RadioPublic maps out future plans

RadioPublic’s CEO, Jake Shapiro and CPO, Matt MacDonald are interviewed by Adam Ragusea for on the latest episode of The Pub and an edited transcript is available on Current.

It’s a in-depth interview worthy of a proper read but I’ll handpick some of the things that jumped out at me.

MacDonald on trying to make an app that appeals to all podcast listeners:

For me the thing that I really wanted to try to create is something that could work for both the power podcast listener who knows exactly what they want to listen to and when they want to listen to it — they manage a feed of subscriptions — but also balance that with something that would work really well for someone who is coming into it cold and really doesn’t understand, or want to understand, the concept of subscribing to a feed and managing a series of episodes that come into an inbox.

Shapiro on the development roadmap for RadioPublic:

…discover, engage and reward — are core to our strategy. They’re also our road map. This is how we’re thinking about the next several phases of development of RadioPublic. We’re right now in the discovery phase, so a lot of our efforts on the user experience and the app design is around encouraging discovery along the lines [of what] Matt was just saying. Coming up next after that is, we layer in engagement on top of discovery.
Engagement is lot more around things like sharing, being able to take some actions and transactions around podcasts. Some of what we’ve prototyped is annotations, where you might surface the photo that Malcolm Gladwell references in his podcast episode. Instead of having to pause the episode and switch over to Safari and find it, you’d actually have it surface in a timed way as an annotation along with the podcast. So there’s lots around engagement ultimately leading to what we believe is the rewarding monetization piece of this.

Shaprio also talks about future monetization plans outside of the traditional sponsorship model:

Some of that, as you know, is in sponsorship, and we’ve been testing things like enhanced sponsorship, where instead of that coupon code you have to remember and write down on a piece of paper to get a discount on your MailChimp account, if you’re listening to an episode that has promoted that, it could surface within the experience of the app. We would know that you listen to it; if you are interested in that, it could surface back in an email at the end of the week or something that you could actually take action on, and that becomes a more valuable ad. And then RadioPublic — for proving that that’s more valuable to the publisher and producer — would ask for a percentage of those kinds of advertising opportunities.
But that also works for other business models, like lead generation for membership or for crowdfunding or for events. If you’re listening to The Moth, and we know you listened three times in a row and you’re in Detroit and there’s a Moth slam on Friday night, it might be a good idea to give you an opportunity to buy a ticket to go to The Moth. That’s very valuable to The Moth. That’s very interesting and valuable to the listener, and it’s a service that RadioPublic connects the dots around and would also charge some sort of a transaction fee for doing it successfully.