Jul 9, 2019

Podcast events are making a killing

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Data: Vivid Seats; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of events that have sold based on podcasts has increased by over 2000% in the past six years, according to ticket sales data from Vivid Seats, one of the largest independent ticket vendors in North America.

Why it matters: Live events offer podcasts the opportunity to monetize outside of audio ad revenue, which is growing but still pretty small compared to radio ad revenue.

The big picture: Many of the most expensive tickets sell to shows that are personality-driven.

  • "What’s even more interesting is what we’re not seeing: narrative podcasts, which tends to more of the critical attention," says Nicholas Quah, the founder and writer of Hot Pod, a leading industry newsletter about podcasts.
  • "This probably has to do with adaptation — seems like the way you’d build good live podcast shows isn’t too far from the way you’d think about booking bands," Quah notes.

The bottom line: Live events are often very community-driven, and podcasts, due to the more personalized nature of speaking to an audience versus writing to one, have been able develop very strong personal relationships with readers.

"At Vivid Seats, we've seen the enormous growth of fans looking to see their favorite podcast hosts in person. Certainly, huge summer concerts, traditional sporting events and theater shows remain popular, but fans are clearly enjoying more tailored forms of live entertainment that hardly even existed a decade ago."
— Michael O'Neil, Head of Public Policy and Community Engagement at Vivid Seats

Go deeper: Spotify's podcasting dreams

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Bryant-Denny Stadium, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

College football attendance dipped to its lowest mark in 22 years last season, with every Power 5 conference other than the ACC experiencing a decline.

The big picture: This alarming development is driven by numerous factors, many of which impact society on a macro-level and are out of a university's control (i.e. technology and consumption habits). But other factors — like ticket sales, game day experiences and stadium amenities — can be tinkered with and improved, and athletic departments across the country are laser-focused on doing just that.

Go deeperArrowAug 6, 2019

House Democrats reel in cash against 2020 election opponents

Freshman Reps. from left, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Barbara Lee, D-Texas, Annie Kuster, D-N.H., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Building a daunting moat around the the House Democratic majority, each of the 62 freshmen Democrats has raised more than their top opponent, AP's Alan Fram reports.

Why it matters: It's also true for all 31 Democrats from districts President Trump won in 2016. And for all 39 Democrats who flipped Republican-held seats last November. Those seats are the key GOP pathway to retaking the House.

Go deeper: The most competitive Senate races in 2020

Keep ReadingArrowJul 29, 2019

Democrats sound alarm on "massive" GOP Senate advantage in 2020

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talking about new legislation on Capitol Hill. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In 2016, every single Senate race went to the candidate of the same party that those states voted for in the presidential election, according to a new analysis by the Democratic group One Country Project, provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: That's never happened before, since at least 1984. And the data shows that's not great news for Democrats heading into the 2020 elections.

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019