Underwriting Post: Audio Fills Your Life

Editor’s Note: KoPoint offers select underwriting partners the opportunity to participate in content-appropriate sponsored audio interviews and blog posts about topics that are tightly related to the product vertical. These posts are clearly marked as underwriting, though the content is relevant, sincere, and organic . We hope you enjoy the podcast and post. 

The following is a sponsored audio interview and blog post by Michael Sitarzewski, co-founder of Callisto.fm, a media measurement platform.

Michael Sitarzewski
Co-Founder, Callisto.fm

Audio fills your life.

Every waking hour of your life is filled with audio. Whether you acknowledge it or not, your ears are constantly taking in the sounds of your environment. It’s the hum of the city, the chatter in a coffee shop, or the barking dog next door as you try to focus on your latest blog post.

It’s normal to see people with headphones as you walk the streets, or enjoy that Americano in your favorite shop. If I’m one of those you see, there’s a 95% chance that a podcast is filling my ears and brain.

Podcasts, to me, are a conscious choice to fill my ears with informational audio. The latest Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast helps me understand how entrepreneurs think, and how the execute. The Dave Ramsey Show is an hour long daily podcast – where the meat of the show is listeners calling seeking advice. Of course there’s Leo Laporte’s TWiT network – shows filled with hours and hours of technical detail presented in a fun, roundtable format. If you love startups as I do, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention Mixergy.

Whether I’m working on the laptop, driving, mowing my grass, or shopping in the grocery store, there is a podcast in my ears most of the time.

When I tell this story, common feedback is that some people can’t “listen to podcasts and work.” They prefer music instead because they can “ignore” the music and still have something to fill the quiet. To each their own, though I’d encourage you to try my way.

My choice is to make the background noise of my life full of useful data. Even if I’m not focused entirely on the podcast content (passive listening), my brain is able to pick out keywords in the audio stream. If something piques my interest, I’ll switch my full attention to the podcast. Then, when the time has passed, it’s back to passive listening.

This works so well for my use case, that I decided in 2009 to build a podcast portal to help other people do the same thing. At Podcamp Boulder, I reserved 30 minutes to chat about the idea. It was a simple site that could help others discover podcasts.

If you’re like most, there are a few shows that you listen to religiously. Outside of that, you’ll dabble with shows here and there as friends suggest them, but for the most part you’ve got your list.

YourTuner (the original Callisto.fm) solved this problem by playing podcasts in streams of related shows. If you chose the “business” channel, you get podcasts from multiple creators about business. Same with travel, language, or any of the 64 other categories iTunes provides. Think Pandora for podcasts.

Two and a half years later, it became pretty clear that while the media creators themselves were excited, and we had some great ones, consumers weren’t going to listen to podcasts on a website.

In the next post, I’ll talk about how Callisto.fm’s analytics “feature” inspired a pivot, and how we’re taking podcast analytics to every media industry.

 Download Audio: Underwriting Post: Audio Fills Your Life

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