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Podcasting trends, opportunities and best practices

Laura Rich and Jim Prather


Podcasting has been around for more than a decade but has seen explosive growth the last few years as smartphones and smart speakers have become ubiquitous media devices. Podcast ad revenue has nearly doubled in the last two years to $314 million since 2017, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which projects revenue to double again by 2020.  

If this content distribution channel is not in your strategic plan, maybe one of the Tuesday morning breakout sessions at the Mega-Conference will change your mind.

Laura Rich, host of The Exit Club, a podcast about entrepreneurs, and founder of The Podcasting Agency, which develops engaging audio content for marketers, will be talking on stage with Jay Prather, executive director digital programming for the Las Vegas (Nev.) Review-Journal, about best practices in podcast marketing, from content and distribution to technology and advertising options.

She will feature local media case studies and explore ideas on the spot.

Prather says future success for publishers "will be tied to the creation of multi-platform content." He said, "Podcasting can be a huge showcase for your talent and your brand. The window is open for creative content creation and an opportunity to reach a younger audience."

Rich said, "Attendees will leave with a framework for how to think about a podcast strategy for their market."

Rich has focused on local media for the last eight years as the founder of Street Fight, a local media industry publication, and previously worked as a journalist for Inc., Fast Company, New York Times, Condé Nast Portfolio and others.

Prather supervises the digital news, audio and video operations for the Review-Journal, which includes video and podcast studios. The Review-Journal is the dominant digital source for news in Nevada. He worked 25 years for Journal Broadcast Group, starting as news director at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee and eventually moving to VP/GM and later corporate roles. He moved to Las Vegas in 2003 to supervise KTNV-TV in Las Vegas as well as regional responsibilities with JBG radio and TV stations.

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Warning! view all

Please be vigilant if approached by any company or service that implies or claims to be an official housing provider for MEGA. Other housing companies or travel agencies may aggressively pursue you, or your company, to book your guest rooms through their company at supposedly significant discounts. The only way to book your rooms for MEGA is to use the channels provided on the Paris Las Vegas website.

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A "list consultant" has approached at least one company that does business with newspapers with an offer to sell them an Excel spreadsheet listing conference attendees with contact information. It is a fake list.

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Innovation Award view all

The finalists for the Mega-Innovation Award have been announced. Read this story to see which companies placed in the top three. The winner will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Mega-Conference.

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Mega Scholarships view all

Editors and others who are responsible for growing audience through social media are encouraged to apply for a scholarship to attend the 2019 Mega Conference ($895 value) being held at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev.

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Conference program view all
Audience is the name of the game. And, cultivating niche audiences in your local community is a money-making proposition. On Tuesday afternoon at the Mega-Conference, our panelists will be talking about successful models for drawing new, big revenue commitments for local, regional and even national advertisers.

Charity Huff, managing partner of Maroon Ventures and moderator for this session, said: "Cultivating niche audiences in your local community is a money-making proposition. Join this session to learn how publishers are finding success with new titles, new audiences, and – most importantly – incremental revenue."

Panelists joining Huff are:
  • Matt Coen, partner and board member, St. Louis Magazine. Coen also is president and co-founder of Second Street.
  • Max Freund, managing editor of digital, The Journal, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • Danny Pacheco, sales representative, Publication Printers.
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Mega, rockstar sales leaders from across the country will share their revenue-driving strategies and tactics at the Mega-Conference in Las Vegas, Feb. 25-27.

Sales models of the past are no longer applicable in today's world of pure-plays, digital dominance and a shift beyond consultative selling.

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To be successful in today's digital landscape, publishers must prioritize the customer experience and pursue a strategy that reduces friction and builds engagement and loyalty among their readers.

The Washington Post is the industry standard for this approach, adopting a relentless focus on the customer and becoming one of the most read news brands in the world. On Wednesday morning at the Mega-Conference, hear about this evolution from Scot Gillespie, the newspaper's chief technology officer, as we delve into the in-house technology that powers it.

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For 20 years, business websites have been the cornerstone of a local, digital, presence. But, now we are in the midst of a major shift.

During a Monday afternoon breakout session at the Mega-Conference, Brooke Henderson, senior director of strategic partnerships for Yext, will lead a conversation focused on how voice, mobile and artificial intelligence are changing the way potential customers discover local businesses.

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Find out how your newsroom can adopt a "mini-publisher" perspective to drive audience growth and profitability with editors participating in the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, aka the "Table Stakes" project.

During a Monday general session at the Mega-Conference, learn how two newsrooms are expanding their scope beyond content creation to include financial success and brand quality and digital subscription growth.

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Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities view all

It's not too late to be part of the Mega-Conference!

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Hotel & Travel view all

Please be vigilant if approached by any company or service that implies or claims to be an official housing provider for MEGA. Other housing companies or travel agencies may aggressively pursue you, or your company, to book your guest rooms through their company at supposedly significant discounts. The only way to book your rooms for MEGA is to use the channels provided on the Paris Las Vegas website.

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The Key Executives Mega-Conference will be held at the Paris Las Vegas. Full details are available here about hotel accommodations.

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