Tom Webster of Edison Research – The Future of Podcasting, Discovery Problems, and the Rise of Paid Content

Tom Webster is Vice President of Strategy for Edison Research, a custom market research company best known as the sole providers of exit polling data during US elections for all the major news networks. He has nearly 20 years of experience researching consumer usage of technology, new media and social networking, and is the principal author of a number of widely-cited studies, including The Social HabitTwitter Users in America, and the co-author of The Infinite Dial, America’s longest running research series on digital media consumption. He is also the co-author of The Mobile Commerce Revolution, and a popular keynote speaker on data and consumer insights. He writes about all of these topics at and on Twitter at @Webby2001.

Webster has a B.A. from Tufts University, an MBA from The University of North Carolina, and conducted post-graduate studies at The Pennsylvania State University.

Listen to the Podcast

In this episode Tom discusses:

  • Podcasting’s transition from direct response ads to ads for branding
  • The way podcasts spread
  • The challenge of podcast discovery and how audio search makes it worse
  • How the rise in paid content continues to make interrupt advertising less effective

Read the Transcript

John J. Wall: Hello and welcome to Stack & Flow. I’m John Wall.

Sean Zinsmeister: And I’m Sean Zinsmeister.

John: Today our guest is Tom Webster. He’s the vice president of strategy and marketing at Edison Research. Edison is best known for its coverage of the American presidential elections, but it’s also the leader in gathering data and reporting on online and offline listening, including podcast data. They’ve done that for more than a decade. Tom, thanks for joining us today.

Tom Webster: My pleasure. It’s a podcast about podcasts.

John: This is where we want to be.

Tom: And other things.

Sean: I did think about that, actually. It’s like this is going to be one of our most meta podcasts that we’ve done, John.

John: It is. Let’s jump into that too. Sean, you saw the Infinite Dial report. Tom had talked with Mitch Joel about that and that was what instigated this to give Tom a call and see if he’d be willing to spend some time with us. What was top of your mind when you started to put that together?

Sean: We talked to sales and marketing technologists and people from all around the industry. Podcasts, people are really fascinated with them. They might consume them in their own personal lives, but are now starting to think about them in both a media strategy, PR strategy, and marketing strategy as well. I’ve been following the Infinite Dial report I think since … Well, Tom, I’ll turn it over to you. The history behind the report, I was actually going to ask you, how long have you guys been doing it? What spurred your interest to dive into that and do that analysis? We’d love to start there.

Tom: Yeah, it actually started in 1998, back when online listening was sort of a Rube Goldbergian process of pulleys and ropes. But we started tracking just the basics of online audio, basically streaming radio all the way back in 1998 in this series and other digital behaviors. It’s been really sort of a survey course in all kinds of digital media related behaviors since then. There’ve been 25 reports in the Infinite Dial series. It does have a focus, not exclusively, but it’s certainly heavily in the audio space. We do talk a lot about online radio, folks in the space like Pandora and Spotify and Apple and others, but we also cover things like podcasting and social media and really anything else we need to round out a profile of the humans that consume all of this media because just consumption data alone, it’s important but it doesn’t give you the full story.

Sean: Yeah, and I think that’s huge, even for people who are thinking about B2B. It’s like, yeah, you may be thinking about things at the account level and things like that, but how do you reach people within those accounts and what do their behaviors look like shouldn’t be something that’s forgotten about. I wanted to start from sort of a high level takeaway, Tom. Especially this last report that you guys did, big surprises or did you walk away with sort of … What was your big takeaway from the recent report? What were your thoughts there?

Tom: I think when you do this every year and you track things, things rarely shock you. But I think the two things that surprised me somewhat on the high side were the percentage of Americans 12+ who have access to a Netflix account, which is ginormous. Also, I think the category that’s called smart speakers with the Amazon device who I cannot name or it’ll ask me a question right now and the Google Home. By the way, I do that constantly because I probably do two to five analyst calls and interviews a week where I mistakenly say its name and it comes up with all kinds of wild things. But, yeah the Amazon that-which-shall-not-be-named and Google Home products for now have had a pretty strong debut, I would say, as a brand new consumer device.

Sean: In terms of drivers of adoption, and by that I mean looking at podcasts as well as online radio, because there are some overlaps there that are important to recognize. Hardware, we talked about those smart speakers. I have to imagine that things like innovations in wireless technology, you have Apple coming out with things like the AirPods and those becoming more popularized. In addition to the hardware, did you guys notice big drivers that are pushing people more towards this medium of podcasts and online radio?

Tom: Well, a lot of the drivers here, it’s one thing to remove friction and the smartphone has removed friction from pretty much all of these various forms of digital media, digital audio and digital video. Especially in podcasting that’s a fairly dramatic impact in some ways because it used to be extraordinarily difficult to listen to podcasts for the average person. Now a lot of that friction is just gone. You just click on a show and listen to it. It’s one thing to remove friction. It’s another to push and to drive.

I think one thing that’s happening in media over the medium term, no pun intended, is we’re becoming a lot more sensitive and resistant to traditional interrupt-style advertising. As a result, we are paying more for content, I think, than we have done in years and years and years. I’m sure a lot of people listening to this now are paying for Netflix, maybe paying for Amazon Prime, maybe paying, a good chunk of you, for Spotify, and may in fact even be subscribing to the digital editions of something like the New York Times or the Washington Post.

Subscription behavior has changed a lot over the past five years and it’s helped that I think a lot of the strong players in the space did start out in the premium space, but if you’ve ever hit your maximum free article limit on reading the New York times or the Post or something like that and just finally said, “Okay, fine. I’m going to do it,” more and more people are doing that. As a result, you have a lot of people spending lots and lots of hours with Netflix, no ads, no overt advertising on Netflix, I should say. There’s always product placement. Orange jumpsuits, I understand, are a big seller. You’ve got things like Pandora, which is relatively ad-light.

You have things like podcasts which are either advertising free or may have a pre-roll and maybe a mid-roll, and you have Amazon Prime, you have video, you have all kinds of different media that are finding other ways to support themselves. So as a result, even though we are spending well over 12 hours a day with media if you factor in media multitasking, the number of traditional interrupt advertising that a good segment of Americans is exposed to, that available inventory is actually going down. That’s a significant driver and force in today’s media landscape, but also the media that gets created tomorrow.

Sean: Before, I know that John wanted to jump in on some sort of the advertising effects and things like that, but I wanted to ask you about discovery, in particular content discovery. I think that these types of recommendation engines and certainly I think that as machine learning starts to get better at understanding tastes and things like that, did your research, did it surface anything around discovery habits? How are people finding out about these pieces of content? Is it word of mouth? Obviously they know the programs, the hubs, as it were, but I’m interested if anything jumped out at you there.

Tom: Yeah. Well, it’s the drivers. We track things like discovery of music, discovery of podcasts and things like that. The drivers are changing as well. In music, the principal driver used to be AM/FM radio. It’s lost that perch. It lost it big time with younger Americans to accommodation of YouTube and friends and family, so increase your friends and family budget out there, media buyers because that’s … Still, word of mouth is the primary, one of if not the primary drivers of certainly audio content in America.

There aren’t any easy answers here to discoverability. I do think we’re going to see continuing money being poured into influence marketing, which has got to get smarter and got to get better. It will get smarter and it will get better, but so much discovery happens through word of mouth. I know word of mouth as a discovery mechanism is something that a lot of podcasters I think decry that word of mouth is not enough and discovery is so hard and who’s going to fix discovery, will Apple fix discovery. Well, that’s focusing purely on the pull side.

What I would submit that many podcasters don’t give enough thought to is the push side. One of the reasons, I think, if you look at the iTunes top 100 you’ll see very many podcasts there from one of the many public media outlets. Many of them are our clients, NPR, Chicago Public Media, WNYC, and so on. They have incredible promotional bullhorns through their own radio stations and through cross promoting each other’s podcasts. They do a very good job on the push side. On the one hand, yeah, discovery is broken and I have some other thoughts on that. But on the other hand I think you can’t just sit back and rely on word of mouth for people to find you. You’ve got to be more creative.

John: Tom, I wanted to ask you more than about what you just mentioned earlier about so many subscribers to Netflix accounts and people buying into news and layering that over some of your report results about how the podcasting audience is more affluent, more educated. Is it right to say that access to that audience that’s top level consumers is actually getting smaller, it’s more difficult to get into? Does this mean that podcasting is a better way or an alternative way to get to that audience now? How do you see that transition working and, of course, is that argument valid?

Tom: Well, I’m just going to call it a different way. Currently the podcast universe is more affluent. They do represent a segment of humanity. They’re more likely to be 18 to 34 is the real strong spot for them, and 18 to 34s are getting increasingly more difficult to reach. Yes, podcasts are one angle to reach that segment. When you look at the existing podcast audience and the decisions you make to please that audience, you’re left with a dilemma here: Does the inventory dictate the system or does the system dictate the inventory?

In other words, if you look at what’s popular now for podcasting then you might be tempted to go back to your loom, buy a $10,000 Neumann mic and try to reproduce All Things Considered. But that’s not necessarily the future of podcasting. That’s where it is now. I think if podcasting is going to actually be a healthy medium then it’s going to be less and less different to the mainstream American consumer and that will only come as more different forms of content I think get developed and that content gets promoted so that mainstream Americans can find out about it.

Sean: You opened the door there because as the technology gets easier to produce more high quality shows, the first thing that pops into my mind is, “Okay, here comes the marketers.” Is there any danger, or are you starting to see at all a flood of new content just overwhelming the market, low quality stuff that pops up just creating more noise? Is it still too early to have that as a concern, or is there anything you’re seeing, the early tide there?

Tom: I do think it feels like everybody needs to do a podcast. You have a lot of companies getting into podcasting, you have a lot of brands either doing their own podcasts or sponsoring their own podcasts. I will tell you this, after over two decades of doing entertainment research, most people cannot put on a show. You might have a podcast because you think your brand needs a podcast and you make your podcast about that brand or issues tangentially related to that brand, but if you are going to put on an audio program then your competition is much larger than you think. I do think there’s clearly a lot of content out there that is not going to cut through because it’s really, really difficult to do a show.

But on the other hand, I think there are a lot of different forms of content that aren’t really even being tried yet. They’re being experimented with, but not even being tried yet. I’ll give you a really good example. The number one podcast now of all time, with 40 million downloads, is S-Town. I don’t know if either of you have listened to S-Town, but S-Town tells a story over seven one-hour episodes. It is essentially an audiobook. Now, in your mind, you might think of a podcast and an audiobook as very different. S-Town’s an audiobook. I think you’re going to start to see more and more different forms of content being tried. Like I said, it’s not all going to sound like This American Life. That’s not to denigrate This American Life, there’s plenty of room for programs like that, but I think there’s a lot of room for different forms of spoken word entertainment.

John: Yeah, that’s interesting. Obviously S-Town just on fire. I saw stats of 40 million downloads in the first month and some other numbers. What do you think about that? Are they still just successfully drafting off Serial, or is there something more here? Do you think that there’ll be more of these kind of drops that will come out of nowhere, or is this specifically an NPR family thing?

Tom: I think it might be, in this case, I think it’s specific to S-Town. S-Town was an experiment in a lot of ways. It was dropped all at once like a Netflix show might be, and you really can’t get away with that in every kind of podcast. This was a podcast that was finite. It required actually a fairly low time investment to consume at all. Each chapter of it had enough of a kicker or a teaser at the end that you really felt compelled to go on to the next one if you could. It would be easy, I think, to lose the tautness of that story if you spaced it out over several months.

And, it was an experiment in a lot of ways and I think many of the reasons that, if you want to draw lessons from it, I think a lot of that is inductive reasoning and not deductive reasoning because I think to some extent it’s a bit of a unicorn because it had built-in significant promotional force of This American Life and Serial. No other podcast can boast that, so it was kind of a perfect storm. It had the most significant on podcast promotional engine behind it, it was a unique form, it was released in a unique way. I’m sure a lot of people will try to replicate what they think are the lessons from that, and they may or may not find success because I think S-Town was its own dog and its own unique cocktail of all those things.

Sean: It segues nicely into thinking about show quality. A lot of these shows, when I listen to S-Town, This American Life, it’s almost a return to the audio dramas of early radio programs. This is real theater of the mind stuff where the production quality’s very intricate at this point. Is this becoming more of a staple for what listeners do you think are demanding now? Because I think that that’s some insight where you don’t want to just sort of throw up a mic and just start yammering away. Are we at a new level of the demand for audio quality and content quality, I guess, for this medium?

Tom: It’s going to keep getting more difficult. The primary reason for that is that podcasting, unlike listening to things like Pandora or Spotify, is spoken word entertainment. You can’t podcast music. You can, but it’s prohibitively expensive. In terms of a lean-forward spoken word medium like this, there’s only so much room in your day you can make for it. I can skim 100 blog post on Feedly in about five minutes and determine what I want to read, what I want to share, and so on. I really can’t do that with a podcast. If I’m going to sit and listen to a podcast, I have to carve out 30 minutes, 60 minutes of my time. That’s time I really can’t do much else.

If you want to launch a new podcast, let’s say that you want to launch a competitor to This American Life. Life in These United States, let’s call it, which was I think a Reader’s Digest column back in the ’70s. You’re not just competing with all the other shows out there. You’re competing with a time slot that’s already being spent on one of those shows. It’s got to be better than a show to take its time slot in some ways. There’s only so much additional time that we can carve out. That’s why I’ve never thought that podcasts would grow with hockey stick growth like YouTube and some other digital video has and even digital audio, because it’s really kind of a different dog. It’s not like listening to music, which we can fit around almost anything else that we do.

It’s a very lean-forward medium, so it does, I think, have this sort of three-part rule for any piece of content. It’s got to do one of three things. I think it has to be genuinely entertaining, it has to challenge somebody in a way that challenges them but doesn’t defeat them, or it has to come from genuine expertise, not content marketing expertise but genuine expertise in what it is you’re talking about. If you can claim one of those three things, I think you have a place on people’s dial. If you can’t claim any one of those three things, then you will have a hard time getting between the earbuds with all the content that’s out there.

John: That’s interesting. I like the way to think at that and look at those three points. Because my question was going to be, let’s say you’re VP of marketing at a mid-sized business. Should you be looking at producing something, or should you just throw your money towards advertising? Which way would you go? Not to put words in your mouth, but obviously those three things are going to factor into that. But then what else would you use to evaluate?

Tom: They’re not mutually exclusive. I think any reasonable sized company probably has some talent in there. It’s worth spending a little time thinking about the strategy for this and also thinking about what is our strength, what can we credibly claim here? Can we effectively do one of those three things, or are we just doing this because we feel like we have to do this because our competitors are doing this?

I think any brand who wants to make a podcast about their brand, you have to think about is your brand going to be able to support that? Could Harley Davidson have a podcast? It probably could. I could imagine what kinds of things would go into that podcast. Can a garden variety marketing automation software as a service company have a podcast? They can have a podcast, but it depends on how passionate their users are whether or not it’s actually going to go anywhere. But I think just having it to have content is something that there’s a lot of that right now and I look forward to seeing the results of that in a couple of years because I think a lot of that’s not sustainable.

Sean: So results is kind of the big question there. I think that that introduces the challenge of measurement that I think a lot of marketers struggle with when they’re looking at this medium. This is something John and I talk about all the time just looking at Stack and Flow, which is how are we measuring success? Well, okay, we’re getting a little bit of feedback from SoundCloud because we’re using that as the back end, but iTunes is a bit of a black box. There has to be a necessary evolution in measurement, but I’m interested to see what kind of movement you’re seeing on that front.

Tom: You know, measurement is actually less and less of a problem, depending on are you putting on a podcast to sell advertising, or are you putting on a podcast for brand value? I think either way measurement is less and less of an issue. A lot of podcasts now that take advertising take what’s called direct response advertising. It’s advertising that you enter in a short code or use a special URL. There’s some call to action in there for a product, and there’s been plenty of that. You can name tons of direct response advertisements, Squarespace, Blue Apron, MailChimp. They’re able to track things because people are using those short codes and using those URLs.

The challenge for podcasting at that level has been to get more brand advertising. Can you get the Geico gecko on your podcast? That is not direct response advertising. It’s just pure brand advertising, but there’ve been a lot of developments in ad tracking. Most of the larger players in podcasting are using some kind of dynamic ad insertion technology which tells you that an ad was, in fact, served. A lot of the early problems with measuring podcasts occurred because there was a fair amount of podcast listening done offline. You would download a podcast to your hard drive, you’d sync it to your iPod, which is like an iPhone that you can’t call anybody on, and then you might listen to it offline or you’d listen to it on a device that doesn’t have any way to communicate.

But mobile is dominating podcasting now. Any time you turn on your phone, you’re online. The tracking is happening. The tracking is much better. Even that behavior of downloading it and listening to it later offline is essentially evaporating. Between enhancements in ad tracking, enhancements in filtering the extraneous noise you get from your servers and download behavior and then just the fact that so much podcasting is now done by simply clicking on a link and listening to it immediately, a lot of those challenges for measurement that the medium used to have, they’re kind of gone.

Sean: The other thing I was really curious about, and it kind of leads into that topic of measurement, is this idea of the podcast network model. This is something I’ve listened to Adam Curry talk about, one of the Podfathers. I think it’s really interesting what the ex-Obama guys are doing over at Crooked Media. There’s actually a quote I wanted to read to you because I’m curious on your thoughts on it where, this is actually coming from a piece that Adam Curry did where he says, “You cannot monetize the network. The commercial broadcast model’s rooted in control of content and distribution. The internet removes these bottlenecks. Paywalls are a variant of this model and arguably do not perform well unless large scale is reached.”

I guess the question there is, how much truth is there, what are we talking about in terms of the scale necessary for some of these podcast channel networks to survive? Are we going to see the iHeartRadios of this world start to struggle more? Are we going to see this model continue to give birth maybe more at the niche level with some of the Crooked Media stuff looking at politics? I’m curious, what are your thoughts on the podcast network model?

Tom: Well, I would caution anyone from making a false choice here. When podcasting is a self sustaining going medium going forward, it will be because it supports any number of different advertising and revenue models. Direct response is going to work at any level. I have a podcast, The Marketing Companion, I do with Mark Schaefer. We have two to three sponsors every month. We make beer money or gin money and that direct response model works just fine. You may want to have access to an audience that is difficult to reach in other ways and that’s going to work.

I disagree with Adam Curry about this, and I know a podcaster should be reluctant to disagree with the Podfather himself. But I think the stats that I just gave you about things like the New York Times and Netflix, I think really speak the lie to paywalls not working. Paywalls are working now like they’ve never worked before, and when Adam says that the network model doesn’t reach unless you achieve true scale, well that’s kind of axiomatic. That’s kind of like saying you don’t actually make a lot of money until you’ve made a lot of money. Yes, of course. The network model works great if you can.

Just because it hasn’t been done in some of these ways before, I have no problem with giant podcast networks running spots for Home Depot because, actually, that stuff still works. It may be anathema to the independent podcaster who has a different relationship with their audience, but there’s a reason why Geico is a top three audio advertiser and has been for over a decade. You can’t listen to AM/FM radio without hearing three Geico ads a day because it works and it’s going to work in different ways. It may not work in the same way, but when new things come along they generally don’t kill the old completely. They generally make it better, or what can’t be made better may not survive. I think there are multiple ways for podcasts to be successful, multiple revenue platforms. I think just because a certain take on that got us here, I don’t think it means that’s what’s going to get us there.

John: Yeah, that’s interesting too, talking about the old radio audience and their listening patterns and then you talk a lot about the mobile device, how that completely changes things. People listening to podcasts on a mobile device will take up to three hours of their listening time to be listening to podcasts. Another interesting angle on that too is using the mobile device at home, I think Sean and I were both on the same page where we kind of thought that it was all about commuters in the car, and we found out that that’s not the case. What else do people need to know about the mobile device changing this whole landscape, and are there any things coming forward down the pipe that you think are going to continue to affect that or change that?

Tom: The mobile device is still the center of all media at this point. The arguments we used to have about the first screen and the second screen, as my friend Mitch Joel often says, it’s the screen in front of you is the first screen and the screen in front of most of us is our mobile device. I do think that discovery is a challenge. I certainly would not ever belittle what that challenge is. In fact, in many ways that challenge is going to be even more difficult.

For instance, in my home right now I’m looking at the Amazon device whose name I cannot say. Yes, Al, I’m talking about you. If you think about discovery being difficult now, try discovery with no screen. You really have to know what you want to listen to and what platform that content is on. That has to be ingrained in your head. That has to be branded somewhere not on the device. Yes, I know Amazon is about to come out with one has a screen but I believe that’s called a laptop. It’s not exactly the same thing. I’d be curious to see how that does.

A device with a screen that you can talk to sounds suspiciously like my iPhone. Anyway, branding I think is going to be very, very, very, very key in finding ways to push knowledge of content through other channels and having partnerships. Again, that I think puts the notion of podcast networks in the forefront because there’s no more effective way to promote a podcast than to have it cross promoted on another podcast. That’s the open secret of how NPR’s been so successful.

Sean: We can’t get out of a Stack and Flow episode, John, without bringing up AI, machine learning, big buzzwords in the marketing technology sales technology universe. But when we talk about discovery, recommendation engines, are you seeing AI as a important component to helping drive these mediums forward, Tom? Has anything surfaced from there when it comes to that?

Tom: Yeah, it is starting to get a little bit smarter. AI and content discovery right now, a lot of that is still some aspect of collaborative filtering. You’ve got podcasts that have certain keywords, here are some other podcasts that have those keywords. If you liked S-Town, you’ll love Celine Dion’s new podcast because they both have some shared keyword. I don’t know. There are some developments there. I’m excited about AI and I’m excited about the potential for AI for marketers to be able to do more. I don’t think I’m going to lose my job to an AI. I really don’t. But I think content discovery works best when it’s word of mouth. Word of mouth right now is done by humans till chat bots can past the Turing test. Finding ways to get people to talk about your podcast is the best AI you can get.

Sean: No, I agree with that. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always been passionate about this medium. It’s not just because my background in audio engineering. I think I’ve been consuming podcast and audiobooks on tape since I can remember. I loved, I think it was Leo Laporte … For folks who don’t know him he really started the TWiT network and has been huge, especially for technology podcasts. You always talk about there’s nothing more intimate than being able to whisper into the ears of your consumers. In a world where it’s so hard to break through the noise for a lot of brands, being able to catch people, whether they’re at home or driving through their commute or on the bus and things like that, being able to have your message in front of them in a quality manner has to be something that brands need to be giving a thoughtful approach. Would you agree that that’s still the case?

Tom: Yeah. I think there’s plenty of laggards in that, in the advertising space especially, but I can’t blame them. A lot of that is just because they don’t have enough information yet. One thing that some podcasts really demand quite a premium in terms of the CPM rates that they’re charging for commercials. They’re charging that premium on the assumption that it is, in fact, a premium spot that you do have that exclusive intimate relationship with an audience.

We’ve put out some research on that and we’re about to put out a whole bunch more in the coming month or so on just exactly how effective podcast advertising really is and how it’s differential in some ways than other forms of audio advertising, and part of it is in fact that relationship. I think as more and more data gets out there you’ll see more and more ad dollars flow, and I can’t really blame that.

When you get a big RFP from a brand to an agency, there’s like 100 boxes you have to tick. If you can’t tick all 100 of those boxes, you’re not going to get the buy. Some of those boxes are, can you prove the effectiveness of the advertising? We’ve done a bunch of Brand Lift studies now for clients where we’ve done pre and post campaign research that stuff was coming out. It’s a matter of equipping people to be able to tick all of those boxes and that’s going to gain access to larger ad buys, larger brand advertisers, and open up a lot more content investment into the medium.

John: Oh, that’s a great point there because we normally ask about future forward things and what you’ve got coming down the pipe, but that’s a perfect tease. We’re very excited to check that data out when you guys have got that released. Since I’ve got a few seconds, then I’m going to be a little indulgent here. We’ve talked audio gear in the past before, but I’m interested in audio in the home. Do you have Alexa plugged into your audio system or using Sonos? How has the home listening landscape changed for you?

Tom: Yeah. We actually don’t listen to that much audio on the Echo because we do have a Sonos. Sometimes the first thing we do when we wake up might be to ask the Echo to play our … We’re members of the college radio station that’s underneath us here in Boston, WERS, the Emerson College radio station. Sometimes we’ll wake up and just ask the Echo to play that because it’s easy and I haven’t had coffee yet and we’re stumbling around the kitchen. As you know, John, I am a bit of an audiophile so everything’s through the Sonos when I’m coherent.

John: That sounds great. Thanks, Tom. We appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. If folks want to learn more about you or Edison, what’s the best way to get in touch?

Tom: Sure. Well, the studies that we have available for download you can find at I’m on the Twitter @webby2001. I’m still reasonably active there. You can also check out my blog at which is now getting weekly posts, so that’s exciting.

John: That’s great. I’m a huge fan of Tom’s writing. You cannot miss it. You want to make sure you get that in your feed reader and follow up on that because it’s not only educational but entertaining, which is the highest grade I can give any content out there. Sean, how about for you? What have you got going on? You’ve just come back from serious decisions, and what else is going on?

Sean: Yeah. Depending on when we drop this episode, I’m just coming back from Vegas and a whirlwind tour a little bit there. We’ll definitely have to do a future show on my reactions and takes from that. Obviously lots of noise and hype happening there and some good stuff. Yeah, you can check out all my good work over at People interested in AI and the enterprise and things like that,, or just Google Sean Zinsmeister and you’ll find the latest and greatest.

John: That will do it for this time. You can find more from me over at Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you in the stacks.

John Wall

John Wall

John J. Wall speaks, writes and practices at the intersection of marketing, sales, and technology. He is the producer of Marketing Over Coffee, a weekly audio program that discusses marketing and technology with his co-host Christopher S. Penn, and has been featured on iTunes.

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