When the new Black Effect Podcast Network from iHeartRadio and broadcast superstar Charlamagne tha God launches today, it will mark a historic effort to elevate Black voices across media’s fastest-growing platform, with the backing of the nation’s No. 1 podcast publisher.
And Molson Coors has signed on as Black Effect’s exclusive alcohol beverage charter sponsor, with its top selling-brand, Coors Light, slated to launch advertising across this platform in December.
“Partnering with Black Effect’s immense talent gives us the chance to bring our brands to life in a unique environment. It’s bringing together some of the most exciting, most interesting and most informative Black voices around,” says Brad Feinberg, Molson Coors vice president of media and consumer engagement. “More importantly, we are able to support important conversations happening in our society.”
Anchored by Charlamagne tha God’s immensely popular syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club,” Black Effect launches with 18 podcasts that span multiple genres and is set to become the world’s largest podcast publisher dedicated to Black listeners. It aims to bring together some of the most influential voices across Black culture to discuss topics including social justice, pop culture, sports, mental health, news, comedy and more.
“Blackness has an immediate, culture shifting effect on everything,” says Charlamagne tha God. “Blackness controls the cool. Blackness is the culture, but Black Voices are not monolithic. The only way to appreciate the diversity of thought and experiences in Black culture is to build a platform for those voices to be heard.”
When the Black Effect platform launches, it will be the biggest Black podcast network in the world, with 13 million monthly downloads, according to iHeartRadio.
Molson Coors has long championed diverse voices and causes, including a decades-long relationship with the Human Rights Campaign. This summer, responding to the nationwide protests about racial injustice, the beverage maker pledged $1.5 million to support organizations dedicated to equality, empowerment, social justice and community building. In September, its craft-beer division Tenth & Blake announced it was funding university scholarships to increase diversity in brewing.
“We’re at an inflection point now where it’s not enough to say the right thing. You have to back it up with action,” says Feinberg.
So far, Molson Coors’ brands are slated to appear on six Black Effect shows, including “The Breakfast Club,” “Drink Champs” with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, “All The Smoke” with former NBA player Matt Barnes, “Holding Court” with attorney and television personality Eboni K. Williams, “Hot Happy Mess” with entertainment reporter Zuri Hall, and “Laugh and Learn” with drag queen Flame Monroe, executive produced by Tiffany Haddish.
Other Molson Coors brands included in Black Effect podcasts next year include Miller Lite, Blue Moon, Vizzy, Coors Seltzer and Proof Point, a new hard seltzer made with premium ingredients.
Molson Coors has staked out a leadership position in the growing on-demand podcast medium, which has seen annual audience growth of 20% of the last four years and is expected to double by 2023, according to Nielsen. It has found success with some of podcasting’s top personalities, including Conan O’Brien, Bill Simmons, Joe Rogan, Kate Hudson, Anna Farris, Sophia Bush, and Barstool Sport’s Chicks in the Office, Feinberg says.
Podcasts have proven to be an important emerging platform for advertisers, with a quarter of audience members saying they purchased a product they heard advertised on a podcast, according to a 2019 Adobe Analytics survey. Podcasting’s growing audience includes many legal-drinking age members of Gen Z and millennials who are light TV viewers or have cut the cord altogether, making them very difficult to reach for advertisers, Feinberg says.
“Podcast listeners are loyal to their favorite personalities and the content, and that makes venues like Black Effect incredibly important,” Feinberg says.