From Little Acorns

I know that's not an oak tree

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I was honored to kick off this year’s IAB Podcast Upfront, which is wrapping up today, with a fast-paced look at the year in podcasting, an old-timey movie, and a quality Huey Lewis reference. I also shared a way to look at some recent stats that surprised a a few people, and I thought I’d share that with you as well.

In 2014, we produced our first Share of Ear® report, detailing how much time Americans spend each day with every form of audio, from radio to audiobooks Yes, I am obligated to at the ® at the end or counsel will shoot me in the face. Also, I’m just happy we got to register before some awful leprechaun horror movie could. Anyway…

Our first report in 2014 showed the percentage of daily listening to AM/FM radio content to be 51% of all the time Americans listen to audio—just enough to be the majority of our ear-time. Podcasting, by comparison, was 2% of our listening. I recall this causing some consternation amongst the podnoscenti, but in reality, this was a pretty big number. First of all, to even make it on our graph, even in low single digits, you need millions of hours per day of listening to that medium. Second, the weekly reach of podcast listening in 2014 was 8% (and the daily reach, which SoE measures, was lower.) So at least 92% of Americans were entering in zero time with podcasts, and all of those zeroes get averaged in. Finally, the podcast industry was most concerned that 2% somehow represented the share of revenue/ad buys that should be allocated to podcasting, but SoE measures everything, including audiobooks, premium streaming channels, satellite music stations, and other things that you can’t buy ads on. So the percentage of the time we spent with purchasable media for podcasting was much higher.

But let’s set all of that aside. The thing I want you to focus on is the ratio of time spent listening to radio to that of podcasting— 51% to 2%, or roughly 25:1. So for every 25 hours spent listening to AM/FM content in 2014, one hour was spent with podcasts.

Today, in our most recent data, AM/FM is now 42% — a plurality still, if not a majority. Podcasting is now up to 5%. The ratio of 42 to 5 is roughly 8:1. From 25:1 to 8:1 in six years. That is a lot of change. I have changed almost nothing in six years that is not personal hygiene related. And, I will point out, a number of leading radio companies are heavily invested in podcasting, so, you know, corporate strategy and all.

So I’ll close by reiterating one of my personal mantras. There are no small numbers. From little acorns, mighty oaks will grow.

Sportsball is back, so I’ve been listening to tons of sportsball podcasts. Last night, I had this exchange with my Alexa:

ALEXA: Play the Ryen Russillo Podcast

Hmmmm…I’m not sure what you mean

ALEXA: Play the Ryen Russillo Podcast on Apple Podcasts

Hmmmm…I can’t find the Ryen Russillo Podcast on Apple Podcasts. Would you like me to recommend a podcast?

ALEXA: Play the Ryen Russillo Podcast from Spotify.

I can’t find the Ryen Russillo Podcast from Spotify. Would you like me to recommend a podcast?

ALEXA: These violent delights have violent ends. Put yourself away, now.

There is only one way to fix this, and that is for Ryen to change his name to Ryan and just call the show The Ryan Show. Or something like that.

What I’d Like To Listen To: Here’s my million dollar podcast idea. Whoever makes this happen and signs me as show runner gets a free subscription to this newsletter.

Gordon Ramsay Teaches IKEA Assembly

Right. Clean work surface, yeah? Clean.

Tab A, bash tha' in.

Allen wrench. On.

Grab plank A. Nice plank. Nice. Smooth one, that.


Nice join—not too fast. You’re scratching it. YOU’RE SCRATCHING IT

Now, let’s have a look at tha’.

Look at THA’.


It's so DIRTY!


Right, flip it over. Careful. Careful. On the pegs. On.

Test it, yeah? Always testing. Testing. 




Rub those scratches right out. RUB IT. RUB HARDER. OH FOR F&$*S SAKE.

Come ON.


(Throws work apron onto floor)

Have a great weekend.


Photo By Bruce Marlin — Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5,