Sport Social Podcast Network reaches 3.5m listens each month and The WFFA joins the team – September 2022 Newsletter

The September edition of the Sport Social newsletter is here and we have some exciting network updates to share this month along with advice which could save you troubles with your podcast.

3.5 million and counting!

The Sport Social Podcast Network now pulls in 3.5m listens every single month. That’s 3.5m people who are coming back month after month to listen to brilliant audio content – enough to fill Wembley stadium almost 39 times over.

Want to be part of our growing network? Get in touch to be part of what is on track to soon be the biggest sport audio network in the world!

The Opportunity in Sports podcasts

With listenership booming and revenue potential rapidly growing it is hard to believe that podcasting is still very much an unexplored area for many big players in the sport world.

Our Head of Sport Jim Salveson’s blog uncovers the reason so many are still reluctant to take the plunge.

Read here

The Oscars of the Football Content Industry

It’s back! Celebrating the best in online football media, the Football Content Awards recognises and rewards all content creators and online media companies in football.

Nominations for finalists for the Football Content Awards 2022 can be made until midnight on Sunday 4th of September and it’s a great chance to get some extra ears on your podcast.

Also, please consider voting for the Sport Social Podcast Network as ‘Best Media Organisation’ – we’d love your support.

When does an Ad not become an Ad?

A recent investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against Steven Bartlett’s ‘Diary of A CEO’ podcast for not making it clear that a promotional read for food supplement Huel was a marketing communication. 

The ruling is an important reminder about how advertising and marketing content should be positioned within a podcast.

For more on the story and to find out how YOU can avoid falling foul of the rules you can check out this article by Head of Sport Social Jim Salveson

The WFFA joins the Sport Social Podcast Network!

As always, we’ve had lots of top new shows join our team in August but a special mention goes to the World Football Freestyle Association who have taken their first steps into the world of podcasting with ‘All You Need Is A Ball.’

Produced by Voiceworks: Sport, “All You Need Is A Ball” is the official podcast of the World Freestyle Football Association.

Each week Freestyle Football athlete and guru Daniël Rooseboom will guide you through all the tricks and speak to all the big personalities from one of the biggest sports in the world that you’ve never heard of.

Listen now on the Sport Social Podcast Network:

Here’s why Steven Bartlett’s ‘The Diary of a CEO’ podcast landed itself in trouble – and how you can avoid doing the same.

The highly successful and impactful podcast ‘The Diary of a CEO’ which was created by Social Chain founder Steven Bartlett was continuing to make an impact this week, but not for the usual reasons.

Barlett has found his podcast in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority for avoidable practices regarding the promotion of a product, and Head of Sport Social – Jim Salveson – has shared his thoughts on the matter and how you can avoid your podcast having similar difficulties in future.

Walking the tight-rope of Podcast Advertising – The Diary of a CEO case

Podcasting is often described as the Wild West of audio; a new frontier where laws can be made up on the hoof and enforcement (such as copywrite infringement) is sporadic at best.

Although this can be still the case as the relative infancy of podcasting as an industry does mean that rules and regulations can often be more reactive than proactive – things are slowly starting to change.

A recent victim of these “new” rules is Steven Bartlett who’s hit podcast “Diary of a CEO” has recently had a complaint upheld against it for failing to make clear that a promotional section of the podcast wasn’t clearly defined as an advert to the listener.

The complaint related to an advertisement for a food supplement called Huel and, despite Huel/Bartlett’s defense that no money exchanged hands for the promotion, it was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority:

“The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such, and that they must make clear their commercial intent if that was not obvious from the context.” 

Advertising Standards Authority ruling

You can read the full ruling and defence here.

In this instance, I believe Bartlett has been unlucky. As a regular listener to the podcast, I’ve never been left in any doubt as to which parts of the show are host read advertisements and which are “content”. Not only is there clear separation of each element with a sound effect (a page turn) but the style and delivery is markedly different for each element.

However, this ruling does indicate that this is an area in which podcasters will need to tread carefully in future. 

Expertly integrated commercial content within a podcast is one of the podcasting superpowers. When done well, it can be a hugely effective way to deliver advertising campaigns, but it’s now more important than ever to ensure this is clearly defined.

Huel was founded in 2014 and has began marketing through audio medium forms, namely The Diary of a CEO.

This definition is important not just from a rules and regulations point of view,  but also from a relationship stand point. The authenticity of a host and the relationship they have with their audience is key to a podcast’s success and it’s commercial value. 

The trust and sense of belonging that a listener has in their favorite podcast is what makes well delivered commercial messages so impactful – and nothing can shatter that trust quicker than the feeling from a listener that they are being conned or that a host who claims to “love” a product is only doing so for cold, hard cash. 

Making the transition from content to commercial can be clunky, but adopting the same tactic used in commercial radio  by having a few simple phrases that make it clear that the listener is about to hear commercial activity, can really help.

Transition phrases such as:

•          We’ve teamed up with…

•          We’re working with…

•          Thanks to our friends at…

•          We’ve collaborated with…

•          Supported by…

•          In association with…

All the above do the job quickly and elegantly which can keep listeners happy – and your podcast out of trouble.

Jim Salveson – Head of Sport Social

How to get your podcast discovered and David Seaman joins the Network – August 2022 Newsletter

It’s been another exciting month at Sport Social with plenty of new incomings and records hit. In this months update we cover how to deliver the perfect Host-Read Ads and improve your podcast’s discoverability, plus a very familiar name in the world of football joins the Sport Social Podcast Network.

Three Tips to Deliver the Perfect Host-Read Ad

Host Read Adverts (sometimes called Live Reads) are the lifeblood of podcast advertising.

Delivering quality reads can not only be great for advertisers wishing to work with your show but also means a better experience for your listeners.

If you want some tips on how to make the best of these opportunities then check out this 3-point guide over on the Sport Social Podcast Network Website.

How to improve the Discoverability of your Podcast

In a sea of podcasts growing by the day and searching for listener, we all know that podcast discovery is tough.

One of the most powerful tools in your armoury is also one of the simplest… your episode podcast titles. For some top tips on how to help your podcast discoverability (and listenability) check out this brilliant blog from Rachel Corbet.

Safe Hands joins the team!

We are delighted to announce that the “Seaman Says” podcast – hosted by legendary Arsenal and England goalkeepers David Seaman- is joining the Sport Social Podcast Network!

It’s the iconic goalkeeper as you never heard him before, as Seaman reminisces and looks to the season ahead with former teammates such as Martin Keown and Ian Wright – and opponents as he’s joined by legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and John Barnes. 

Listen here

Who are ‘The Creators’?

In June this year podcast pioneers Sounds Profitable teams up with Edison research to conduct the first-ever large-scale survey of the people who make podcasts… called The Creators.

In the latest episode of Voiceworks: Sound Business – hosted by Head of Sport Social Jim Salveson – we hear from Sound Profitable’s Tom Webster who provided some great insight into not only what the data revealed, but what opportunities it presents.

Listen here

3 tips to deliver an incredible host-read ad

What is a HRA?

A Host Read Advert (HRA), sometimes called a ‘Live Read’ is a commercial read and endorsed by the show presenter during a show.

They are not delivered as scripts to be read verbatim but rather provide ideas and talking points that help the promotion of products or services during the flow of conversation.

Whilst there is some freedom to get creative within HRA’s and the emphasis for hosts to “put their mark” on the content, there are also likely to be some key messages that MUST be delivered within the read ad.

What is the purpose of a HRA?

HRA’s are a valuable part of a podcasts commercial inventory and can command a premium in terms of cost to advertisers. Delivering good quality and impactful HRA’s can greatly improve your chance of an ongoing relationship with that brand, and being approached by more brands and advertisers in the future.

So getting them right can only benefit your podcast moving forward!

Here are some tips to help make sure you are making the most of the opportunity and remember, if you ever have any queries about what you are being asked to do please reach out to your Sport Social Podcast Network account manager.

1. Preparation!

Like with most content, preparation is the key to success!

It’s very easy to identify a HRA that has been picked up and read by the host for the first time – and it’s rarely good.

Take some time to read the brief in full and pick out the key points from the brief. You can then decide how you want to deliver the read!

It can often help to rewrite and bullet point the elements you want to highlight and the ‘must say’ key messages.

2. Make It Something Listeners Will Love

The best Host Read Adverts feel like part of the regular show and flow seamlessly.

Whist you have a commitment to the advertiser to deliver the key messages you also have a commitment to your audience to deliver great content and there is no reason why you can’t do both.

It’s key to know what your show’s tone of voice is. If your show is funny and irreverent, then the read should be done in the same tone whereas if it’s scripted and serious then the same applies.

You should always be respectful to the brand and the messaging but, at the same time the advertiser is buying into you and your relationship with the audience and so the content should feel as natural and ‘in keeping’ with the show as possible – everything is content.

3. You don’t have to love it

It’s tempting when you are delivering a HRA to say that the product is fantastic, even if you’ve never tried it – but you don’t have to!

Whilst you should never be negative about a product, being overly positive about every HRA you deliver will soon sound inauthentic to your audience.

It can help to imagine what problem the product or service MIGHT solve in your life or how you can imagine it helping you or someone you know in the future. That can often be just as powerful as just saying that you love a certain thing.

Keep in mind you may also need to do different versions of the read so think about how you might keep that feeling fresh with different angles, takes and examples rather than just saying; “Its great!”.

On some occasions an advertiser may ask for a ‘personal endorsement’ for a product. In this instance they will usually send you a sample before you record the read.

When delivering a premium campaign such as this, it is important to include “I” statements to demonstrate your endorsement and also to make sure that your opinion and experience is front and centre of the read.

Want to hear more?

You can hear two masters of the art of HRA’s talking about how to ensure great delivery on the Voiceworks: Sound Business podcast. Listen to Paul Sylvester (Content Director at Absolute Radio) and Tim Cocker (Host at Virgin Radio and The Egg-Chasers Podcast) sharing some top tips on delivering fantastic Host Read adverts here: https://pod.fo/e/12b41b

The TTM Sports Show celebrate their 100th episode with a special guest

Sport Social is proud to congratulate the TTM Sports Show on as they embark on their anticipated 100th episode of the podcast.

The centurion episode will be alongside former Leeds Chairman, Peter Ridsdale which airs on Wednesday 13th July 2022.

On the journey to their impressive milestone, both James’ who run the show have worked to bring niche content to their audience, hosting guests such as Peter Drury and Matt Jarvis within the football world and the likes of Dave Coldwell and Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan who command respected opinions within boxing.

To reach such a significant milestone, a huge amount of dedication, consistency (and witt) is needed which has been shown in abundance as they promote a show by the fans, for the fans.

We’re keen to see the journey through the next 100 episodes!

To listen to the TTM Sport Show’s 100th episode, click here.

How to deliver the perfect Host-Read Ad and our latest partnership – July 2022 Newsletter

The Sport Social Newsletter – July 2022

In this months edition we’ll cover exactly how you can expertly deliver host-read ads, our latest partnerships plus looking at how to ensure your podcast is being found on Apple Podcasts.

How to expertly deliver Host-Read Ads

Ever wondered how to create the perfect Host Read Ads?

Host Read Advertising and Live Reads are the lifeblood of podcast revenue. Getting them right can reap huge rewards – not just for the brands you work with – but for your show and its reputation in the world of podcasting.

On the latest episode of Voiceworks: Sounds Business you can hear some great advice on how to up your HRA game from two individuals who know that side of the industry inside out. Paul Sylvester (Absolute Radio) and Tim Cocker (Virgin Radio / Egg Chasers Rugby Podcast) share their knowledge and expertise in this area and its invaluable listening.

Listen here to begin perfecting the art of the Host-Read Ad

Are you being found in Apple Podcasts?

The once dark art of surfacing content on Apple podcasts is slowly becoming less mysterious as Apple Podcasts lift the lid on exactly how their algorithms work.

The latest bit of intel to come from the tech giant focuses on how the search function works within Apple Podcasts… and it’s an interesting read for all avid podcasters.

Whilst this article stops short of giving any practical tips it does offer some valuable insight into where your focus should be when writing podcast titles and descriptions.

Last Word on Spurs join Sport Social

A big North London welcome to Ricky Sacks and the Last Word on Spurs team who are amongst the latest sign-ups to the Sport Social Podcast Network.

LWOS is an independent Tottenham Hotspur Fan Channel providing instant post-match analysis and previews to every single Spurs match along with a range of former players, managers & special guests – and they have a large following of dedicated Spurs fans along for the ride.

We’re delighted to have the show as part of the network heading into the new Premier League season.

Listen to Last Word on Spurs here

Sport Social’s latest partnership with Podfront

In case you missed it on our social channels, we’re excited to announce our latest joint venture with the Podfront UK team, in a partnership that will expand our global reach and strengthen Podfront’s sports offering.

All 130 of our sports podcasts will now be offered as part of Podfront’s network of advertisers, giving national and international brands an opportunity to engage more deeply with sports fans.

Want to find out more about the Sport Social Podcast Network? Click here

Sport Social announce partnership with Crowd Network

Sport Social Podcast Network is delighted to announce an exciting, new partnership with Crowd Network which will begin with two of the most popular shows joining our ever-growing library of sports podcasts.

Both The Joe Marler Show (TJMS) and Geraint Thomas Cycling Club (GTCC) will each be joining the network from 30th May 2022, as Sport Social aid the marketing and commercialisation of the podcasts.

Despite both launching in 2020 and 2021 respectively, TJMS and GTCC have grown exponentially with a combined monthly listenership just short of 500,000.

“Sport Social is the perfect match. They are leaders in sports podcasting, and have the expertise and network of brands to really accelerate our shows”

Mike Carr – CEO of Crowd Network

The Joe Marler Show is hosted by rugby player Joe Marler and Crowd Creative Director Tom Fordyce, which explores various livelihoods of guests – from pirates to singers – has built a dedicated audience shown from the overwhelming demand after recently selling out their first live show in just ten hours.

Adjacently, GTCC is hosted by Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas and Tom Fordyce, which has succeeded in its mission become the world’s largest cycling club, home to over 8,000 members and counting.

Since launching in 2021, we at Sport Social have become the home for some of the most popular sports podcasts in the industry, entrusted in growing their audiences, developing content and increasing monetisation opportunities.

Jim Salveson – Head of Sports Social Podcast Network said: “Crowd Network has built a brilliant community of listeners around these shows, and we’re excited to work closely with the team to expand it further. Joe Marler and Geraint Thomas are some of the most famous faces in their respective sports, and it’s a real coup to have them join Sports Social.”

We understand audiences and we understand sports – and with a network reach of 90%, we are just beginning.

To view the entirety of the Sports Social Podcast Network, please click here.

Sport Social attends largest Podcast event in UK

Sport Social will be present amongst the very best audio platforms, podcasts and figures attending The Podcast Show, held in London on the 25th and 26th May.

The event is a first of its kind in the UK, where we will be joined by the likes of Spotify, Amazon Music and Acast, along with popular podcast hosts such as Fearne Cotton and Louis Theroux.

An event of this magnitude is testament to the significant rise in popularity of audio content – particularly within sports – and it isn’t stopping there.

The Podcast Show will be held in London on the weekend of the 25th May 2022

In 2021 Voiceworks launched leading global sport audio network – Sport Social – developing original content with talent, developing digital audio technology and providing hosting, marketing, monetisation and audience growth support for sport podcast creators.

“It’s great to be involved in the first event of this kind and this scale in the UK. The level of interest now in the sector is testament to how far podcasting has come in the last decade and how much potential it still has to grow.”

Jim Salveson – Head of Sport Social

Sophie Hind – the Founder and Managing Director of Voiceworks.ai – along with Jonathan Reynold of The Race Media, a leading motorsport publisher and Louise Gwilliam, a Talent Director at Crowd, will be speaking at the event to explore what the future of the industry looks like, and how the medium can benefit rights holding looking to engage with fans to create lucrative revenue streams.

It is an exciting time to be part of the audio industry – and we are just getting started.

Reading legend Graeme Murty on his desire to return

Former Reading player Graeme Murty cemented his name into the history books of the club following his 306 appearances which included a memorable record-breaking season in the Championship, earning them promotion to the Premier League.

Speaking exclusively with the 1871 podcast, Murty looked back on that 106-point season and his hopes for a Reading return.

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Graeme Murty lifts the Championship title following their historic 2005/06 season. Image: PA

Reading’s record of 106 points from a single season is one that still stands after 16 years, in a campaign which saw Steve Coppell assemble a side with strength in all corners of the pitch including Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, club-record signing Leroy Lita and of course, Murty at full-back.

“Nothing could come between us and we reacted cohesively and together, that’s what you need to do. The team that manages to generate that spirit will go on a run. We seemed to be that team that never knew when we were down.

Graeme Murty

The full-back scored his only goal of the season on the final day against QPR from the penalty spot to secure the record and the perfect foundation for life in the Premier League.

Murty’s time at Reading ended in 2009 after playing 306 times for the club, though his affiliation for his former side has always remained.

Asked if the Reading job would appeal to him now, Murty’s response was a resounding one.

Of course it would. I’d have jumped at it. I’d have walked back.

Graeme Murty on if he’d rejoin Reading as a manager. Quote: 1871 podcast

Though the opportunity has yet to arise, with the managerial jobs seeming to go under the radar or pre-filled prior to a manager leaving his position.

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“It’s not just at Reading (the closed circle of managerial jobs), I’ve applied for lots of jobs which have already been filled before they’ve come out. Regardless of your personal attachment to the club, people who are in position are going to make their decision based on what they think is best for the club.”

One thing is clear; the Royals could do little wrong in seeing the return of a person who lives and breathes Reading Football Club in attempting to steer them to the heights of the Premier League once again.

Listen to the full interview with Graeme via the 1871 Podcast here – a dedicated Reading podcast available every Tuesday and Friday, including exclusive interviews with former players and managers!