I believe that podcasts are going to be a
significant part of digital advertising within the next three years, not
because they’re anything new because podcasts certainly aren’t anything new,
but because I believe that the podcast audience is arguably one of the most
engaged set of users that we are able to target with ads.
In our industry, it’s very easy to find ad inventory but it’s very challenging to get a high level of user engagement. Podcasts have become increasingly popular since shows like Serial Podcast have been released, so more users are aware of podcasts as a form of media for entertainment.
An end-to-end enjoyable customer experience.
While more users are listening to them, there is
also an increase in people creating audio content. When you put this alongside
factors such as the development of headphone technology, introducing Bluetooth
headphones with better sound quality, users are having a far more enjoyable
experience when they’re listening to podcasts too.
So it’s hardly surprising that audio is the No.1
thing we’re using our mobile phones for and of that, 10% is listening to
podcasts. While this isn’t a huge amount, what’s really interesting is the
users who listen to podcasts spend 42% of their time on mobile listening to
them, that’s almost half. I believe this shows the level of engagement and
commitment that users have to this form of media.
So, where is the opportunity for us?
Firstly, think about the huge range of podcasts available. It doesn’t matter how niche your business is – whether you’re selling running apparel or investment products – there will be a podcast to suit and therefore, an audience.
Secondly, you’ve got really engaging, non-obtrusive ad formats on podcasts that typically fit nicely within the flow of the show thanks to a designated ad slot. Or you might even have the host reading out the ad themselves which creates more of an influencer-led activity rather than a standard piece of ad inventory.
In terms of what the opportunity is for us, I think
it’s really exciting you’ve got a highly engaged user base which is spending
42% of their time listening to podcasts on their phone. You’ve then got a huge
range of content that will match pretty much any business that your client
might have and finally, you’ve got a hugely immersive and engaging ad, which is
more than just a standard ad placement. It’s basically an influencer campaign.
What more could a digital advertiser want?
February 2020 Edit
It is clear that
releasing a podcast can be a very lucrative avenue, with some companies able to
make 8-figure revenue streams from these shows (Vox Media / Barstool Sports*);
however, a lot of publishers are finding it not to be so easy.
Many publishers have
reduced the frequency of shows or completely paused them. They are finding it’s
not enough to simply plug in a mic to interview someone. Users expect high
quality from the podcasts they listen to; and as there is a huge range of
podcasts available it’s getting harder to keep people engaged.
Many of our clients are
creating podcast content, or even have an established show. It now seems that
if the overall quality is not up to standard they could lose engagement and any
advertising revenue gained from them.
As mentioned above,
users are expecting high quality from podcasts which means that the ads we
serve through this medium have to be high quality as well. This includes both
the quality of the audio itself and the quality of our targeting.
I’ve seen this trend
before with YouTube, where it is the ‘latest cool thing’ and everyone wants to
be in that spot. This includes clients, as they naturally want to get involved
in platforms and media getting popular engagement; but many people will do this
without considering the internal resource required in order to gain the maximum
impact. We might not often have briefs on platform management, but we can give
estimates of ad impact or content quality, for
Want to learn more?
Here are some suggested links to find out more about advertising during podcasts:
Travis’s podcast recommendations:
- Digiday Podcast: https://digiday.com/podcasts/
- The Weeks podcast: https://www.theweek.co.uk/the-week-unwrapped
- Nation Geographic’s podcast: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/podcasts/overheard/