- NBC partnered with iHeartMedia for the first time to produce a podcast tie-in with the TV network's songwriting competition show, "Songland." NBC's Songland Podcast will include 15 after-show episodes with commentary from the show's songwriters, mentors and celebrity judges, along with a behind-the-scenes look at the show, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The podcast also will play the winning song from each episode of the series, which premieres on May 28. In each TV episode, five songwriters perform original tracks for three music producers and a recording artist. A panel of celebrity judges will choose three of the songwriters to pair up with a professional producer to record the song, per NBC.
- IHeartMedia will air special podcast vignettes among its broadcast stations nationwide. After the premiere, the podcast's regular episodes will run every Tuesday night right after the show. NBC plans to promote the podcast during each "Songland" TV episode.
Podcasting is well suited for a TV show that focuses on music production and the vocal performances as part of a songwriting competition. NBC and iHeartMedia's plans for a podcast tie-in with "Songland" will help to extend the show's reach and give fans a more in-depth experience around the show, leveraging its heavy promotional activity onto mobile platforms for on-the-go consumers.
TV and film are inspiring hundreds of podcasts, many of which don't have an official affiliation with a show, and are intended for fans who crave more discussion and insights about key plot points or characters. By producing its own podcast for "Songland," NBC can control the content and its marketing message while driving viewers to check out the show.
Even though the podcast industry has grown rapidly, it also is maturing and consolidating among major media companies like iHeartRadio that seek greater awareness among mobile-savvy consumers. IHeartRadio is building out its library of podcasts as smartphones drive on-demand listenership of audio content. Monetizing that content can include spoken endorsements by show hosts, interstitial ads and native advertising.
For example, iHeartRadio's infotainment producer, How Stuff Works, this week announced a special edition of its "Stuff You Missed in History Class" to focus on the history of Godzilla movies. Warner Bros., which is releasing the "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" movie this month, sponsored the episode that focuses on the history and cultural significance of the long-running film franchise.
The new podcast that accompanies NBC's "Songland" show comes as U.S. monthly podcast listenership has climbed 32% this year, the biggest gain ever recorded, to 32 million people, per a survey by Edison Research and Triton Digital. The swelling audience for podcasts is luring major brand sponsorships, as spending on podcast ads is set to more than double to $659 million by 2020, according to an Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC report.