Skip to main content
Is Ad Skipping Avoidable?

Is Ad Skipping Avoidable?

Written By

Tom Webster

Know the Author

June 12, 2024

A SUPER short newsletter this week, because I have been burning the Amtrak/hotel/midnight oil putting together our latest research project, Ad Nauseam, and it’s nearly baked. The toothpick is coming out clean, the sides are pulling away from the pan, and the thermometer reads a nice “medium rare” on our first large-scale study of ad skipping, repetition, and frequency in podcast advertising.

Among the data points we will release later today (you are signed up, right?) will be a thorough examination of ad skipping in podcasts. Not only will we look at frequent skippers, but we will also study the reasons why people skip ads. And here is the corker: we can fix a lot of them. Or, at least, a lot of them can be fixed.

See, I think there is a kind of fatalism around the topic of ad skipping in content circles. Creators tend to believe one of the following:

  1. All ads are skipped

  2. Ad skippers are bad people

  3. Ad skippers are bad people and they skip every ad

  4. None of this works and we are all doomed.

Here’s the kicker: there are multiple reasons why podcast listeners, in particular, skip ads, and only one of them is “I hate interruptions,” which we can’t do much about. The other four are, to varying degrees, addressable.

I’ll close with one example: reason number four why ad skippers do the deed: volume differences between the ads and the content. Now, at number four, this reason was cited by 9% of ad skippers, so you might be tempted to disregard it. But if I told you that you could increase your revenue and your conversion with a simple technical tweak to the system, wouldn’t you want that? Shouldn’t we figure that out?

And that’s just the start. There is a lot we can do that other mediums cannot, and I’ll have a lot more to say about that (including the other drivers for ad skipping) when we present Ad Nauseam later today, at 3PM Eastern. If you are in the ad game, you’ll want to attend.

New Partners

Sounds Profitable exists thanks to the continued support of our amazing partners. Monthly consulting, free tickets to our quarterly events, partner-only webinars, and access to our 1,800+ person slack channel are all benefits of partnering Sounds Profitable.

  • Join the Growth Revolution. Turning Podcasts into Radcasts.

  • Starglow Media: A Kids & Family Podcast Network.

Want to learn more about partnership? Hit reply or send us an email!

About the author

Tom Webster is a Partner at Sounds Profitable, dedicated to setting the course for the future of the audio business. He is a 25-year veteran audio researcher and trusted advisor to the biggest companies in podcasting, and has dedicated his career to the advancement of podcasting for networks and individuals alike. He has been the co-author and driver behind some of audio’s most influential studies, from the Infinite Dial® series to Share of Ear® and the Podcast Consumer Tracker. Webster has led hundreds of audience research projects on six continents, for some of the most listened-to podcasts and syndicated radio shows in the world. He’s done a card trick for Paula Abdul, shared a martini with Tom Jones, and sold vinyl to Christopher Walken.