Transcript – The Power of the Veritone Voice Network with John Murphy
SEASON 2 EPISODE 9
“JM: There’s really no stopping the growth of podcasting as I see it for, easily, the next couple of years. Podcasting continues to revolutionize itself and we’re going to be going right along with it.”
[0:00:14.7] MM: Welcome to Veritone’s Adventures in AI, a worldwide podcast that dives into the many ways technology and artificial intelligence is shaping our future for the better. I am your host, Megan Mintchev and we have John Murphy, who actually goes by Murph and he’s well-known in the podcast industry and has an amazing content and podcast monetizing history.
He recently joined our team at Veritone to work on expanding our Veritone voice network, which will take an individual’s current podcast and broadcast and localize it to foreign markets but before we dive deeper into the Veritone Voice Network and before we even talk about the elephant in the room, which is being the challenges and pain points in the podcast industry, let’s hear from John.
[0:01:03.2] MM: John, welcome to Adventures in AI and to Veritone.
[0:01:06.7] JM: Thank you Megan, I appreciate it. It’s wonderful to be here.
[0:01:09.6] MM: All right. Let’s address this elephant in the room like I said. The pain points, the challenges of the podcast industry, what are they?
[0:01:18.6] JM: The two biggest pain points that I have come across in my conversations and meetings with so many different podcasters, creators and podcast networks, appear to be reach and audience growth as the number one pain point, how do these podcasters expand their reach into other markets, specifically, and then, once they’re in those other markets or their current market, how do they continue to grow their audience.
That is the pain point that was illustrated in podcast movement, a lot of different opinions on how to rectify that but the other main pain point really seems to be discovery of a podcast by listeners and for podcasters to be discovered and get their name out there and break through the clutter, if you will. With several million podcasts out there currently in the marketplace, a podcaster has a hard job and a creator has a hard job to really break through and be discovered.
You know, if a listener is looking for a specific host, genre or format of podcast, what is the most efficient way that they can locate that content, that they’re seeking out for entertainment, information or education purposes.
[0:02:36.3] MM: Yeah, absolutely and I’m glad that you mentioned about podcast movement because we had a significant presence there last week. Our Veritone One subsidiary was sponsoring that event and I understand that you were also there. There were a lot of different panels that Veritone and Veritone One folks were speaking on, talking about this very topic right now, this pain points.
So it’s great to hear your insight and have you bring what you learned from Podcast Movement to this episode now. So, I had in the beginning, briefly introduced the Veritone Voice Network. So can you talk about what it is? I know it’s brand-new to probably all the listeners here, so it would be great to hear a little bit more about what it is and then we can go into how this will help solve some of the pain points that just discussed.
[0:03:27.4] JM: You know, and it’s not only new to the listeners here, it was newer to me as of a few weeks ago when I joined Veritone and you know, what I’ve really discovered and one of the reasons why I was so intrigued and excited by this opportunity with Veritone Voice Network, is that it addresses the marketplace in terms of the first pain point I mentioned before: Reach and audience growth.
What Veritone Voice Network does is it takes new and existing English speaking podcast content and translates that into content that is multilingual and two of the key points of that and again, ebbing a podcast movement and talking to creators and podcasters, this was like a lightbulb going off over their heads. The two key points that come about with Veritone Voice Network are, we’re using our aiWARE to translate the content using the host’s voice.
That is underlined, exciting, everything these podcasters want it to be as they’re looking to extend into new markets and the other key point is that it provides the podcaster host, the ability to seamlessly and efficiently expand their reach into new markets and grow their overall audience.
[0:04:46.0] MM: There are a couple of people that we are working with now who are taking advantage of this opportunity. So David Meltzer, he actually was on one of those podcast movement panels with our very own Drew Hilles and then also Bryan Barletta. They each have podcast that they use Veritone Voice to reach the Spanish speaking audience and I think there’s some stat that’s around 17% of the American population speak Spanish as a primary language at home. So now, these podcasters have the opportunity to share their stories with more diverse audience and then, can also create these new audiences and new engagement
[0:05:26.6] JM: Absolutely. I think the 17% number is a point or two within accuracy. I’ve seen recent articles on the Spanish speaking market where there’s just not enough content for the market to grow at the pace that they’re looking to grow. The other portion of that is, the English-speaking content that Spanish language listeners, they want to listen to their favorite host but they don’t want to listen to their favorite host in someone else’s voice.
You know, each host is unique in their delivery, their audience, their content, their enthusiasm, their inflections and you know, by translating that using someone else’s voice, you really lose the excitement and just the listenership of the podcast as you’re trying to translate it. So again, I think the key point that was brought up in all these meetings is – and everyone kept asking me over and over again, “Can you really translate it using the host’s voice?”
And the answer over and over again was, “Yes we can.” That’s what’s significant about this new aiWARE. As you just mentioned, Megan, we’ve already tested it out on several host, a new host and platform to the Veritone Voice Network is now ActionPark Media run by Kevin Connolly of Entourage Fame. We’re extending the Veritone Voice Network now, bringing in new, newer and existing podcasters and creators to utilize this software as a solution.
[0:06:54.3] MM: Also to kind of drive this home, a practical example of what we’re trying to accomplish here. So a lot of people may know the famous YouTuber, Mr. Beast. I’ve had his burgers, they’re delicious. So, he has paid studios that dub all of his viral videos in other languages to obviously get more exposure and reach. So, he has gained over a hundred million global followers in one year by doing this.
So, Veritone Voice Network is attempting to act as the studios in this example and will help expand podcasters reach new audiences around the world. So I love that we’re able to do this. Now, let’s shift over and talk about the target audience. Can you explain who exactly that is?
[0:07:38.2] JM: Yes, the target audience is basically, any and all podcasters, creators and podcast networks. We can discuss and target, target audiences if you will for the Veritone Voice Network, which is exactly what I was doing at Podcast Movement. I met with individual creators, individual podcasters and hosts and networks that represent anywhere from 10 to 200 different podcast.
So there’s really a broad scope of who our target audience is, it’s really anybody who is currently creating content for podcast as it stands right now. The podcasters who are again, it can be new or existing, who are looking to grow their audience, I keep saying the words “reach” and “audience growth” but those are the two of the biggest, again, pain points if you will that we have in podcasting and or host and podcasters specifically, how did they expand their markets and how do they grow their audience, one, either in the expanded market or in their current markets. That is who our target audience is, anyone who is looking to grow their audience base.
[0:08:50.9] MM: Awesome, and then, I know we obviously have been talking a lot about the benefits of Veritone Voice Network and what that brings to the podcast space for networks, for advertisers and podcasters. Is there anything else that we should be talking about regarding the benefits for these people in that space?
[0:09:09.0] JM: Yeah, again, we highlight the ability to translate content using the host voice, that was the lightbulb moment in any meeting that I had there but the other points that I heard and that the Veritone Voice Network addresses is no additional work needs to be done by the podcaster, the host or the producer. That was an incredibly exciting moment in our meetings for the podcaster to hear.
That all they need to do is provide us with the audio content and then we go to work, translating it into obviously, we’re moving into the Spanish speaking language first but more multilingual opportunities from thereon out and all they need to do is again, provide us the audio. We translate it, we send it back to the show and all they need to do is then put it on their RSS feed or whatever distribution channel they utilize and it is seamless.
You know, in one meeting, I heard how the host wanted to do a Spanish speaking version of their podcast so they had to hire talent and studio space and reproduce and re-record their English-speaking podcast into Spanish speaking language. There was a bunch of cost associated with that, there was a time, there were studio costs. So all of that is addressed and answered by the Veritone Voice Networks for the podcast.
One of the other benefits is again, new and localized markets for the podcast. If you’re an English-speaking podcast, you can’t grow your audience base globally if you can’t address the localized markets that your podcast is heard in. So again, the Veritone Voice Network addresses this by localizing the content into the individual language markets that we currently have and will expand into down the road.
[0:11:02.6] MM: As a podcast for myself, this sounds, it’s like music to my ears because I mean, putting together a podcast in theory if you’re just starting out, it sounds like, “Oh, that’s easy, you just, you know, put some headphones on, get yourself a mic and just start recording” but then it’s like, you’ve got all these extra work after that and I don’t know that a lot of people who aren’t podcasters realize that.
So the fact that this is making it very easy for people to just send over the audio like you said and we’ll take care of the rest is amazing.
[0:11:34.0] JM: Well, thank you. Everyone thought so, so we’re often running.
[0:11:37.3] MM: Awesome, I love it. So how do you see podcast and influencer advertising trends in the rest of this year, looking into next year, even into 2024, changing or scaling or maybe even might be impacted by a softer economy.
[0:11:51.5] JM: What we’re seeing in the advertising trends for podcasting specifically throughout the course of this year and I definitely see it spilling over into 2023 and possibly on to 2024 is that, performance-based advertisers, the LinkedIns, the Casper mattress, all of those type of performance-based results-based advertisers will continue to grow revenue in the podcast space, despite a softer economy.
What I mean by that is, as long as a podcast is delivering results and selling product for a performance-based advertiser, they’re going to continue to not only, continue to spend but they’re going to grow their spend with the podcast platform and individual podcasters and creators Performance-based marketers always seem to be able to write out a softer or bad economy because they’re selling their products via influencers on a continuous basis.
The other trend that I see is on the other side of influencer and performance-based sales, the impression-based sales and programmatic sales will also continue to grow in this space as they provide an efficient entry point for brands to come in to the medium. You know, the CPMs that tend to be on an impression-based sale or a programmatic sale, tend to be lower than if you’re using the influencer’s voice or recording it or having it embedded spot within a podcast.
So for brands out there, anywhere from, you could say, progressive insurance to any number of different scalable brands in the market, this is a more efficient way because they’re not results oriented specifically, a more efficient way for these brands to come in and test podcasting and see how it grows their business in the future.
[0:13:48.3] MM: How do you see Veritone Voice Network revolutionizing the podcasting and advertising space?
[0:13:54.0] JM: Because a lot of these brands, a lot of them are really in podcast and podcast have been global since their inception. So the way I see the Veritone Voice Network revolutionizing this is that again, we’re going to be able to provide these brands, localization, globally. I don’t know, that kind of sounds like a contradiction but we can take these current podcasters and new podcasters in the future and we can grow their brand globally but being responsible to the localized markets they’re in, by providing the language of the podcast in the host’s voice in those markets.
[0:14:34.2] MM: Now, how do you see Veritone Voice Network evolving in the future in the podcasting space?
[0:14:40.9] JM: I see nothing but opportunity and growth potential for the Veritone Voice Network. Again, we’re starting off with the Spanish-speaking language because you know, if you listen to the marketplace that seems to be the first place to go that the demand is there, for English-speaking content in Spanish language localization by the host but there are so many markets out there.
There’s the global market, there's everywhere where we can expand this aiWARE and this software and this technology into, you know, we’re starting off small. We’re testing things, we’re making sure we have things up and running in the right way and the growth potential from there, once we get the Spanish speaking format up and running, where it’s running efficiently, there’s nothing but upside potential in new and growth markets.
[0:15:30.3] MM: This is huge and I’m excited to see where even in just one year where this is going to be. So the podcasting like you said in the beginning, podcasting space is just ginormous and correct me if I’m wrong, it’s a billion-dollar industry at this point, right?
[0:15:47.1] JM: It is and being predicted right now for two billion next year.
[0:15:51.4] MM: Wow.
[0:15:51.9] JM: You know, over, I think 2.5 million podcasts are currently in the space but there’s no slowing down in terms of the content that can continue to grow in podcasting. So many people are looking for whether it’s specific, information or entertainment or broad-based, you know, coming in from YouTube and all other areas, scripted podcast.
There’s really no stopping the growth of podcasting as I see it for easily the next couple of years. That’s what we’ve seen so far. Everyone says we’re still riding the crest of this emerging medium and again, it’s similar to my answer to the Veritone Voice Network, podcasting continues to revolutionize itself and we’re going to be going right along with it.
[0:16:37.4] MM: Well, I appreciate your time here on Adventures in AI, the Veritone Podcast, John “Murph” Murphy. It’s great to have you on board and like I said, I can’t wait to see where we’re at with Veritone Voice Network in a year from now.
[0:16:52.3] JM: Thank you Megan, it was a pleasure to be on and thank you for having me.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:16:57.1] MM: This has been another episode of Veritone’s Adventures in AI, a worldwide podcast that dives into the many ways technology and artificial intelligence is shaping our future for the better. Talk with you next time.
SVP, Content and Monetization, Veritone