founder of the company, talks about how Chartable can help individuals and businesses measure the impact of their branded podcast.

Dave points out that global changes such as the recent pandemic haven’t destroyed the podcast market and predicts a bright future with continued growth. He reports that many businesses started creating podcasts during the pandemic and that this trend will continue in the future. This “megatrend,” as Dave calls it, has created the best environment for creating an online analytics tool to help you better understand your audience.

Guest Profile

Key Insights

“I was initially freaked out. It was a scary time [during the pandemic]. Podcast consumption dropped in that immediate term. But then we saw it bounce back.”

Dave Zohrob



Episode Highlights

We See a Megatrend of Companies Starting Podcasts

“Businesses increasingly are going to look to build their audience versus renting it from someone else, and renting an audience can be fantastic. The entire podcast advertising business is built on that. It’s going to be a billion-dollar business this year and a $2 billion business within another couple of years. That’s great. And for a lot of companies, that’s going to be a huge part of their strategy, even if they do their show. We see folks looking to build audiences on their own.

Podcasting has a number of advantages compared to other media. You’re not listening to multiple podcasts at the same time. Distribution is owned entirely by the publisher. You get to choose which platforms you want it to be on. How often you release and whether or not you have ads and all this control that you don’t have with other channels. 

Chartable’s Analytics Can Boost a Business

“We’ve got a number of things we offer. The first is basic analytics to supplement what you might get depending on how you host your show. We’ve recently started offering demographics for folks on our paid plans. For folks with a big enough US audience, and this would exclude some branded shows, we’ll give you a household-level demographic of who’s listening. So you can see who you’re reaching.

For the businesses, there’s a couple of features that are super-specific for B2B. One of them is firmographic enrichment. We just look at the download data, and through a partnership with Clearbit, we enrich the download data and say, ‘Hey, here are the companies of the people who are listening to your show, and we can’t do that for everyone.’ The quality of the data is great. We tested a bunch of different vendors for this before we ended up building it.”

Chartable Assisting B2B With Branded Podcasts

“We built this full attribution product that’s used by all kinds of DTC advertisers, mobile app advertisers, who buy podcast ads at a scale of millions of impressions. We have the tech to help them figure out if those ads work. We’ve reconfigured that same tech to apply to the B2B use case where instead of saying, ‘Okay, these people heard an ad for the mattress. Did they go buy the mattress?’ We say, ‘These people downloaded your branded podcasts. Do they come to visit your website? Did they fill out a lead form, or did they make a purchase?’ It’s the same tech at a different scale.”

Utilizing Business Website and Download Data

“There are two streams of data that are important here. The first stream is the download data. The second stream is the business website data. The podcast downloads data we collect directly from the user who’s downloaded the show, and we do that by inserting RSS feeds. RSS feed is a list of URLs of MP3, and it says, ‘Hey, here’s the latest episode. Here’s where to go find the audio file for it. Go, download it.’

When you integrate Chartable into your feed, instead of going and downloading your MP3 from wherever it is, the user’s podcast app hits our server. Then we redirect to where the actual MP3 lives, and the listener doesn’t notice anything. It’ll take like 20 milliseconds for that to happen. We get to log the IP address and user agent, which is just the name of the app, maybe a version number, or maybe a language, some small amount of information, but nothing crazy. And then they go on and download the show.

The other stream of data that’s super important for lead tracking is business website data. So that works by the business. Sticking a piece of JavaScript on their website that says information to us about who’s visiting. We don’t know who’s visiting, but about the people who are visiting, we did IP address, what browser they’re using, stuff like that. We set a cookie, and then we link up those two data streams with some very fancy technology.”

The (Cookie-less) Future Is Now

”There are all kinds of changes with regard to privacy, both at a regulatory level and the state level, federal level in the US. Europe has had a strong regulatory stance on privacy for a long time. And in addition to the regulatory stuff, platforms like Apple and Google are making changes to their browsers, making changes to their operating systems. So everything is in flux right now.
What we think is going to happen is that, rather than podcasts advertising, data getting worse, it’s going to be that other digital ads are going to end up looking more like podcast ads. We already have to deal with a pretty limited set of data. It might get slightly more limited in the near future. We’ll see as the cookie changes. But everyone else, if you’re buying Facebook ads, you’re going to get way fewer data over time for sure.”