Bill Simmons’ podcast may no longer have the promotional muscle of ESPN behind it, but that doesn’t mean Simmons is struggling now that he’s on his own.
Simmons debuted his new podcast, “The Bill Simmons Show” on October 1 and has since been on a tear. By October 16, the show’s 10 episodes had been downloaded nearly 4 million times, according to Simmons. It’s quickly become the top podcast in the iTunes sports category and the 14th most-popular podcast overall.
“It’s not earth-shaking, but it is an impressive start ,” said Norm Pattiz, CEO of Podcast Network Podcast One. “You have to assume that a lot of his existing audience has followed him to this new platform.”
Assuming an industry average CPM of $25, Simmons’ show has likely pulled in around $350,000 since its debut, according to Pattiz. That number is almost certainly even higher considering the strength of Simmons’ brand and the scarcity of ad spots available to advertisers trying to get on his show, which pushes prices up.
Previous estimated pegged the annual revenue of Simmons’ podcast at $5 million — nearly the entire yearly revenue of the ESPN-owned Grantland, where he was formerly editor-in-chief.
Simmons stands to earn more with his current deal than he did while working with ESPN, where he was paid a salary, not based on how much revenue his podcast made. Simmons, then, has even more reason to attract as many new listeners as possible. He regularly promotes the new show on Twitter, where he has 4.7 million followers, and is likely to promote it further once the HBO show he is slated to host airs next year.
“This system works because all the parties are incentivized in the right way,” said Adam Sachs, CEO of podcast network Midroll Media, which scored the ad sales rights for Simmons’ show. “It’s a lucrative situation.”
Simmons, a skillful podcast host, has proven to be equally adept at making his show’s mid-roll and post-roll ad spots genuinely enjoyable to listen to — or at the very least not annoying — which is largely what attracts advertisers to podcasts to begin with. A back-and-forth about upcoming football matchups last week slid almost seamlessly into an ad for MeUndies: “You know what, Sal? This is such a good game that I think you need you know about the feeling of great-feeling underwear that’s two times softer than cotton,” and so on.
It’s too early to say how big “The Bill Simmons Show” will ultimately get, but it’s certain to top the success of Simmon’s “B.S. Podcast,” which was downloaded 32 million times in 2013.
Credit to Digiday who originally published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Ken Carman Continues To Look For Play-By-Play Opportunities
“I just can’t — for the life of me — understand how I drop hint after hint after hint over the last decade and nothing.”
92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman has not been shy about his ambitions to one day work as a play-by-play announcer. One of the more frustrating things for Carman is that his co-host, Anthony Lima, works as a play-by-play broadcaster for Mid-American Conference football games for ESPN+.
“How do I put this? I am jealous but I’m not — quintessential jealousy is like I want something bad to happen to Anthony,” Carman said. “I don’t want anything bad to happen to Anthony. I want him to do a good job and keep doing games. I just can’t — for the life of me — understand how I drop hint after hint after hint over the last decade and nothing.”
When a producer told Carman instead of dropping hints he should drop job applications, the host replied “I’ve tried that route”.
“It’s been a decade and now it’s getting to the point where it’s pathetic. That’s why I’m not gonna sit there and say ‘You want me to fill out an application?’.”
Carman believes if he were to be the play-by-play broadcaster for a game, it would bring increased viewership, adding he tunes into to football games just to hear his partner on the call.
When a listener sent a text to the program saying Carman isn’t jealous of Lima but he is envious, he agreed saying “Anthony lives my dream every Saturday, and I tune in and watch Anthony and hope for the best for him”.
Lima concluded by saying the pair went every broadcasting job in the city, and in turn they tune in and watch people worse than them do higher profile jobs.
Brady Quinn: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Criticism ‘One of the Dumbest Things I’ve Heard’
“And that’s saying something because Booger was on Monday Night Football and he said a lot of dumb stuff during that period of time.”
Last week, Booger McFarland said New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson “a young man who grew up with a lot of money” and has never “had to accept accountability”. Many criticized him for the stance, and FOX Sports Radio host Brady Quinn is the latest to point out the perceived absurdity in the comments.
During an appearance on the Pick Six Podcast, Quinn levied harsh criticism for the ESPN NFL analyst, saying it was completely unwarranted.
“It was one of the dumbest thing I’ve heard on air,” said Quinn. “And that’s saying something because Booger was on Monday Night Football and he said a lot of dumb stuff during that period of time.”
Quinn later made comments questioning McFarland’s legitimacy as an analyst.
“The interesting thing is that Booger came out on Ross Tucker’s podcast and defended himself as an analyst,” added Quinn. “O.K., well you just contradicted what you just said. Because as an analyst, you’re supposed to be analyzing what’s on the field. The last time I checked, you don’t have a doctorate or you’re not a doctor in understanding the sociology of the relationship or the parenting or anything else that goes along with that yet you want to analyze that. It was a bizarre deal.”
Greg Hill Creates NFTs For Foundation Fundraiser
“I have always dreamed of being immortalized digitally, and now we are doing that for you this morning.”
Greg Hill has done several good works with his foundation in New England, and has now created a new way for those to give to his charity on Giving Tuesday.
During The Greg Hill Show Tuesday, Hill announced NFTs will now be available as an option for those who seek to give to the organization.
“Because we wanted to try find a different way for you to give on Giving Tuesday –those of you who would normally give to The Greg Hill Foundation or to any other charity — I am pleased to tell you that we are — at this moment — dropping the first ever Greg Hill Foundation NFTs.”
After the show joked that he is the owner of a Marconi Award and now featured in NFTs, he should retire, Hill joked “I have always dreamed of being immortalized digitally, and now we are doing that for you this morning.”
Hill then added NFT buyers will be invited to a private event at Cisco Brewers Seaport in Boston. Buyers will also be in a raffle to win tickets to The Greg Hill Foundation events, a suite to a Boston Celtics game, $1,500 cash, or two tickets to a Taylor Swift concert this summer.