Dave Newmark | The $4.5 Billion Untapped Opportunity in the Booming Podcast Industry

The podcast industry continues to boom.

And there is no end in sight.

Dave Newmark is a seasoned radio executive who founded PodSearch, the largest and most popular online directory for podcasts. He began his career in advertising after graduating from Stanford University where he worked for his father’s full-service ad agency learning the ropes. In the ‘90s, he began to shift towards audio advertising and in particular radio endorsements.

In 1998, Dave and his wife Patty, who is also a Stanford graduate, brought radio endorsement advertising national. With the expansion of audio formats in the mid-2000s, they extended further into other areas of audio. In 2016, Dave developed an online directory exclusively for podcasts called PodSearch.com, launching it in 2017. And in just over a year, PodSearch reached over 3 million page views, resulting in nearly a million listeners and advertisers of all types discovering great podcasts. He also recently launched a third division, a learning management system called StartAPod.

In this episode, John Corcoran is joined by Dave Newmark to learn more about Dave’s journey from working for his Dad to launching PodSearch and eventually, StartAPod.

In this episode, we also talk about:

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Learn:

  • Dave’s experience and learnings from his time in his Dad’s agency
  • The power of radio endorsement and advertising
  • How the internet buzz affected Dave and how he used it to his advantage
  • The potential that Dave’s wife, Patty, saw in podcasting
  • How people started to evaluate podcasts for advertising
  • The types of shows Dave advertised
  • Differences between the connection radio hosts have with their audience vs that of podcasters
  • How Dave came up with the idea for PodSearch
  • Dave’s reasons for starting StartAPod
  • The people Dave thanks for having made a big difference in his career
  • Where to learn more about PodSearch and StartAPod

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you podcast solution and content marketing.

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally.

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing.

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network.

To learn more, go to Rise25.com or email us at [email protected]. To learn more, book a call with us here.

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and podcast services.

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran  00:40

Alright, welcome everyone and I’m very excited today because my guest is Dave Newmark. Dave is a seasoned radio executive who founded pod search. com one of the largest and most popular online directories for discovery of podcasts are great talking all about that. And of course, I am John Corcoran. I’m your host, hostess. Business revolution podcast where I talk with CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of companies and organizations like YPO eo activation Blizzard, the world’s largest video game company, lending tree, Open Table x software, and many, many more. Also the co-founder of rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners with their ideal prospects. And before we get into this interview, this podcast, of course, is brought to you by the rise 25 media which I co-founded with my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weiss. And our mission is to help to connect you with your best referral partners and customers. And we do that through our done for you podcast solution, and I firmly believe that if you have a business you should have it podcast periods.

One of the best things I’ve done hands down. Since I found in my business, I’m sure Dave can share all kinds of stories of success stories in the podcasting world, but it’s really like a Swiss Army Knife is a tool that accomplishes so much at once. Yes, it’s marketing, but it’s also something that’s going to lead to great relationships, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships. It’s like networking on steroids, so I highly recommend it. If you want to learn more about what we do and how we’re involved in that, you can go to rise 25 calm, you can learn all about it. Alright, so now on to my show. As I mentioned my game is my guest is Dave Newmark. He began his career in advertising after graduating from Stanford University work for his father’s full service ad agency learning the ropes and in the 90s, he began to shift towards audio advertising and in particular radio endorsements. And in 1998, Dave and his wife Patty, who also graduated from Sanford brought radio endorsement advertising national, and with the expansion of audio formats in the mid 2000s. They extent extended into other areas of audio, and in 2016, Dave developed an online directory exclusively for podcasts called pod search com launching it in 2017. And in just over a year, pond search reach over 3 million page views, resulting in nearly a million listeners and advertisers of all types discovering great podcasts and I love To hear that he also recently launched a third division, a learning management system called starter pod. So we’re going to learn all about that. So, Dave, thanks so much for coming on here and tell me about the early days of you know, cutting your teeth. And your father’s full service ad agency. I’m sure it wasn’t that glamorous from the beginning. When you graduate. What did you get started with it? And what was it like working in your dad’s agency? Because, you know, sometimes working for pops can be rough.


Dave Newmark  03:29

Well, john, first of all, thank you very much for the opportunity to be on your show. It’s really a pleasure. And I hope that your listeners get something out of it. To answer your question, it was a little bit, uh, you know, I thought beneath me at the beginning, you know, I had graduated from Stanford, and I thought, well, you know, I’ll do this for a little bit, working for my dad and the ad firm and so forth. But what I came to find out was that advertising was really cool. It was fun. It was helping people on it. It was creative. And I just loved it. And so I learned all aspects of this was during the 80s. And this is pre internet days. So a lot of TV radio, I knew how to I learned from him how to write and produce for television, right and produced a radio, outdoor direct mail, used to supervise printing of annual reports, just everything and that kind of well rounded. You know, exposure, I would say to the various media at the time, made it all the more remarkable when I started finding the power of radio advertising and in particular endorsement radio advertising in Los Angeles.


John Corcoran  04:39

So what is that? So explain what you mean by that.


Dave Newmark  04:42

It means essentially, that the host of the show is doing the commercial in their own voice in their own words, talking about a product or service and if it’s an endorsement, it means that they are recommending that to their audience. So it’s very much like word of mouth advertising,


John Corcoran  04:57

which is quite common in podcasts these days, but You found that it works more effectively than just regular recorded ads.


Dave Newmark  05:04

That’s right, in the late 80s, early 90s, I was doing it in Los Angeles. And then, in the late 90s, I brought my wife on who has a degree in psychology, and she did a study of hosts around the country. And we launched it on a national basis, not only working with local hosts around the country, but also national radio hosts to do that kind of advertising. And it was really very, very powerful. As a matter of fact, just as an anecdote, we were the ones who helped introduced crest white strips to the United States, because PNG found out about us, and they asked us to identify opinion leaders on radio and, and the rest is history. So it was a really and, you know, it continues to be a strong part of our business. And so that was really a specialty then in the late I would say that not late in the early 2000s. we pivoted to podcasting Because as you say, it’s really, it’s audio on steroids in terms, especially in terms of the influence factor because it’s not restricted, like radio is to a 30 or 62nd unit on the podcasters are free to talk a lot more about the products and services in detail in their own words. It’s just a lot more powerful.


John Corcoran  06:20

Now, when did you start to pay attention to this thing called originally the World Wide Web? When did you start to pay attention to it? And when did you start thinking, ah, this is gonna affect our industry?


Dave Newmark  06:33

Are you talking about the world wide web or are you talking about the podcast in particular?


John Corcoran  06:39

Yeah, I’m talking about even before podcasts that I see, you know, in the mid 90s. When the internet started to people started to pay attention. That’s a


Dave Newmark  06:48

great question. I have a specific answer. It was probably in 2003 or four when I started noticing Seeing a confluence of obviously the growth of the internet, although the, you know, the bus was in 2001. Obviously, there was still growth to be had in the internet space at that time. And there was also a lot more of an understanding on my part that there could be a way to transact unsold radio airtime on the internet. And so I created a company that was an online auction for unsold radio airtime that ran from about 2005 to about 2015. It was called bid for spots and it was an online reverse auction, in which every week, radio stations would bid against each other and the lowest price would win. We did about $45 million in transaction volume in that business and it was phenomenal growth until the recession, and then 2008, nine and 10 things started to turn around and go south. So, so much for that, but answered your question, it was really about 2003 or four. And then we began operation of that online auction business in 2005.


John Corcoran  08:08

Wow. So you saw that there was an opportunity, obviously, that’s right. created the idea. Okay. Right. Well, and then, and when did podcasts start to come into your worldview? When do you start hearing about those and thinking that this is going to affect radio,


Dave Newmark  08:23

you know, I have to give credit to Patty, my wife and business partner, she was the one who really noticed what was happening and she had her she was what you know, reading the newsletters, the radio newsletters and talking to the networks and so forth. And there were a number of started out with radio people who were essentially pivoting over to podcasting and then independent podcasters, who found out about us and she was an It was a very early adopter, and as such attracted a lot of top tier podcasters and advertisers in the space. So really, it was her call


John Corcoran  09:00

Yeah. And how did people start to evaluate podcasts for advertising early on when there wasn’t much of a proven market?


Dave Newmark  09:12

direct response advertising, even though it was not digital advertising in a classic sense, where you could, you know, maybe the most classic part of that is search, you know, where you take out an ad on Google and somebody clicks on the ads, and they come to your site, you can know it. You know, podcasting obviously, doesn’t have that. And so, but even so, with promo codes and special offers direct response advertisers that we had, we’re seeing exceptional response rates, and so they were hungry for more.


John Corcoran  09:45

Hmm, and what sorts of shows were you advertising on at that point? You know,


Dave Newmark  09:50

yeah, it was all kinds. We went on any show really, that had a strong host that had a strong Hold on his or her audience. So it could be anything from spirituality to history to true crime to politics. It really, the genre was not as important as the connection that the host had with their audience. And did you find there’s a difference between the connection that hosts on podcasts had with their audience compared to radio? Yes. And there’s a specific reason for it, I think, which has to do with ownership. A radio hosts, generally speaking, are employees of the station or of the network, and, you know, they do a fine job and they deliver the music or the news or opinions or whatever it is, and then they go home, and that’s, you know, they, they are employees, so they’re not owners. podcasters, on the other hand, are generally owners of the show. They are the creators, the publishers, the owners, the writers, the editors, and so they have a lot more invested in the show, and consequently, Put generally way more effort and thought and, and enthusiasm and passion into their ad rates. And did you focus on endorsements as well when it came to podcasting from the very beginning? Yeah, because unlike broadcast radio, where most of the ad units are, in fact produced spots and not endorsements, podcasting is was and is virtually all voice read made. It may not be an endorsement per se. It may just be host read, but it is generally voiced by the host. It does seem to be that that is quite the trend, isn’t it?


John Corcoran  11:40

Yeah. pod search. So around 2016 you decide, hey, you know, let’s launch an online directory for podcasts. What gave you that idea? And why did you think it was needed?


Dave Newmark  11:53

Great question on it was in 2015 that I started thinking about Were we were who we were and what we were doing, we were seeing on that some of the standard advertising approaches that we were taking, and the way we were positioning ourselves was not generating increased revenue. In fact, it was declining a little bit. So, I took a step back and I thought to myself, well, you know, instead of thinking exclusively about representing advertisers, what if I step back and think of my of myself as representing the whole business? Both the not only the seller side, but the buyer side, and then I thought, Okay, so what is it that bought that the sellers, that is to say, the podcasters themselves, what do they need and, and I thought, well, they need revenue, and they need listeners and the revenue of course, we were already doing but on the listener side, discovery seemed to be really limited and everybody I talked to at the time, seemed to agree that the discovery of podcast was difficult. Not that there aren’t a lot of, you know, apps that have search built into it, which is fine, if you know the show you want, but if you just are looking generally and you want to browse around and just find out about the shows and get information about the shows or show samples, there really wasn’t anything out there. So I pulled together a team, and I created pod search. And it’s been a huge success. And it also gave not only our staff and me, but our clients a sense that wow, this is a company that’s really in deep with podcasting. And and and it’s true.



Yeah, and at what point do you still do radio advertising or only a little bit? Okay, a little bit. So we kind of reached a tipping point at some point.


Dave Newmark  13:49

Well, yes, I would say no, no, forgive me. The answer is no, it was not it not a tipping point. It was an evolution I would say that, you know, As we specialized more and more in the podcast space clients seemed to come to us for that specialty and they really didn’t want to ask for broadcast


John Corcoran  14:10

radio. And eventually parsers was so popular that you really kind of rebranded this agency that you’d had for a long time only as a pod search umbrella. That’s


Dave Newmark  14:20

exactly right through and that’s, you know, through and really through and with podcasts at that point, I actually did a test john, I wanted to see if at the time was called Newmark advertising, which was our agency. I wanted to see what would happen if I took out some Google AdWords so I spent a did over a set period of time it’s been a set amount of money on promoting Numark advertising and having people go to that website and then the same amount of money over the same period of time going to pod search ad. Yeah, and there was no comparison. It was it was crickets on the Numark advertising side and tremendous ROI on the other side. So all right, game over. let’s go Rap the Yes, the ad agency under the positive umbrella.


John Corcoran  15:04

So that’s what I call house. Yeah, well and that you did that you before just like ripping it up and saying let’s change the name, I mean in a little bit of a blow to the ego to it’s like oh, we built this baby all this time and they like the new name.


Dave Newmark  15:20

Yeah, you know, uh, I really I think most people that you talk to which would say that I have a relatively little ego or no ego I mean I really am out for the best approach, whatever it is and whatever it’s called.


John Corcoran  15:35

Yeah, before we wrap up, I want to ask you a couple more things. And I remember to ask you a little bit about just, you seem to have your finger on the pulse of the podcasting industry medium. And just some of your thoughts on the way that you’re the way that it’s developing some things to be on the lookout for in the future. But before we get to that you recently launched a third division. a learning management system called startup pod. Tell us about that.


Dave Newmark  16:04

Sure. Well, actually, I’ll answer your question prior along with explaining startup pod startup pod was an idea that I had about helping podcasters to start shows and the reason has to do with where I see the industry growing and what’s around the corner. And, frankly, I see the future in local in local podcasting, because the if you look at for example, and I’ll just give you some round numbers and a broad sense of it, but broadcast radio does about $15 billion in revenue, and broadcast. Radio has about let’s call it 300 million people a month or so who are listening. So again, 15 billion revenue, hundred million, excuse me, 300 million people. But podcasting, although it has 100 million people on a monthly basis, so one third of the listeners of radio it does not have one third or 5 billion in revenue. Instead, it’s it said by the IAB that to have something on the order of 500 or 600 million. So instead of it being 33%, it’s like 3%. And what is the difference? I think the difference is local advertisers, local advertisers don’t really have a lot of local podcast content to, to advertise on. And so I thought, well, if it doesn’t exist, maybe I can help create it. And that’s, that was my primary motivation for starting startup pod was to help local people start shows about local things.


John Corcoran  17:40

Yeah, you know, I’ve never looked at it that way. And did you find in your research, because we know you’re very analytical, you find that there weren’t many shows out there where people are just, you know, doing like, Upper West Side of New York or some neighborhood and Dayton, Ohio. They weren’t there’s


Dave Newmark  17:58

a handful. Sure. There’s a handful. But a vast majority of podcasts are non geographic specific. So they might about just get you know, anything. But they could be listened to by anyone, which is, which is fine and it keeps it open. But I do believe that from a revenue and advertising perspective that there’s a huge opportunity in local.


John Corcoran  18:20

Right, right. So before we wrap things up, what else are you Do you have your your eye on? What changes? evolutions do you see happening with industry?


Dave Newmark  18:34

Well, I do think that we could help unleash and I’m trying not to be a, you know, to self aggrandizement here. But I do think that between our different companies for discovery, advertising and learning that we could help unleash a very big number of podcasts and generate a great deal of revenue through that process. And I think that it’s just a terribly exciting time to be in the space.


John Corcoran  19:02

It’s amazing that difference those stats you shared, in terms of its really kind of like opportunity. Well,


Dave Newmark  19:11

hello, right? Yeah.


John Corcoran  19:12

Yeah, 5 billion or four and a half billion worth of opportunity to be precise. Yeah. Yeah. At least, if not more. Well, great. Well, this has been wonderful, Dave. And I want to wrap things up with a question I always ask which is, let’s pretend we’re at awards banquet, much like the Oscars or the Emmys or the podcast awards. And you’ve just received an award for lifetime achievement for everything you’ve done up until this point, and we all want to know is who do you think who are the relationships and there’s no family and friends of course, you can mention your wife Patty, of course, your business partner, you know, who are the colleagues, the friends, mentors, business partners, coaches, who have made the big difference in your career so far?


Dave Newmark  19:52

Yeah, gosh, I’m going to start with Patty because honestly without her having paved the way, especially in the podcast space, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. And, you know, she’s an integral part of my thinking about it strategically and, and so she is literally the smartest person I know. And so, you know, a tremendous inspiration to me and I and I would, she would absolutely be the number one person. The second would be my kids actually, both of whom are psychologists and they are practicing psychologists in different aspects of it. And they also have great insight. In terms of my own personal development, I would say, my mother for helping me learn how to listen and learn how to be empathetic, my father for teaching me about persistence and fortitude. And and I also got a heavy dose of that from a junior high school coach, who said basically never give up. He was a demo tape of john wooden who used to run his Teams ragged and, and got them in incredible shape so they used to dominate as anybody who follows basketball would know during the wooden years and he pushed us as kids of this coach and i i’ve learned to just never give up


John Corcoran  21:17

that’s great moment business partner Jeremy Weiss is a huge wouldn’t fans and he’s gonna love it so well thanks so much pod search com is the website Dave is there anywhere else people should go to learn more about you and your business initiatives?


Dave Newmark  21:34

Honestly, I would love for people to explore start a pod and give it a try. It’s a monthly subscription of $9 and 99 cents. There’s no commitment to it. You can try it for a month or two and just see what it’s like. But if you’re interested in and exploring what it’s like to start a podcast, there’s a lot to learn there.


John Corcoran  21:52

Yeah, I’m gung ho on the industry. I’ve been doing it for nine years. I don’t see myself ever giving up doing it because Because I get to meet interesting folks like yourself. And so I would encourage people to go out there and start it and, and feel free to reach out to myself or to Dave if you need additional help. So, Dave, thanks so much.


Dave Newmark  22:15

Thank you.



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