Podcasting for business and culture at Bell Labs

On Thursday night (5/4/17) Bell Works in Holmdel NJ will host a special event featuring a panel event on podcasting and the effects on business and culture. Podcasting has quickly become a powerful tool for businesses to market themselves and for people to reinvent themselves. If you don’t know what podcasting is yet, check out my other article – The Power of Podcasts, but know that this medium, really a radio show on steroids, is helping businesses around the world get the word out. And the thing is anybody can do a podcast that will be available to literally the entire world. According to a report by Edison Research

“Over 98 Million People ListenTo Podcasts In 2016”

podcasting monthly numbers


Overall, podcast listening increased from 11% to 36%, translating into an estimated population of 98 million (Edison Research). Even more 21% of Americans over age 12 have listened to a podcast in the past month growing since a 12% share in 2013 (Pew Research). Certainly, podcasts are incrementally growing. Because podcasts listeners will form relationships with hosts and are loyal to show they are following, listeners will tend to return back to shows on a regular and timely basis, whether weekly or monthly (Columbia University).

And the nice thing is that men and women are almost equally listening to podcasts.

men and women


In any event, podcasting is securing its prowess in the fabric of business marketing, and even better they are entertaining. They all have personalty that speaks to “you” and cover any topic imaginable. So what is tonights topic? All panelists will speak from their experience about podcasting as a business, including emerging business models that have proven more and less successful. The panel will be moderated by Julia Zapcic of digital marketing agency Marketing Rival and sponsored by Bell Works and vi Innovation Hub.

The panels are made up of the following:

  • Fan Theory Podcast, affiliated with USA Today Network & APP.COM, hosted by Felecia Wellington Radel and Alex Biese.
  • I Sell Comics/Ming & Mike Podcast, affiliated with SMODCO (Kevin Smith’s entertainment company) and AMC TV’s Comic Book Men unscripted tv show and hosted by Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen.
  • Neil Mody, founder of Sparemin, a software startup promising to do for self-produced audio what Youtube did for self-produced video.

Fan Theory will provide a big picture view of corporate-backed podcasting/linked to an established media resource (USA Today/Gannett). Also, how podcasting helps build community and feeds into other conversations that open doors to affiliated business opportunities, including creation or enhancement of events based on a podcast or the larger fan community. 

Mike & Ming will bring the ‘organically grown’ experience of podcasting to the table — building an audience and message around a very personal/personality driven passion. Also, using podcasting to promote a strongly held, personal agenda, ie: more inclusive society; culture that values storytelling and shared goals and aspirations; encouraging the ‘average geek’ to get creative and create something that celebrates what’s important to them in their lives.

Neil Mody and Sparemin will demo new technology currently being used by major media outlets to do on-the-spot audio capture and upload that allows users to produce relevant, relatable content in real time. Neil will talk about who’s already using it, their experience and the impact of this tech in podcasting.

All in all it sounds like a great night. 

Wrap up

Last night was informative on podcasting and the future. And it was a historic moment for Bell Works. The theatre opened for the first time since the place was shut down, and we were the first event to be hosted. Quite an honor. Below are some pictures of Bell Works and the event.

bell works

Podcast panel


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